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Ravi: Radical love in action


The Mission Society will soon open a field in a largely unreached area of India. One of the cross-cultural workers planning to move to India shared this story of an encounter with a man she met while exploring ministry opportunities there.

“I found myself overcome with sorrow at the poverty, ignorance, sickness, and injustice that sometimes surrounded me. Then, in the next moment, I would get a glimpse of God’s love and mercy working through some of the most humble, dedicated Christ followers I’ve ever met. Excitement would well up inside me as I saw their passion and vision to introduce Jesus to people in the darkest places of their land. I found myself embracing that vision as, day after day, I saw evidence of miracles and God’s healing touch. Although this region is one of the darkest most dangerous places in India, over and over I heard believers saying, ‘This is our time. God is pouring out His Spirit over the darkness here.’ And they are obviously right! I cannot adequately explain my excitement over being given the opportunity to join Jesus in His mission in this place!

“One day we traveled further into the city to a slum where 65,000 Muslims were living literally on top of one another in an area roughly one-half square mile. That is where we met Ravi*, and once again I was gripped with the excitement of what God is doing in India.

“Ravi welcomed us into his office located down a narrow alley that was split by an open sewer. The office was a small room (smaller than many bathrooms I’ve been in) containing a book case, a small desk with a laptop computer, a wooden platform for seating, and a small area to prepare tea. I can still see this young man standing in the middle of that humble room. He had a grin that was bigger than his face and a twinkle in his eye, evidence that the squalor surrounding him had not been able to touch his spirit. Here’s just a bit of his story –

“Ravi moved to this slum 10 years ago believing that God had called him to minister in this place. He does not provide any official services. There is not much he can provide when, after 10 years, his work has grown to include six employees with a total budget of only $13,000. Ravi’s team mainly functions as social workers, connecting people to government organizations that already offer benefits no one bothers to tell them they are eligible for. His team members also work as advocates convincing private hospitals to accept some patients for free, helping adults to obtain vocational training and jobs, and finding the means to help parents keep their children in school. The success of Ravi’s work is evident. For example, the percentage of children in this slum that are enrolled in school has risen from less than 10% 10 years ago to more than 80% today.

“Ravi, although openly Christian in this completely Muslim community, has won the love, trust, and respect of these people, so much so that he was allowed to take a wife from among them. This is a miracle in itself as a Muslim father allowing his daughter to marry a Christian is unheard of! He told me that he did not try to convert his young wife, but he prayed diligently for her. She shared that one morning she was very troubled because a robed man came to her in her sleep, called her “daughter,” and told her he wanted her to follow him. Ravi listened and prayed but gave no advice. His wife had the same dream a second and third time. He then took her to a Christian church, sat down with her in a pew, and pointed out a picture of Jesus on the wall. He pointed to the picture and said, ‘This is the man who has been calling you. Ask Him what He wants you to know.’ After long minutes of sitting with her head bowed and her eyes closed, she looked up at her husband. Ravi asked what Jesus had told her, and she replied that He didn’t tell her anything; He showed her. She then began to recount the entire gospel story from Jesus’ birth to His death on the cross! There are now two Christians in that Muslim slum!”

*Pseudonym used for security purposes.