Native Place: Palmswood, Queensland
Place of Vision: Odisha, India
Graham Stuart Staines was the second child of William and Elizabeth Staines. At the age of fifteen, he heard a visiting missionary talk about the plight of those suffering from leprosy in India. Moved by the visuals, Staines decided to dedicate his life to serve among the lepers in India. Shortly thereafter, he attended a missions meeting, where he became assured of his call for missionary service.
He joined the Evangelical Missionary Society of Mayurbhanj and was assigned to work in the tribal area of Odisha, India. He came to India in 1965 and saw the hapless plight of people suffering from leprosy. With love and commitment, he started working among lepers. Gaining fluency in Odiya and the local dialect Santhali, he preached Jesus Christ to the tribal people. He also established the Mayurbhanj Leprosy Home in 1982 and took over the management of the Mission at Baripada in 1983. Staines found a perfect partner in Gladys, a missionary nurse when he married her in 1983. They both work relentlessly to provide education, health care, social development to the tribal people.
As thousands of people were being led to Christ, the Hindu activists had other plans. On 22nd Jan 1999 night, when Staines and his two sons, were returning from a jungle camp in Manoharpur, they halted and slept inside their wagon. A mob attacked them with axes and set their vehicle on fire, locking them inside. All the three were burned to death. Although the murders were widely condemned, Gladys forgave the men who killed her husband and children and said that she harbors no bitterness towards them. Her act of forgiveness led to the proclamation of Christ’s love on the front pages of the Indian newspapers. In the face of persecution, many have come to Jesus who had rejected the gospel for years. She stayed along with her daughter in India until 2004 to finish the work which God intended them to do.
? Beloved, are you willing to forgive the one who wrongs you? ?
? “Lord, enable me to stand firm in my faith and forgive those who wrong me, Amen!” ?
BenjaminForChrist @ +91 9842513842
Thanks: Dr. Hepsibah Selvam