In one moment, a miracle changed a family’s life forever.
It was already hot and humid as 16-year-old Mala Maharaj prepared for school. She waved goodbye to her mother, Roshni, and all seemed well with the world. Mala and her family were high-caste, devoted Hindus in Durban, South Africa, and were considered priests and kings in their culture. For the Maharajs, life was filled with visits to the temples and worship of Hindu idols. However, this was the day true faith would enter Mala’s life.
School ended and Mala returned home to an empty house, which was strange considering that her mom was always home to greet her. As Mala entered the home, she noticed her desk was in the middle of the hallway, and the ceiling, now above her desk, had been ripped open, revealing the boards overhead. In her mother’s bedroom, a red sari was laying carelessly on the floor. The home seemed in disarray, and Mala attempted to put everything back in its place before beginning her homework.
Later, Mala’s father and brother arrived home with pained expressions etched on their faces. “Where is mom?” Mala asked with urgency. Eischan, Mala’s brother, broke his silence as he cried, “Mom tried to commit suicide by hanging herself, but when she didn’t succeed, she overdosed on sleeping pills.” Eischan said he had come home early from school and had found their mother laying on the floor unconscious and foaming at the mouth.
At the hospital, doctors had taken to burning Roshni’s feet in an effort to awaken her from her comatose state. When the family arrived and saw the burns on her feet, they knew they needed to move her to another hospital. Two days later the family wept as they gathered around Roshni’s bed. They had prayed to their Hindu gods, but as always, their idols were silent. Mala held her mother’s hand as the doctors were about to unplug the life-support machine, as nothing more could be done—her mother would soon die.
The doctor left the room to give the family privacy as they said their goodbyes, and at that moment, three men appeared in the doorway of the hospital room. They told Mala’s family that they were Christians, and they asked if they could pray for Roshni. The family was in complete despair, and while the prayers would have been scoffed at two days before, on this day the prayers were welcomed. Why not? was Mala’s thought. We have tried everything else. The men surrounded Roshni’s bed, laid hands on her, and began to pray. It was a simple prayer—almost a whisper— yet in that moment, Mala’s mother began to twitch and then she began to move. The men ended their prayer and left, but as soon as they had walked out of the door Mala’s mother was fully conscious and completely healed! Mala ran after the men to ask them what they had done, but the hallway was empty—they had vanished.
The doctor saw Roshni sitting up in her bed and proclaimed, “It’s a miracle!” Mala’s mother had been miraculously healed in one moment. The family knew a miracle had taken place. God is real!
Forever changed by this miracle, Mala and her family sought out the local pastor in their city to find out about the Jesus who had healed their mother. The family began to attend church and soon after received Jesus as Lord and Savior. The entire family was baptized in the Indian Ocean.
After receiving Jesus Christ as her Lord, Mala went on to attend Bible school and later became a missionary, preaching the gospel and sharing her testimony with everyone she meets: “I had nothing, no money, but I am never happier than when I am sharing about the love of God.” Today, Mala’s parents continue to minister in their hometown of Durban, South Africa, sharing about the saving power of Jesus Christ. “Trust in the Lord to see you through every circumstance in your life,” says Mala. “Nothing is too difficult for the Lord. God has given each of us a testimony that can reach so many. We just have to share it. And like those three men who came into our hospital room, we must be willing to ask, ‘Can I pray for you today?’” Mala’s passion is to see all believers proclaim the gospel to all who need Jesus and are searching for healing and deliverance. “I can’t imagine what my life would be like if those three men did not pray for my mom that day,” says Mala. “Where would I be? We must step out in faith and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.”
Currently, Mala is a Pink Mentor, and she and her husband, Paul Brough, serve in Guest Central each week where they ask Gateway guests, “Can I pray for you today?” They have two handsome sons: Andre and Austin. Mala and Paul founded Fotos4Hope, which is a philanthropic organization that raises funds for local and national charities through professional photography services. For more information, visit fotos4hope.org. For more information about Gateway’s ministry trip to Durban, South Africa, from November 29–December 9, visit bless.gatewaypeople.com.