Why would a woman throw her beloved 6-month-old firstborn son into the river?
“Every three years, hundreds of thousands of people come to bathe in the Ganges River. They come believing that this Hindi ritual will wash away their sins.
Missionary Varghese often witnessed for Christ among the crowds that gathered at the Ganges. One day, he came upon Alila kneeling in the sand, crying uncontrollably and beating her chest. With much compassion, he knelt down next to her and asked what was wrong.
‘The problems in my home are too great, and my sins are many. So I offered the best I have to the goddess Ganges- my firstborn son,’ she told him through her sobs.
The woman had just thrown her 6-month-old baby boy into the river.
Brother Varghese’s heart ached for the desperate woman. As she wept, he gently began to tell her about the love of Jesus, who could forgive her sins. ‘God is not mad at you,’ he said. ‘He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for your sins.’
Alila was puzzled.
‘I have never heard that before,’ she replied through her tears. ‘That is wonderful.’ Then she asked, ‘Why couldn’t you have come 30 minutes earlier? My child would not have had to die.’”
This is just one heart-breaking story from the Gospel for Asia headquarters. Unfortunately there are millions like Alila, desperate to know Jesus, aching to break free of the bondage that their false gods have created. This bondage forces them to continually strive to make peace with God through better behavior and sacrifice.
This striving leads people like Alila, when faced with the depth of their own sin, to take desperate measures to try and earn a relationship with God. No one has ever told them that Christ came to for this very reason, and that His gift is free.
If your heart is moved to help, you can. And it will only take about 5 minutes of your time.
Every Christmas, many Christian organizations give gifts of compassion to the world’s neediest people. Proverbs 18:16 says that a gift opens the way for the giver, and these gifts ultimately give missionaries favor with the people so that they can share the Gospel. These gifts include anything from food to water purifiers to Bibles to blankets. They range in price, so most anyone can be involved.
If you’re interested in donating a gift, click here to browse through the Compassion International’s Christmas gift catalog. This is one of many organizations who offer a gift catalog during the holidays. It’s a very easy check-out process. For those of you with children, they’ll love to surf the website with you, look at the pictures, and hear how they can meet a simple need across the world.
Also, Highpoint Church (my amazing church) is collecting funds to install a water filtration system at a school for handicapped children in Peru. If you’re interested in giving towards this, click here.
In honor of Christmas, I’ll leave you with this verse. It’s been ringing in my mind as I’ve typed this blog, and it’s the reason that people like us and Alila have hope despite our failures.
“In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel [God’s people], and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” Ephesians 2:12-13, 17-18 NLT