Chara* has rescued hundreds of children from human trafficking in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, home to nearly 20 million people.
Chara has raised two strong, smart, Jesus-loving daughters. She and her husband have shared the Gospel with countless people, with many turning to Christ and being discipled. She and her family have experienced God’s work in their lives and ministries in tremendous, sometimes miraculous ways. She is exceptionally strong, loving, and obedient to the Lord.
In December, I held Chara in my arms as she shook from uncontrollable and much-needed sobs.
Bakul*, her husband and one of the missionaries you support, suffered a minor stroke two years ago and a more serious one a few months ago. The once-passionate and friendly man I’ve known for the past four years can hardly speak. He cannot smile, lift his Bible, or hug his family. Chara and their daughters, Nalinda* and Tanhi*, who are both in college, care for him around the clock.
Still, with joy and faith, Chara has continued her work of rescuing children, and has tried to keep up the evangelism and discipleship her husband can no longer do. She loves this work. But she is also exhausted, worried, heartbroken, and fearful.
A week before Christmas, for the better part of an hour, while holding tightly to Bakul’s hand, she shared all of this and we sobbed and cried out in prayer together.
This is the reality of following Jesus and choosing to serve him in the most difficult of circumstances.
The heart of Harvest Bridge is coming alongside South Asian believers who have done much with little, and helping them reach their people with the Gospel most effectively.
Oftentimes, the “little” is not simply little money. It’s little encouragement, little rest, little training, little supportive prayer that they’ve done much with. We strive to come alongside them in all these areas, not just financially.
For decades Chara and Bakul have chosen to do the hard, thankless, and unpublicized work of loving like Jesus. Saving children from horror, sharing the Gospel, and discipling people. They’ve done the long-term work of entering into others’ pain on a daily basis and sharing Jesus’ love while experiencing persecution, putting themselves in danger, living in poverty, and having seasons with little or no visible results of their ministry.
God absolutely gives grace. He has walked through this with them, blessed the work of their hands, and given them peace and joy unmatched. But Chara, Bakul, Nalinda, and Tanhi are not meant to walk alone. None of us are.
God established the Body of Christ and the institution of the church for a reason.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters around the world – to pray for them, to comfort and encourage, to share our talents and our wealth with them. We are meant to be the hands and feet of Jesus to one another, so that we are filled up to bring the love of Jesus to those outside the church.
This year, through you, we will help Chara and her two daughters build a self-sustaining business that can support them long-term. This will allow Chara to do the ministry God has given her a heart for, but also to take a step back for a season and care for Bakul as he continues to heal – as they all heal.
Will you pray for Chara, her family, and all of those choosing to continue ministering in the hardest of circumstances?
In February, our new monthly prayer calendar will be online. Each day, as you pray and praise God for these men and women, you are being the hands and feet of Jesus to them. Your role is vital.
Thank you and Happy New Year!
*Names changed for safety