The serenity on her face is evidence of the peace she says is now in her heart. Maya, 21, raised in a Hindu home, chose to follow the teachings of Jesus and express her decision by baptism.
But, painful memories of her family’s rejection after her decision are still very close to the surface. In a quiet voice, almost tortured by the recalling, Maya relates, “As soon as I accepted Jesus Christ, my family disowned me. They told me, ‘We have nothing more to do with you. Go away from us.'”
In India, where only 2.5% of the people are followers of Jesus, leaving the Hindu traditions of your family often results in rejection and persecution. Maya, her face encircled by her white Sari, looks up and says, “Even though my family has left me, I feel the peace, the calm, the presence of my Lord Jesus Christ in my heart and in my mind. And, it has changed me completely.”
All Photographs copyright Gary S. Chapman
(Nikon D4, 70-200mm f2.8, 1/640 sec, f2.8, ISO 3200)
(Nikon D4, 24mm f1.4, 1/200 sec, f1.8, ISO 5000)
(Nikon D4, 70-200mm f2.8, 1/320 sec, f2.8, ISO 3200)