By Mark Ellis —
As a new believer, Manoj felt an excitement and zeal to share his faith with his neighbors.
But one day, an angry mob of Hindu nationalists knocked on the door of his home. When he opened the door, they grabbed Manoj and dragged him outside, shouting at him to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ, according to a report by The Timothy Initiative (TTI).
They searched his house, found his wife Geeta and his young son, and hauled them outside as well.
“Give up Christ or else!” the leader of the mob demanded.
But Manoj was firm in his resolve to not deny his Savior. When the mob realized their verbal threats weren’t working, they began to beat Manoj, Geeta, and their little boy.
“They had clubs, and landed blows all over Manoj’s body, determined to break his will. Even after being beaten bloody and watching his family suffer, Manoj would not deny Christ,” according to TTI.
The mob leader then came up with the idea of a devious torture similar to waterboarding. “They dragged Manoj down to the lake, tied his hands behind his back so he couldn’t defend himself, and began shoving his head down under the water.”
Repeatedly they thrust his head under the water, depriving the young believer of needed oxygen.
Still, Manoj refused to renounce his faith
Then someone in the mob had another idea. Containers filled with kerosene stood nearby.
Inspired by the evil one, they decided they would light Geeta on fire.
“Manoj was disoriented from the water torture he’d been through, but he was still conscious, and understood what they planned to do to his wife. It was horrifying, but he felt powerless. His only hope was in God to save them,” according to TTI.
The leader shouted at Manoj, “If you do not deny Jesus, we will light your wife on fire and you will watch her burn to death.”
Some of the men in the mob began tearing Geeta’s clothes off, getting ready to douse her with kerosene.
In the chaos of the situation, God did something remarkable. In a moment of temporary confusion that seemed to blind the enemy, Geeta escaped their grasp and began to run.
“She ran for her life through the jungle, half-naked and terrified. Her young son followed close behind. They outran the mob and came upon the village market,” according to TTI.
A group of Hindu women saw Geeta and asked what had happened. She explained that a mob was chasing her, ready to kill her and her son. Geeta begged the women to hide them and they agreed.
A few minutes later, members of the mob who were pursuing Geeta saw the group of women and asked if any of them had seen Geeta and her son.
“Yes! We saw them just a few minutes ago. They ran off, that way, into the market!” one said, pointing in the wrong direction, purposely misleading the attackers.
Like Rahab lying to preserve the life of the Jewish spies in Jericho, the women did not tell the truth and helped to save their lives. The mob got tired of searching for them and went home. Sometime later Manoj and Geeta were reunited and taken to a safe location.
“TTI field staff in their region heard their story, and immediately made plans to visit and encourage them with prayer and financial assistance, considering that they were now permanently displaced, and had lost all they owned.”
Manoj’s faith in Christ remains strong and he continues to share his testimony.
For more information about The Timothy Initiative, go here.
Pray for Manoj and Geeta, that God would guide them and keep them safe as they recover from their trauma and build a new life.
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here