While the barber shaved other people’s heads, questions swirled in his own.
As a barber with his own shop, Sukumar had heard comments during his life about Jesus, but nothing substantive and he felt he should not ask questions. But the questions in his mind lingered. Could this Jesus truly come back to life after being so violently killed? Growing up in a Hindu enclave of Bangladesh near the border of India, his beliefs centered on Karma and Reincarnation. These ideas teach that intentions and deeds determine a person’s ultimate destiny. If karma is not acheived in this life, it becomes the basis of one’s reincarnated life, in whatever form that takes. But those notions vexed him: If people essentially get what they deserve, why did Jesus deserve to be killed as a criminal especially since Christians say he was sinless? After death, how could Jesus return to the life in the adult form of his previous body? What consolation can Hinduism give me since I have done bad things? Sukumar was determined to get his hands on a Bible to learn the answers.
No one who Sukumar knew had a Bible or could tell him where to get one. Then, one day a few months ago, the barber shop gossip centered on a man who had come to the village and was giving Bibles to anyone who wanted one. Sukumar was immediately excited. He put down his scissors and left the shop in search of the man.
WHen the barber found the evangelist, he voiced his questions. Pastor Abhay, one of FMI’s partners, listened attentively, gently answered, and offered explanations. Sukumar was so happy to receive his own copy of God’s word. “Sukumar never had such a detailed of the Bible before,” Pastor Abhay reports. After personally reading about Jesus and his unending love, the redemption he offers, and the willing sacrifice Jesus made in order to extend mercy to the likes of sinners, Sukumar gladly prayed with the pastor and placed his faith in Jesus Christ. Sukumar exclaims, “Now I will not get what I deserve!” He walks to Abhay’s village each week to attend church services with other Christ-worshippers.
His wife, other relatives, and neighbors ask Sukumar, “Why do you go to a Christian church in another village? Have you stopped making the Hindu sacrifices?” There are many who look at him with derision, and the barber has to listen to all kinds of hurtful comments daily. Despite the challenges, Sukumar grows in faith and knowledge of Christ day by day. Please pray for his increasing ability to persevere.