Can you imagine having to move to a different city so your dad could find a job? It would be very difficult to meet new friends, change schools and live in an unfamiliar place. This is what happened to Jothi Raj, a sixteen-year-old boy who lives in India. He had to move to a new village, near Kovalam. He needed to move because his dad needed to find a job to support him, his sister Vineetha, and their mom, Kalaiarasi.
Now try to picture yourself in a new environment. You slowly begin to adjust to your new life. Your dad finds a job and you begin to attend a fun Learning Center where you discover new things about the world and God. You would feel happy, wouldn’t you? That is exactly how Jothi began to feel. His dad found a job as a watchman. He and his sister began to attend a Grace Learning Center. They learned a lot, but the most important thing they learned was that Jesus is the One, True, Living God and Savior of the World. Jothi and his entire family accepted Jesus into their hearts and stopped worshipping the false gods of their Hindu religion. In fact, everyone in their family was baptized on December 31, 2005! They had hope and their lives were changed forever because of Jesus!
So many wonderful transformations began to happen in Jothi’s family. Jothi began receiving “A”s in school and was being taught how to play a musical instrument. Jothi’s parents began to put their faith into action by giving money regularly to God. Their generosity enabled the church where they attended to buy 24 new lights. They did not have a lot of money, but they gave joyfully back to the Lord. Do you know that you cannot out-give God? A few months after Jothi’s parents gave money for the lights, God doubled their salaries! That was a miracle!
Now try to think of a time when you were full of hope, peace and joy, and then something terrible happened that shook your world. Something unexpected and heart-breaking. What is the worst thing you can think of? Losing a parent? Sadly, Jothi’s dad, Dhinakaran, died suddenly on October 18, 2009. Jothi and his mom and sister had to walk through this tragedy. But they did not feel alone. Remember, they had hope and faith in Jesus Christ, who promises eternal life to all who believe in Him. Jesus also promises that He will never leave or forsake us. He comforts us in our pain. Though they were grieving, Jothi’s mom said, “I firmly believe that my husband is with the Lord and I need not be worried about anything because I have absolute faith in Jesus.”
Jothi and his family had to endure more pain. Some of their relatives and old friends accused Jothi’s mom, blaming her for husband’s death. They said that because they stopped worshipping their Hindu gods, the gods struck him dead. They are wrong. Jesus is with them in their pain and suffering. He is the God of Hope and the source of all comfort. “We have Jesus to take care of us,” they boldly profess. They are living with the hope of Christ in their hearts and the hope of seeing their father/husband again one day. Romans 1:5 says, “Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Are you able to envision yourself in Jothi’s position? Moving, accepting Jesus, losing your father, enduring pain but clinging to the hope and promise of Jesus Christ who lives in your heart? Jothi and his family daily experience the unfailing love of Jesus Christ and their lives have been changed. They know they can trust Jesus in good times and in bad. They know that Jesus will take care of them. They know that Jesus’ promises are always true and they know they will one day see Jesus face-to-face, and have the blessing of a reunion with Dhinakaran again. To God be the glory. Forever and Ever.
Questions for discussion:
Have you ever had to move to a new place? What do you think would be the hardest things about moving?
What unexpected challenges have you faced in life? Though you may not have lost a parent, what helps you trust in Jesus when things get difficult in your life?
Fun fact about India:
Hockey, cricket and soccer are very popular in India. Kite flying is also a widespread passion.
Current prayer requests:
- Jesus would continue to meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Praise Jesus that Jothi’s mom has a job as a maid in a guest house.
- Jothi and his sister, Vineetha, would continue to get help and support for school at the center.
- God would be their husband and father and they would all continue to build their lives on the truth and hope of Jesus Christ.
Ways you can get involved:
Tens of millions of children in India—more than in any other country—work to help support their families. Consider sponsoring a child in India for $35 a month. Follow this link to get the details and learn more information about India. https://www.visiontrust.org/where/country/id/india