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How Anju Misra Got Involved in Missions

May 17, 2024 |  By Kelly Locklear

Two people—and two prayers

Anju Bera (now Misra), was only 17 years old and had just finished her last year of high school when she told her mother she wanted to be involved in missions. Growing up in a Baptist church in Odisha, India, she and her family had been in church every single Sunday for as long as she could remember. Both of her parents were serious Christians and had regular devotions with the family. These things certainly made an enduring impact on her spiritual development. Anju remembers some revival meetings she had attended also left an imprint on her that she just couldn’t shake. But no one in the family knew of any missionaries in their area.

Where had this idea come from?

Her mother answered her wishes with, “No, you have to study.” The matter was settled and Anju started college. In India, it takes another five years of school to complete a degree. She decided to study Political Science, Economics, and Family Sciences (which is like our Family and Consumer Sciences nowadays).
A few years into college, when she was between 19 and 20 years old, she “made a prayer to the Lord,” still longing to follow her dream to do mission work. That simple prayer opened a new path before her that would change the course of her future forever.

“Lord, I don’t know if you will bring me a missionary into my life, but I’d be happy if you did.”

In hindsight, as Anju tries to explain where the desire came from, it remains a bit of a mystery. She thinks the Holy Spirit may have prompted her to pray this prayer.

The Lord’s Plan

Roughly two and a half years after this, Anju became engaged to P.R. Misra, a man who had expressed interest in her to her family. It was to be an arranged marriage, a fairly common practice in India. Anju was a little surprised when the man turned out to be an English teacher instead of a missionary. However, she didn’t reject the proposal because God had shown her in a very specific way that P.R. was the right one.

Originally, P.R. had been planning to go to China to teach English.  At the last minute, his visa was canceled by the Chinese government. Their wedding was set for February 1987, with the new agreement that P.R. would relocate to Canada for a job working in the embassy at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. He packed his belongings, moved to Canada to get established, and started his new job while Anju remained behind in India during their engagement.

In October of 1986, shortly after beginning his new job, P.R. also found himself praying to the Lord, like Anju had years before: “Lord, I want to do something different.”

Within six months of this prayer, an opportunity for him to get involved in mission work was offered.

New Adventure

P.R. accepted the job with Christian Aid Mission, an organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia, just two months before he and Anju were to be married. Of this answer to prayer, Anju said, “So since then, from the day we got married, we have been involved when I stepped into the ministry with P.R..” P.R. worked for Christian Aid with Anju playing a support role until Advancing Native Missions (ANM) was formed a few years later. Both of them have worked for ANM ever since.

So it was, in this mysterious way, that God placed both P.R. and Anju on an unexpected journey of mission work for the last 37 years — their entire married life. He answered the prayer of a young woman who wanted to marry a missionary and be involved in reaching the world for Christ. He also answered the prayer of the man she was engaged to by making a way for him to begin a life of mission work.

God’s Sovereignty

Through heartfelt prayers that only God heard, God connected P.R. with Anju. Then, He knitted their hearts together in love for each other — and in love for Him.

Anju Misra currently serves as Southeast Asia Regional Director for ANM, coordinating missions work in Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore.

You can pray for missionaries using the 7 Days of Prayer for Missionaries guide after you download it from our website.