From Rajeshwari To Lydia

     Rajeshwari was devastated when her father left her mother, little sister and herself. With barely enough to eat each day, how would Mother M raise two little girls all by herself? Daily this thought plagued her mind. Mother M agonized over the prospects before her. She could send Rajeshwari to the little orphanage for destitute children that she had recently learned about, or she could try to feed and clothe her children on her own. It was a dismal hope. At least at the orphanage Rajeshwari would learn how to read and write, and mother was sure she would have enough food to eat. Wanting the very best for her daughter, she sadly packed a little bag with Rajeshwari’s belongings, kissed her goodbye and sent her away. How heartbreaking it was to first lose her husband, and now her eldest daughter.

     Rajeshwari seemed to fit right in with the other children. She learned to read and write. She even learned to brush her hair and teeth, make her bed every day, and live a clean and healthy life. She played and laughed with the children during the day while studying and doing her chores, and she went to bed each night with a full stomach. She was so happy. Yet there seemed to be something troubling her. This Jesus, who was He really? Did He really answer prayers?

     Slowly Rajeshwari’s faith in Jesus began to grow. She began to learn that even the youngest child could lean upon Him for strength. With all the courage she could muster, Rajeshwari decided that she was going to put her new faith to the test. She was going to pray that her father would return to her family. She knew it was asking something almost impossible, because it is uncommon for fathers to return to their wives after abandoning them. But she was going to pray anyway, no matter how long it would take.

     The early mornings would find little Rajeshwari on her knees, praying earnestly for her father’s return. During the day she could be found, Bible on her knee, in deep study. She prayed and memorized, earnestly wanting to know everything by heart that this book contained. It was not long until the little child began to go about the villages sharing what she was learning. She would quote Scripture as if it were on the tip of her tongue at all times. Little Rajeshwari became Green Pasture’s best evangelist.

     Years went by and still you would find Rajeshwari praying for her father’s return, even as she witnessed to others. At every opportunity she would tell her mother and sister about the happiness she had found and the strong faith that she had.

     "Father will come back, mother. Jesus will answer my prayer!"

    Seeing the change in her little daughter, Mother M became interested in what she was learning. She also thirsted for something more, and turned to Rajeshwari for strength. It was not long before she was baptized and joined her daughter in the Seventh-day Adventist faith.

     One day Rajeshwari got an urgent message from her mother. Could it be possible? Yes, it was true! After six years of praying and pleading with the Lord, her prayer had finally been answered. Her father had returned home and was asking to be taken in again. Both sisters and mother received him with open arms. They were a family again! Eagerly Rajeshwari and her mother related to him all that they had discovered while he was away. They wanted him to understand and find the joy that they had found.

     Trying desperately to make a little money for the family, Father M decided to set up a little tea shop, so that those passing by might stop in for rest and refreshment. It was not much, but it brought in some money for the family. Rajeshwari, knowing that drinking tea was not good for one’s health, gently tried to persuade her father to find another sort of work.

     "How can I witness to people when we are serving them tea, Father?"

     Father M looked at her and smiled. "I have much to learn, Rajeshwari. Please teach me what it is you are learning at that school of yours."

     Even now you will find Rajeshwari witnessing and preaching to anyone who will hear her. The good news inside her heart is just spilling over. Yet, again, something seemed to be missing. She wanted something badly…she wanted to be baptized. Last year, during Dr. Pandit’s visit, she requested that he baptize her. There was much rejoicing as her wish was fulfilled, and she, along with four other children, was baptized into the faith. As a Christian, she now wanted a Christian name, and she chose Lydia. Now she is 100 percent on the Lord’s side, and would do just about anything within her power to save one lost soul.

     Please pray that Father M will also be convinced of the truth and be baptized. Rajeshwari has no doubt that, after six years of praying for his return, God will indeed answer this prayer also.

     [Editor’s note: On August 7, 2001 I received a phone call to inform me that Lydia, now age 14, has suffered a severe epileptic seizure. This is the first time such an event has occurred in her life and they fear that she might have a brain tumor. Please pray for this little warrior for Christ, that the Saviour whom she loves so much, might touch her with His mighty hand and restore her to perfect health.]

