Conversions in India - Testimonies

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Contents
1 2008 1.1 October . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1.1 1.1.2 1.1.3 1.2 The Deal of a Lifetime (2008-10-21 03:40) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anand Mahadevan (2008-10-24 08:42) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Share Your Story (2008-10-24 12:31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 5 5 6 8 9 9 14 15 16 17 18 19 24 28 32 34 34 34 34 34 40 41 41 43 45 59 3

November . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2.1 1.2.2 1.2.3 1.2.4 1.2.5 1.2.6 1.2.7 1.2.8 1.2.9 1.2.10 1.2.11 1.2.12 1.2.13 1.2.14 1.2.15 1.2.16 1.2.17 1.2.18 1.2.19 1.2.20 1.2.21 Dr. Srinivasa Bhattacharya (2008-11-03 12:18) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sundar Selvaraj (2008-11-05 12:49) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sundar Selvaraj (2008-11-06 12:29) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nagma (2008-11-06 12:31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amavasikan Perumal (2008-11-06 12:32) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sadhu Chellappa (2008-11-06 12:33) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sadhu Sundar Singh (2008-11-06 12:34) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pandita Ramabai (2008-11-06 12:35) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paul Biswas (2008-11-06 12:38) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Raman Kutty (2008-11-06 12:39) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hema John (2008-11-08 13:20) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A V M Rajan (2008-11-08 13:23) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shekar (2008-11-08 13:26) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anil Kant (2008-11-08 13:26) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sungeeta Jain (2008-11-10 12:18) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amar Singh (2008-11-10 12:19) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shivanshu Aggarwal (2008-11-10 12:20) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aditya Bhadra (2008-11-10 12:21) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sister Nirmala Joshi (2008-11-25 12:35) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Naveen Balakrishnan (2008-11-25 12:36) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inderpaul Singh (2008-11-25 12:37) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.2.22 1.3

Rabi Maharaj (2008-11-25 12:39) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

60 64 64 64

December . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3.1 1.3.2 Bro. Anil Kumar (2008-12-12 05:40) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2008-12-12 12:43) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Chapter 1

2008
1.1
1.1.1

October
The Deal of a Lifetime (2008-10-21 03:40)

The Deal of a Lifetime A MESSAGE FROM JESUS Ask Me to prove I m real, ... that I will do all the things I say I can do, And then stand back and watch Me come through for you! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I have the deal of a lifetime for you! I started off in Construction and now I ve also moved into Recycling and Repair. My name is Jesus and I m the best in the business. Here s My free trial offer: I will fix whatever you most want mended! But before you answer too quickly, listen to this: I mean anything! Go a few steps beyond thinking of a broken television or your car problems. Think big! Your health, your life, your broken heart, any impossible situation you re caught in anything! Of course, it s hard for you to believe My claims if you don t know for sure that I m on the level, that I m real and ready to back up everything I say. So I m also making you another free trial offer: Test Me! You can put Me in a test tube and see if I work! And you are the test tube! Just ask Me to come into your life and change things for the better. If I can t do it, then you can forget about Me and this offer. But if I come through for you, if I prove to you personally that I m real, think of what you will have gained! And what do I want from you in return? The only thing I want from you is your love. I want for you to choose Me to solve your problems before you choose any other solution, and I ll get you to feel like that by actually fixing each problem you bring to Me. This is not a promise for the future, although I have lots of those as well. This is for right now, and for each and every time you put Me to the test. I mean it! Does it sound too good to be true? I said it s the deal of a lifetime! You ll never get a better offer than this and 5

you haven t even heard all of it yet! What did you do to deserve all this? Nothing! When you re in love with someone, they don t have to do anything to get your favor; you want to do things for them. And that s why I want to do this for you, because I love you! I also have a lot of other unbeatable deals for you, and you can find many of them in the Bible. But I m no fool; I know you won t even bother to read it if you don t first know that I m real and that those promises are not just a bunch of sweet words. So do this one thing: Ask Me to prove I m real, that I am who I say I am, that I will do all the things I say I can do, and then stand back and watch Me come through for you! I promise you I will do it for anyone who honestly asks Me. And I promise you this, you will be glad you did! On to the next step: After you put Me to the test, if you are satisfied with the results, then I would ask one small favor of you: Pass this offer on to someone else, or to as many as you will. Word-of-mouth advertising from a satisfied customer is the best kind, and that s what I like. Now that s asking no more than anyone would when they ve given you a good deal on something or provided good reliable service. And like good businesses, each time you refer someone to Me by giving them this offer, I ll mark it up to your credit and I ll repay you for it. How s that for a deal? You can t lose! I ve been around a long time and, believe it or not, this dynamite offer is the same one I ve always offered. I m just stepping up My advertising a little to keep up with the changing times. Time is short and times are changing. Do yourself a favor and try it. You ll be glad you did. And so will whoever else you tell about this offer, if they ll try it too. Don t forget, this offer is only the introduction. There s a lot more and I mean a lot more! And it s all for you and your good! First try this, and then I ll show you some more. So, ask Me to come into your life and fix whatever is broken. I ll move in with a complete program of repair, restoration, and even some new improvements if you want them. I have a whole new range of possibilities for you to choose from. Is that a good deal? It s the best! Try it! Do it now and let s get started! Just tell Me right now, Jesus, it s a deal! I ll take Your offer. Come in and let me see what You can do. If I m satisfied with the results, I ll refer others to You! With love, your heavenly repairman, Jesus [1]www.tommyswindow.com
1. http://www.tommyswindow.com/

1.1.2

Anand Mahadevan (2008-10-24 08:42)

I was born a Brahmin and am the grandson of a priest whom I dearly loved. I am educated and my current professional standing indicates that I am reasonably intelligent. I am also affluent and my income would put 6

me distinctly in the upper middle class bracket. I guess that would make me high-caste, rich and smart. In other words, I am not a tribal, or poor or dim-witted. And yet, I chose to become a follower of Jesus Christ. The world would call me a convert to Christianity. I have no problems with that, though I see my faith more as a relationship with God through Jesus Christ than as a religion. And for the record, I can truthfully claim that no one financially induced or threatened or deceived me into converting to Christianity. I am fiercely proud of my national identity as an Indian and I am completely at peace with my cultural identity as a Hindu. I retain the name my parents gave me. My wife, who also shares my faith, continues to go by her Hindu name. We have two children and we have given both distinctly Hindu names. In fact, many of my colleagues and acquaintances who may happen to read this column are likely to be surprised. They have no inkling about my faith, for I generally don’t go about announcing it. But if someone does ask me the reason behind the joy and hope that is everpresent in my life, I am always delighted to share it with them. I write this piece to make one point that my conversion was not a change of religion but a change of heart. To explain this, I need to go back to my childhood in Chennai, similar to that of so many other Tamil Brahmin boys like me. My grandfather, every bit the virtuous priest, had enormous influence over me. I absolutely adored him and as a toddler, always clung to him. He too loved me to a fault. There was no wish of mine that he would not rush to fulfil. But even in my early, formative years I was unable to relate to the religion he fervently practiced. Later, in my school days, I once spent my summer holidays with him in Trichy. Memories of dawn walks with him, for the ritualistic dip in the Cauvery river, cow in tow, are still fresh in my memory. I learnt many shlokas, some of which I still remember. But I never understood any of it and none of it helped me connect with God. When I was 19, a Christian friend with whom I used to play cricket invited me to his house for prayer. If he had invited me to a pub, or party, I would have gone too. At his home, he and his sister prayed for me. It was a simple yet delightful conversation with God that lasted all of five minutes. I don’t remember it verbatim, but they articulated a prayer of blessing on my life, future, career and family. It was a simple affair no miracles, no angels visiting. All they did was utter a deep human cry out to the creator God and His only son Jesus Christ. When they said Amen, I felt in my heart a desire to follow Jesus. It was a faith encounter with God that I shall not even attempt to understand, rationalise or explain. I simply accept it. It is my faith. It is what I choose to believe. That evening I did not change my religion, for in reality I had none. Hinduism was my identity, not my religion. It still is. The Christianity I acquired that evening is not a religion. On the contrary, it is an intensely intimate relationship with Jesus. Over the past fifteen years, I have come to know this Jesus even closer. I know Him as the pure and sinless Son of a Holy God. And I know Him as a dear friend to whom I pray and talk to every day about my career, my dreams, successes, failures, finances and even my sexuality. If I read a good book, watch a good movie (Rock On is terrific, mate), or eat a good meal at a new restaurant, I would naturally tell my friends about it.In Jesus, I have discovered a truly amazing friend, guide, leader, saviour and God. How can I not tell all my friends about Him? And if anyone does listen and he too comes to believe in Jesus, I am delighted. The world would call it a conversion; I call it a change of heart, like mine. But I would never force anyone to listen to me, leave alone financially induce, coerce or con him into believing. That to me is pointless and against the very grain of my faith. But I do have a constitutional right to practice my faith and to preach it without deception, force or bribery. It pains to see such basic 7

rights of mankind being cruelly violated every day in this great Hindu nation. God bless India. (Anand Mahadevan is the editor of Outlook Business.) Source: http://www.outlookindia.com http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20081027 &fname=Conversions+(F) &sid=5

knat (2008-11-01 09:43:24) Dear Anand, It is good to know that you are able to connect with Jesus and that you are happy to have had this change of religion, nay, heart. However, I disagree with you when you say that the basic rights of mankind are being cruelly violated in India. I believe you mean that people are not being allowed to practice their faith and/or preach it. If that were true, how do you explain the countless number of churches in every city, town and village? There are tons of Christians doing well in all spheres of life in India with absolutely no discrimination. In fact, the only discrimination I have seen is in the convent schools where the people of other religions (especially Hindus) are discriminated against. This has happened to me in Don Bosco High School, Perambur where I studied and had a bad experience. Also, to say that money is not offered to convert hindus to christianity is like being an ostrich with its head buried in the sand. It is quite well known that different amounts of money is offered to people based on their caste and standing in society. Educated people like you obviously cannot be tricked into accepting a new faith and that is why you have not gone through that experience. A simple fact is that there is one god above us who is called by different names by different people. Every religion prescribes a way to reach out to God and connect with Him. To say that calling him Jesus and going to Churches is the only way to becoming a better person is plain ludicrous. That tells me that the Christians are patronizing and intolerant of other religions. Lastly, Hinduism does not have one set of rules to say that the only way to pray is to have these ritualistic dips or chant Shlokas. thanks for your time, -krishna Sridhar Rajendran (2008-12-03 12:17:04) Hi Anand, I am a son of Brahmin mother. My real conversion,/ change of heart happened after meeting number of Brahmin friends at Chennai. I have mentioned their names in my blog www.jesusridhar.blogspot.com. I agree with your point that as we share the best food we had or good movie we watched, we have to share our relationship with Jesus to others. This is as good as introduing my friend to you. I think our missionaries should also avoid tempinting poor people by money. They are not ramping up their project or organization. I think our missionaries should also avoid tempting poor people by money. They are not ramping up their project or organization. People like you and I can be the light and salt to our friends, neighbors and the society which we belong. God bless you. Regards Sridhar Alby P Vincent (2008-12-11 14:07:06) Dear Sir I would like to get your photograph to be used in the x’mas issue of sunday shalom magazine. could you please forward it at the earliest. alby@nirjhari.net, pvalby@yahoo.com thanking you alby Soumya (2008-11-13 09:53:13) Yes there is only one God. If there is one God, then the way to him is also one. Anand, I have also(along with my family) have accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord. regards, Soumy Rajaram(nee Benavides)

1.1.3

Share Your Story (2008-10-24 12:31)

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1.2
1.2.1

November
Dr. Srinivasa Bhattacharya (2008-11-03 12:18)

”Good morning. How many of you are really happy this morning? I am Dr. Srinivasa Bhattachary. If I appropriately introduce myself stating my full name it is too long. I come from the 145th direct generation of Sri Vaishnam Bhattachary priesthood community. Even today, grandfather, Raghu Bhattachary is the chief priest in Srilakshmaneshaswamy Devasthanam at Ponvanugalathoor. I come from a family background of priests and today my whole family are Bhattacharyas for the gods who have eyes but cannot see, who have ears but cannot hear, who have noses but cannot smell, who have hands but cannot touch, who have legs but cannot walk, but I by the grace of Jesus Christ, have come among you as a Bhattacharya for Lord Jesus Christ. At the age of six I wore the sacred thread (poonool) according to the Hindu tradition. I was given to the Gayathri Diksha, ombhoohu, Ombhuwaha, Om subhaga, ommaha, Omjanaka, Om thapaka, Om sathyam, Om thathuservdarinam, Om barbudevastimagam, Om diviyayonagam,Om prajothaya, Om jothirasakam, Om amarthavaram, Om burbosaram. I was sent to an ashramam for my studies. Right from my childhood I studied the Rigveda, Yegurveda, Samarveda, Adarvarnaveda, Nalayiram Lijya Prabhandtha, Ethihasa, Purana Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagvatgeetha etc etc in the Hindu mythological subjects in Sanskrit as well as in the Grandha Language. Once my early education was over in Hindu philosophy in south India, I was sent to North India, Uttar Pradesh to do my doctorate in the Banaras University. I went there and did my siromony in Sanskrit and PhD in Grandha. While I was studying in the Banaras University the destruction of the Babri Masjid took place at Ayodhya. Since I was a Bhattachary and since I was doing my double PhD in a famous Hindu University, I was chosen by the RSS as their national youth leader. The objective of the RSS, as you all know, is to stop foreign religions coming to India. They are especially dead against Christ and Christianity being proclaimed in the land of India. When I was in this organization as their national Youth leader, my personal commitment was to destroy the mosque then and there. In those days my faith in the Hindu religion and their gods was very strong and so I went all the way to France and I peddled a dynamite bomb and I brought it to India and set it off at the tomb of the mosque, using my personal computer from my cabin. At that time many Islamic fundamentalists came forward to stop us in our activities. In retaliation our Hindu parishad people chopped their hands and legs and chopped off their heads and killed not less than 3000 people and flung their bodies into the Sarayoor River. I recall this, as I was totally submerged into the sinful way of life right from the beginning. That was how strongly I believed in the Hindu philosophy. After this incident I was doing the research work in my university library. The research topic that I had taken for my thesis was ”How will man go to the kingdom of God after his death?” How will a man reach the Brahma patha or Sivan Narayan Patha or how can we go to the kingdom of God. While I was going through many books in the library, a very old sanyasi came to the library and called out to me. He was having a long beard and very long hair. He was wearing only an ordinary dhoti. He called me out, and giving me a small piece of paper he walked out. I did not know who he was or where he came from. After he left I looked at the small piece of paper and on it was written the verse from John chapter 3 verse 16. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, for whosoever believeth should not perish but shall have everlasting life”. The more I read this scripture the more it began to inspire me in the very depth of my heart. My dear brothers and sisters why did this particular scripture inspire me so much? The word of God says in John, chapter 1 that the word of God consists of life. I went to all my gurujis and asked them who is this begotten son. All they could tell me was that the begotten son is Krishna Paramatma and Rama Paramatma etc etc but nobody told me that Jesus is the only begotten son. For one month I was desperately hunting for the answer. After one month, one particular morning I was sitting in my dormitory going through this piece of paper once again. Tears started to gush out 9

