The Long Road to Baptism- Healed From More Than Leprosy
Raja was born into a Hindu family in a very poor Tribal village in Chennai India in the late 1950s. His father died when he was young and so, early on, it was just him and his mother. They were too poor for him to go to school, so he began gathering and reselling trash with his mother when he was five years old.
When he was 23, his mother began looking for a girl to arrange a marriage with. It was a happy time in Raja’s life when he was soon engaged and began preparing for marriage. However, only three months into his engagement, he started finding white leprosy spots.
He tried to hide the leprosy, but this became impossible when he started to lose his fingers six months later. The girl’s family found out and quickly stopped the impending marriage.
He and his mother were incredibly sad, and they wondered if Raja would ever marry. On top of this, other than his mother, Raja’s friends and family began to disown him. He could no longer visit their homes or touch their things. At this time, they moved to another Tribal village where other lepers also lived.
Sadly, when he was 30, his mother passed away. Now he was alone, without the one person who had always loved him. As he was collecting trash one day, soon after his mother’s death, he sat down and began seriously considering suicide.
As he sat in despair, a man approached him and asked why he was crying on the side of the road. Raja explained his situation to the man, and received an unexpected reply.The man said that he was Hindu, but that his wife had recently become a Christian. He told him about the lepers that Jesus healed in the Bible and that if he went to church, maybe he could be healed too. Raja desperately wanted to go to church, but he was far too ashamed and scared that he would be thrown out because of his leprosy.
A few months later, several pastors came to his village to evangelize. He started asking them questions about this Jesus he had so recently heard about. The pastor reminded him of the story of the lepers, and told him more about who Jesus was. However, after they left, Raja was still too fearful to attend church.
A year later, he met a woman, Muniammal, who also had leprosy, and they decided to get married. They had agreed not to have children, because they did not want to risk their child contracting leprosy in their care. However, Muniammal became pregnant within their first year of marriage.
Raja, remembering that Jesus could perform miracles, told his wife that they needed to pray over this child. When their daughter was born, she was perfectly healthy, and she never contracted leprosy, even before they received treatment for their disease. They named her Mary.
Although they still knew very little of Jesus, and were still afraid to go to church, they began worshipping Jesus and praying to Him each day. This continued for over 25 years, until four years ago, a pastor named Arun came to their village.
Raja began asking him endless questions about Jesus and God, and asked once more about the story of the lepers. He asked, “God really touched the man?” “Yes, He did” was the reply from Arun.
Finally, after hearing Jesus’ name and worshiping for 25 years, Raja and his wife and daughter were baptized.
He and his wife took the Biblical names of Abraham and Anna. Now they attend a nearby church with their daughter, her husband, and their granddaughter, Selvi.
He says, "if man's love shown to our family is so great, how much greater is God's love?"
Abraham’s life has been incredibly difficult, but he finds peace and joy in Jesus Christ. Please be in prayer for this faithful man and his family.