God’s word has the power to change people’s lives, even without the input of an “expert” or an invitation to “church.” As Paul told Timothy all those years ago, the Bible really is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right (2 Tim 3:16).
In India lives a man named *Ameeth. He has two sons and two daughters. He recently told his story:
Life was not peaceful. I was a cruel person. Even my children did not want a relationship with me. Then, on May 22, 2017, I was changed. I was walking along the road when I heard a loud story (like a radio) coming from a nearby house. I stopped to listen to the story. It was about miracles. When the story finished, I walked into the house [in Indian villages, front doors are usually open for ventilation] and asked, “What are you listening to?”
The people looked at me, then asked, “Who are you?!”
I told them that I simply wanted to know about the story I’d just heard. It had caught my attention. Could they give it to me?
They said, “Yes, you may have a copy,” and they gave me a microSD card with stories on it, and a speaker through which I could play the card. I took the speaker home and listened to the stories. I used to drink every night, and do other bad things. However, that night, I did not go out to drink. I stayed home and listened to the stories. My family was happy that I did not drink that night. They liked this better version of me. The next day, again, I did not go out drinking, but stayed home and listened to the stories. The third day, the same.
After three days of this new behavior, my wife said, “I am seeing a change in you. You are not bad like before.” I told her that I didn’t understand it myself, but that when I listened to the stories, I had no desire to do those other (bad) things.
My wife asked, “Can we all listen to the stories?” And so, we did.
My whole household changed. The neighbors also noticed. One of them, *RK, asked my children, “What’s going on in your home? Your father doesn’t do bad like before.”
The children replied, “Uncle, my father has changed. We all listen to stories, and he does not do bad things.”
RK asked, “Is there truly something that can change your father?”
They said, “Uncle, you can also come and see, and listen.”
RK went home and got his whole family. Later, when they entered my home, they found us listening to the Proverbs on the speaker. When I turned off the speaker, RK said, “These are great! I’d like a copy of the stories, also.”
I replied, “I only have one copy, but I can play the stories together for both of our families.”
Thus it is that every evening, 30-35 people meet to listen to Bible stories in this village in North India. A mentor is helping them take their first steps of faith and a baptism service is planned.