my eyes to know who this begotten Son of God is. Then I heard a voice telling me to read the rigveda. Upon opening it what I read in Sanskrit was ” Santhakaram purakasayanam, pathmanabam suresham, vishwakaram&&.mekavarnam&.lakshikanthan&yogikirtham vandal bishnumbam, survalokayika&.” which means, ”The God so loved the world , that he gave his only begotten Son of God that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life”. When I read the bible scripture in my own Rigveda I decided that even if I die I must obey this only begotten son and that I must surrender my life to Him. My exams got over and after finishing my thesis I registered the same with the registrar of the university. When the result came, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ I came first in the whole of India in both my doctorates. I was invited to Delhi to be awarded the presidents Gold medal in the Indian parliament amidst all the distinguished parliamentarians. But all this did not give me any joy. Here I was born into a royal family of Nepal, with my family breeding 13 elephants and having 108 divine temples across the world where we are the chief priests, having obtained double doctorates and double gold medals from the president and yet having no peace nor joy in life. The bible says, ”If a man gains the whole world and yet loses his soul what is the use?” There was a great vacuum in my life. I still did not know Jesus as the saviour of the world, nor as the prince of peace, nor as the redeemer of the world and in such a state I found myself making preparations to return to Tamil Nadu. I booked my ticket on the Ganga-Kaveri express. At Varnasi station I boarded the train and subsequently arrived in Madhya Pradesh. All the while I was reading John 3:16. Something told me that I should keep meditating on this verse and I did so till the train pulled into Madhya Pradesh. The railway staff went for a coffee break and at the same time I heard a voice telling me to get down at this station. I was wondering why I should do this for I did not have any relatives there. The more I refused to listen to the voice the more persistent it became. Finally I gave in and got off the train. After a few minutes the train left the station and I was left alone on the platform. Again I heard a small voice telling me to start walking. I started to walk. After walking for nearly 3 kilometers I came to a place called Baratpur. Mapier town in Jabalpur city. The moment I came to this particular spot, where there was a cement arch, I saw the same old sanyasi who had come to my college library, 800 kilometers away, coming towards me pointing his fingers at me. Putting his hand on me he said, ”The Lord who you wanted to know in your life is Jesus Christ. The only begotten son whom you are seeking is Christ. He loves you and forgives your sin and he is going to cleanse you from all your sinful natures. He is going to give you a new life”. When he said all that I could not control myself. Here was a very simple man, very old and ordinary, but yet filled with the resurrected power of the Lord, preaching the gospel to me. I humbled myself and yielded to that saint. From there he took me to a place called Bidagarh. That is where the Narmada River flows into a very high velocity. We crossed the river and went to the other side where we could find no human beings at all. He took me into the forest and he took me inside a cave. With a great burden he knelt in the cave and opening the bible he started to preach the gospel. He told me how God created the heavens and the earth, the rivers and the seas, the plants and the animals and how he created human beings. He told me of the fall of man into sin and how the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world as the Messiah, how much He suffered on the cross at Golgotha and how he finally died. When I heard all this I could not control myself for in Hinduism there are 33 crores ( millions) gods. But none of the gods came to die for me and my sins. But here I found the Jesus came and died for my sins. Even Hinduism says very sincerely in the Samaveda, ”Every man is a sinner and unless he is cleansed by the precious blood he cannot go into the kingdom of God”. But we find that no one came to shed their blood in Hinduism but we find Christ having done it. I opened my heart to the Lord and cried, ”Lord I am very sorry . Lord I open my heart unto you. Lord it was for my sins that both your hands and your legs were nailed to the cross. It was for my sins that you wore the crown of thorns on your head. It was for my sins that a spear was thrust into your right ribs. Lord I am sorry and please forgive me Lord”. 10

The Lord was merciful to me . As it says in the bible ”He that covers his sin shall not prosper but whosoever shall confess it and forsake it shall have mercy”. Again it also says, ”If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you all your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness”. I did it in the presence of the Lord. I wept bitterly for all my sinful activities right from my childhood to that day. God heard my prayers for in the bible it is written in revelation chapter 3:20, ”Behold I stand at your door and knock, and if any man heareth my voice, open the door. I will come to him and will sup with him and he with me”. He stands at your door and knocks. It is because when he chooses a son or a daughter for his kingdom, he has the courtesy to knock. Satan never knocks. For him a small ventilator is enough to creep in through. Lord Jesus alone can bless. That is how I came to know the Lord. After accepting Jesus as my personal saviour, He showed me many areas in my life where there was still sin and on my part I confessed and prayed and got myself cleansed by the blood of Jesus. I stayed for two months with the old man in the forest. Every morning we used to kneel together in the presence of the Lord for hours and pray and meditate upon the word of God. After 2 months one day he took me to the Narmada River and baptized me in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is very difficult for me to say everything that happened to me that day. As David says in the 23rd Psalm, he prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies and he anoints my head with oil. My cup runneth over, surely goodness and mercy will follow all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. That was the assurance I got. After I received the Holy Spirit, the old man told me ”Now God has brought you to Judea and then he will take you to Samaria and from there to the uttermost parts of the Earth”. He explained to me that Judea meant him, Samaria meant my hometown and community. He told me that I was to go back to my community and preach to them the gospel. I went back to Nepal. The moment I reached home my parents were standing outside. My father did not allow me to go inside the house. They said to me. ”We sent you to get a higher education in the most famous university. You received 2 gold medals from the president of India. After all this you are returning as a poor, downtrodden, inferior untouchable caste. What happened to you?” They left me standing at the door and after asking for some Ganges water from the temple my father proceeded to give me a bath as I was defiled. He poured that water over me. Even then according to them I was still impure for only external purification had taken place and I still needed internal purification. So he sent another priest to the backyard of the house and asked him to bring a glass of cow s urine. I was told to drink this by my father. In our family our father is very revered and in no way do we show any disrespect to him. Therefore when he commanded me to drink I had to obey. I silently received this and saying ”victory in the blood of Jesus”, over and over again, I silently drank it. Only then was I allowed to enter. My parents were still afraid that I might sneak out and join some Christian church in Nepal, and once or twice without my father s knowledge I did visit a faith home in Nepal. Thus my father started to give me so much work that I would always find myself to be busy. I was given lot of chores to do, even in the temple mainly cleaning and washing various idols housed there. All this I did obeying my father, always saying ”Victory in the name of Jesus”. Wanting to punish me he left me behind in the temple one night. These temples were constructed 2000 to 3000 years ago and right from the entrance to the Mola Sarpa Graha, we had to walk not less than 3 km. The ceiling is 100 to 120 ft high and at night there are no lights as there were no electricity connections. The temple was also infested with poisonous snakes and scorpions. For many days I was not given any food nor did I have any proper clothing. But amidst all these dangers I knelt down and prayed, ”Lord without your will I can never be here. I do not know for what reason you have kept me here but help me to proclaim and lift your name to these people. Lord open the door where I can proclaim the good news for David said in the scripture, ”What shall I do unto the Lord who has given me the joy of salvation?” Again in the very next scripture he says,” I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call upon the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows unto the Lord in the 11

presence of all his people”. The next morning about 60 bhattacharyas came to open the temple early in the morning and doing so they came inside. I was on fire and at that moment called out to the bhattacharyas. ”Come here. What does your Vedas say about God? What does Hinduism say about God? Who is true God in Hinduism? What are the characteristics of God mentioned in Hinduism? What does Hinduism say about how a man can go into the kingdom of God? Who is the true god that can bring salvation to mankind? For example Om Shri brahmaputhraye namaha- what does this mean? The only begotten son I worship thee. Who is the only begotten Son? It is the Lord Jesus Christ. Om shri Martha Namaha- the Holy Spirit of God I worship thee. Who is the Holy Spirit of God? Again it is the Lord Jesus Christ. Om shri Kannisuthayeha namaha-which means the Lord who is born to a virgin. Om vidyshtayaha Namahathe Lord who had the circumcision I worship thee. Om shri Panchkayika namaha- the Lord who had the five injuries for the sake of mankind. Om shri vriksh shula arudayaka nama vrisha pondha marthil shulathil siluthayil baliyanavare, umbaye nan namaskarikunen. Who is the Lord who died on the cross of Calvary? All this is our Lord Jesus Christ. Our God is not a dead God. It is true that he came as a messiah to this world. He preached the gospel. He cancelled the devils and the demons. He healed the sick people ad brought salvation to so many people and finally he died on the cross of Calvary, he was buried but he did not become sand. Om Shri mrithyu nayaya namaha meaning the Lord who resurrected from the depths of the Earth on the third day I worship thee”. By the divine grace of God 13 people accepted the Saviour. Out of them 6 took baptism. Today they are strong believers. All this God did for His glory. Like this I was inside the temple with these people for 6 months and in the meantime the RSS people came to know about me and so did the BJP and the Shiv Sena along with a lot of other Hindu organizations. They came to Nepal and pulled me out of the temple and thrashed me mercilessly. They fractured both my hands. Today the hand you see is not the real one but an artificial one. In one hand I have 16 screws fixed in my elbow and steel plated within. They poured acid all over me and threw me into the streets. They told me that if I preach Christ anymore then they would kill me. My parents asked me to get out, as I had become a danger to their survival. I was shunned by my family, community, friend and villagers. At a total loss as to what to do then and there I knelt and prayed to the Lord and asked him what He wanted me to do. I claimed His promise where He said that in the days of your trouble I will deliver you and you will glorify me. The Lord told me that along with Judea even Samaria was over and so ”Step out in My name and I will take care of you”. I asked for confirmation from the bible if God wanted me to go out for full time mission work and the scripture given to me was John chapter 1:5 ”In the beginning was the word and the word was with God. All things are made by Him and with Him not anything made or was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” ”But as many received Him to them He gave power to become the sons of God even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). Based on this scripture I was convinced that I was truly a child of God. Slowly I made my way to the faith home in Nepal. There God miraculously provided me first aid and a plane ticket to the Bombay Navarathna hospital for treatment. I took complete treatment for 6 months and now I am all right. After that I went back to Nepal once again. My household did not open the door and they told me to leave. I did not do what to do with my life. There were so many denominations in Christianity like Roman Catholics, Jehovah witnesses, Marthomites etc etc. All I knew was the Father God, the Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit. After this I went into many parts of Nepal and interior villages to proclaim Christ. I was expelled from Nepal for preaching the Gospel. I went to Tibet and from there came to North India. Finally today I am in South India. Today right from Kanya Kumari in the south to Kashmir God has taken me to proclaim the good news. Other than parts of India, God took me to Sinapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, France, Sweden,Germany and Czechoslovakia. I came without anything yet I lack nothing. When I came into the ministry I did not have any money on me yet I cannot say that I have gone hungry even once. God provides me with everything that I want day by day. I am also on the RSS hit list. Ten days ago I was coming back to Tamilnadu from Rajastan and I was circled by the RDD people 12

and I lost all my properties to them. By the grace of God I am well today. My dear brothers and sisters all this while you have been listening to my testimony fro the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. I request you to get a step closer to the cross of Calvary so that your life would be blessed more. I also humbly request you to uphold me in prayer because the word of God says, ”He that has put his hand on the plough and withdraws is unworthy for the kingdom of God” Today you and me, we have put our hands on the plough of our Lord Jesus Christ. Come what may we must till the Christian ground to produce thirty, sixty and hundred folds of fruits for the glory of Lord Jesus Christ. Then only we can boldly say like Paul said ”I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only but unto all them also that love His appearing”. Initially Paul was also torturing and persecuting Christians and the early churches. Then on the road to Jericho near the city of Damascus he was touched by the power of God. Right away he fell flat on the road. When he got up he was blind. God told him to go and get healed by Annaias. Annaias laid his hands upon Paul and prayed and Paul got his sight back. He understood the power of God and accepted the Lord. He committed his life to the Lord. And he came all over Asia and proclaimed the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ. He led thousands of people to the kingdom of God. That was the reason why he could say that he has fought the good fight. It is true in our cases also, dear brothers and sisters. There is a crown of life awaiting each and every one of us. In order to receive it we must run a good race and we should fight a good fight. It is not enough just accepting the Lord as our personal saviour or being baptized, nor is it enough that we receive the f=gifts of the Holy Spirit. What is your personal contribution to the church of God? How much are you contributing to the church of God? The Lord has put you in such a beautiful and affluent place, what are your commitments to the Lord? In how many ways are you robbing God in the church? (This testimony is being disputed for authenticity, pls contact the following address for further details) (A free cassette copy of this testimony can be obtained by contacting :GOSPEL MISSIONS OF INDIA P.O. Box 1043, Warren, MI 48090, U.S.A. Telephone: 586-247-7924 (day) / 586-939-7468 E-mail:email@gospelmi.org Website: http://www.gospelmi.org DISTRIBUTOR : Bangalore regency Developers (P) Ltd. Modern Regency Projects (P) Ltd. Regency Constructions No. 58, Banaswadi Main Road, Jai Bharath Nagar, Bangalore 5465851 ) 560 033, India. Office: 5479344,

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1.2.2

Sundar Selvaraj (2008-11-05 12:49)

Sundar Selvaraj was born on 17 March 1962 into a Catholic family. He has two sisters and a younger brother. When he was about seven years old, his father embraced Hinduism and became a layman priest. Young Sundar being the first born male child followed his father’s footsteps and became a devout Hindu. He gave himself to the study of mantras and was versed in performing pujas (religious ceremonies). He even carried the kavadi - a form of Hindu penance, for three years. When he was about 16 years old, there arose a question in his heart about karma, life after death and nirvana. He sought the favours of the Hindu deities through fastings, penances and pujas, to be set free from the cycle of rebirth and to be one with Brahma the union with the cosmic energy. But all his efforts were futile. After six months of fervent futile prayers, he came to the conclusion that he had been fated to be reincarnated again and again in this world due to his bad karma. About this time in June 1978, he attended a religious-cum-science lecture at a public auditorium. The distinguished speaker was speaking on the subject of evolution. Young Sundar had great fascination for science and was planning on becoming a neurosurgeon. After speaking for half an hour on evolution, the speaker then compared the science of evolution to the science of creation by God. The topic though interesting disliked Sundar because the speaker introduced Jesus Christ. The speaker said that because of God’s great love for man, He came down to earth as a man to die for the sins of the whole world. And only by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ can a person be set free from sin and the cycle of death. After the message, the speaker gave an invitation to all those who wished to receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour to come forward to the stage. Though Sundar felt a nudge to go forward, being a staunch hindu, he rebelled against the nudge. Suddenly, from deep within him, he heard a clear voice and audible speaking to him. The voice said, ”This is the true God. Go and follow Him.” Sundar was astonished to hear the voice beckoning him to go forward and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and God. He ignored the voice. But, like an auto reverse cassette player, the voice kept on repeating, ”This is the true God. Go and follow Him.” Sundar then experienced another supernatural experience. The chair on which he was sitting began to vibrate. It was as if the chair was prompting him to get up and go. He grabbed the handles of the chair and would not budge an inch. All the while, the voice kept repeating. ”This is the true God. Go and follow Him”. Sundar was now experiencing two unexplainable supernatural experiences. Then without any warning, he felt a real tangible hand below his back. The hand gently lifted him up to his feet. Puzzled, Sundar stopped resisting. The unseen but real hand then clasped his hand and gently led him down three flight of stairs to the front of the stage. He joined about 50 other people who had come forward to receive the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. Looking upwards, Sundar said, ”Jesus if you are the true God, please help me be set free from the cycle of rebirth.” He then mechanically uttered that which the speaker had asked all those who came forward to the stage to say, ”Lord Jesus come into my life.” As soon as he said those words, he least expected another supernatural experience. He felt someone pouring what he felt like oil on his head. It dropped on his head and began to flow downwards all over him. As the oil was flowing down over him, he felt a cleansing taking place inside his heart. Like all his sins and filthy nature being washed and cleansed. The oil kept flowing down to his toes. When the oil flowed out of his toes, a great indescribable peace filled his entire being. This last supernatural experience together with the other three experiences, totally convinced Sundar that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly The One True God. He then sincerely gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ and became His devoted disciple. 14

Sundar is now active in evangelism in India and Tibet. For more information about his ministry visit his website http://www.jesusministries.com.sg/

1.2.3

Sundar Selvaraj (2008-11-06 12:29)

