New Responsibilities Despite Sickness
When Kalyani went to Bible college, her sickness persisted. Throughout the two years of studying and growing in the Lord, preparing herself to be God’s hands and feet to her people, she suffered silently, not wanting her sickness to drag her away from her calling. The winter mornings were especially difficult on days she and fellow students went out for practical ministry, which meant being in the cold with only a shawl to protect her as she shared Christ’s love.
She persevered, however, and years after graduating, Kalyani became a leader of GFA’s women’s ministry in her district, overseeing 58 Women’s Fellowships. She traveled in rain or shine, in warm weather or cold weather, to encourage and grow the fellowships under her care. When the weather was nice, she and another GFA worker would bike to these fellowships, many of which were seven to nine miles away.
The bicycle made it possible to make the best use of their time, enabling them to visit multiple women and fellowships in a day without getting fatigued. But on cold days, with a shawl wrapped around her arms, steering became a challenge. Kalyani abandoned her bike on those days, preferring the safety of walking—even though it meant longer hours in the cold.
Wrestling with Temptation
Today was one of those days as she walked down streets, offering people literature about Christ. How much longer would she have to endure this troublesome sickness? There were mornings when the warmth of her bed tempted her to stay indoors and seek the comfort of a blanket instead of those in need of the Savior. She’d lay there a few moments, reluctant to go outdoors, probably thinking of all the excuses that would make it easier for her to give in to temptation. I am sick; my body cannot tolerate this weather. Others are probably doing the same thing. Who else would be out in this cold?
“Ministry is something that the Lord has given me. . .and I have to go out and share … no matter how cold it gets during winter.”
But Kalyani knew she wasn’t called to a life of comfort. Her years in Bible college had likely prepared her for those days of temptation. And as she obediently embraced the cold, knowing the repercussions it would have on her physical health, God granted her the grace she needed to do what she wanted most and not what she wanted to do in that moment of temptation.
“Ministry is something that the Lord has given me,” she said, “and I have to go out and share … no matter how cold it gets during winter.”
Gift Brings Unexpected Changes
Knowing her family’s poverty and her health condition, Kalyani’s field leader surprised her with a gift that would change her life in ways she didn’t expect.
Kalyani’s fingers traced the purple, gray and cream stripes of her new knit sweater. The details in the knitting, the wave and chevron designs, the white buttons surrounded in clear ripples were beautiful. More importantly, this sweater would keep her warm.
It was a gift Kalyani desperately needed. It was a gift that would help her in ministry.
But it also turned out to be a gift God would use to bring healing.