“A life of risk”: Open Doors partner on serving the persecuted church in India
Rajesh is an Open Doors partner in India. Even before the pandemic, his role and calling involved a great deal of risk - but he sees the joy of serving the persecuted church.
He is taking great risks despite the virus and ongoing persecution – but risk is nothing new for Rajesh. Through his 12 years as an Open Doors partner, he regularly takes enormous risks to show Jesus’ love.
Although Rajesh was raised in a Christian home, he didn’t feel a big commitment to Christ while growing up. When he was 16, he attended a youth conference that sound fun – but God had plans that went beyond fun.
On the third day of the youth conference, the preacher called out to Rajesh, even though they had never met before. The preacher said, “Rajesh, the Lord is calling you. You’re wearing a red shirt. You’re here on this campus, come to the front.”
“I couldn’t run away from that,” Rajesh says. “I had to go, and when I went up front, he prayed for me and I felt the very presence of Holy Spirit in my life. I can’t explain it – it was so powerful, and I started crying. I committed my life to Him.
In his first assignment, Rajesh went to meet a pastor from a remote village who had been badly beaten because of his faith. The thing Rajesh remembers most is that the pastor was smiling. “That was amazing for me to see. That was my first encounter with someone who was directly persecuted.”
Since that day, Rajesh has made it his mission to strengthen the persecuted church in India. During the pandemic and the lockdown, he and his team are taking vital resources to many persecuted believers who have lost their jobs, have no income and are deliberately overlooked when aid is distributed – including many isolated Christians who might not know any other believers. But even when the world isn’t facing a global crisis, he knows that Christians in India face a lot of violent opposition.
You can read the story of Rajesh here.