Sundar Selvaraj was born on 17 March 1962 into a Catholic family. He has two sisters and a younger brother. When he was about seven years old, his father embraced Hinduism and became a layman priest. Young Sundar being the first born male child followed his father’s footsteps and became a devout Hindu. He gave himself to the study of mantras and was versed in performing pujas (religious ceremonies). He even carried the kavadi - a form of Hindu penance, for three years. When he was about 16 years old, there arose a question in his heart about karma, life after death and nirvana. He sought the favours of the Hindu deities through fastings, penances and pujas, to be set free from the cycle of rebirth and to be one with Brahma the union with the cosmic energy. But all his efforts were futile. After six months of fervent futile prayers, he came to the conclusion that he had been fated to be reincarnated again and again in this world due to his bad karma. About this time in June 1978, he attended a religious-cum-science lecture at a public auditorium. The distinguished speaker was speaking on the subject of evolution. Young Sundar had great fascination for science and was planning on becoming a neurosurgeon. After speaking for half an hour on evolution, the speaker then compared the science of evolution to the science of creation by God. The topic though interesting disliked Sundar because the speaker introduced Jesus Christ. The speaker said that because of God’s great love for man, He came down to earth as a man to die for the sins of the whole world. And only by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ can a person be set free from sin and the cycle of death. After the message, the speaker gave an invitation to all those who wished to receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour to come forward to the stage. Though Sundar felt a nudge to go forward, being a staunch hindu, he rebelled against the nudge. Suddenly, from deep within him, he heard a clear voice and audible speaking to him. The voice said, ”This is the true God. Go and follow Him.” Sundar was astonished to hear the voice beckoning him to go forward and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and God. He ignored the voice. But, like an auto reverse cassette player, the voice kept on repeating, ”This is the true God. Go and follow Him.” Sundar then experienced another supernatural experience. The chair on which he was sitting began to vibrate. It was as if the chair was prompting him to get up and go. He grabbed the handles of the chair and would not budge an inch. All the while, the voice kept repeating. ”This is the true God. Go and follow Him”. Sundar was now experiencing two unexplainable supernatural experiences. Then without any warning, he felt a real tangible hand below his back. The hand gently lifted him up to his feet. Puzzled, Sundar stopped resisting. The unseen but real hand then clasped his hand and gently led him down three flight of stairs to the front of the stage. He joined about 50 other people who had come forward to receive the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. Looking upwards, Sundar said, ”Jesus if you are the true God, please help me be set free from the cycle of rebirth.” He then mechanically uttered that which the speaker had asked all those who came forward to the stage to say, ”Lord Jesus come into my life.” As soon as he said those words, he least expected another supernatural experience. He felt someone pouring 15

what he felt like oil on his head. It dropped on his head and began to flow downwards all over him. As the oil was flowing down over him, he felt a cleansing taking place inside his heart. Like all his sins and filthy nature being washed and cleansed. The oil kept flowing down to his toes. When the oil flowed out of his toes, a great indescribable peace filled his entire being. This last supernatural experience together with the other three experiences, totally convinced Sundar that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly The One True God. He then sincerely gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ and became His devoted disciple.

Sundar is now active in evangelism in India and Tibet. For more information about his ministry visit his website http://www.jesusministries.com.sg/

1.2.4

Nagma (2008-11-06 12:31)

God s hand was on me all along: POPULAR actress Nagma opened up about her faith and mission in her life for the first time to the media in an exclusive interview with The Christian Messenger. This newspaper s founding editor Robin Sam spoke to her for close to five hours in an exhaustive interview concerning her faith, the recent issue over her testimony at Nalumavadi in Tamil Nadu, the rising violence against Christians, her personal life and plans for the future. Excerpts: When did you come to realize the saving power of Jesus Christ? I was born on Christmas to a Muslim mother and a Hindu father. I went to a convent school from childhood. I was exposed to Christianity from a young age. I went to Mount Mary Convent School in Bandra, Mumbai. There, Mass was a routine feature. I always thought I am very special to God because I was born on Dec 25th - perhaps because the world celebrated the day. Even though I was not a believer then, I still enjoyed a constant companionship and relationship with Jesus Christ but never really mentioned this as it would have seemed odd then. A bit later in life, I came across a book called Conversations with God. That confirmed to me that the power that was speaking to me all along was God Himself. Now when I look back, I feel that God s hand was strongly upon me all along even though I hadn t realized it then. As God is just and fair, He has given us a free will to decide and make our choices whether good or bad because of His mercy and compassion. There was a time in my life when things were going on really well. Yet, there was this big vacuum. There was no all-encompassing peace though life was busy and my job competitive. It went on like this for several years. After 15 years of my career, I started feeling the futility of it all and began asking myself questions like Why am I here? , What s God s plan for me in my life? and What s the purpose of my existence? I asked myself these questions when I was doing really well in life just like how King David felt even when he had everything going his way. Since I was spiritually inclined I read a lot of books in that genre. I also started practicing meditation. I was teaching Art of Living for nearly 12 years. But Jesus continued to intrigue me. Since one of 16

my aunties was a Christian, I kept urging her to tell me more about Christ. In the year 2000, in one such discussion, I said my salvation prayer. Like it took the Israelites 40 years to reach the promised land that should have been covered in just 11 days I took nearly about five years to submit completely to the will of God. Just like Jonah, I was going on my own trip. But in 2006, I became ill. I had a viral fever that the doctors weren t able to diagnose. I had high temperature and was hospitalized. That s when a Punjabi guy in my fraternity who was married to a Christian woman visited me and gave a CD. It contained a sermon titled Freedom from fear by Brother Johnson, an evangelist in Goa. For the next six months I kept listening to the CD. Like the Bible says: Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God. After six months, I told myself: Now, I want to read the Word. I began with the New Testament. I told God: I am going to read your Word. Help me and be my teacher. While reading the New Testament, I realized the importance of baptism and also of joining a church. Therefore, I immediately joined Pastor Shekhar Kalyanpur s New Life Fellowship in Juhu, Mumbai. I took baptism on Jan 4. Since 2007 was a year of rest I decided to take a break from films and continued my Bible study fervently. Source: The Christian Messenger, India’s Evangelical Newspaper, taken from the link http://www.christianmessenger.in/interviews/nagma1 011008/453.php Taken on: October 04, 2008

1.2.5

Amavasikan Perumal (2008-11-06 12:32)

AMAVASIKAN Perumals story of transformation would sound like an incredible tale if one did not approach it from the realm of faith. Born into a family of peasants to illiterate parents in Salavedu, a small hamlet near Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu, Perumal studied up to 8th standard and dropped out of school due to poverty at home. A single child, he did not want to burden his mother who had been at his birth abandoned by her husband. In abject poverty, the mother and son eked out a living and hoped for a better future. Ponnammal, a Catholic by birth, came into Perumals life like a breath of fresh air. married against the wishes of the brides family. Three girl children were born to them. They soon got

Neither fatherhood nor his new set of responsibilities seemed to have the desired effect on Perumal, who was living a reckless life given to country liquor, gambling, stealing and rowdyism in the village. It was then Gods first clarion call to Perumal came. He was afflicted with a swelling of his private organ. No amount of treatment or medicines could cure him of the ailment. His misery grew day by by until a travelling Christian missionary from Chennai prayed over him and God healed him of the illness. 17

Gracey Ponnammal, by now a convert to the faith, could not persuade her husband to turn to God. Perumals belief in the true, living God was short-lived. He continued to be a tyrant at home and hooligan in the village. One day, a drowsy and drunk Perumal kicked Ponnammal for praying aloud when he was asleep at home. Hours passed before Perumal was down with a severe bout of diarrhea. Unable to even lift his head or move from his sleeping position, Perumal was touched by Gods amazing grace that saved his life that day and his wifes relentless prayers to God for his healing. Neighbours were quick to notice the difference in Perumals household - in place of Ponnammals wails and the childrens plaintive cries they now heard loud prayers by Perumal and his family. Perumal kicked all his vices and turned a new leaf. In 1997 after he had a vision from God in the same manner that the Lord called Samuel (1 Samuel 3:10), Perumal (now baptised as S A Peter) started an independent church in his village. The familys faith in the almighty God grew manifold when the Lord saved Peters eldest daughter Getzial after she was bitten by a venomous snake during a Sunday worship. While almost all elders in the village and the congregation stood around a dying girl and urged Peter to take her to the nearest hospital 15 km away from the church, he stood his ground and knelt down in prayer. The God who saved Daniel from the lions den heard the fathers prayer and spared Getzials life. Getzial is in her second year of theology studies in a seminary in Rajapalayam now. Pastor Peter, who says his life and family run on faith, is a fulltime evangelist who ministers in and around Salavedu. His mission is to reach the unreached in the surrounding villages of Reddypalayam, Ottakoil and Singapalli and plant churches for new believers. He may be reached at Shepherd Christ Church, Zion Street, Salavedu Village Post, Vandavasi Taluk, Thiruvannamalai District, Tamil Nadu 604403. Source: Saved by grace, walking by faith,Abhilash Pulichanickal The Christian Messenger, India’s Evangelical Newspaper, taken from the link http://www.christianmessenger.in/testimony/submission/Amavasikan %20Perumal %20 12.php Taken on: October 04, 2008

1.2.6

Sadhu Chellappa (2008-11-06 12:33)

Growing up in a Hindu temple in South India, Sadhu Chellappa mastered the Indian Scriptures. In the temples, he found practices and beliefs contrary to the scriptures. This led to his asking many questions to his teachers and masters. Not satisfied with answers he left the Hindu faith and became an atheist. After a series of failures he decided to commit suicide. In a dramatic conversion, as he planned to jump from a train in the city of Madras, he heard a verse from the Bible being quoted by a preacher in a Christian meeting. ”He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will receive pardon” (Proverbs 28:13). He immediately got down at the next station and walked to the meeting and he found the Lord Jesus Christ in his life. This was on May 14th 1967. Soon after, he started sharing his testimony and preached the Gospel everyday. Within a few years, he 18

had preached in all major cities, towns and villages all over Tamil Nadu. Thousands were saved and baptized and added to the churches. In the year 1982, he started publishing the Agni (fire) monthly magazine in Tamil, which now is read all over the world by Tamil speaking people. In 1974, he became a full time Evangelist and started the Agni Ministries. In the year 1995 God gave him a new vision to plant churches. Now he has 27 churches and pastors, four full-time Evangelists and an office with four faculties. He has sent one missionary to North India in Uttar Pradesh State in a small village by name Padampuri where there are no Christians at all. Now after two years there are eight Christians. A profile writer, Sadhu Chellappa has written more than twenty-eight books in Tamil and two in English. His most popular book ”IS CHRISTIANITY A NECESSITY?” is always in demand and will go into reprint for the fifth time. His English book BIBLE AND BAGAVAT GITA, VARANASHRA DHARMA (Caste systems) are sold like hot cakes. In 1983, Sadhu Chellappa met Dr. Billy Graham at the itinerant Evangelists conference at Amsterdam. He was then interviewed and his life story appeared in the ”Challenge” magazine published by Campus Crusade, U.S.A. A regular speaker at the Impetus conference in Colombo for the Third world Pastors and Evangelists, Sadhu is a close friend of Dr. Colton Wickramaratne, the Senior Pastor of People s Church, Colombo and his ministry has seen numerous Buddhists and Hindus saved in Srilanka. Most of the Srilankan Tamil Hindus who are scattered as refugees through out the world became Christians through Sadhu‘s ministries. Sadhu Chellappa s life story has appeared in ”The Edge” a leading British Christian magazine in its May 1996 issue. Rev. Colin Dye, the Senior Pastor of Kensington Temple, London, the largest church in England, interviews him. Sadhu Chellappa s message is ”Christ and Him crucified”. He is the only way, the truth and Life. The Vedhas, the ancient Indian sacred writings had anticipated the coming of Christ to take away the sins of man. They call Him Purusha Prajapati the creator God who would come as a man to offer himself as a sacrifice. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Vedic quest of the Indian people, because the Vedhas are incomplete without Him, just as the Old testament was fulfilled at the coming of the Messiah. Source: The Agni Ministries Website, Testimony - Sadhu Chellappa, taken from the link http://www.agniministries.org/Testimony.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSup port=1 Taken on: October 04, 2008
Srilanka » DSCN1569 (2008-11-07 09:30:21) [...] Sadhu ChellappaColton Wickramaratne, the Senior Pastor of People s Church, Colombo and his ministry has seen numerous Buddhists and Hindus saved in Srilanka. Most of the Srilankan Tamil Hindus who are scattered as refugees through out the world became & [...]

1.2.7

Sadhu Sundar Singh (2008-11-06 12:34)

Sundar was raised a member of the Sikh religion. (Sikhism is a sect within Hinduism that was founded about 1500 A.D. that teaches belief in one God and rejects the caste system and idolatry.) Prior to his conversion, Sundar attended a primary school run by the American Presbyterian Mission where the New Testament was read daily as a ”textbook.” Sundar ”refused to read the Bible at the daily lessons...To some 19

extent the teaching of the Gospel on the love of God attracted me, but I still thought it was false.” Though according to another testimony, Sundar confessed, ”Even then, I felt the Divine attractiveness and wonderful power of the Bible.” In the midst of such confusion and while only fourteen years old, his mother died, and Sundar underwent a crisis of faith. His mother was a loving saintly woman and they were very close. In his anger, Sundar burned a copy of one of the Gospels in public. ”Although I believed that I had done a very good deed by burning the Bible, I felt unhappy,” he said. Within three days Sundar Singh could bear his misery no longer. Late one night in December 1903, he rose from bed and prayed that God reveal himself to him if he really existed. Otherwise – ”I planned to throw myself in front of the train which passed by our house.” For seven hours Sundar Singh prayed. ”O God, if there is a God, reveal thyself to me tonight.” The next train was due at five o’clock in the morning. The hours passed. Suddenly the room filled with a glow. A man appeared before him. Sundar Singh heard a voice say, ”How long will you deny me? I died for you; I have given my life for you.” He saw the man’s hands, pierced by nails. Jesus was the last person Sundar was looking for. After all, Jesus was the ’foreign god’ of the Christian teachers at his school& Amazed that his vision had taken the unexpected form of Jesus, Sundar was convinced in his heart that Jesus was the true Savior, and that He was alive. Sundar fell on his knees before Him and experienced an astonishing peacefulness which he had never felt before. The vision disappeared, but peace and joy lingered within him. To meet Christ was only the beginning for Sundar Singh. He was a Sikh. Sikhs had endured terrible persecutions in their early history. As a consequence they were fiercely loyal to their faith and to each other. Conversion to Christianity was considered treachery. Now every effort was made to woo or coerce Sundar Singh back to his ancestral faith. Despite his family’s please, bribes, and threats, Sundar wanted to be baptized in the Christian faith. After his father spoke words of official rejection over him, Sundar became an outcast from his people. He cut off the hair he had worn long like every Sikh man. Against great opposition, he was baptized on his birthday in 1905, in an English church in Simla. Conventional Indian churches were willing to grant him a pulpit, but their rules were foreign to his spirit. Indeed, he felt that a key reason the gospel was not accepted in India was because it came in a garb foreign to Indians. He decided to become a sadhu, so that he could dedicate himself to the Lord Jesus. He was convinced that this was the best way to introduce the Gospel to his people since it was the only way which his people were accustomed to. As a sadhu, he wore a yellow robe, lived on the charity of others, abandoned all possession and maintained celibacy. In this lifestyle, he was free to devote himself to the Lord. Dressed in his thin yellow robe, Sundar Singh took to the road and began a life of spreading the simple message of love and peace and rebirth through Jesus. He carried no money or other possessions, only a New Testament. ”I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord,” he said, ”but like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all people of the love of God.” Sundar journeyed much. He traveled all over India and Ceylon. Between 1918-1919, he visited Malaysia, 20

