God reached out to one young woman and her family in India to heal, restore, save and provide through incredible means.
Riddhi* grew from a lovely girl into a beautiful young woman with the promise of a good match that her parents were working to make with a man in another village.
The arranged marriage, however, didn’t turn out to be a happy one. Riddhi’s new husband regularly drank and smoke, and he frequently left their home to spend the evening with other women. Soon Riddhi began to experience seizures, and this seemed to make her husband even more remote.
She discovered that she was pregnant and shared the news with her husband. Instead of being excited, he simply told her that he didn’t want her anymore because of her health issue. “Sometimes he would leave and not come back for many days,” Riddhi shared.
When her parents heard about how poorly her husband was treating her, they came and took Riddhi with them back to their hometown.
The Great Healer and Lord
Riddhi’s father had contracted polio as a child, and the disease atrophied the muscles in parts of his body so badly that he had trouble walking. For work, he stitched together rice sacks and other bags to make tarps for sale.
The family’s main source of income was actually Riddhi’s younger brother who was a registered medical practitioner. He was qualified to go into people’s home, do basic checkups and administered medications. When many people were living hand to mouth on whatever they made that day, he was able to support his whole family, including his pregnant sister, and find a fiancé.
Everything seemed to finally be going smoothly until Riddhi’s brother got into a terrible accident. He was rushed to a hospital, but doctors said he didn’t have long to live. The family gathered at the hospital, expecting to say goodbye to this young man.
A man approached them who said he was a believer and offered to pray for God to heal Riddhi’s brother. The patriarch of the family was a fervent Hindu worshipper, but he had no other hope for his son. What harm could a Christian’s prayers do? The man petitioned God on the family’s behalf, and Riddhi’s father had a vision of a shining light and a powerful conviction that Jesus would heal his son. He accepted Christ there in the hospital.
Slowly but surely, Riddhi’s brother began to heal and defied the doctors’ gloomy diagnosis. “God started to do a miracle in my brother,” Riddhi told World Challenge’s partners. “The Lord gave him his life back. By this miracle, all of our family started accepting Christ and going to church.”
The One Who Provides
Riddhi’s heart was caught by God, and she had witnessed him bring her brother back from the brink of the grave, but she was frightened by what her own future held.
“Delivering my baby seemed like an impossible situation because of my problem with seizures” Against all of her fears, she survived the labor and soon held her baby girl. “God did a miracle in my life too, and he gave a daughter to me.” Her Lord had brought her over one hurdle, but another even greater one faced her.
In India’s culture, anyone who has chronic health issues like seizures are viewed as unlucky or even cursed by the gods. On top of this, being a single woman with a child is frowned upon, so Riddhi knew that her odds of getting remarried were vanishingly small. She would have to rely on her family, likely for the rest of her life, but she wanted to help contribute.
While she was praying about the future, one of World Challenge’s partners approached her at church and asked if she would be interested in a tailoring class. Riddhi was overjoyed. She began attending classes and was given a sewing machine.
“God has provided… This will help me to provide for my daughter and myself,” Riddhi shared, then she added a message for World Challenge’s donors, “Thank you for your support. God bless you.”
*Name replaced or omitted. For our ministry partners’ security, we don’t release names or locations in highly sensitive areas.