‘Thanks to you, we could go on’
Raman’s ministry has continued to grow. He’s helped plant churches in surrounding villages. “Right now, there are 30 places in which there are Sunday schools,” he says. “And in three villages there are church services.”
But the persecution he faces has also continued. In March 2018, Raman came close to losing his life when his church was attacked by a group of young people, bribed by Hindu extremists.
“One night I was praying in the church,” he remembers. “I was all by myself and locked the door. It was midnight when I noticed smoke getting in the church. By the time I opened the door, the front side of the church was already on fire. My bike, which I use to travel to surrounding villages, was burned too. I tried to escape from the church, but when I did, some burning wood fell on me.
“It’s really God who protected me that day. I had physical issues after the incident. And even more, my bike was gone, the church almost burned down and there was no one to help us.”
Open Doors’ local partners were able to buy some basic necessities and groceries for the pastor and his family. “Thanks to you and the practical help you gave, we could go on,” Raman says.
A couple of weeks after the fire, the church was rebuilt, and over 500 children came to the building for a Vacation Bible School. “All the glory to God,” Pastor Raman says. With the help of Open Doors’ supporters, the church was able to buy new sound system to replace the one that was lost in the fire, so that work like this can continue.
Pastor Raman has now recovered from his injuries, and is determined to continue taking the gospel to his nation. He asks for prayers for the children’s ministry of the church, and for guidance as he seeks to plant churches in 100 villages around his town. “I want to see India as a country free of all evil,” he says. “When India starts fearing God, people will leave their wrong ways. I know it can be dangerous. I also know that I might die. But I am not afraid.”
*name changed for security reasons