Japan and China. Between 1920-1922 he went to Western Europe, Australia and Israel. He preached in many cities; Jerusalem, Lima, Berlin and Amsterdam among others. Despite his growing fame, Sundar retained a modest nature, desiring only to follow Jesus’ example: to repay evil with kindness and to win over his enemies by love. This attitude often caused his enemies to feel ashamed of themselves, and caused even his father to become a Christian later in life, and to support Sundar in ministry. He was quite independent of outward Church authority in all his religious life, thought, and work. He dropped out of a Christian seminary that he briefly attended. Neither did he attach much importance to public worship because in his experience the heart prays better in solitude than in a congregation. He was also highly displeased with what he found when he toured western nations that for centuries had the benefit of the Bible and whose central figure of worship was Jesus. Sundar proclaimed almost prophetic denunciations upon Western Christianity, and laughed at the way the West looked down upon religious men of the East as mere ”pagans” and ”heathens.” ”People call us heathens,” he said in a conversation with the Archbishop of Upsala. ”Just fancy! My mother a heathen! If she were alive now she would certainly be a Christian. But even while she followed her ancestral faith she was so religious that the term ’heathen’ makes me smile. She prayed to God, she served God, she loved God, far more warmly and deeply than many Christians.” On another occasion, Sundar said, ”I have seen many Christian women, but none of them came up to my mother.” And, conversing with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sundar said: ”If I do not see my mother in heaven, I shall ask God to send me to hell so that I may be with her.” Sundar also made plain his view that, ”There are many more people among us in India who lead a spiritual life than in the West, although they do not know or confess Christ. It is of course true that people who live in India worship idols; but here in England people worship themselves, and that is still worse. Idol-worshippers seek the truth, but people over here, so far as I can see, seek pleasure and comfort. The people of the West understand how to use electricity and how to fly in the air. The men of the East have sought the truth. Of the three Wise Men who went to Palestine to see Jesus not one was from the West.’” He travelled India and Tibet, as well as the rest of the world, with the message that the modern interpretation of Jesus was sadly watered down. Sundar visited Tibet every summer. In 1929, he visited that country again and was never seen again. Sundar’s Faith for All Mankind Few Christians know that Sundar was not afraid to raise his voice in favor of ”universalism.” He could never deny to all non-Christians the possibility of entering heaven. In 1925 Sundar wrote, ”If the Divine spark in the soul cannot be destroyed, then we need despair of no sinner... Since God created men to have fellowship with Himself, they cannot for ever be separated from Him... After long wandering, and by devious paths, sinful man will at last return to Him in whose Image he was created; for this is his final destiny.” In February, 1929, the year Sundar disappeared on his final missionary trip to Tibet, he was interviewed by several theology students in Calcutta, India, where he answered their questions: (Question #1) What did the Sadhu think should be our attitude towards non-Christian religions? The old habit of calling them ’heathen’ should go. The worst ’heathen’ were among us [Christians]... –

(Question #2) Who were right, Christian Fundamentalists or Christian Liberals? – Both were wrong. The Fundamentalists were uncharitable to those who differed from them. That is, they were unchristian. The Liberals sometimes went to the extent of denying the divinity of Christ, which they had no business to do. 21

(Question #3) Did the Sadhu think there was eternal punishment? – There was punishment, but it was not eternal...Everyone after this life would be given a fair chance of making good, and attaining to the measure of fullness the soul was capable of. This might sometimes take ages.” —This article was primarily written by Edward T. Babinski, with further editing and additions by Mercy Aiken

Additional Quotes by Sadhu Sundar Singh ”He was searching for me before I sought Him. Christ whom I had never expected came to me. I was praying, ’If there be a God, reveal Thyself’...I was praying to Hindu gods and incarnations. But when He came there was no anger in His face, even though I had burnt the Bible three days before. None of you have ever destroyed Scripture like me. He is such a wonderful, loving, living Saviour...” ”There is a great difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Him... If we only know of Jesus as a good man, a great example, it is no help to us. Those who know Him know Who He is. When we know Him everything is different and we are living in a new world – a new atmosphere. Heaven begins on earth for us. Those who know Him know that Jesus is everything to them. They can bear witness because they have been living with Him...If we live in Him He will reveal Himself to us and we shall bear witness – not for a day or a night only...” ”For the first two or three years after my conversion, I used to ask for specific things. Now I ask for God. Supposing there is a tree full of fruits – you will have to go and buy or beg the fruits from the owner of the tree. Every day you would have to go for one or two fruits. But if you can make the tree your own property, then all the fruits will be your own. In the same way, if God is your own, then all things in Heaven and on earth will be your own, because He is your Father and is everything to you; otherwise you will have to go and ask like a beggar for certain things. When they are used up, you will have to ask again. So ask not for gifts but for the Giver of Gifts: not for life but for the Giver of Life – then life and the things needed for life will be added unto you.” ”Salt, when dissolved in water, may disappear, but it does not cease to exist. We can be sure of its presence by tasting the water. Likewise, the indwelling Christ, though unseen, will be made evident to others from the love which he imparts to us.” ”From my many years experience I can unhesitatingly say that the cross bears those who bear the cross.” ”While sitting on the bank of a river one day, I picked up a solid round stone from the water and broke it open. It was perfectly dry in spite of the fact that it had been immersed in water for centuries. The same is true of many people in the Western world. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity; they live immersed in the waters of its benefits. And yet it has not penetrated their hearts; they do not love it. The fault is not in Christianity, but in men’s hearts, which have been hardened by materialism and intellectualism.” ”When Jesus entered Jerusalem the people spread their clothes in the way and strewed branches before Him in order to do Him honour. Jesus rode upon an ass, according to the word of the prophet. His feet did not touch the road which was decorated in His honour. It was the ass which trod upon the garments 22

and the branches. But the ass would have been very foolish to have been uplifted on that account; for the road really was not decked in its honour! It would be just as foolish if those who bear Christ to men were to think anything of themselves because of what men do to them for the sake of Jesus.” ”A newborn child has to cry, for only in this way will his lungs expand. A doctor once told me of a child who could not breathe when it was born. In order to make it breathe the doctor gave it a slight blow. The mother must have thought the doctor cruel. But he was really doing the kindest thing possible. As with newborn children the lungs are contracted, so are our spiritual lungs. But through suffering God strikes us in love. Then our lungs expand and we can breathe and pray.” ”Just as the salt water of the sea is drawn upwards by the hot rays of the sun, and gradually takes on the form of clouds, and, turned thus into sweet and refreshing water, falls in showers on the earth (for the sea water as it rises upwards leaves behind it its salt and bitterness), so when the thoughts and desires of the man of prayer rise aloft like misty emanations of the soul, the rays of the Sun of Righteousness purify them of all sinful taint, and his prayers become a great cloud which descends from heaven in a shower of blessing, bringing refreshment to many on the earth.” Source: From the Biography page of Tent Maker website, the link can in:http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/singh.htm Accessed on: October 4th 2008. Follow the link for the ’pdf’ version of ”Wisdom of the Sadhu, Teachings of Sundar Singh” www.plough.com/ebooks/pdfs/WisdomSadhu.pdf be accessed

Francisco (2008-11-08 00:19:22) ”A Simple and Spiritual Life is the only Life that will survive”! Such was the testimony of The Hopi people in AZ in their ”Declaration of Peace”. http://asimpleandspirituallife.blogspot.com/2008/07/hopi-declaration -of-peace.html Yet the Hopi peoples of today seem to have given up and given in to ”progress”, yet i believe there are those Hopi who yet await the coming of the One they call their ”True White Brother”. And i believe the One called The Messiah is ”The True White Brother” of the Hopi peoples and that His Life example and Teachings bore witness to The Truth of ”A Simple and Spiritual Life is the only Life that will survive”! John The Baptist had testified, ”He(The Messiah) Whom The Only True GOD(Great Spirit) has sent speaks The Words of GOD: for GOD does not give The Spirit by measure unto Him.” (John 3:34) The Messiah testified, ”I have greater witness than that of John: for The Works which The Father(Great Spirit, GOD,Creator ) has given me to finish, are the same Works that I do, and they bear witness ” of Me, that The Father has sent Me.” (John 5:36) The Messiah also testified, ”I have not spoken of Myself; but The Father WHO sent Me, HE gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and how I should speak.” (John 12:49)” And The Messiah, the spokesman for ”Our Father(Great Spirit, GOD, Creator )” bore witness to ”A Simple and Spiritual ” Life” and revealed that a man’s sufficiency is of Creation, of The Creator! ”Do not lay up treasures for yourselves upon earth, for that is what moth and rust can corrupt, and where thieves can break through and steal: But lay up treasures for yourselves in Heaven, where neither moth or rust can corrupt, and where thieves can not break through and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye is single, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye is evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You can not serve both The Only True GOD and money. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not The Life more than meat, and the body than clothes? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why do you take thought for clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these flowers. Wherefore,

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if The Only True GOD so clothes the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall HE not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, how shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the worldly seek) For your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of GOD, and HIS righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Every day has evils enough of it’s own.” (Matthew 6:19-34) Simply, sad for all those who believe in ”self-sufficiency” ;-( Yet, i believe that is just a term that has been used in ignorance by many who in Truth are living The Life that bears witness to Creation sufficiency. Now The Only True GOD, Father(Creator) of ALL, HE promised to ”fulfill all the needs of HIS Children richly, through HIS Son The Messiah”! The Life is sustained by Our Father(Creator), in Creation as we now experience it, through The Spirit. Simply, Creation is sufficient! Once again, The Messiah testified, ”I have not spoken of Myself; but The Father(Great Spirit, GOD, Creator ) WHO sent Me, ” HE gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and how I should speak.” (John 12:49)” ”Don’t you believe that I am in The Father, and The Father in Me? The Words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but The Father WHO dwells in Me, HE does The Works.” (John 14:10) ”He that loves Me not, does not keep My sayings: and The Word which you hear is not Mine, but The Father’s, HE WHO sent Me.” (John 14:24)” I have manifested YOUR Name unto the men WHO YOU gave Me out of the world: YOUR’s they were, and YOU gave them to Me; and they have kept YOUR Word.” (John 17:6)” Then answered The Messiah and said unto them, Truly, Truly, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but that which He has seen The Father do: for whatever things The Father does, those things The Son also does.” (John 5:19)” I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but The Will of The Father WHO has sent Me.” (John 5:30) And The Testimonies bear witness to The Messiah being ”a servant” of ”The ONLY TRUE GOD”. (Isaiah 42:1) Hope is, there will be those reading this who will no longer deny and defy their Creator(Father), for The Creator, The Only True GOD(Great Spirit) and Father of All, HE knows what is best for HIS Creation. So There Is Hope! For Miracles do happen! Hope is there may be those who experience The Miracle that is ”receiving a love of The Truth”, for they will ”Come Out” from among those who are destroying and perverting Creation(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures, Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Faith, Miracles, .etc.) Those who ”Come Out” will desire but ”A Simple and Spiritual Life”, and they no longer will be of those The Creator is going to ”destroy because they are destroying the earth(HIS Creation)”. (Revelations 11:18c) And they will have Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this wicked world and it’s systems of religion, for ”The WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one”(1John5:19) indeed and Truth...... Truth is never ending....... (thedestructionoftheearth.wordpress.com)

1.2.8

Pandita Ramabai (2008-11-06 12:35)

Introduction Among great social reformers in India, one cannot easily forget the name of Pandita Ramabai, whose immense contributions in the field of education and emancipation of women played a pivotal role in reforming India. Born to a very rich orthodox Hindu family on 23rd April 1858, in Karnataka, Ramabai, became a household name, whose transformation through Christ and life changing testimony, for decades have been motivating and encouraging people. To the astonishment of Hindu pundits, at the age of twelve, she had committed to memorise eighteen thousand sacred verses from the Hindu Puranas, and gained exceptional knowledge in Sanskrit (sacred language of Hinduism), which eventually gave her the title ”Pandita” which means ’mistress of wisdom’. Inspired by God, whom she found in Jesus Christ after trying all the religions at her disposal, she 24

founded the Mukti Mission on March 11th 1889. With motherly love she cared for a family that grew to 2000 girls, thousand unfortunate ill treated child widows and destitute orphans. The mission is still active providing housing, education, vocational training and medical services for the widows, orphans and the handicapped. A pioneer educationalist in India, Ramabai, was of the elite group who first introduced methods of kindergarten training as well as illustrated books and pictures for village primary schools. She also opened primary and secondary schools exclusively for girls and village children in her Mukti Home. More to enumerate, the saint like Ramabai who was also a poet and a leading advocate for the rights and welfare of women in the country, became the first to introduce Braille for blind girls, subsequently opening a Blind school in Mukti. She was also the first in India to introduce the idea that Hindi should be the national language and Devnagiri be made the national script. She even became the first woman translator, not only in India, but probably the whole world, accomplishing the task of translating the whole Bible into Marathi, her mother tongue (from the original Hebrew and Greek). However, one must intently note the environs and the kind of life women led in India, a century back, when they had no voice in the society nor family, and led a very demeaning life. It was the audacious lectures of the vivid Ramabai, which resuscitated the people, even impressing the famous Empress Queen Victoria. Eventually, she became the first Indian to introduce industries for women, and help them be independent and self reliant. While the contributions of this great woman patriot are measureless, one must seriously ponder the inspiration of her life. The light, which emanated from Christ the true savior of the world, a real guru, the greatest pundit the world ever saw, who changed her life and used her to change the life of countless people. In him she found the Moksha (salvation), Svarga (heaven) and Dharma (higher truth).

Meeting Christ Her father, Anant Shastri Dongre, a learned Brahmin, fearing wrath of local Hindus for his audacity to teach his wife and children the sacred Hindu scriptures and Sanskrit, which was only meant for the high caste, forced him to start his own independent life in the forests. ”He could not see why women and people of low caste, could not learn to read and write the Sanskrit language and learn sacred literatures other than the Vedas,” explains Ramabai, in her testimony. ”Ever since I remember anything, my father and mother were always traveling from one sacred place to another, staying in each place for several months, bathing in the sacred river or tank, visiting temples, 25

worshipping household gods and the images of gods in the temples, and reading Puranas in holy places.” Further about her difficult stages in life, she writes, ”We could not do menial work, nor could we beg. Our parents had unbounded faith what the sacred books said. They encouraged us to look to the gods to get our support. Eventually, my father, mother and sister, all died of starvation, except me and my brother.” ”I cannot describe all sufferings of that terrible time. My brother and me continued following the sacred Hindu scriptures, worshipping the idols and gods and goddesses, fulfilled all the conditions laid down in the sacred books, but the gods were not pleased with us. After years of fruitless service, we began to lose faith in them and in the books which prescribed this course. We wandered from place to place, worshipping gods, trees, animals, Brahmins and fasting and performing penances. We even walked four thousand miles on foot without any sort of comfort,” writes Ramabai. Her travels in India and her perplexing circumstances sensitized her to the bleak plight of widows and orphans. The Child marriage a practice among higher castes of betrothing young girls to much older men, caste system, protection of women, child labor, lack of education and need of vocational training institutes, led Ramabai on a mission to end the social problems of the society. After many tumultuous stages in her life, writes Ramabai, she came across the English missionaries, who ”gave us a copy of the Holy Bible in Sanskrit, treated us kindly and even requested us to partake in their refreshments. ”Having lost all faith in my former religion, and with my heart hungering after something better, I eagerly learnt everything I could about the Christian religion, and declared my intention to become a Christian.” One of the greatest moments in Ramabai s life came, when she was given a scholarship to study medicine in England; when she arrived there, she found that her hearing was defective and so she could not participate in lectures. While in England, she wrote the feminist classic ”The High Caste Hindu Woman,” a scathing attack on traditional practices including widowhood, polygamy and child marriage. The book was translated into English and was widely read in England and America. She further writes, how in England, she was deeply moved by the life of Christians, their service to the poor and suffering. ”They were all so filled with the love of Christ, compassion for suffering humanity. They had given their life for the service of the sick and infirm. I had never heard or seen anything of the kind done for this class of women by Hindus in my country. I never heard of them speak so kindly to the poor and needy. They never wished to turn from their evil path. ”Although I had found the Christian religion, sadly I had not found Christ, who is the life of the religion and the Light of every man that cometh into the world. I had failed to understand that we belong to God in Christ Jesus. I had failed to see the need of placing my implicit faith in Christ and His atonement in order to become a child of God by being born again of the Holy Spirit, and justified by faith in the Son of God. I realised that I was not prepared to meet God, and that sin had dominion over me.” ”I had at last come to an end of myself, and unconditionally surrendered myself to the Savior; and 26

