“God has Blessed Me and Transformed my Life” | Akash and Anika’s* story

Apr 3, 2024

SOUTH ASIA – For Akash and Anika, the road to a safe home and healthy family has not been easy. They experienced shame and were mocked for their poor living conditions. Living in a small hut, all they had for a roof was a tarp that left them exposed to winds and heavy rains. They had to build fires to prepare meals for their family, and often could only find wet wood for cooking. “We used to live [in] a very filthy hut surrounded by rats and snakes for the past 12 years. We faced many struggles.” Grateful to find work laboring in a rock quarry in South Asia, this couple knows how hard life can be. 

Rock Bottom 

In the not-so-distant past Akash was violent, creating an unsafe home for their family. He would drink and come home in the middle of the night to beat Anika and their children. Akash admits that he made bad choices, thinking only of what he wanted in the moment. “I was spending money as fast as I was making it. I never had to think about tomorrow. I never thought about my family’s needs, and I used to beat my wife and children, too.” Anika says she wanted to leave him and even took the children to stay with family for a little while.  

For a season, two of their three children were ill, and Anika feared they would die. She took them to the hospital, but after an expensive visit, they still did not have a solution. Anika said she used to go on an annual pilgrimage to worship a goddess believed to bring healing. But as her children’s health continued to deteriorate she had to come to terms with the reality that the goddess was not able to heal them.  

A local savings group facilitator invited Akash and Anika to join a savings group, where they could join together with other families in vulnerable positions to save money, access loans from pooled savings, and foster community to care for each other. These savings groups are a ministry of local churches that have been trained and equipped by HOPE. Through relationships built within the savings group, both Akash and Anika were introduced to Jesus. The facilitator shared about God’s love and His power. At their lowest points, Jesus met Akash and Anika right where they were.   

A Firm Foundation 

Their savings group facilitator offered to pray for their children. Anika says, “the facilitator told me to believe in Jesus; I decided that if this God heals my children, I will believe in Him. My children started feeling better. Then I decided to follow Jesus until my death.” 

Six months after Anika decided to follow Jesus, Akash gave his life to Jesus, too. As Jesus transformed each of their hearts, their relationship started to heal. “After he believed in Jesus and was baptized, we slowly started trusting each other and built a better bond… we live happily now,” Anika says. With Jesus at the center, their marriage has been restored. 

Akash and Anika’s lives have changed drastically. They still do heavy laborin a rock quarry, but now they have a safe home to return to every night. “We now don’t have to worry about rats, snakes, and weather. We can live happily now without fear.” Having a secure and dry home has provided them with a safe place to heal and grow as a family. 

Through their savings group, Akash and Anika have learned the importance of saving money and spending wisely, but they have also developed an eternal perspective that guides their decisions. Akash shares, “I learned that money and possessions will be left in this world but God much more important. We were blessed with this new house and a good job breaking rocks nearby.” Two of their three children are now married and work in the rock quarry. Their sons have joined their savings group, and their grandchildren have bright futures. 

“With the help of Jesus, we were able to make it through the tough times.” – Anika 

*Country name has been withheld and individuals names have been changed due to security. 

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