03/19/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – Ratna Mandi, a 21-year-old woman from Odisha, suffered from a urinary blood disease since she was 18. Two of those years she spent depressed and getting weaker; she was finally unable to work. Her family reached out to dozens of doctors, well-known magicians, spending thousands of dollars to heal her; nothing worked.
Thinking she would never heal, Ratna attended a church service secretly as a last resort. Coming up to the pastor, she told him of her disease and asked for prayer. The pastor blessed the water and gave it to her as he and other church members prayed over her. Three days later, Ratna miraculously healed from all pain and her weakness left.
Days after Ratna’s healing, her mother had pain all over her body. No doctor or witch could heal her either. Months later, Ratna said to her mother, “you know that I suffered for years, and I was healed. If you don’t mind, come with me to church just once.” Her mother agreed to go, receiving the same prayer and anointment from the pastor.
In disbelief, her pain healed almost immediately. Ratna’s elder sister, Daimati, saw her mother’s and sister’s healing, and she and her four daughters also believed in Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, 2020.
Their conversions began unsettling the village’s Hindu leaders. “If you do not stop your wife and children, then we will come together and destroy your house and remove you from our village,” the villagers threatened Sunadhar Mandi, Ratna’s father. “They all go because my daughter and wife got healed by only Christian prayer,” Sunadhar said. “If I will tell them to stop, they will not obey me. You come on Sunday and tell them not to attend church.”
On February 14, 2021, 11 villagers interrupted church service to find Ratna and her family. “You are a Hindu girl who should not be going to church. Leave this place and never come back!” Rajat, a Hindu priest, said. “When I was sick for three years, no one came to see me. I thought I would die with no hope, but I am fully healed and alive by the grace of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I will never leave him at any cost,” Ratna responded.
Pulling her head covering back, Rajat slapped her across the face, “you are testing us,” he said. The other ten men started attacking her and the congregation members. Again Rajat told her to return to Hinduism, and also she and her family refused.
The men and her father forcefully brought Ratna, her mother, the pastor, and his wife, to the police station. “This woman, Ratna, has converted to Christianity and is trying to involve others in her religion. Arrest her!” Police heard Ratna’s story, confirming it with her father.
Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of Police responded to her, “your healing is good, but now if you continue to go to church, you will face rejection from your community, and I will be forced to take action.” Ratna told the ASI, none of these people cared about her when she was sick; Rajat did not take her to the hospital or visit. “Even if I die, I will not go back to temple,” Ratna told him. Scolding her, “You have no right to follow that foreign god,” the ASI said. “I will send you to jail if you continue.” Hearing Ratna’s refusals, Ratna’s father disowned her. Ratna now lives with her sister, her four nieces, and her mother, cut off from support.
However, despite their circumstances, Ratna said, “[God] cured me. I will believe and serve Him alone”.