asked him to be merciful to me, and to become my Righteousness and Redemption, and to cleanse me from my sin. Although it is impossible for me to tell all that God has done for me, I must yet praise him and thank him for his loving kindness to me, the greatest of sinners. I was just like the blind man in the book of St John, who for forty years was blind and then suddenly found the Mighty One, who could give him the eyesight. I was like the man who was told, ”In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.... And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, praising God.” ”How very different the truth of God was from the false idea that I had entertained from my childhood, that I must have merit to earn present or future happiness, the pleasure of Svarga (heaven), or face the inconceivable loss of Moksha or liberation. Yes, just like 1 John 4:9 10 says, God has sent his son and redeemed us all. No caste, no sex, no work and no man was to be depended upon to get salvation, this everlasting life, which God gave freely.” ”I experimented in the religion which I was born. I did not leave a stone unturned, as it were, as far as I knew, not only the in the books, even practicing what the books prescribed. The conclusion is that, everything is empty without Christ. I had to give up all pride of our ancestral religion being old and superior, which is preventing my country people from finding Christ, in whom is the joy of salvation. I questioned in my mind over and over why missionaries did not come forward to found faith missions in my country. The Lord then told me, ”Why don t you begin to do this yourself, instead of wishing others to do.” ”At the end of 1892, a great famine came on this country and I was led by the Lord to start a new work. To care for the troubled and feed the poor. We had nothing to fear, to lose or to regret, because the Lord is our Inexhaustible treasure.” Pandita Ramabai also traveled the United States, China and several other countries, sharing the good news and her testimony to the people. She later started the Mukti mission. Mukti in Marathi means ’Salvation’. The schools, orphanages, and her active participation in the freedom movements, played a really important role in the Indian reformation. The press at Ramabai’s death on April 5, 1922 said, ”It is a national loss.” ”A brave champion of the reform and education of women and a herald of happiness for thousands in distress, to whom she brought love and hope, was mourned by multitudes.” The intention of Mukti mission was that women should be accepted, nurtured, loved, trained, and equipped to take their place in Indian society. It was a place of empowerment and transformation a model Christian community following the teaching of Jesus. Having already tasted the wonderful life and truth of God through the scriptures, Ramabai for sure knew, the importance of translating the Bible into her mother tongue. She was ready to devote 12 years of her life to translate the Bible into Marathi. And former ”Mukti members” would take the message of Christ to every part of Maharashtra. In 1919, the king of England conferred on her the Kaiser i Hind award; one of the highest awards an Indian could receive during the period of the British Raj. Her contributions as a builder of modern India were recognized by the Government of India who is27

sued a commemorative postal stamp on 26th October 1989 in honor of her. Source: Life of Pandita Ramabai: Jesus was her guru, Dibin Samuel, from the website of Chritianity today (India) through the link:http://in.christiantoday.com/articledir/print.htm?id=2681 accessed on October 06th 2008.
Free Religion News and Blogs » Pandita Ramabai (2008-11-06 14:36:15) [...] Pandita Ramabai By colorfulshadows She even became the first woman translator, not only in India, but probably the whole world, accomplishing the task of translating the whole Bible into Marathi, her mother tongue (from the original Hebrew and Greek). & Conversions in India - Testimonies - http://conversionsinindia.wordpress.com/ [...]

1.2.9

Paul Biswas (2008-11-06 12:38)

Paul Biswas for Christ... Born a Hindu... In an Islamic Nation... KARMA VERSUS GRACE ”Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me” (Psalm 66:16). I was born in a Hindu higher Caste, Kshatriya (the warrior and the upper middle class involved in the politics and government) family in the Southern part of present Bangladesh in 1952. But, I was born again in 1973. This is my story which I want to share with you. My family was very Orthodox and from my boyhood I was strictly instructed to keep my family tradition and social status. While I was in the elementary school, I was instructed by my grandfather to follow my daily religious duty. Since then, I began to read the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita and all other Hindu Scriptures under the mentorship of my grandfather. I came to know that man’s salvation depends upon KARMA (cause and effect, deed or action). Salvation is to be earned by doing good works. As nobody can do perfect works in his/her one birth, eventually everybody has to go through Samsara (the binding cycle of births). It’s like being given a penalty. Ultimately one day human souls will be merged into Brahman (god the creator) which they call MOKSHA (Salvation). In the process of cyclic rebirth there is no guarantee of becoming human flesh every time. There is a possibility of becoming birds or any kind of animal. It depends upon one’s Karma. A fear grew up in my mind that in this process of cyclic rebirth I might become some kind of animal in my next birth. I had a question in my heart: after how many reincarnations would I be saved? I asked my grandfather and other Hindu scholars but nobody could give me a satisfactory answer. I began to ask myself the question: even prisoners know about their time of imprisonment. But, the number of times I would have to go through cyclic rebirth was quite uncertain to me. Almost every year I used to visit the famous Hindu Shrines in different parts of India with my grandparents. Wherever I went, I talked to many Hindu Scholars about the cyclic rebirth and about the assurance of time for salvation (moksha). I had no problem going through cyclic rebirth, but I wanted to have assurance that after how many times of rebirth my soul would be merged into Brahma (god the creator). 28

Until today, the Caste system is strictly practiced in my family. I grew up within this system. Day by day I used to see the practice in my family that the lower caste people in my own Hindu society could not enter into the inner court of our house. They had their separate meeting place and they were treated as untouchable. It made me sad. But I had no way to protest against this. I came to know from my grandfather that I was destined to be born in a higher caste and the whole system was divinely instituted. I began to question in my mind that if Brahman was the creator of all human beings, then what kind of creator was he that he made this kind of discrimination. Though I was born in a higher caste Hindu family which is next to the Brahmin (the priestly class), it was hard for me to adjust to this cruel system. I used to have good conversation with my grandfather about different religions and their world view. One day I asked him about Christianity. But, he gave me a strange definition that I will never forget. According to him the Christians are more unclean people because they eat both pork and beef. His definition was mainly based on dietary restrictions. Christianity is a foreign religion of untouchable people. They are even considered more untouchable than the lower-caste Hindu people. In the year 1971, during our liberation war, I went to India with my family as a refugee. We were at the refugee camp. Day after day I used to see the Christians from different charity organizations serving the destitute people in the refugee camp. I was very much impressed by their dedication, their love for the people. I befriended some of them. One day one of the members of the Christian Medical team told me that because they were saved by the grace of God that’s why they were doing good works. They were doing good works not to earn salvation. Their God is the God of love and His love was manifested in the person of Jesus. The man further added that Jesus said, ”Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” and this teaching of Jesus had led them to serve all mankind, no matter what caste or religion. This idea changed my total understanding about God and His personality. After we were liberated, in January 1972, we all came back to my country. We lost much of our property and many of us Bangladeshis lost our lives. It was a great genocide. One day I was wandering on the road in my hometown. Suddenly I came across a name plate and on that name plate it was written, ”World Missionary Evangelism.” With great curiosity I went inside and finally I was able to meet with the director of the organization. The man hugged me and his word was very attractive to me, ”God loves you and I love you”. I had a nice conversation with him and during our conversation sometimes we had arguments. But the man was so patient with me and tried his best to answer my questions. I had several sessions with him and finally he shared with me about Jesus. It was the first time I heard about Christ and the man added that it was not Christianity but Christ could answer my Questions. He gave me a copy of the New Testament (Gedeon translation in Bengali) and suggested to read it very carefully at least for fifty times. With great interest I began to read the New Testament. I had to hide the New Testament under my pillows and even during the dead of night I used to read it. It was a quite small size book to me compared to all the sacred books of my Hindu religion. Within two months I could finish it, but I was advised to read the whole book at least fifty times. But after reading twenty times my eyes were open. One day I was reading the book of Romans and it was Romans 6:23 that spoke to my heart. ”For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”From this particular verse I came to know that the eternal life is a free gift. It was not necessary for me to do any hard work. Simply, I had to receive the gift. It was the turning point of my life. As a Hindu, to me eternal life was to merge into Brahman and I had to earn it through cyclic rebirth which is a long process and waiting many years. The Bengali Bible answered my question: ”... now is the day of Salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). I was looking for that answer. I read again the gospel of John and I came to 29

the conclusion that the incarnation of God in the person of Jesus Christ was absolutely perfect and Jesus paid the penalty of my sin through His atoning death on the cross. Soon I discovered that I was a sinner and my good works could not wash me clean. I was convinced that I myself could not pay the penalty of my sin through my good Karma no matter how many times I would be reincarnated. Jesus did on behalf of me once for all. Doing good works could not give me any certainty. I repented for my sin and surrendered myself to Jesus. It was July 20, 1973 I received Jesus as my Lord and savior. It was the most joyful day in my life. I became like a new born baby. I was saved by grace not by Karma. My Spiritual Journey: I got real joy and peace in my heart because Jesus gave me a full guarantee of eternal life. My fear was gone. After one month I began to share this new experience with my family members. At first they thought that I was crazy. I was so overwhelmed with God’s grace. But as I shared about Jesus and challenged them with all His promises, they discovered that I had become a Christian. Soon I was summoned by my father but I boldly answered all of his questions. He warned me the cost of becoming a Christian, but I was ready for that. I was the eldest among my brothers and sisters. For the next few months I had to go through persecution-even sometimes physical torture-and finally my father disowned me and kicked me out of the house. It was the hardest part of my life. No Christian dared to give me shelter. I was even denied baptism many times by the pastor of the Baptist Church in my hometown because he was scared of my father, who held great influence in our town. Finally I was able to be baptized and openly declare my faith in Jesus Christ. Almost five years I continuously received all kinds of threats from my family members. My father became more furious when I officially changed my family name. Before becoming a Christian my family name was Vishnu (preserver), who is one of the thre major gods of Hindu pantheon. My family was proud of having such a great surname after this god Vishnu. There are two reasons I changed my family name from Vishnu to Biswas. First, according to the Hindu scriptures, Vishnu had nine incarnations (avatars) in the past, but people are still waiting for one more incarnation or avatar. I had a question in my mind that if these nine incarnations of Vishnu would be perfect then why people are still waiting for another avatar (incarnation). Through my study of the Hindu scriptures, none of these incarnations could claim to be perfect, fully God and fully man. I was convinced through the reading of the Gospel of John that incarnation of God in Jesus Christ was perfect. Secondly, the Bible says, ”for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8). So, I changed my family name officially from Vishnu to Biswas. In my Bengali language Biswas means Faith. After that my father officially disowned me and kicked out me from his house. Within a month I was baptized at a local Baptist Church altough the Pastor of the Church denied many times to baptize me because he was scared of my father’s influence in the town. Finally I was baptized. Following six years I had to go through hardship which I was not used to. Many times my life was in danger because there was continuous threat from my family. My Hindu friends used to mock at me. But, my Lord Jesus protected me every time, making me lie down in green pastures. After eight years my father came to me while I was pastoring a local Baptist Church in my home town and we were reconciled. Since then I have been allowed to go to my father’s house to visit my mom, brothers and sisters. But during every visit I did not receive any good treatment. My mother even could not hug me because to them I was an outcast. To this day my whole family is in darkness. They are trying their best to do good Karma without having any guarantee of their day of salvation. I was saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ not by my good works. For the last thirty three years I have been sharing this story with others who don’t know about this saving Grace of God and I will 30

continue to do that until the end of my life. It is my prayer for those who are trying their best to achieve salvation through their good KARMA that they will know about the saving GRACE OF GOD. My Call to the Ministry: I received God’s call to serve Him in full time while I was at the Bible College in 1776. While reading the book of Isaiah, God spoke to my heart through His word Isaiah 6: 8, ”Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? And I said, here am I; send me!” I felt the genuine call of the Lord and I committed my life to be His humble servant. I did not know where to go. But the Lord was preparing the situation for me. After completion of two years at Bible College the Lord told me to go to my home town which I did not expect. I was planning to go to another place. I joined the Baptist Church in my home town where I was baptized and started to assist the pastor. I found my wife Elizabeth in that Church and we were married in 1974. After couple of months I got an invitation from our Baptist Association to join as an outreach worker and Church planter. After three years I was called by my local Church again to be their pastor. I was so excited to be in my home town because I would have more opportunity to share the Gospel and my experience with the Lord with my own people. That was the begining of my journey in the ministry of the Lord. I was ordained in 1977 by the local Church and the Association. Since then I am in the ministry and have been trying to serve the Lord faithfully. In 1982 I went to Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary together with my wife and two kids to do my further Theological study. I completed M.DIV and returned back to my country in 1986. In 1991, I started the indigenous mission work and Cell Church movement in Bangladesh by founding Gospel Outreach Fellowship to reach out many unreached people groups among tribes in south eastern part of Bangladesh. We were able to plant 13 Churches among Khyang and Khumi tribes and trained people among them who are carrying out the ministry now in their own areas. After serving the Lord in my country for more than 24 years as a pastor, evangelist, church planter, Bible college teacher, writer and translator I came to USA in 2001 to do my post graduation study (Th.M) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. While at Gordon-Conwell, God showed me a vision to reach out my own Bengali ethnic group from South Asia who are the most unreached people group here in USA. It took nine months for me to respond God’s call. Finally I was convinced and started the outreach, Church planting work with the support of Greater Boston Baptist Association and my local Church Cambridgeport Baptist Church in 2003. Since then my wife and I have been trying to reach out Bengali Muslims and Hindus in Greater Boston area. More than six thousand Bengalis are living in this area and there was no church. By God’s grace we were able to plant the first Bengali Church in New England which is the second Southern Baptist Church in USA and I am pastoring Boston Bangla Church (BBC). Source:”Testimony of Former Hindu”, from the website of ”Baptist Convention of New England” Accessed from the link: http://www.bcne.net/evangelism/inter-faith-evangelism/testimony-of-f ormerhindu-323.html Accessed on October 4th 2008

Religion God HINDUISM (2008-11-08 18:36:30) My colleague Paul always travels with a bunch of arrowheads. [1]Religion God HINDUISM
1. http://bible.postedpost.com/2008/11/02/religion-god-hinduism/

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1.2.10

Raman Kutty (2008-11-06 12:39)

A young man who was born in not so known a village as an ordinary person from an ordinary background, when dedicated himself in the Godly things, was a memorable incident. In the path of faith and God s grace, God raised Paul as the founder of Ceylon Pentecostal Mission, whose name was Ramankutty as a teenager. Ramankutty was born in the village of Engaddiyoor in the District of Thrissur, in a Hindu family. The wish of the parents was to make him a Priest, just like his grandfather. As his parents were poor, they could give education only upto the 3 rd standard, even though they wished to give him higher education. In the teens, the boy had to earn a livelihood. During those days, so many people used to go to Ceylon for work. He also tried to get a job like that at the age of fourteen. Asrappa, who was a rich Christian Doctor in Colombo, gave him a job. He was a Godly man who converted from Hindu religion and became a member of the C.M.S. church. He considered Ramankutty as his own son and let him to stay at his residence. So Ramankutty could learn much about Christian religion. The wife of Asrappa taught him Christian doctrines even though he hesitated to become a Christian. He rejected the gift , Bible, given by the Doctor one day. Still, they treated him with love. At the age of 18, Jesus gave him vision. So, henceforth, he meditated on Christ in his heart, secretly. Asrappa and his wife made him more enthusiastic. At the age of 26, he again saw visions of Lord. Lord spoke to him: If you are shy about me, I will also be shy about you, when I come as a King . He could not withstand this divine voice; real repentance came to him. He started to proclaim publicly that he has been saved through the faith in Christ. Asrappa and family were so happy with such a development. Very soon, Ramankutty became Paul after he took the Baptism of Knowledge by a Priest of the CMS church. Ramankutty who came to SriLanka for livelihood, became very happy in the new life. When he remembered the Grace of God, he found enjoyment in testifying Lord. The parents commissioned few people to bring back Paul to their home, when they came to know the news that he converted to Christianity. When he reached his native place by train, it was too late. He reached tat Kuruvilla Asan’ s house who was a Godly man, after walking past unfamiliar roads. The head of the house was not bold enough to receive him, when he informed him the purpose of the visit. When he returned with upset mind, he heard the sound of God, saying that , this is the house you have to stay tonight. Motivated by the Holy Spirit, he again reached the house and the head of the house permitted him to stay there. In the morning, he quit the house and when he reached his own house, he did not get a warm welcome. Even though the family members objected, he attended the worship at Salvation Army Church. Paul’s father, who was a fanatic, tried to kill him thrice. But, each time, God miraculously saved him. One night Paul quit the house, when he understood that his father wanted to kill him. First he reached at the house of Kuruvilla Asan’s house, and then at the house of Asrappa in Sri Lanka. Paul told Asrappa that he wanted to become a Priest. So Asrappa sent him to the CMS Theological Seminary and his friends called him Palupadesy , after they saw the spiritual pungency and the quality of his behaviour. After successfully finishing his studies, he was appointed as an Evangelist of the Malayalam Mission at Colombo. In the meantime, Evangelist Paul married a girl, who belonged to an ancient Christian family. The marriage took place at Kuruvilla Ashan’s house. His wife was very co-operative and helpful in the field of Gospel work. God gave them five children afterwards. He was disgusted by the spirituality which prevailed in the CMS church, where he was also a member. He was dissatisfied in his own spiritual work and he started thinking deeply about his weaknesses in his life. At last, he decided to stop his work and he informed the same to his classmate, P.I.Jacob, who was the Pastor in a Baptist Church. 32

