By Amanda Lynn
“We feel like we are right back in the time of Acts, experiencing God’s amazing power and love covering us all,” writes a Pioneer in India. “We are desperate for your constant prayers!”
Eunuchs in India are transgender men dressed as women. But it’s more than outward female adornment. These people identify themselves as women, talk and walk like women. Sometimes families are disappointed to have a son and raise their son as a daughter. Others become eunuchs because they have homosexual tendencies in a culture that does not accept that lifestyle. Almost all of them come from sexually abusive backgrounds. So they live together in homes as families—usually impoverished—begging and prostituting themselves to make money to give to the leader of their house. They are outcasts from their families and their culture, and most people are afraid of them. “When encountering eunuchs on the road, people have the tendency to look the other way or judge them immediately.” The eunuchs take advantage of that fear to make money by showing up at their parties or homes and threatening to embarrass, harass or curse the family if they do not pay.
For the last few years these Pioneers have been in fellowship with an Indian man who was formerly a cross-dresser and homosexual in a community of eunuchs. However, ten years ago he was saved and developed a heart to minister to other eunuchs by introducing them to the love of Jesus. And now there is a team of people, Pioneers and local Christians, who are able to help him make this vision a reality.
At Christmastime in 2011, the team initiated a relationship with one eunuch community by going to their home to sing Christmas carols, pray for them, share a meal with them and bring them some household gifts. Six months later the team invited them to share a meal in a team member’s home, and ten of them came.
They were shocked and grateful, because they had never been invited into a home for dinner. They had never received invitations of friendship. That night we prayed for them, and several of them were healed of sicknesses. That opened the door to telling them about the Jesus who healed them. Two weeks later we started meeting weekly for an Alpha Course (a Bible study over dinner designed for non-believers who are seeking Truth).
After 14 weeks of study and fellowship, the team gave them an opportunity to make a final commitment to follow Jesus. They had a full understanding of who He is, and each of them made the decision to accept Christ—13 so far. Four of them expressed an interest to be baptized. “God is doing it—rescuing and restoring in a seemingly impossible situation! I am blown away at His power and gentle compassion for these overlooked and unwanted people.”
The transformation in their lives is obvious. Two have returned to their homes to be reconciled with their families. Several have taken jobs doing manual labor instead of begging. They have all given up prostitution. Now they need other new opportunities for making money, such as tailoring or jewelry-making.
There are so many complexities that we had no idea about—including how their transformation seems threatening to the people in authority who are exploiting them! We are just trying to do the things Jesus would have done and continue to be his hands and feet. They are just people; grateful, respectful, shy, polite human beings who simply desire to know acceptance and love. It’s the easiest thing in the world to love them, eat with them and share our Savior with them.”
Who is in your neighborhood that seems difficult to love? Maybe it’s not as hard as you think.