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The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Matthew 28:37-38

Linda was born and raised in a small country town in England by her parents, who had emigrated from India to England in the 50s. She and her three siblings grew up knowing of Hinduism, which is both a culture and religion. However, God had a different plan for her life and was planting a seed in her heart throughout childhood that would come to fruition in her adult life.  

When Linda was five a neighbor invited her to Sunday School, and she continued to attend until the age of 12, when her family moved to the United States.  Once they settled in San Francisco, Linda found herself surrounded by a large Indian community and attending more Hindu cultural and religious events.  As she learned more about the Hindu gods who required people to perfectly follow rules and rituals in order to escape their wrath, she began to live in fear of these gods and their punishment. 

Later, this fear kept her in an abusive arranged marriage because she believed it was a punishment from God. After delving deeper into Hinduism in search of answers and finding none, Linda was connected to a center for battered women where she received support and counseling and was able to leave the abusive relationship with her two children. Although her family and community disowned her for leaving her husband, she felt a deep sense of strength and courage that she couldn’t understand at the time.

Three years later Linda had a dream of sitting in a church. Though she didn’t know what to make of it, the dream continued to grow in her heart. During a conversation with a friend a year later, she found herself asking why God was punishing her when she was trying so hard to be a good person. He answered that God does not punish us, but loves us and wants us to be in a relationship with him. They began to read the Bible together, and Linda asked if she could go to church with him. When she entered the church, the vision of her dream became clear, and she heard a voice say, “You are home now.” Wanting to learn more about this God, Linda signed up to attend a women’s retreat. On the last day of the retreat during worship and prayer, God spoke to her through the Bible verse in Isaiah 41:10 ,“Do not fear for I am with you…”  This verse lifted the heavy weight of fear, and she felt drawn to trust Jesus as her Lord and Savior.  

Shortly into Linda’s faith journey, she heard from God through a pastor who was praying over her at a conference. He shared that God said, “You were not saved for yourself, but to be a beacon in your community.” Linda’s response to God was, “I would prefer a different community!” Although Linda grew up in the Hindu community, she did not feel equipped to minister to them. A few years later, she attended a family wedding in India, and she felt a tug on her heart. As she spent time in prayer, she kept hearing the words, “Love them,” and she started to feel a change take place in her heart for her community. 

During COVID, Linda felt heavy-hearted when she lost family and friends with whom she had not been able to share the Gospel. At that time, Linda fully repented and prayed, surrendering to God, acknowledging that she did not feel equipped for this calling, and asking Him to guide her. The next day, she received a phone call from a stranger. He had received her name from a pastor in India who had said Linda had a heart for missions and that he should contact her. The caller asked Linda what was holding her back from ministering to the Indian community. Linda said she didn’t feel equipped, so he gave her the name of an evangelism program to reach south Asian communities. She enrolled in this program, which changed her heart, and she began to feel more equipped to minister to Hindu people. Immediately after, Linda joined Leaders in Community (LINC) and received coaching and prayer for clarity of her calling. This led her to complete a certificate program in Bible and Mission with Bethany Global University and to join the MCN family in March of 2024. 

Linda plans to launch Aasha Ministries in October of 2024, and is now working towards being a full time missionary doing outreach to the Hindu community in Northern California. The goal of Aasha Ministries is to empower and encourage others to bring hope to their Hindu neighbors by building genuine friendships and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Believers will be equipped to share the Gospel through Hindu-cultural workshops, basic evangelism training, and monthly zoom meetings, and will receive the encouragement that comes from being involved in a network of like-minded people making disciples among the Hindu populations of Northern California. 

Any funds raised that exceed Mission Partner’s Total Cost of Missionary Service may be used to further support Mission Partner in missional activities, or Mission Partner may donate, after consultation with the Executive Director, any excess funds to one or more Mission Partners who are in good standing with MCN or to MCN’s General Fund. The purpose for this is that any funds raised are to support missional activities throughout the world.

PRAY

Linda Patel
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