Panchu wrote from North India:
When he was 16 years old, Panchu went to live in a monastery. There he learned about his religion. He did very well and soon became a respected religious teacher. People who were ill came to him. They gave him food and money. Panchu talked (prayed) to his many gods, but nothing ever happened as a result. The gods did not help any of the people who came. Little by little, Panchu began to question the things he learned at the monastery. He thought, "My religion has never given me peace in my mind, however much I do or give."
Panchu's daughter became very ill
Panchu married and had two children. When his children were old enough, he sent them to a new school that had opened in his village. The two teachers were followers of Jesus. They were kind and loving to the children and read them stories from the Bible. One day Panchu’s daughter, Sarika, became ill. The doctors did not know what the illness was. Then Sarika became unconscious. She began to lose water from her head. Panchu was very worried. He went to the monastery leaders for help, but they could do nothing. When her teachers from the school heard that Sarika was so ill, they came to her house and prayed to Jesus to make her well. Immediately, God healed her.
Then Panchu began to suffer from an illness. Once more, the doctors did not know what Panchu's illness was. His legs and knees swelled up, he could not breathe properly and his skin began to turn dark. Again, he asked the leaders of the monastery to help his family. They told Panchu that he would die in three months. Panchu thought, "My religion cannot help me."
He shouted angrily at the monastery leaders, "From now on, I will call those teachers, who follow Jesus, to pray for me."
The school teachers visited Panchu. They told him that Jesus has the power to heal him. Their words gave him hope.
At this time, some other followers of Jesus came to Panchu’s village. They showed a film about the life of Jesus. Panchu saw for himself the love of Jesus and how this love led him to die for us all. They climbed the steep mountain path. One day, soon after this, Panchu was very happy to find that Jesus had healed him from his illness.
Both he and his wife became followers of Jesus. Now he is a much better and happier man. At one time, he often drank a lot of strong drink and treated his wife and children badly. Jesus set him free from these things. He will always be very grateful to those teachers who climbed the steep mountain path to his village to tell him and his family about God’s love.
Panchu says, “My family gods that I worshipped did not heal me – they were angry with me. So, instead of dying, I chose to live by following Jesus, who loves me and gives me healing."