"Champak and Sadhri were working on their roof—again—when a visitor came by. That they were hard at work should have made it obvious they weren't in the mood for his "sales pitch." The booklets he presented did look interesting, but how could a couple patching the roof with tree leaves afford his wares? They had struggled to survive for three years—and their damaged roof wasn't even the beginning of their problems.
Father's Illness Impoverishes Family
Champak and Sadhri had lived a satisfying life with their teenage son, Udit, but still Champak had never earned enough as a farmer that he would take anything for granted. When he suddenly came down with a fever one day, he continued to work, certain the illness would pass. Instead, it grew worse until he had to be hospitalized.
The doctors diagnosed Champak with brain fever, which could be cured—for a high price. The family spent much of their savings on the treatment until Champak got better.
After Champak was released, he worried about the family's financial state. He couldn't work on his farm anymore, so when harvest time came, Champak's field lay bare. He took wage labour work instead, and the family slipped into poverty.
Champak's failure to provide troubled him. He began scolding and picking fights with Sadhri for no reason, even to the point of beating her.
Sadhri thought often about moving in with her parents, but she couldn't bear the idea of leaving Udit with his father, and society frowned upon taking children from their fathers—even if they were abusive. Reluctantly, Sadhri chose to stay, just in time to face a new adversary: monsoon season.
After Champak recovered from his illness, he struggled in his farm work and later had no crops to harvest.
Monsoon Rain Pours through Broken Roof
As farmers, Champak and Sadhri had always seen the monsoon season as a necessity for their crops to grow strong, but without Champak's income for regular repairs, their house couldn't stand up against the harsh weather.
When the heavy rains of monsoon season started pouring into the family's house, Sadhri told Champak to buy some tin sheets to fix the roof, but the tin was too expensive. They covered the roof with plastic sheets instead, but the rain tore them apart.
"When the rain came, it just directly poured into the house, and all of the household items got wet," Sadhri remembered.
While other families took refuge in their houses, Sadhri and Champak had nowhere to sleep or even cook a meal. Their dirt floor turned into mud, and as the water in their house rose to their ankles, it destroyed their belongings.
"Nobody ever thought of helping us. … It was a real terrible and miserable time in my life," Sahdri said. "There was no one I could share my personal problems with."
The family suffered alone through three monsoon seasons until one day, as they patched their roof with tree leaves, they finally received a visitor.
Man Brings Literature to Family
The man presented Sadhri and Champak with a variety of booklets. The materials looked very interesting, but the couple was in no mood to hear a sales pitch about them. They knew they couldn't afford whatever the man's price was—just surviving cost them enough.
The man surprised them, though, saying the booklets were free. Their visitor, GFA World pastor Dakshi, only requested that the couple read the booklets and tell him how he could pray for them.
Relieved at the pastor's concern, Sadhri answered, "I do not have a proper shed, and rain comes into our house. We are going through a financial crisis, too. Pray that God will solve all our problems."
Pastor Dakshi promised to pray daily for the family, and that night, Sadhri began reading the booklets about the One called Jesus.
"Of course, it was a bit tough for me to believe the Gospel literature right away," Sadhri said, "but my heart developed a longing to know more about Jesus Christ."
Family Reads Gospel Literature, Embraces Christ
Three days after their first meeting, Pastor Dakshi visited Sadhri's family again for prayer, and Sadhri was touched by his sincerity. She shared her desire to know more about Jesus, so Pastor Dakshi and his wife began visiting regularly.
Eventually, Sadhri decided to follow Christ, and although her husband and son weren't happy at first, Sadhri and Pastor Dakshi kept praying and sharing the Gospel until both Champak and Udit embraced Jesus' love. Soon, their lives began to change.
"Every day, we prayed for our family's needs," Sadhri said. "As the days went by, God started blessing us with so many good things."
Champak and Sadhri stopped fighting, and their income grew. Working again as a farmer, and occasionally as a wage labourer, Champak provided for most of the family's needs. All they lacked was a sturdy roof, and soon God made a way for that, too.
God Provides Tin Sheets to Fix Roof
When Pastor Dakshi got the opportunity to hold a Christmas gift distribution programme in the community, he thought of Champak, Sadhri and Udit and asked his leaders to provide tin sheets for the family.
The family was overwhelmed with gratitude when they received their gift—exactly what they needed to fix their roof for good.
"I thanked God," Sadhri said, "from the bottom of my heart. ... For three years, we struggled without a proper roof, and no one ever helped us. But my God Jesus answered my prayer by blessing my family with two tin sheets."
Now the family sleeps peacefully through every rainy night. The only concern they have during monsoon season is how it will affect Champak's crops.
As they grow in the Lord, His peace fills their hearts, and they are confident He will provide for their physical and spiritual needs.
You can find the same Gospel literature and tin sheets Pastor Dakshi gave away, plus many more life-changing gifts, in our Christmas Gift Catalog. Visit our online catalog today, and see how you can touch a family like Champak, Sadhri and Udit.
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.