The close relationship he had with Jacob helped him to understand about other doctrines in the Bible and also about the anointment of the Holy Spirit. During that time in Chennai, Jacob introduced him to certain Missionaries in the Pentecostal Church and he could attend their meetings. Evangelist Paul also showed much spirit to receive such experience. Missionaries came to Colombo as per the invitation given by Mr. Jacob and Evangelist Paul attended their meetings and studied more doctrinal truths. Soon he took baptism and was strengthened in the Holy Spirit. When he was filled with God’ s strength, he was enlightened. It was in the year 1921. After that, so many great revelations were given to him by God and his ego was tempered. The ardent attachment to and zeal for wordly things were lost. He decided to be a living sacrifice for Christ and was prepared for that. Approximately only for 3 years he continued as a worker in the CMS church after he had been anointed in the Holy Spirit. The members in the church who loved him became very sad when he bid farewell and departed. He decided to live only by faith and not getting a permanent income or salary. He and his family had to suffer financially, when he commenced the life of faith. Several times, the children had to face severe starvation. He conducted worship meetings and fellowship meetings in a house at Borells on rent at seven rupees per month. Afterwards he got a better house for forty rupees per month on rent. So many brothers and sisters joined him after they were induced and enticed by the life of faith of Paul. Like that, Paul’s spiritual family started to grow. Hence he was compelled to move to a house which costs Rs. 160/- per month. From hence, his house has been called Faith Home . It was the commencement of the movement of Ceylon Pentecostal Mission . The principle was to ask God for every need and receive it. To see that all human beings are without blame in Christ were the building houses of Faith Home, as per the word of God. The Ceylon Pentecostal Mission really commenced from this Faith Home which have the base of deep dedication. In the year 1924, the fellowship of Paul came to be known as the Ceylon Pentecostal Mission. From the beginning onwards, the church took care to coax the life-style and in the dress code. The life-style of that man of God was to do every thing as per the will of God. He took care of those things in preaching, prayer and in conducting meetings . He did the commanded work of the Lord after following the footsteps of the First Apostles in the first centuries. Starvation and afflictions were part and parcel of his life. Still, he strengthened the churches in Ceylon and in other countries by faith , in spite of all such obstacles. In India, the church had an auspicious commencement of their spiritual work, when Pastor Paul visited Travancore, and conducted vigilant meetings at Thiruvanathapuram and places like Quilon. The first Faith Home in India had commenced its work at Thoothukkudy in the year 1923. In the year 1963, the church was registered in Chennai, in the name, Ceylon Pentacostal Mission . The Authorities are renewing the registration in the same name. which was registered in the year 1963. The church is still continuing in the same name and in the doctrine and faith which Pastor Paul has fixed. Pastor Paul’s body became weak because of the continuous travel and restless administrations. After a meeting in Chennai, he was afflicted of body weaknesses, and spent the last moments with God. In 1945, July 4, he died and joined in his expected pivotal house. ie; Zion. After that, the church was led by his elder son Pastor Freddy Paul and then Pastor. A.C.Thomas became the leader and led the church to glory. After the demise of the Holy Apostles, it was administered by a leading committee, who had no divine vision and had no direction from God and the human plans were implemented by a group of advocates, and I.A.S. officers. The new leaders are continuing in the name as T.P.M., as per the Company’ s Act, who destroyed the revelation given by God to Pastor Paul, Pastor Freddy and Pastor A.C.Thomas. Pastor Jacob Ratna Singh, Pastor T.U.Thomas, Pastor C.K.Lassarus, Pastor T.U.Thomas, all led a life which was against the will of God and died. Now, Mr.Wilson, who is in Malaysia, a member of the T.P.M., is leading the church as per the Company’s Act. Vesly, who is from Kayamkulam and Mr. Joy Pich in Sri Lanka are now acting behind the scene. The Holy Spirit was brooding and hatching on the church to lead the church to the experience the church enjoyed in the beginning periods after Pastor A.C.Thomas. Because of that, certain developments took place in the year 1984 and now this church is working in Kerala, in different states of 33

India, in foreign countries, which is in parallel to the doctrines and visions of the church and in the name of Ceylon Pentacostal Mission. The main responsibility lies in Pastor Chandy. The work, faith, holiness and doctrines which God has started, will abide till the second coming of Christ. Source: History of Ceylon Pentecostal Mission, from the website: http://ceylonpentecostalmission.org/default.asp, Accessed from the link:http://ceylonpentecostalmission.org/history.htm Accessed on 6th November 2008
Ram (2008-12-04 15:31:47) Praise God!!! That’s really great testimony for the living god.

1.2.11

Hema John (2008-11-08 13:20)

[youtube=http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=zAWkFLQbWCg]

1.2.12

A V M Rajan (2008-11-08 13:23)

[youtube=http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=dcAnoFKgbsQ]

1.2.13

Shekar (2008-11-08 13:26)

[youtube=http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=UbToQCbZOOo]

1.2.14

Anil Kant (2008-11-08 13:26)

[youtube=http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=JwHgI4OUqMI]

1.2.15

Sungeeta Jain (2008-11-10 12:18)

I would like to share with you about three life-changing events. The Accident - sungeetajainThe first event happened when I was ten years old. One moment I was sleeping in the back seat of my parents’ car with no worries in the world, and the next moment there were ambulances all around, and doctors telling my parents I would never walk again. Before the accident, I was a normal ten-year-old girl. I could walk and run and jump and dance. But, after the accident I found myself confined to a wheelchair, unable to move or feel my legs. I spiraled into depression. Everywhere I went, people stared at me and felt sorry for me. I felt sorry for myself. At the age of ten, I felt like my life was over. My dreams would never come true. I would be an invalid for the rest of my life. 34

The Pageant - Now, I am going to skip over the second life-changing event for a few moments and share with you about the third life-changing event. The third event happened when I was in the twelfth grade. I was invited to participate in the Miss Teen of Washington Pageant (a beauty pageant for the state I live, it is like the qualifying pageants for Miss India or Miss Universe, but it is for teenagers). My first reaction was that that there was no way I could enter this competition. I had never heard of a girl in a wheelchair entering a beauty pageant, let alone seen a beauty queen in a wheelchair. But my parents encouraged me to pray and seek God’s will. So we prayed and God told me to enter the competition. God also told me that if He has given me a talent, then I should use the talent, and when people say job well done, I should give Him the glory. God also told me to thank Him in all things, good or bad, because He is in control and can turn any situation around. With this guidance, I entered the competition. From the first moment, everything seemed to be going wrong. When I arrived at the venue for the competition, which was almost 2 hours away from my home, I remembered that I had forgotten some of my important paperwork at home. That evening I arrived at the competition around 6:00 PM and assumed they would provide dinner, but they did not. I went to bed hungry. That night, I could not sleep; I was too scared, nervous and excited. The next morning, I was up and ready, way before the wake-up call ever came, waiting for my breakfast. It was supposed to be delivered to our room. But, as luck would have it, my room was conveniently forgotten! The competition began and it was time for the Interview, which was worth 25 % of the final score. In the interview, we went before a panel of three judges who could ask us any questions for five minutes. The interview started off okay as I shook the three judge’s hands, and we exchanged greetings. We conversed for a bit, then one of the judges asked me, ”you are in a wheelchair, why are you here?” Upon hearing this question, I began to cry. Not only was I nervous, hungry, and sleepy, but it was a difficult question for me. I did not know why I was there. There were about 30 girls in the competition and I was the only one in a wheelchair. I was not like the other girls. Perhaps the judge was subtly telling me that I did not belong. Still, the interview continued, and through my sobs and with tears rolling down my cheeks, I continued to answer questions. Just as I stopped crying, time was called, and I had to leave. I went up to my room and phoned my mom. I had never thought that I would win the competition. My goal had been to be in the top eight. Now that I had cried during the interview that was worth 25 % of the final score, there was no chance that I would meet my goal. As I told Mom what had happened, she simply reminded me that God had said to thank Him in all things even if they didn’t appear to be ”good.” In obedience, a weak, ”Thank You Jesus,” proceeded from my lips. The next day the final pageant began on stage. They began to announce the top eight. Each time a name was announced, my heart fell. Even though I knew I would not be called as a finalist because I had cried during my interview, I still wished that I would. By the time the seventh finalist was announced, I had pretty much given up. I looked around me and picked the prettiest girl, expecting that her name would be called next. To my surprise, I heard my name. I began to praise the Lord. That night continued like a dream. From the top eight, I made it to the top four. I could feel God helping me every step of the way. He was telling me what to say. He was guiding me on what to do. Soon it was time to announce the runners-up and the new Miss Teen of Washington. They began with the Third and Second Runner-ups. I was sure that I would be one of them, but each time, a different name was announced. Finally, only another girl and I were left on stage. I looked at her and she was tall and thin and experienced with pageants. So, I prepared myself to be second place. 35

The first Runner-up was announced, and when I didn’t hear my name, I just burst into tears. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever thought that I would be the new Miss Teen of Washington and the first person in a wheelchair to ever win a pageant against other able-bodied girls. This is not my victory a lone, but also my Heavenly Father s. The first question I asked the judges was, How could I make it even to the top eight when I cried during the interview? I was told that I had received the highest score in the interview portion. The judges told me that I was a teenager and they had asked a difficult question. The fact that I hadn’t just run out of the interview in tears, but had stayed to answer every question showed strength and courage. Like the Lord had said, ”Thank Me in all things and I can turn any situation around.” He turned the hearts of the judges around. The Transformation - Now, you may wonder how I went from being this depressed ten year old who felt like her life was over, to having the strength and courage to try out for the Miss Teen of Washington Pageant. The answer is the second life-changing event, when my family and I came to know Jesus. I am from a Jain family. We were a very religious family, especially after the car accident. After the accident, people sent my parents prayers from all over the world saying, ”If you say this prayer this number of times every day, your daughter will be healed.” My mom was praying from morning to night to all of the different gods and goddesses, in hopes that I would be healed. But nothing happened. Mom had a constant headache. She was always tense; trying to ensure that she did not forget to repeat any of the prayers people had sent her. My parents spent thousands of dollars giving offerings to religious teachers who would say ”If you give us this much money, we will perform a ritual and your daughter will be healed on such-and-such date.” But, the dates came and went and there was no miracle. There was only tension, sorrow and discord in my family. Then we met a Christian man who began coming to our house to pray for my healing. As he read to me from the Bible and began to tell me about Jesus, I was confused. I had always thought that God was angry with me and that is why I was in this wheelchair. I believed I was being punished for my bad karma or sins. But this man was telling me Jesus was not like that. Jesus came to forgive us for our sins, not to punish us for them. He told me that Jesus loves me. He loves me so much that He died for me. I don’t know when or how, but I started to believe in this Jesus, this God of love and forgiveness. The man then introduced us to a Christian family that began inviting us to church. Without fail, they would invite us to attend church with them every Sunday and Wednesday. My parents were not interested in going to church. However, they decided that the only way to stop the family’s constant calls was to go to church and then to tell them, We did not like it, so we are not coming back again. One night, my Mom, Dad and I went to church. My parents prayed a silent prayer in their hearts, ”Jesus if you are real, show us something today, otherwise we are not coming back.” I prayed, ”Jesus, I know you are real, show my parents something tonight or else I know they will never come back again.” After the service, we were invited to go to the front of the church for prayer. The ladies gathered around me and started to pray with me, telling me to say ”I need you Jesus. I love you Jesus.” But, as I was trying to pray, all of the sudden, I found I couldn’t speak. Soon someone said I was being filled with the Holy Spirit. My parents did not know what this Holy Spirit was, but figured since it was ”Holy,” it must be ok. A little while later, however, someone said this was not the Holy Spirit, but a bad spirit and they would have to cast it out. They said the whole church would fast and pray and to come back on Sunday and the spirit would be cast out. 36

We began attending every church service. The people would pray for me, but nothing would happen. They were unable to cast out the bad spirit. The fourth time we went to church, Mom was feeling frustrated and angry. She felt like we were stuck. Because there was this bad spirit we had to come to this church, but the church members were unable to do anything. That night Mom refused to go forward at the end of the service or pray as she was being told to. Up until that day Mom had never prayed to Jesus. Even in church she had just said her own prayers. But that night, Mom does not know why, but she joined her hands together, knelt at her seat and said ”Jesus I need you.” As soon as she did this she felt a feeling that she describes as melted butter going from the top of her head to the soles of her feet. It felt like God’s love was showering down upon her. She said it was the best feeling she had ever felt. She said she would have done anything for this feeling never to end. But, the feeling ended about 30 minutes later. Mom asked what had happened and was told that she had received a touch of the Holy Spirit. Now, curious about what this Holy Spirit was, Mom inquired further. She was told that the Holy Spirit is a free gift from God that anyone who asks will receive. They told Mom that the Holy Spirit does not possess anyone, cause them to lose their consciousness or force anyone to do strange things. Instead, they told Mom that when you receive the Holy Spirit, He fills you heart with joy, peace and love. They said that the sign that you have been filled with the Holy Spirit is that God begins to pray through you in a language you do not understand. Mom did not fully understand what they were talking about, but said to herself, ”If a touch of this Holy Spirit is so good, the entire thing must be awesome. I want whatever it is.” A week later on Monday, Mom sent us all off to school, telling us that she intended to pray until she was filled with the Holy Sprit. She began to pray and soon she had said everything she could think of saying. She was sitting, waiting on God, with her mouth slightly open, when all of the sudden she began to speak in a language she didn’t understand. Immediately she was filled with such joy, that she danced around the house (and if you know my mom, she does not dance, that was the joy of the Lord in her). When we came home from school Mom was laughing. We had not seen her this happy since the accident. That night Mom prayed for my dad, placing her hand on his heart. Dad had a very bad heart condition. He could not walk one city block without stopping due to chest pain. The very next day Dad walked from his office, 0.7 miles all uphill without stopping. Praise God! This was the first physical miracle we witnessed. By the end of the week, my eldest sister said she wanted to receive the Holy Spirit. She began to pray and two minutes later, she was filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in that other language. Seeing this, I did not want to be left behind. So, I started praying to receive the Holy Spirit also. But, as soon as I started to pray, again, I could not speak. We started to cast out the bad spirit as we had seen them do in church. But nothing happened. We called the Christian man who had first told us about Jesus and prayed with him for 2 hours over the phone. Still, nothing happened. Finally the man said, ”I don’t think this is a bad spirit, I think this is the Holy Spirit. Say ’thank you Jesus’ and see what happens.” As soon as we thanked God for the Holy Spirit I started speaking in an unknown language. It had never been a bad spirit; it had been the Holy Spirit all along. The people at that church had just failed to properly recognize it. Now that we think back, we see how it was all in God’s perfect plan. The first time we went to church, I was filled with the Holy Spirit. However, it would have meant nothing to my parents. They would never have come back to church. But because they thought it was a bad spirit, they kept going back to church to have it cast out, and in the process Jesus worked in their hearts and showed us all who He is. 37

