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Grace & Jay: The Cost of Standing Firm

India

(The following story is a true story. The names of the people in the story are not their real names. Three Indian children about their age are shown in the photo.)

Grace, age 10, and Jay, age 7, are a brother and sister in a very large city in India. Their father, Thomas, is a Christian pastor.

Grace and Jay’s family are “Dalits.” In the past, Dalits were called “untouchables.” Untouchables are the lowest class of people in India’s Hindu caste system. The caste system ranks families into social classes. Today the caste system is illegal, but Dalits still often suffer from poor treatment by Hindus in higher castes. A Christian in India said, “Christians have no caste; we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Pastor Thomas began to reach out to very poor Dalits in one area of his city. Soon 10 families decided to follow Christ! Their little group continued to grow, and they got a small building where they began to meet.

One day, some Hindus set up a Hindu idol behind the church. Then they visited all the homes in the area and told the people to give them donations to support Hinduism. Thirty-five Christian families refused to donate. The Hindus warned Pastor Thomas, saying that everyone must give them money. But Grace and Jay’s family and the other Christians still refused to donate.

A group of young Hindu men beat up Pastor Thomas because the Christians would not give them money. Grace and Jay and their mother had to get along without their father and husband for 14 days while he was recovering in the hospital.

After Pastor Thomas recovered, he started a ministry to children in another very poor area of the city called a “shanty town.” (“Shanties” are small, crudely built shacks where very poor people live.) Grace and Jay are blessed to live in a home where they have learned about the joys of standing firm in their faith, even when it is risky. Now other Indian children are also learning from Pastor Thomas’ good example.


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