If you’re new to the Exploring with Jake series, be sure to read the introduction.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t have any friends? Even though it is never true because Jesus will always be your friend, it’s easy to feel lonely when you don’t have anyone to hang out with or do things with. That’s how Sundar Singh felt after his family and friends got mad at him for believing in Jesus. Our Sunday School teacher told us more of Sundar’s story today.
With his family and his friends all angry with him, school became the only place Sundar enjoyed. His teachers prayed with him and helped him learn more about what it really meant to be a Christian. They told him not to give up and to keep standing for Jesus.
And do you know what happened? The other boys began to notice. Some of them were angry, like his old friends who bullied him because he was a Christian now, but three boys decided to believe in Jesus, too. Sundar was so happy! But now that there were four Sikh boys who had chosen to believe in Jesus, the town got really angry. It had been bad enough that Sundar had chosen to believe in Jesus, but they would not put up with four boys believing in Him. The townspeople forced the Christian school to close and convinced two of the new Christians to give up their faith in Christ.
One boy named Gurdit wouldn’t stop believing in Jesus. He ran to a mission far away where he could be safe. But later, some people Gurdit knew convinced him to come back to his home town. When he did, someone killed him.
Sundar couldn’t believe how many awful things had happened. He must have wondered if things would ever get any better. He took a train to another city and started going to a Christian boarding school where he lived while going to high school. Then he got a letter from his family. They wanted him to come home. He didn’t know what to do. He was scared. When Gurdit had gone home, someone had killed him. Would someone kill him to?
He prayed a lot and finally decided that God wanted him to go home and see his family. While he was there, his uncle showed him a treasure of money and jewels that he said he would give to Sundar if he would quit following Jesus. Sundar said no. Then an important leader offered him a very special job that would pay a lot of money and would make him look very important—but only if he stopped believing in Jesus. Sundar said no again.
There was one more thing Sundar could do to let the people know that he had no intention of giving up his love of Jesus. Sikh boys were not allowed to cut their hair. It grew long and was twisted up inside the turban that they wore. Even though he knew what it would mean, Sundar cut his hair.
When his father found out, he was furious! He said once and for all that Sundar was no longer part of the family. His family would pretend he had never been born. Sundar was thrown out of the house and told to never come back. It would be like he no longer had a father or brothers.
Sundar was so sad. He loved his family, and he didn’t want to leave them, but he loved Jesus more. Jesus had told His followers in the Bible that sometimes following Him would mean their families would be angry.
There was only one place left Sundar could think of to go—back to the boarding school. He bought a train ticket and started back. But he started to not feel very good. His stomach hurt, and he threw up. But it was different than when you throw up from having the flu. This time when Sundar threw up, he realized what had happened—someone had poisoned him. Someone was trying to kill him, just like they had killed Gurdit.
He knew he would not live long enough to make it back to the boarding school. He prayed that God would help him. That’s when he remembered that the very next stop the train was scheduled to make was in a town where one of his Christian teachers from his old school lived. Sundar got off the train, went to the teacher’s home, and collapsed. When he woke up later, he heard the doctor telling the teacher that there was nothing else to be done for him. Sundar would not live through the night.
I couldn’t believe it when our teacher told us that we have to wait until next week to find out what happened! Does she have any idea how long a whole week is?
“Dear God, please help us obey and follow You, no matter what. Thank You for the friends and the people in our lives who love You and believe in You, too. Please help us when we feel lonely to trust You, and please help everyone whose family and friends don’t know You yet to be patient and to keep praying and trusting in You. Please help everyone to trust in You. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.
If you missed the beginning of our story, read Sundar Singh: A Seed Is Sown.