After completing her bachelor’s degree and martial arts training in 2015, Ranjita began to give martial arts classes for the girls in nearby hostels and schools. Life was much settled in routines — until one day something happened that shook her whole life and brought her to a point where she lost herself in depression.

Ranjita is a 22-year-old young woman from Bihar, Madya Pradesh. She lives in a small town with her parents and four siblings, and their needs are somehow met by the small shop run by her father. Her family comes from an unbelieving background but is now growing in Christ.

It was a bright day and her happiness had no limits when her best friend Sonu, whom she knew for years, visited her for a few days.

“I was very happy to have her with me,” Ranjita said. “But my happiness did not last for long. That next day when I was to go for teaching the martial art class in the nearby village, I invited Sonu to accompany me. I was very much excited to have her with me. She, too, was very happy.”

It was a half-an-hour journey from Ranjita’s village. On the way, they had to cross a small mud bridge over a dry riverbed, with large, exposed sharp rocks. As usual, Ranjita took her scooter, but Sonu insisted to drive. They were enjoying the ride, chatting and giggling together when, suddenly, their scooter lost its balance on the mud bridge. They both were thrown over the bridge onto the sharp rocks.

Ranjita uttered a prayer to God, saying, “Lord, please help us.” She was scared and shivering with fear. Her face was covered with blood and she was in deep pain. Her fear was greatest because she could not see her friend. She began calling Sonu’s name, but there was no response.

Then she heard a small groaning sound. To her distress, she saw Sonu had fallen on the deeper side. Ranjita could not reach out to help her, limited by her own pain and dizziness. She tried to call her family on her phone but could not get connected.

Ranjita somehow gathered her strength and climbed up to the nearby road. She cried for help to the passing vehicles, but many passed her by. Eventually, one passerby came to her rescue. She felt as if God had come down to help her.

“It took me six months to recover from my physical injuries, but to my shock, my friend passed away after two months,” Ranjita said. “I was totally broken. I felt guilty, that Sonu died because of me.”

She believed that if she had not taken her to the class, this incident would not have happened.

Ranjita was devastated.

Villages in India, being close communities, are socially bound to each other’s family. Ranjita was more and more depressed due to the constant reminder of her friend’s death, as neighbors and relatives repeatedly discussed the accident, increasing her guilt. She could not avoid her neighbors asking her about the tragedy. So the family decided to send her to a nearby town for work. But Ranjita could not adjust there on her own and returned home within one month.

Though Ranjita felt broken, guilty, and lonely, God was close to her. Things in Ranjita’s life changed when she got an opportunity to attend a three-day convention through her church. Ranjita had both emotional and spiritual needs; she sought freedom and peace.

“I was totally broken and felt very lonely,” she said, her eyes watering with emotion. “I needed peace in my heart, so I went to the convention expecting Jesus to heal my heart and give me peace. To my utter surprise, in midst of thousands of people attending the meeting, one pastor lady from the convention leading team came straight to me, placed her hand on my head and prayed for me. And I felt so much blessed as I cried out my heart to the Lord. I prayed to my Lord … Please, God, I need a comforting and caring hug from you, please help me.”

God answered Rajita’s prayer as the pastor began talking with her. Ranjita cried as she shared her entire burden with the pastor.

Ranjita’s expression changed to joy and excitement when she said, “On hearing my story the pastor lady suddenly hugged me lovingly; I felt Jesus hugging me. The pastor lady said to me, ‘Don’t cry, Jesus loves you. Forget whatever has happened in your past and trust in Jesus, for He is with you.’ She said, ‘Today you are a new creation and He will bless you.’”

Ranjita says that she will never forget those loving words and hug that changed her life. The guilt was washed away and God’s peace entered her heart.

“I believe that Jesus spoke to me through her,” she said.

After the convention, Ranjita returned home with joy and hope.

Ranjita was a changed person, and her pastor noticed. After observing her a few months, Ranjita’s pastor asked if she was willing to go for Bible school training. Ranjita was happy but did not respond immediately, taking time to pray about the matter. Later she was surprised when her church director gave her the same advice. The director was willing to financially support her Bible school training. Ranjita took this as an answer to her prayer and confirmation of God’s call for ministry.

Ranjita is blessed to be in South India Bible School and is a living testimony of God’s grace, which restored her life and filled it with new joy and hope in Christ.