Summary: Why is a believer willing to face such harsh attacks?
In Madhya Pradesh, a Hindu dominated region of New Dehli, India, Pastor Paasu Ninama was returning to his home following weekly services when he fell victim to a violent attack. When the 35 year old pastor was strolling past a home in the mid-afternoon, six assailants invited him into their home for a fresh cup of water. Willing to enter into their invitation, he was presented with a picture of Jesus and falsely accused of trying to convert them from their fundamental Hindu faith (and we thought Hindus were all pacifists) which is technically illegal in that area.
At this point, the men viciously beat the helpless pastor as he tried to turn the other cheek and escape. Using fists, blunt objects, and even stones in the similar fashion the Apostle Paul was assaulted in the book of Acts, their aggression was relentless. Pastor Ninama awoke from the ordeal in a hospital some 20 miles away as villagers hearing of the attack rushed to the scene to help. It was then that the scared and sobbing Man of God realized that one of his ears—yes his ear, was bitten off by one of the attackers during the attempted homicide.
Why is Pastor Ninama willing to face such attacks? Why is he willing to face so formidable an adversary that his very ear will be demanded of him? He is willing because he understands the scriptures, because he loves Christ. Matthew 8:34-36 states, “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or PERSECUTION (capitalization added) or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’”
But there is still more to the testimony of this man than simply the persecution. You see, like the Apostle Paul’s previous life as Saul, Pastor Ninama used to be a Hindu prescribing to a very fundamental faith that opposes him now. What happened? He took his wife ailing from demonic possession to a Christian minister. Ninama states, “after three days, my wife was completely healed, me and my family, we will serve the Lord!”
To show his earnestness to the Lord, our brother in India serves the Lord boldly while having undergone two additional imprisonments, this attack, and continual abuse. He labors by day in the farm fields while providing enough food for his family of six kids, while laboring for the Lord on Sundays as pastor to 4 different churches. Pastor Ninama hikes a total of 17 miles a day on Sunday, us American Christians sometimes find the 17 feet to our car to be too treacherous.
When asked if this attack to halt his decision to faithfully serve God, he responds, “I will continue to do the work of the Lord.” May we use the faithfulness of our brother far away to grow and strengthen our zeal for the Lord.