I was born into an extreme Hindu family. For generations we followed the Hindu rituals and worshiped many gods. My grandparents and great grandparents died as Hindus and therefore I inherited an abundance of Hindu thought and religious teachings. This affected many aspects of my life and influenced me to become a fanatical Hindu. My devotion to Hinduism created me to be a violent and aggressive person. My forefathers never allowed any Christians to step foot into my village. From their example, I also forbid any Christians to travel into the village or even the surrounding area. I used to worship many gods and I would travel all over India going on pilgrimages. I would travel to Hariwadar (meaning the gate of god) and worship Shiva. I worshiped Shiva the most because it is commonly believed that Shiva would give me whatever I requested, whether my intentions were good or bad. In the nearby surrounding villages, Christian activities were taking place. I caused many plights against the Christian believers. With my gang, we stopped and prevented Christian activities from happening.
Without my knowledge, a church planter led a group of people to the Lord in the village. The believers began meeting in a secret location within the area. One day, I saw the church planter walking towards a house in my village. I was shocked, “How did these Christian men manage to come to my village,” I thought as anger boiled inside of me. The believers in the house were waiting to start the meeting. As soon as they saw the church planter, they opened the door and greeted him like a brother. I was outraged because it became evident that they were also Christians. “How dare you secretly bring another god into this village,” I accused with rage towards the church planter. “I don’t want to see you in this village or the surrounding villages,” I commanded. The church planter answered with compassion, “You do not know this now, but Jesus loves you, He has a plan for you and one day you are going to serve Him.” The church planter willingly left the village with joy. After the interaction with the church planter, I could not stop thinking about his words. I used to be an angry, violent, and aggressive person. However, I became sick with fear, something I had never felt before. I was not able to think properly and I could not even do my work. I was struggling and felt very alone. The words of the church planter continuously were recalled to my mind.
The secret believers noticed what was happening and informed the church planter. Once the church planter was informed he said, “I have been praying for him and feel in my heart that God is doing something with him. Through the Holy Spirit, I have sensed he is struggling with fear and confusion.” The secret church groups and church planters came together and prayed. They felt the Lord was telling them to visit as their hearts were stirred to speak with me. In the dark of night, they journeyed to my house. I was sitting quietly and my aggressive nature was completely gone. The church planter immediately noticed my change in behavior. “How are you feeling my friend? Jesus spoke to me that you are feeling stressed with fear. And Jesus told me that He will set you free and that you need to serve Him.” I used to be argumentative, but at that moment I could not say anything. The church planter said, “Jesus loves you and he told me to pray over you. He wants to use YOU.” In that moment, I felt my brokenness exposed and wept with grief. The church planter asked, “Would you like to start having a relationship with our wonderful savior?” “Yes, right now!” I exclaimed, as tears fell. During this peaceful moment, I gave my life to Jesus. The secret church members joined together and prayed over me. “I feel freedom now and a huge burden lifted from my spirit. God has changed me.” I rejoiced with the believers and joined the underground church. The very people I once mocked are the same people who I began worshiping Jesus with in secret. I became a very active, yet secret member for Christ. My wife and children also gave their lives to Jesus and even some of my relatives. The church planter gave me a Bible; the greatest gift I have ever been given in my life. I started reading God’s word and praying. As I began growing and witnessing, I felt a hunger for God’s word.
“I have a hunger to proclaim Christ’s love to the unreached Hindu villages and plant hundreds of house churches. I have dedicated my life to Jesus. I am ready and willing to be persecuted, suffer or even martyred for the sake of Christ.”
Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in India and their faithful witness for Christ.