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By Swapan Roy
The Himalayas are considered by the Hindus to be the abode of gods and goddesses while North India is known as the gateway to heaven. However these regions are highly influenced by evil forces and demonic activity. Whenever I try to work there I run into many unexpected problems such as happened when I tried to record Bible stories for the Mathura people of North India.
Mathura is a dialect of Braj Bhasa, a language said to have been used by the Hindu god Krishna. In preparation to make these recordings I visited the area and sought help from four area churches. Only one was willing to help. That church's pastor and I sat and discussed the project. We agreed to make the recordings in August 2008.
As August approached I booked my plane ticket. The very next day the pastor called and asked me to cancel my trip! An emergency had come up and the language helpers could not give their time as planned. So I canceled my ticket and we rescheduled the recording trip for October.
When I tried to book my new plane ticket nothing was available. So I decided to go by train even though it was a 30-hour journey. I bought my ticket and informed the pastor. However, the timing was not good for him and he was not available. During all of this waiting time, I was able to record another language but with much difficulty. I suffered with acute diarrhea and faced much enemy opposition.
Later I called the pastor again and this time we agreed on a new date for the recording. When the time came I had a confirmed train ticket and the language helpers were all ready. The day before the trip, I went by our office. We had a cooking gas cylinder that had not been used for some time because of a problem with the regulator. I decided to check the problem. When I turned the appliance on, I suddenly found myself engulfed in flames that were reaching over nine feet high. Immediately I ran to turn off the regulator.
My face had turned black and blisters were forming in several places. My eyebrows, eyelids and some hair were singed, but by the grace of God both my eyes were kept from the flames. I washed my face and applied ointment. I was badly injured but still my concern was for my next day's trip to Mathura.
My family naturally were concerned and wanted me to cancel the trip. I didn't feel I could do this. I knew in my heart that the Devil would attack me again and again in this battle to make this recording. I was praying for God's grace and strength.
Next morning, I went to the station and waited for the train. Then an announcement was made - the train was canceled! Oh no! I was broken in heart. What is this devilish attack? I tried to get another ticket but couldn't. So I took the refund and returned home.
I called the pastor and explained everything. He felt bad and is now working to set another date. I will continue on in this quest to find a way to record the good news for the Mathura people. Join me please in asking the Lord to take a strong stand in favor of this recording.