Most of us will never know the profound level of suffering, hardship and personal sacrifice experienced by Christians who live in countries where their faith is under constant attack. Indeed, we can learn a great deal from these individuals about what it truly means to “take up your cross and follow Jesus.”
One such saint is an Indian man named Kuldeep. Growing up in a deeply ritualistic Hindu environment, he came to know and love Jesus after realizing that there was no power in animal sacrifice and the worship of idols.
It was when he became ill that he first turned to the Lord, and his meeting with the Holy Spirit was almost immediate. “I felt prickly all over my body,” he said of when a local pastor prayed for him. Confused by the physical sensations, he vowed to keep persevering in his Hindu faith, and sought healing in temples.
But it never came. “The pain never left me,” Kuldeep told Open Doors USA.
Still, despite Kuldeep’s cynicism and hostility, the pastor continued to reach out in faith.
“I refused. But because nothing had worked, I became very angry. I stopped believing in all gods,” he said.
Then, finally, the man listened to the pastor and received the Holy Spirit once again — this time, he didn’t run away. “I decided to give his God one more chance,” he said. “The pastor told me to get rid of all my idols and come back to his church. I did what he asked. He anointed me with oil, prayed for me and I was finally healed. I felt very light. I wanted to read the Bible and to pray.”
The backlash from his community, however, was severe. Almost immediately, Kuldeep was set upon by a group from his community. “You have converted,” Kuldeep’s adversaries said to him. “You are against our gods!”
This faithful follower of Jesus was eventually subjected to a brutal axe attack and was lucky to escape with his life. “My nerves in my hands got damaged and several bones were broken,” he said of the incident.
However, despite the trauma of the attack and the continued threat to his life, Kuldeep is compelled to keep preaching the gospel and sharing Jesus with his community.
“I’m not safe. This man could attack me again any day,” he said. “It’s all in God’s hands. My wife knows that. She still sends me to preach, however. This is what we live for.”
“It’s the responsibility God has given me,” he added. “I’m ready to suffer. The Bible tells us to be prepared for suffering for His sake. People need Jesus.”