Back to All Stories

A Marginalized Person Transformed by the Gospel

June 14, 2024 |  By Sue Morris

“Leave right now. If you come back or get near our home, we will beat you up!” The family was loud and fierce. Archana felt saddened that she was not allowed in the village. She wanted to share the Gospel with the unreached villagers. Archana was not surprised at the response, as hostile villagers had even killed some missionaries. Shaking her head in sorrow, she prayed, “How will I reach them, God? Can you open a door?”

God Opened the Door

A few days later, the family that had run Archana off noticed that their baby’s stomach was bloated. As she got worse, they took her to the hospital. After a few anxious days, late one night, the baby stopped breathing, and her heart stopped beating. With great sadness, the father called his mom to report what had happened to her grandchild. She asked, “Do you remember the woman you ran out of our village? Why don’t you call her and ask for her to pray?” 

The father somehow got Archana’s phone number and called her in the middle of the night. He explained that his daughter was in the hospital and had died. “Could you pray for her?” he begged. 

Archana began to pray for the baby. The baby’s father watched in amazement as she instantly started breathing. He could hardly accept that one minute his child was dead, and the next minute she was alive. The whole family was amazed at what God did in healing the baby. Because of Archana’s bold prayer and the baby’s healing, they all came to a saving knowledge of Jesus and the Gospel. 

Return on the Investment

A missionary named John Edward shared this story as an example of God’s transforming power, not just of the baby whom God healed and whose family He saved but also of Archana, who was from the lowest caste of North India. Archana was from a very backward tribe. Her family was the poorest of the poor in a very ignorant tribe. 

When Archana came to the Bible school, she needed to be taught to read and write before she could study the Bible. She was so uneducated and had many difficulties. The missionaries paid for her to travel to the Bible school as well as all of her expenses while there. To add to the troubles, she began to have breathing difficulties. She even stopped breathing a few times. The staff would go into panic mode, trying to revive her. Several times a staff member had to take her to the hospital for treatment. John Edward considered sending her home because of all of her challenges. He wondered if any good would come from trying to train her. Then God reminded John that He was the one who had sent Archana to the Bible school and they should keep working with her. 

Over time, Archana went from little Bible knowledge to reading the Bible and praying daily. By the time she graduated from the Bible school, she had been transformed. She had a zeal for evangelism and a fire that only could come from the Lord. Archana went back to her home village after completing Bible school. A few years later, the leaders heard about miracles and healings coming from her ministry. The baby was just one example of how God heard her prayers and healed people.

More Prayers Answered

Another example of answered prayers was when Archana prayed for a man who lost his mind. The man had left his village and traveled to another town to find work to support his family. One day, his family received word that he had become deranged. His family went to see him and found him beside himself, totally incoherent. They tried everything they knew to help him. Finally, they thought, “Should we take him to a witch doctor or a hospital?” 

One person told them, “There is a woman in Rajasthan. God will heal him if you get her to pray for him.”

The family and some friends took the man to Rajasthan, where they located Archana. When she heard about the man being out of his mind, she traveled to where he was to pray for him. The Lord listened to her simple prayer of faith. The man immediately was in his right mind again. It was apparent to his family and friends in the room that the Lord had healed him. Archana took the opportunity to share about Jesus with the whole group of about 15 people. They all accepted the Gospel right then and there.

Building the Kingdom through Prayer

When John Edward visited Archana recently to see how the ministry was going, he found her house full of people waiting for her to pray for them. People come from not only her village but also other villages, as the word has spread about how God is using her prayers to heal the sick. She has a church of around 150 to 200 people in a village of 600. It was gratifying to see that the time, effort, and expense expended to train Archana was not wasted but had become very fruitful.

Shiloh Evangelistic Mission’s Purpose

John Edward’s father had a burden in the 1970s to reach the tribes of the Andaman Islands. After receiving training, he and his family started a ministry called Shiloh Evangelistic Mission to serve there. Now, the ministry, with John Edward leading, reaches the Andaman Islands as well as working in India and Sri Lanka. The work is in remote areas without electricity or proper transportation, deep in the jungle, in deserts, or in mountainous regions.

John Edward stated, “The great thing is that taking the Gospel to these people, you get to experience God’s heart for these people. He loves them the same, you know? He loves each one of these people so much.” That fact propels John Edward and his co-workers to do the challenging work of spreading the Gospel in remote areas.

Do you want to be a partner with a missionary reaching remote areas? Give to send someone to reach that next “seemingly worthless person.”