The next day my other sister and my father were filled with the Holy Spirit. My family has been following and serving Jesus ever since. Immediately, the joy, peace and happiness returned to my family that had been missing for four years. We went from being a family that never smiled, to smiling so much that people often ask us, Why are you so happy all the time? My little brother was only five years old at the time. For years his faith in Jesus was based solely on our faith in Jesus. But, that changed the summer after my brother turned thirteen. He was diagnosed with a rare and fatal kidney disease. The doctors told my parents that my brother would be on dialysis by the end of the year and dead in three years. Normal kidneys secrete 0-150mg of protein a day. My brother was leaking over 9000mg of protein in his urine. The doctors gave us no hope. Our only hope was Jesus. And when you put your hope in Jesus, He does not let you down. Within one year, despite the doctor s predictions, my brother was completely healed. His protein levels went from 9000mg to 6mg. Today my brother is baptized in the Holy Spirit, loves God and is completely healed. The doctors are amazed at what they themselves admit is a miracle. The Promise - Some people look at me and say, But you are still in a wheelchair. Jesus has not healed you. So, what is the big deal? But, Jesus has promised me that He will heal me in His time. When I was fifteen years old, Jesus spoke to my mom and told her, Millions of people will know about Sungeeta before I heal her. At the time we questioned how millions of people could know about an ordinary girl. However, after I won the Miss Teen of Washington Pageant, my story went in television and newspapers all over the world and millions of people knew about me. If the first part of what the Lord said has come true, the second part will come true as well. He will heal me. Right now the Lord has said that He will take us around the world to preach the Gospel and as we lay hands on the sick they will recover. Then He will heal me. The Lord has been doing just that. Within months of coming to know Jesus, my family was lead by the Spirit to embark on our first mission s trip to India. The Lord promised that His angels would go before us and He would give us the words to speak. He is true to His word. All we had was the simple faith that all things are possible in Jesus name and no matter what, Jesus is stronger. As we laid our hands on the sick and oppressed, all we knew to do was to say, In Jesus name. Then we would pray in the Holy Spirit language. The Lord did the rest. People would spontaneously begin repenting. Evil spirits began to flee. The sick were healed. Many were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. We continued these annual trips, seeing the Lord do amazing miracles both in India and the US. In the early years, we mostly shared the love of Jesus with our friends and family. But, in the summer of 2002 the Lord spoke and told us that He now He was going to take us not only to our family, but to the people of this world, to share His love. After that, God opened the door for us to minister in churches, hospitals, slum, schools, businesses, conventions, street corners, marketplaces, and just about anywhere people will listen. We have seen people healed of all manner of diseases, financial difficulties, job issues, tension, addictions, and oppression, as we pray in the name of Jesus. The Future - On September 1, 2005, my mother and I were supposed to fly back from India to the US after a 5 week mission s trip. Just a few hours before our flight, my sister and I went to the market. A ten-year-old boy, Sakir, approached me and asked me to purchase the lotus flowers he was selling. I noticed that there was something wrong with Sakir s eyes. Is there something wrong with your eyes? I asked. Sakir nodded, 38 Yes. He told me that he had a congenital cataract in one eye. As a result, he had

been blind in his right eye since birth. I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me, and I blurted out, If we pray for your eye, Jesus can heal it. Can we pray for you? As soon as I said this, I felt a surge of panic run through my body. What was I saying? What was I thinking? What if God didn t do it? I tired to back-peddle, qualifying my statement. But the Holy Spirit stopped me. So, in faith I repeated, my voice shaking a bit, If we pray for your eye, Jesus can heal it. Can we pray for you? Sakir was shy, and perhaps a little confused, but he agreed. Right in the middle of the marketplace, I reached my hand out and placed it on Sakir s forehead. My sister and I began to pray. After saying a short prayer, I asked Sakir if he felt any improvement. Honestly, I did not expect that anything had happened. But, to my surprise, Sakir responded and said he could see more clearly. I felt the faith within me rise. With excitement, I asked Sakir if we could pray again. This time he immediately jumped on the offer. We prayed a few times and the Lord restored vision to Sakir s eye. Word of the miracle spread through the marketplace like wildfire. People began asking for prayer and the Lord began performing miracles. A crowd of approximately thirty people formed around us. That night we saw many vision problems healed as well as healings from a variety of pains. Four people were even filled with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. With this unexpected, mini-revival breaking out, how could we just fly back to the US? God had greater plans. I begged my Dad to change my Mom s and my flight back to the US. Starting the next day, random people began coming to our home in India for prayer. Over the next ten days, everyday, twenty to thirty people came over for prayer. Many were healed and filled with the Holy Spirit. We saw the Lord heal asthma, arthritis, hernias, slipped discs, sinus problems, eyesight problems, and hearing problems. The last day a lady who did not have an eardrum started to hear. Some of the people even had their healings medically verified. During the ten days that we stayed over in India after the miracle in the marketplace, God began to work in our hearts. At first, we tried to deny it, but we knew that the Lord was calling Mom and me back to India. He was calling us back to the people, who in less than a fortnight had made their way into our hearts. We left India on September 11. I returned to work (as a lawyer) in the US on September 13. On September 16, I gave notice at my job (I was a fifth year associate at a large Seattle-based law firm). In the flesh, it was not easy to do. I was turning my back on all that I had worked for&all that I knew&trading it in for the unknown. But, in the Spirit I knew I had no other choice. On November 11, Mom and I moved back to India to start The Orphanage Project and to work as God leads us. The Challenge - Jesus has completely changed our lives and He can change your life too&if you give Him a chance. As soon as we came to know Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit, instantly, the joy and happiness returned to my family. God, who had once seemed so far away, is now right here with us. When we pray we no longer wondered if God hears our prayers, but we know that He not only hears our prayers, but He answers them as well. When we cry we no longer wonder if God sees our tears, but know that He not only sees our tears, but wipes them away. When we are happy we no longer wonder if God sees our happiness, but know that He not only sees our happiness, but celebrates with us. God is real to us. Believing in Jesus does not mean changing your culture or your heritage. I am still very much In39

dian. I am a strict vegetarian. I wear ethnic clothing. I speak Hindi. I observe cultural traditions. Believing in Jesus simply requires a change of heart and a new relationship with our Creator. I do not expect you to believe in Jesus because of what you have just read. I did not believe in Jesus because of anything anyone told me. I asked Him to show me if He was real. He did. In the same way, if you ask Him, with an open heart and mind, to show you His reality, He will. Close your eyes and ask Him now. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. Just pray, Jesus, I need You. I want to know You. Show me Your reality. Source: Sungeeta Jain - A Queen in His Kingdom, taken from the website: www.jesusbranded.org, from the link http://jesusbranded.org/index.php?option=com content &view=article &id=16 &Itemid=61, accessed on 10th November 2008

1.2.16

Amar Singh (2008-11-10 12:19)

My Friend asked me for the first time to come to a prayer meeting , he said my life would be changed I Thought How can my Life be changed through Prayers ? At that time my Hair were Very long , I had not got a haircut in 2 years ,My Frends Always said ”come with us and Fight with Someone because u will Help us Through ur Long Hair through your Don type of Looks. I was Always ready for my Frends, My Family was very Angry at me my Father always asked me to get a haircut or he said ”Police will Catch u bcoz of ur Looks , But I didn’t care About that. My father also said to my Frends take Money if u want but Please do something so that my son gets a haircut . But that Plan Also did not Work, But when i came home After the Prayer ,My heart said i should get a haircut . I dont know why wht happen and i said to my frend lets go to some hairdresser before going home. then after i reached my home my parents saw me and they were Shocked... They Said Wht Happen? How did u get a Haircut ?? Then I told My Parents that This is the Effect of Prayer they Prayed for Me and the Result is Here.. Then I Liked Going to Prayers and I Liked Mandir Pooja Paath Also, I Always Thought That all Gods Are the Same .. dosn’t Matter if Its Ram , Sai, Hanuman, Jesus Christ OR 33 CRORES DEVI DEVTAS..... But then one day i thought about The One God who Created the world and came in flesh on earth and he Died For Our Sins And after 3 days he rose again.He Loves us,And if we repent of our sins and believe in JESUS then we will be saved from the slavery of sin. Hanuman or Ram or 33 CRORES devi devta Allah,and all the Prophets did not die for our sins and they all are human beings. And After that I am Saved by the Grace of God and Came to Know the Truth of Life, and My Family is Happy That i am a Christian Bcoz Its not About Any Religion it is a Reationship, a Relationship with only True God Jesus Christ, Praise Jesus, My Aim is Only One in my Life and that is to Spread the Good News ( Truth of Life) Everywhere thats it, Praise the LORD God can be found through His true and complete Word, the Bible. Please, seek Him now, before it is too late. Seek Him through His Word to you, the Bible. Source: Amar Singh, taken from the website: www.jesusbranded.org, from the link http://jesusbranded.org/index.php?option=com content &view=article &id=53 &Itemid=94, accessed on 40

10th November 2008

1.2.17

Shivanshu Aggarwal (2008-11-10 12:20)

I was born in a hindu family . life was pretty ordinary just like most of the ppl around me Religion for me was nothing more than completing the religious formalities .Moreover I started worshipping Satan under the influence of death metal bands ...by worship I mean I loved Satan and thought it was so cool ...religion was for losers ” . Even though all materialistic things provided a temporary sense of satisfaction , nothing in life seemed meaningful . All the little moments of joy and happiness were hollow . There was this void inside of me that I did not know how to fill .so I tried all sorts of things in order to feel better and alive . I used to slit my wrists just to see how much it bleeds. There was a time when I took money to beat people up. One day I was surfing the net looking for music and stuff when a pop up window opened which told me about the way to salvation, about the love of god ,it told me how Christ died for my sins and took the punishment I deserved .it also said that it was not a coincidence that I was reading this right now and that its god who has lead me here and wants me to know the truth ...I was the last person to be influenced by this kind of stuff but something unexplainable happened and it just changed me completely ...it was like a door opened in front of me and I saw a whole new world . I started reading the bible and it kept answering my questions about life and about God .it was like God spoke to me through the bible . It was not like people had not told me about god before .my yahoo id was serpent satan666...many people sent me messages asking me to repent and telling me the consequences of worshiping Satan but I used to insult them by abusing them . Now when I look back ....I can vividly see that it was god who moved my heart .May he bless you too and lead you in the paths of righteousness for his names sake. Amen, Praise god...our lord Jesus Christ.

Source: Shivanshu Aggarwal, taken from the website: www.jesusbranded.org, from the link http://jesusbranded.org/index.php?option=com content &view=article &id=47 &Itemid=65, accessed on 10th November 2008

1.2.18

Aditya Bhadra (2008-11-10 12:21)

I belong to a Hindu family and didn’t believe in Jesus even though my mother had become a believer. I used to make fun of her. In college, I fell into bad company and started smoking and drinking and it became an addiction. I used to smoke 20+ cigarettes a day and used to get drunk frequently. 41

Then one night, I was caught by the warden of my hostel. wasn’t. I was expelled. I went into depression.

He thought I had been drinking when I

Then a friend invited me to church. At first I refused but after his constant bugging, I finally went. And that day, the things that I heard touched me. I heard that Jesus loved me no matter how I was or what I had done. That Jesus died for my sins and if I believed in Him, I would spend eternity with Him. I started to believe in Him and got water baptized that very moment. When I came back to my room, I prayed to Jesus to make me stop all my bad habits. And the next morning when I woke up, all those bad habits had vanished. I was a new creation! And since then, my life changed completely. People were amazed by seeing the change in me and I knew it was because of Jesus. Jesus then went on to do multiple miracles in every step of my life. He cured me of jaundice. He helped me travel. Through me, Jesus touched other people and they started to believe. I met wonderful people who were believers. And since then I have been loving and serving Jesus. to do is ask. Jesus can change your life too. All you need

I belong to a Hindu family and didn’t believe in Jesus even though my mother had become a believer. AdityaI used to make fun of her. In college, I fell into bad company and started smoking and drinking and it became an addiction. I used to smoke 20+ cigarettes a day and used to get drunk frequently. Then one night, I was caught by the warden of my hostel. wasn’t. I was expelled. I went into depression. He thought I had been drinking when I

Then a friend invited me to church. At first I refused but after his constant bugging, I finally went. And that day, the things that I heard touched me. I heard that Jesus loved me no matter how I was or what I had done. That Jesus died for my sins and if I believed in Him, I would spend eternity with Him. I started to believe in Him and got water baptized that very moment. When I came back to my room, I prayed to Jesus to make me stop all my bad habits. And the next morning when I woke up, all those bad habits had vanished. I was a new creation! And since then, my life changed completely. People were amazed by seeing the change in me and I knew it was because of Jesus. Jesus then went on to do multiple miracles in every step of my life. He cured me of jaundice. He helped me travel. Through me, Jesus touched other people and they started to believe. I met wonderful people who were believers. And since then I have been loving and serving Jesus. Jesus can change your life too. All you need to do is ask. Source: Aditya Bhadra, taken from the website: www.jesusbranded.org, from the link http://jesusbranded.org/index.php?option=com content &view=article &id=44 &Itemid=62, accessed on 10th November 2008

42

iwant2breakfree (2008-11-16 18:41:34) hi...i am aditya...i wanted to say thank you for posting my testimony here..actually this is just a short version of my testimony and i feel it is inaccurate to fully explain my conversion experience...i have a series of 10 videos about every detail of my testimony..is it possible for you to post it here? if yes, then let me knw and i will give you the links..my email address is aditya@jesusbranded.org Thank you and God bless. Praise the Lord!

