Water Buffalo

“If Jesus can use a water buffalo, He can use anything!”

Ephesians 3:20 joyfully proclaims that Jesus “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think”. His creative power and might are beautifully revealed amidst unique, unlikely scenarios. Jesus can use anything! Even water buffalo! Yes, even water buffalo! 

Last summer in southern Asia, my team and I were prayer-walking in a new village, searching for “people of peace” to open doors of discipleship in pioneer areas. Along a dusty dirt road, we spotted an elderly woman. Adorned in a simple sari, she pumped sloshing water into a deep metal bucket. Thirsty water buffalo bellowed from the courtyard behind. 

This woman’s name is Murti. Murti literally means “idol” in Hindi. As a Hindu, Murti is steeped in idolatry’s deceit and bondage. Her culture teaches her to seek fulfilment in futile rituals dedicated to deaf, mute statues (there are around 300 million gods worshipped in Hinduism). Murti had never truly been introduced to Jesus, the only true God, who alone brings life and freedom! 

Nearing Murti’s house, we greeted her and introduced ourselves as followers of Yeshu (Jesus). We explained that we had come to pray for her village. Then we asked if anyone in her household was ill or needing prayer. Over the years, we have seen many village house churches begin after Christ healed someone miraculously. But when Murti was asked, she simply stated “We are all well, but my water buffalo is sick.”

I thought to myself, “Well, I’ve never prayed for livestock before, but hey! Jesus can heal water buffalo too!” So we joyfully told Murti, “Yeshu can heal your water buffalo! He loves you very much. We’ll come pray!”

Murti then led us into the grass courtyard to meet her husband, a devout Hindu Brahmin seated on a rope-woven cot. He was very resistant to us initially; his comments and questions were etched in suspicion. However, as the brothers spoke more about Yeshu, his face visibly softened. By the end of our visit, Murti’s husband willingly stood with head bowed as we prayed for his family in Jesus’ name. 

However, as the brothers spoke more about Yeshu, his face visibly softened.

After meeting Murti’s husband, it was time to pray for the water buffalo! As we approached, the animals started bellowing again, looking slightly nervous at the sight of us approaching. We stretched out our hands and prayed over the noisy livestock. It was an exciting experience indeed! We prayed for God’s complete healing and rest over the buffalo. 

After praying, I spoke more with Murti. I explained that she too could pray to Jesus; He created her and loved her so much. When I reached out to embrace her, she clung to me with a penetrating smile. Her sweet, wrinkled eyes shouted desperation – an unmistakable longing to be cherished and known. My heart was suddenly overwhelmed by God’s tremendous love for this sweet grandmother. I felt as though we’d known each other for years. She clung to me and said I was like her “betee (daughter)”. As we spoke together, something in me broke with the realization that a woman Murti’s age could live decades and decades without ever experiencing God’s love. Without Jesus, existence is meaningless. Christ is love, truth, life. He is all she needs! 

As we were leaving the village, Murti followed us all the way to the car. We hugged one more time, then I climbed inside. She stood there, pressing her face against the glass. We waved slowly as the car pulled away, until we couldn’t see each other any longer. Her precious face was then imprinted on my memory. As I reflected back on the day, I realized with awe how God had sovereignly orchestrated us arriving at Murti’s house. If He can use a little water buffalo, He can use anything! It truly is all in His hands. Please pray that Murti and millions of other Hindus will be totally redeemed and set free by the power of Christ! He truly is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think”! 

Justin Skinner