Gospel for Asia Feature: The Pastor and the Gangster

Pastor Shorya knew the Holy Spirit had been speaking to him about going to visit a certain village — a village where he’d been told not to come back. The GFA-supported pastor lived nearby and had gone there several times, offering a message of hope to any who wanted to hear. Some men in the village didn’t want to hear it, though, and they told him he might not survive if he came again. Heeding this threat, Pastor Shorya didn’t return for nine months.But when Pastor Shorya sensed God was telling him he needed to visit that village again, he listened. Soon he found himself confronted by one of the most notorious men in the village: Hitansh, a gangster.

Pastor Shorya hadn’t met Hitansh before, but he had heard enough to fear him.

An Unlikely Ally

“Why did you stop coming to our village?” Hitansh asked Pastor Shorya.

When Pastor Shorya explained that some men had threatened him, Hitansh told him not to worry. He encouraged the pastor to continue visiting the village and said he would make sure no one else bothered him.

Such a guarantee meant a lot coming from a person like Hitansh, whose feared reputation came from his status as a leader of a gang known for robbery, kidnapping and murder. Hitansh’s wife, however, believed in Jesus. She told her husband that the Christians in the village needed Pastor Shorya’s encouragement, so for the sake of his wife, the gangster supported the pastor.

As Pastor Shorya started visiting Hitansh’s village again, a relationship developed between the two men, and he told Hitansh about Jesus and invited him to come to worship services. Hitansh wasn’t interested, though.

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