Attacked by Rowdies
by Jim Elliot Sathiyaraj

I am Jim Elliot, the 13 year old son of Pastor Reuben Sathiyaraj. Together with my mother and 9 year old sister, we live in Bangalore, which is in Southern India. We are all native Indians. This story is about those scary nights when the rowdies tried to invade our church and home.

One night when I was very young, many rowdies came and threw big, big stones at our house. All the windows were broken. This happened at midnight. We all screamed and hid under our cots, where we spent a sleepless night. I prayed to the Lord all night. My daddy wanted to go out and talk to the rowdies, but my mummy pulled him back. We all wept. A very big stone had fallen near the head of my little sister, but God kept her safe. It was a miracle and we thanked Jesus.

After one month the same rowdies came again. They came at night and threw glass pieces and stones. I was very afraid. I used to keep paper pieces in the door keyholes and pray to Jesus not to allow the rowdies to come in and hurt my daddy. They threatened my daddy, telling him to go away from this place and to stop telling people about Jesus. But my daddy just wanted to pray for them.

Then, on other nights, many unknown people came to our house and asked to talk to my daddy. I told my mummy not to allow them to see my daddy, but my daddy talked with them and prayed for them. I used to think that they were all just rowdies pretending to be good people. But some of those rowdies became Jesus' children.

Some of the other rowdies went to jail. I was happy that Jesus punished them.

On another night, while we were all sleeping, at midnight a very large group of rowdies came, plucked all the coconuts from our tree, and threw them at our windows and doors. We were too afraid to look out the windows. My daddy wanted to go out and talk to the "goondas", but we all cried, grabbed his legs, and refused to let him go. I thought that they would break open the door and kill all of us. But suddenly my daddy called the police, and immediately a van full of them came to our rescue. All the rowdies ran away, but the police people stayed with us for 2 weeks. Daily the police people greeted my daddy. Also lots of pastor uncles and church people came to our house and prayed for us.

The head rowdy's name was Surya. I noticed that he was keeping a knife under his shoes and socks. Our whole area used to get frightened when they saw him. But after two weeks, the police caught him and beat him up very nicely. Now he is in jail. He wanted to kill my daddy, but his wife came to my daddy to pray.

One day many rowdies came and took my daddy away for three hours. We were all afraid and prayed to Jesus. The rowdies took him to a coconut garden and told him that they were going to kill him. But my daddy was not afraid and said that Jesus would keep him safe. Then they got afraid and released him.

During one period of time, a large group of people came to our house, daily, and demanded money. But daddy does not give people money. We were all afraid, so daddy took us to other houses for two weeks, and we slept there. Again the police people came and told us that they would keep us safe and not to fear.

However, my daddy told them to go. We prayed and slept in our house. Later, the same rowdies came back to my father and asked for forgiveness. Sometimes I am angry with my daddy, because instead of trying to get the rowdies arrested he just prays for them. But now I also pray for the rowdies.

Recently my daddy started a hostel for the ragpicker boys (boys, usually without families who live by sifting through garbage dumps and selling what they find). It is funny to play with them. They all have a very, very bad smell. But they wanted to play with my sister and me. My mummy and daddy told us to play with them. We also share our food with them. Many people tell us not to love the ragpickers and speak against us. Many people curse them and send them away. But we celebrated Christmas and New Year with them.

Other people threaten the ragpickers, saying that they will beat them if they go to our house. My daddy and mummy tell us that we should love the poor, the ragpickers, and the people who sleep by the roadside.

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