Who We ServePoonam in India
When Poonam quietly left Hinduism in 2012, the Bible she obtained instantly became her most prized possession.
The young Indian wife and mother of three secretly read God’s Word in her home each day, growing in her understanding of God’s love for her. But she feared that her husband would discover her new faith, and he soon did.
After overhearing her praying a Christian prayer one day, he found her Bible and angrily tore it to pieces.
“From today on you stop reading the Bible, and as long as you live in this house you better not pray!” he scolded.
Poonam’s husband then beat her, eventually kicking her out of the house and refusing to let her see their young sons and daughter. Her Christian faith cost her everything.
In India, where a rise in persecution of Christians has paralleled the rise in Hindu nationalism, Bibles are a precious resource. They help new believers continue to grow in faith amid persecution.
After losing her Bible and her family, Poonam stayed with relatives and prayed for the return of everything she had lost. A pastor and another believer who lived near her relatives visited Poonam regularly to pray with her. To her great joy, one day they gave her a new Bible provided by VOM. Poonam burst into tears as she received the Bible.
Over time, God answered Poonam’s prayers, restoring her marriage and family. Although her husband has not placed his faith in Christ, his heart has softened toward Poonam and toward the Christian faith. He has even attended church a few times to see how Christians worship.
Poonam reads and studies God’s Word using her new Bible, but she can’t give up the tattered and torn Bible that her husband had tried to destroy. It is, after all, how she first learned about Jesus.
She recently told a VOM worker that Isaiah 41:10 has special meaning for her: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
“My Bible is everything to me,” Poonam said. “It is the living word of God. Without it, I can’t live.”