Hansini was persecuted, like Paul she was beaten for her faith. She had dared to violate the traditions of her family, dared to forsake their gods. Although the family was poor, at least they weren’t a part of the lowest of the classes in the prevailing caste system. But her actions had brought shame on her family and the village. And no one was about to let her forget it.
By becoming a Christian her family felt that she had shamed them. The neighbors’ actions made it clear that they blamed Hansini’s parents –they couldn’t control their daughter. And so her father beat her – mercilessly. The people in the village were offended that she had brought such a scandal to the village, and so the family was shunned. Scandal- the stuff that makes the world go round, especially in small closely connected communities.
And then it’s Christmas. Christians celebrate Christmas. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews don’t, except perhaps in the secular sense. In the USA people seem to like the holiday’s festive atmosphere, most people like getting gifts, and the concept of peace on earth good will to men is universally accepted, it’s just that the ideas for achieving peace and good will tend to vary widely. But in some other countries, other cultures, Christmas is still an anomaly, so when Hansini brought home a Christmas gift from her church, a sewing machine, people were amazed.
And then there amazement grew. Hansini learned to sew, and then she started making money from her sewing. After the way she had been treated by her family and her community, everyone thought that as soon as she had enough money she would find a way to leave the village where she had grown up. But her attitude was a little different, and instead of spending her money on herself, she used to it pay the family’s bills. She explained to her confused parents that Jesus is the giver of all good gifts, and because of His grace the family was able to overcome its financial struggles.
Soon her family, amazed by God's grace, also became Christians, and within a few years many of the people who had shunned and persecuted Hansini were coming to her with a simple request: please teach our children to sew. Hansini agreed, and during sewing classes tries to share Jesus’ love with those who had previously hated her. It’s working, the persecution has stopped, and people are coming to church, anxious to know more about Jesus.
You can help spread the Good News by providing a sewing machine. Find out how