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Huldah grew up in a nominally Christian home in India, rarely attending church and never reading her Bible. Her friends wouldn’t have considered her a Christian.

However, after experiencing God’s protection during a break-in at her sister’s house, she decided to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Along with her renewed faith came a boldness to share Christ with neighbours in her predominantly Hindu village.

Although she encountered opposition from villagers who rejected her message, she knew she should continue sharing the Gospel. “From that time onward, I realised that walking in the path of Jesus is not easy,” she said.

“I had to take some pain and continue to walk in this path.”

A PARTNER IN MINISTRY

As she shared the Gospel, she faithfully prayed for a husband who would join her in her ministry work. After about a year of prayer, a pastor introduced her to a recent Bible college graduate named Abraham.

Before their introduction, the pastor had told Abraham that Huldah would be a good wife for him. “She is the one who will climb all the mountains to share the Gospel,” the pastor told him. “Why don’t you pray and consider marrying her?”

When the two met, however, Abraham was surprised to learn of a 10-year age difference between them. Still, he felt called to minister in the area and eventually came to see that God had chosen Huldah for him.

Huldah and Abraham married on 20 May 1998 and moved to a nearby village to start serving the Lord together. Abraham received a small monthly stipend from his sending church, and Huldah sold rice in her village to earn extra income. “Life was not easy,” she recalled, “but we were surviving for the work of the Lord. This is how God provided for us.”

A BRUTAL MURDER

Over time, Huldah and Abraham adopted two children. Abraham continued to serve as a pastor in the area for two decades, ministering to the poor and marginalised alongside his wife. Several Hindus came to faith in Christ through Abraham’s teaching, and he also led a number of Bible study groups in the surrounding jungle. Abraham raised pigs and farmed to help support his family and ministry.

Then, on the evening of 1 May 2018, Abraham failed to return home from his ministry work at the expected time. When Huldah still hadn’t heard from him at 8pm, she began to worry. She had tried to call Abraham, but he didn’t answer.

Huldah soon received word from another pastor that the white Jeep Abraham and a driver had taken that day was seen near a local bridge. She sent her son to the location, thinking perhaps the vehicle had broken down.

As the boy approached the bridge on his motorcycle, he saw the vehicle burning; fearing an attack, he returned home. When he told Huldah what he had seen, she felt certain that Abraham was inside the burning car. “All night I cried and prayed,” she recalled. “It was very difficult.”

Early the next morning, Huldah’s brother and her son returned to the bridge, where they saw a body lying next to the vehicle.

“The police came, took the body and helped me understand the things that happened,” Huldah said. Police told her that more than 20 masked Maoist rebels had abducted Abraham and his driver on their way home.

Many Maoists in India belong to a group called the Naxalites, who generally oppose political leaders and the government. Hindu radicals sometimes recruit the Naxalites to pressure or attack influential Christians.

After the Maoists let the driver go, they took Abraham to the bridge and beheaded him, falsely alleging that he was a police informant. Many Christians who knew Abraham think radical Hindus who opposed his work persuaded the Maoists to kill him.

Pastor Abraham was murdered 19 days before his 20th wedding anniversary, leaving Huldah devastated and anxious. “After the incident, there was a fear in my heart that any moment anyone can come with a gun in the night time and they can shoot me,” Huldah said.

“I started praying, ‘Lord, give me boldness because Your Word has said that You have not given the spirit of fear.’”

A TIME OF BLESSING

After Abraham’s murder, Huldah’s relatives and others in the village asked her why she wanted to continue living there. “God has given me a vision for this area,” she told them. “I will not go anywhere else. The life is not easy, but I will still continue the work in this area because God has brought me here.”

Huldah stepped in as leader of the church Abraham had pastored, continuing to serve the needs of villagers and others in the surrounding area. She started three new house churches in the village and continues to share the Gospel throughout the community. She also conducts a weekly Bible study and visits believers to encourage and disciple them.

She said a hunger for God’s Word is becoming apparent as more villagers come to Christ. “Last Sunday, this [church] was completely full,” she said. “So many people came to worship. I always pray to the Lord that He would help me to bless the people of this area.”

As she watches God continue to work through the ministry that she and her husband began, even seeing God use Abraham’s testimony to draw people to Himself, Huldah is hopeful for the future. “When we were together and we were working for the Lord, life was difficult,” she said.

“Each day was challenging in the ministry, in the household. But now … I feel that my days of pain are over and a day of blessing has started.”

Huldah asked for prayer not only for her ministry work but also that her passion for the ministry will remain as strong as it was when she first started sharing the Gospel. Above all, she praises God for all that He has blessed her with and led her through. “God has provided for me,” she said. “God has provided much more than I ever could have imagined.”