It was supposed to be our day off, but as we watched people shave their heads and throw their hair onto the huge idols, we knew it was not going to be a typical sightseeing day. Amidst all this chaos, we decided to worship by the River Ganges and bring the joy and peace of heaven into the atmosphere. While my mission trip teammate began to play his guitar, a crowd started to gather, attracted by our worship and joy.
As we sang, I had a sudden thought that God wanted to heal someone in the crowd. Our translator worried that saying the name Jesus would incite a riot, but they gave the invitation anyway. At first, no one responded, but after a few moments a man came up and slapped his knees to show us where he needed healing. Excitedly, I asked Jesus to heal him. After the third short prayer, his eyes lit up and he told the translator his pain was completely gone! A throng of people began to gather, and my team and I started to pray for people.
Our translator was quickly pulled in another direction, so my partner and I adapted quickly to the non-verbal communication system of thumbs up or thumbs down to check for healing. A tall, well-dressed Islamic man confidently walked up to me and asked what we were doing. I told him we were sharing the love of Jesus, that God was healing people, and then boldly asked him to translate for me. He agreed. I discovered he spoke both Bengali and Hindi, the two languages of this area of India!
Over the next 15 minutes, we saw eight people completely healed by the love and power of God. Soon it was time for us to go. As we were leaving, people were reaching out, pulling on my clothes for prayer. Overwhelmed with God’s love, I laid hands on as many heads and arms as I could.
When I got in the car, my new Islamic friend won my attention with a bottle of cold water he had bought me. He handed it to me with tears rolling down his cheeks, asking us to pray for his family. That day, his life was changed by an encounter with the love and power of Jesus Christ. After all the healing we saw Jesus pour out, what impacted me most was seeing the effect of God’s kindness on one man’s heart.