Sudhir Pandit

The Little Evangelist/Teacher

Even before her baptism, Lydia had been an irrepressible witness to the other children at school. Always cheerful and compassionate, she carried a ray of sunshine wherever she went. Her example of hard work, combined with diligent study, was infectious, as the younger students began emulating her, even in the way she prayed—much to the joy of Tim and Anita. If they had any doubts about true Adventist education, they were dispelled forever.

Now, following her baptism, however, her zeal for the Lord seemed to double. During summer break, she made friends with a troubled young girl in her village, and before long was leading her to the Lord. Tim and Anita now had a new candidate for their school, a new candidate for Heaven. But Lydia’s true worth was never more apparent than when the new school year began amid a crisis situation. On one pretext or another, none of the hired teachers returned for work. Alone, with over 50 children on her hands, Anita was at the point of despair. How was she going to get through the week, much less the year? But God was in control. According to His counsels, the older children had been taught self-reliance and dependability. Now it was to pay off. With almost no prodding, Lydia led the way in taking over the younger classes. It was as if she was a born teacher. The children took to her with hearty enthusiasm. She was doing better than any trained teacher Anita knew! Praise God, was all she could say, shaking her head in amazement.

Signs of Trouble

One day, soon after returning from summer break, Lydia was giving Anita an update on her experiences at home. Joy welled up in Anita’s heart when she mentioned the young girl she had brought to the Lord. But something was amiss. Lydia was a little more pensive and withdrawn than usual. Then, all of a sudden, "her speech slurred and she was for a second lisping and salivating." But, "after a while she came back to her normal self." Anita "was startled and told her that she needed to rest and that she may be overworked or tired." She sent her away, but her heart was uneasy. She had never seen Lydia behave so oddly before. Later she learned that other children had noticed her dipping her whole arm in a pail of cold water, because she felt it go numb all over, but the numbness persisted and even traveled up to her shoulder. Clearly something was wrong. What could be the matter?

The Devil Strikes

A couple of days later Lydia was in class, when "suddenly it happened; she was writing a math test and the right side of her facial muscles near the mouth started twitching. After a while she calmed down but broke down and sobbed like a baby." The girls took her upstairs to the dorm, "and within five minutes she had her very first attack. Her whole head (right side), right arm, and leg were jerking and shaking violently. Anita was downstairs, and the girls cried out to her. When she rushed up Lydia was frothing, her eyes moving back, and it was such an awful sight. Anita had never seen anyone have an epileptic attack, and so she panicked. Tim was with her in a second, and they all prayed and called upon the name of Jesus and tried to calm her down. Then she went very limp and the frothing stopped. In a minute they were completely crushed in spirit. All these ten years Lydia had never once been really, really ill or had any serious problem." A dark cloud of gloom seemed to settle over the campus. It was apparent that the devil was angry. He wanted to destroy this beautiful child of God. The next day the whole school family prayed and begged God to save Lydia from the clutches of the enemy.

The Trip to the Doctor

Immediately after the seizure, Lydia’s father was contacted. Poor, ignorant man that he was, what could he do? It was decided to take her four hours away by jeep to a large city for a medical consultation. The lady doctor who examined her asked that a special brain scan be made. This was quite an expensive test, but Tim and Anita gave the father some money and came away to wait for the results. The devil tried to hinder here again. For one reason or another the scan was delayed. Meanwhile, Lydia continued suffering from pain and numbness in the right half of her body. The doctor, however, prescribed strong medicines to stop the spells of seizures. The school family continued to pray earnestly for her. It was almost a week before the scan was finally done.

The Devil Suffers a Defeat

The scan results showed two tiny cysts, or fluid filled sacs, in Lydia’s brain. The appearance was typical of the larvae of a tapeworm. Somehow Lydia had eaten or had drunk something contaminated in the past, and the eggs of the tapeworm had hatched and had traveled to her brain. This was the cause of all her problems.

Even though the situation seemed bad on the surface, there was some good news hidden here too. With the proper diet and medicines, Lydia should make a full recovery. Her condition is quite curable. For this we must praise God, because the devil wanted to destroy faithful, little Lydia, but the Lord did not allow it.

At the moment, Lydia is back in school. She missed almost three weeks of classes, but she will be able to make up all of it. She is singing, laughing, and praising God, as she has always done before. For this we say, Praise the Lord! Amen.