This week, we invite you to pray with us for Hepziba Arputharaj from India.
Home to over 1.38 billion people, India is not only the second most populous nation on earth, but also the country with the most Hindus (80% of Indians) and the third highest concentration of Muslims (14%). Nationwide, around 2% of the population are Christians, many of whom live in India’s northeastern or southern states. Since March, a devastating wave of COVID infections has killed hundreds of thousands of people and orphaned 3,000 children. Traumatized by loss, many of these children must also forgo school to care for younger siblings, while facing risks of exploitation and abuse. Pray for these vulnerable ones, for those who suffer amid the ongoing outbreak, and for all in need of God’s healing and hope.
Hepziba is pursuing a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary (Kentucky, USA). Building on her previous research on verbal abuse and domestic violence, Hepziba’s dissertation focuses on healthy communication in Christian families for broader social transformation. Upon graduation, she will teach at Great Harvest Bible College (Chennai, Tamil Nadu) and work with local churches to strengthen families through training seminars.
In addition to her studies, Hepziba serves as Program Coordinator of the Eternus Foundation, which provides education for underprivileged children in Chennai. Hepziba and her husband Elayaraj have an eleven-year-old son, Jeremiah, and a nine-year-old daughter, Jessica.
Hepziba shares the following message:
Dear ScholarLeaders Family,
I am immensely blessed to be a part of this Christ-centered, praying family of God. God’s abundant favor upon us has been evident since I began my studies in September 2020. God has miraculously led us in our travels amid the global pandemic, just as He promised through these verses: Gen. 28:15 and Psa. 107:5-8. As a family, we have been able to adjust to the new environment and study requirements. We send our heartfelt thanks for your valuable prayers, which have sustained us thus far amid difficulties and discouragement.
Thank you for your prayers for India. God’s work continues to thrive amid opposition and challenges. The global COVID-19 pandemic has had serious consequences on our socioeconomic life. As the country recovers from the second wave, we are already being warned of the third wave. Meanwhile, another deadly “black fungus” eye infection is spreading fast and taking lives. In addition, the nation is also fighting natural disasters, due to the heavy floods in North India.
Regarding my family in India, my dad, Pastor Arputharaj, was called to heaven on May 23. He served the Lord as a missionary pastor for the past 45 years. His exemplary life and commitment to the Lord have challenged me to also serve the Lord with the rest of my life. Added to that, my elder sister’s husband also passed away after a short time of illness. My younger sister is going through chemo and radiation treatment for breast cancer. I would appreciate your prayers for their comfort, peace, and healing.
Praise Reports and Prayer Requests
1) Praise God for the international medical and moral support rendered to India to fight against COVID-19.
2) Pray for state and national leaders to make right decisions that benefit people in these difficult times. Pray for them to prioritize developing and strengthening the educational and medical sectors over building temples and statues for name and fame.
3) Pray for the Church to continue to be a witnessing community, and to love people beyond social and religious differences. Many churches are suffering from leadership crises due to the sudden passing away of pastors and leaders.
4) By God’s favor, my husband Elayaraj has been admitted for PhD studies. He looks forward to starting in September. Pray for our family that we may glorify God as we prepare to live out God’s big agenda for our lives and mission in India.