1.2.19

Sister Nirmala Joshi (2008-11-25 12:35)

Sister Nirmala, age 63, is Mother Teresa s successor as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity. Born in Ranchi in 1934 to a Brahmin soldier who came from Nepal, Nirmala Joshi joined the order at the age of 17, after converting from Hinduism. Her sister, too, embraced Christianity and became a Carmelite nun. After joining the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Nirmala studied law at the insistence of Mother Teresa, who often took her along during her tours abroad. The Mother s confidence in her abilities was evident when she asked Sister Nirmala to open their homes in Panama, New York and Kathmandu. She is a modest woman, and when she succeeded Mother she quietly said, Mother Teresa can never be replaced. She is gifted with rare charisma that can never be acquired in one s lifetime. Sister Nirmal is not without her own strengths as well, however. As spiritual adviser Father le Joly said, In her, Mother found signs of energy, dedication, and charisma. When journalists once asked Mother Teresa what made Sister Nirmala so exceptional, she replied, She is a Missionary of Charity Source: Accessed from the link:http://home.comcast.net/ motherteresasite/nirmala.html, on November 7th 2008 Sister Nirmala (born 1934) succeeded Mother Teresa as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity in March 1997. She was born Nirmala Joshi into a Brahmin family in Ranchi (then in Bihar and now the capital of the Indian State of Jharkhand). Her parents were Hindu Brahmins from Nepal. Her father was devout Hindu Indian Army officer originally from Nepal. She was educated by Christian missionaries in Patna (capital of Bihar state) but remained a Hindu until she was 24 and learned of Mother Teresa s work and converted to Roman Catholicism. Sister Nirmala has a master s degree in political science from an Indian university and additional training as a lawyer. She was one of the first nuns to head a foreign mission when she went to Panama. She later headed missions in Europe and in Washington D.C. in the United States, before being chosen to succeed Mother Teresa. She was based in Calcutta as head of the order s Contemplative Wing, in which nuns devote their lives to meditation. Source: Wikipedia.org, accessed on November 7, 2008 A Part of the interview taken from Rediff.com 43

Right wing Hindu organisations have accused your organisation of being involved in conversions. How do you react to the charge? We don t worry about it. We must do our work to the best we can. And yes, our work must convert people s heart. Our work shows God s love. That love has to change the heart of people. Change the hearts of people to see Christ? To see God in their lives. To see human kindness. To love God. To love one another. To ask pardon for sins and become proper human beings. We, together with Mother, believe that people of whatever religion should believe and live their religion to the best of their ability. And if God wants to give a person the Christian faith, it is his choice. Even I was a Hindu. Nobody made me a Christian. If anybody had told me to become a Christian, I would never have become one. It was the grace of God that touched my heart and I became a Christian. This conversion is only his responsibility. Nobody can make somebody be somebody. So can you say with absolute conviction that the MoC have never indulged in proselytisation sions? Like forcing the people? Yes. Never. Never. We serve people of all religions, all castes. They don t have to become Christians to get our help. No. Do you have many people expressing their desire to convert to your faith? Some do, not many. What do you do when someone wants to accept your faith? Do you give them some kind of training? We initiate them in prayer. Those who really desire, we give them books to read. The really sincere ones ask us questions. Do you foresee trouble ahead for the MoC in an India slowly being overcome by the forces of Hindutva? I am not looking into the future, but up till now we have faced no problems. [Part of the interview by Sister Nirmala published in Rediff.com] 44 in conver-

We have never forced people to convert , Mother Theresa the legacy, taken from the website link: http://www.rediff.com/news/1998/sep/07mo ther.htm, accessed on November 7th 2008. About the Conversion (as written by TIM MCGIRK in www.time.com) Selected writings When Nirmala Joshi s parents, high-caste Hindu Brahmins from Nepal, put their daughter into a Catholic missionary school in the 1940s, their intention was for the girl to pick up some English and arithmetic. For that privilege, Nirmala s father, a devout Hindu army officer, was willing to have her participate in Christian prayer sessions and Bible study. What he hadn t expected was that his daughter would convert to Catholicism and dedicate her life to the poor. I was at the bus stand, recalls Sister Nirmala, when I first felt Jesus was alive in my heart. Nirmala s conversion was neither instantaneous nor untraumatic. After her bus-stop epiphany, she wrestled with her conscience for seven years before being baptized at the age of 24. The defining experience, she told TIME, was the Partition of 1947, when colonial India was bifurcated, Hindus and Muslims slaughtered each other by the tens of thousands, and millions of refugees were left homeless and dying. There was so much killing, Nirmala says. Everybody was just going mad. There was little compassion anywhere. She headed off to Calcutta, which was then packed with refugees from East Bengal. There, two Carmelite sisters directed her to Mother Teresa, who was spending her days tending to the poor and begging for funds to buy food and medicine for her mission. It was inspiration at first sight, says Sister Nirmala. Here was someone who could bring some compassion and a sense of destiny to people. Source: FILLING THE BIG SANDALS, The Missionaries of Charity finally settle on a successor to their ailing founder, Mother Teresa, BY TIM MCGIRK, NEW DELHI, Accessed from the link: http://www.time.com/time/reports/motherteresa/t970324.html, on November 7, 2008

1.2.20

Naveen Balakrishnan (2008-11-25 12:36)

I come from a country named India, which is between one-third and one-half the size of the United States of America, about the land mass on the east side of the Mississippi river. The estimated population of the country is around 1 billion, and it is a crowded place. The country has been fed by three civilizations: Aryans in the North, Mongolians in the North-East and Dravidians (who came from Australia) in the South. The society is agriculturally oriented, and 80 % of the country’s population lives in its villages. The staple food of the southern part of the country is rice, while it is wheat in the northern part. I was brought up in the fifth largest city in India, Hyderabad, which has an estimated population of around 4 million. The literacy rate of the country is around 57 %, and some of the people do not know even how to sign their names. Contrary to the Chinese, whose main language of communication and instruction is Chinese, the medium of instruction in most schools is English in India.

There are seventeen officially recognized mainstream languages and over 200 other languages that people use. There are over 2000 dialects prevalent which further compounds the problem of communication. It is generally safe to say that one who knows English can get by without many hurdles. India is secular (as per its constitution) when it comes to its religious traditions: 82 % of the population adhere to Hinduism, 11 % to Islam, 2 % each to Buddhism, Sikhism and Christianity and a number adhere to other beliefs constituting 45

a very small minority. The Christian population in India is around 21 million of which 18 million are Roman Catholics. Christians are severely persecuted for their faith in scattered parts of the country. Some of the Hindu fundamentalist groups have vowed to eradicate the name of Jesus Christ from the country. I am the eldest son of the three, brought up in a bourgeois Orthodox Hindu Family. My dad was the sole earning member in the family, and my mother was a homemaker. There was barely enough for us to get by. My dad was an alcoholic and a chain smoker. To add to our grief, he gambled his income away in horse races and the like. He was very short-tempered, and there was absolutely no respect for him, even though my mother did tolerate his behavior. I was not doing well at school until the sixth grade, and my dad got concerned. He started looking out for me, and that gave an impetus for me to do well; and within a couple of years, I was at the top of the class. My parents always homed in on the point that an individual could survive only through having an education. Being the eldest, I had to set an example for my younger brothers to emulate, and they hated every aspect of it, for they could not match up! Getting into engineering or medical school is only through fierce competitive written exams, and it is virtually a privilege to study in a government-sponsored school. I believed in what my parents believed, as it was handed to them through the traditions of their fathers. I worshipped the idols, the trees, the sun, the moon gods and the like, diurnally. I was taught that God manifested Himself in His creation; and hence it was appropriate for one to worship the creation, for He was present in it. All the heavenly planets, including the stars, had some significance, and they had to be worshipped, if one cared to be successful in life. It was a religion of penance – Be good and do good. This religion was inherited, and I never questioned what I believed - after all, my parents could not be off the mark. The order of worship incorporated giving reverence to the mother first, father second, teacher (guru) third and finally God. God took the last place, for it is the mother who gives birth, father who guides, teacher who teaches the way of truth and of the Lord, and then the Lord gets our attention. If the Lord and the teacher appear at the same time, it was required for the sakshya (disciple) to bow down before the teacher first, before paying homage to God. Hinduism teaches that there is One God (Brahman - ”Great Soul”) and that there are a number of ways that one can use to reach God. It believes that all of the ways lead to the truth. It advocates Bhakti Marga (The way of devotion), Gnana Marga (The way of knowledge), and the Dharma Marga (The way of righteousness - doing good) to attain salvation from the cycle of life. The way of transcendental meditation - succinctly stated, ”The New Age Movement” uses Yoga as it s primary focus. It believes in reincarnation and states that one has to excel in one’s good works over bad works to attain a better life in the next one to come upon the earth. The course of the next life on the earth is determined by one’s karma (either good over bad, or bad over good). If one has good karma, then the next life would be better than the present one. If one has bad karma, then the next life would be degenerated to a lower level - probably be born as an animal or a bird, if not a rotten human beggar. Vimukti (Salvation) from this cycle of life is through one of the above mentioned ways by which you seek the Lord diligently. Some forsake their families and go to the mountains and live like hermits, seeking God in the wilderness for the rest of their lives. For those who love this worldly life and are ignorant, there is no redemption from this vicious cycle of reincarnation. If you are lucky, you may get out in ten lives (one more than the cat!!!). To sum it up, Hinduism at its core is a works religion and beliefs are very flexible, so that one can adapt to whatever one chooses. As to salvation, it is what man does, and there is absolutely no participation of God. I hated all the habits that my dad possessed, and I made a promise to myself that I would be a better parent to my offspring when they come in due time. I was very self-centered, haughty in appearance and attitude. I could never take no for an answer, and could never think of being the second best, with the urge to being the winner all the time. I offered sacrifices (not animal) to idols, trees, planets etc., to appease them and to win favors for my rather greedy living. I was not sincere in what I did. In other words, I was the master of my own destiny. As we brothers grew out of adolescence, we began to reason with 46

our dad about his habits and stressed to him the importance of our education. He saw merit in our ideas and abstained from drinking, smoking and gambling for a while, and his attitude towards us, his children, improved. He has since started all these things again to a very limited extent. He has committed his life to idol and sun worship since then, encouraging us to follow in his footsteps. After competing with nearly 100,000 students to get into an engineering school (of which only 1000 make it), I worked hard to get into the mechanical engineering program in a very prestigious government school for my undergraduate curriculum in 1985. The idea of the New Age movement appealed to me, that it would make me a better person in the world. It promised a better life, filled with meaning, while in the world it was a humdrum existence. Seeking God through transcendental meditation (TM) excited my being, and I was taught by disciples of a guru Parmahamsa Yogananda, who was dead in 1952, way before I came to be in this world. I was supposed to be meeting with God during the hours of transcendental meditations. I would see flashes of lightning and bright lights and some times just utter darkness. I would get an eerie sensation of my soul leaving my body, while it floated the heavens. TM teaches that one will be able to tap into 90 % of the brain that remains unused in the lifetime of one’s being and recognize that one is a part of the Eternal Consciousness. One dangerous aspect of TM is addiction. Once you get into it, it is difficult to get out, though not impossible. As long as I was involved in meditation, it made me feel good; and the moment I came out of it, I felt miserable each time. The outside world began to lose its meaning as long as I was involved in it. The New Age movement, in contradiction to Hinduism, even though it is a part of it, emphasized the importance of the teacher to be above parents and above God Himself. I did not experience any of these feelings for any sustained period of time. Not wanting to be left out, I would concoct stories to prove to my friends that I was better than they were. I did not want to be ridiculed and labeled not spiritual, for much was at stake. About 25 % of the Americans were a recognized part of the New Age movement in 1988. This number has been growing steadily in the last few years. The emptiness in my soul was driving me crazy, for I longed to know the Creator of this Universe, for Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 ”that He (speaking of God) has set eternity in their hearts.” I persisted in this dream world for five whole years before the Lord Jesus Christ encountered my thirsty soul. After finishing my undergraduate program, I worked for an year. My classmates who had proceeded to the United States for higher studies prompted me to apply to various schools, so as to pursue my higher education and then to seek a better life out there. I applied to eight schools and was accepted at seven. I chose to go to Kansas State University, in Manhattan, Kansas to do my master’s program in industrial engineering. When I went to apply for the student visa in Madras, India, I was rejected, for the lady who was interviewing me (behind a bullet-proof glass) was not convinced that I was going to come back after I finished my studies. My friend who had gone with me to the embassy for the student visa, who was also rejected for the same reasons, told me that he was going to try one more time the very next day. Please keep this in mind: if you get rejected twice, you cannot apply for the student visa for the next two years. I was not willing to take such a chance, but he prevailed over my stubbornness. We left for the embassy at 2:30 in the morning on July 17, 1990. There were already twelve students in front of us. Within the next fifteen minutes, the crowd grew to more than 200. The embassy opened at 7:30 am, and we proceeded to reapply. My friend, who was before me, was told by the one examining his documents to come back and pick up his visa at 4:30 in the afternoon. I was utterly amazed, for this was the same guy they had rejected yesterday, and I became very nervous. I had never stammered before, and I was too dumbfounded. I was next in line, and the man examined my documents to see if they were in order and proceeded to ask a few questions of me which I stuttered to answer. He asked me to come back at 4:30 to pick up the visa. I was so exhilarated at the whole scenario, that I ran out of the embassy, lest they should change their mind about it. When we came back to pick our visas at 4:30, they asked us to go to the interview room, for they realized that we were rejected candidates. We waited for thirty minutes and we could see the same lady who had interviewed us the day before sitting behind the glass. It seemed like thirty years. Finally, a lady called and gave us our visas without any questions. We sighed a huge relief! The only thought that 47

crossed my mind, at that point in time, was that Americans were a bunch of hypocrites. The Lord would show me how erroneous I was in my assessment at a later point in time, when He pointed out to me that it was His grace that brought me into this country and that I did not make it on my merits. I ended up at Kansas State University on August 16, 1990. Four months later, I transferred to Texas A & M University in Bryan-College Station, Texas. Eight months later, after having a disagreement with my advisor, I moved to Clemson University to pursue my master’s program in mechanical engineering in September of 1991. I applied for the Clemson Area International Friendship program, which enabled international students to meet with resident American families and become conversant with their culture and traditions. This was a forum through which cross-cultural relationships could be fostered and nourished. This would also enable the international student to adapt to his / her new surroundings. I and my roommates were assigned a couple in Anderson (they were in the process of moving from Seneca to Anderson), Cheryl and Andy Solvig. We were told that this couple would be contacting us within the next couple of weeks. Two weeks, and there was no response from these people, and so I ventured to call the Student Coordinator, Becky Powell, and the Host Family Coordinator, Ruth Canupp, to inquire as to why we were not contacted. They called us back after a couple of days and said to us that we will be contacted by the couple in the next week or so. Two months had passed and nothing was established. This couple, we assumed, were just not serious about their commitment. I was really frustrated with this whole program and was planning to give a piece of my mind to Becky and to Ruth. On November 1, 1991, the day that I was intending to call these two ladies, Ruth called me in my laboratory and asked me as to what I was doing that evening. She invited me to go eat dinner with her at a restaurant. Ruth and Ted came and picked me up, and we went to eat at a Chinese restaurant with another Indian student, Rajat Charan. At a later point in time, God would reveal to me that Ruth and Ted were His chosen vessels from the beginning for me to come to know the Lord and that He knew what He was doing. Ruth invited me to go to her church, First Baptist in Westminster SC, on December 1, 1991 (it was Ted’s birthday). This was the first time that I had ever stepped into a Protestant church. Church to me was just another place for meditation. Being involved in the New Age movement, it did not bother me, for Christ was indeed one of the gods that I worshipped as part of the TM. The Sunday school teacher, Audrey Smith, was very excited that I had come to church, and I could not understand her. There were at least 10 American students in my class, and not one spoke. I can understand their apprehensiveness, for I was too feeling apprehensive in a like manner. It felt odd to be in a Caucasian class. A few weeks later, I was given a Bible to read and was asked to read the Gospel of John, for I was going to the church on a regular basis. I had read a lot of the ’so-called’ Hindu Scriptures, for my mother used to translate the teachings of Upanishads and the Vedas from Sanskrit into Tamil (my mother tongue) and explain to us the mysteries with great illustrations. I wanted to know what the God of the Bible had to say about Himself. So I started reading from the first book, Genesis. There were interesting stories in Genesis and Exodus. The book of Leviticus began to drag a little bit and the book of Numbers was the final straw. The same stuff was repeated over and over again without exception in relation to the twelve tribes of Israel. It could be likened to a record player gone bad, when it begins to repeat the same things over and over again. I could not decipher that such a God could be so redundant. I dropped the book like a hot potato. The people from my Sunday School and the church in general, especially Ruth, began to witness to me about their faith in Christ as the only way to salvation. I was flabbergasted, that they would even dare to communicate that I was a sinner and need of God’s grace. I became very cynical, and began to explain that there was a world much bigger than the United States of America, with diverse cultures, traditions, religions etc., and that it was ludicrous on the part of one to believe that Christ was the only way, truth and the life. It was my understanding at that point in time, that all religions lead to the same God, for we all believe in One God. To clarify my point of view, I used the mountain as an illustration. To climb to the top 48

of the mountain, not everyone uses the same route. So also, (God is sitting upon the top of this mountain), different people use different routes (ways, methods) to get to this same God. We call one route (method or way) Hinduism, an other Islam, an other Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc. Since no one who witnessed to me did know how to answer this question, while knowing that illustration was faulty at its core, I always had my way. They persevered in communicating the same message to me. Yet there was not one to point out to me, (which the Lord revealed to me at a later point in time), how this illustration fails. When summer of 1992 drew near, I was bankrupt, having exhausted all my funds. There was no more money for school or for living. I was in debt to the tune of $15,000 to my friends and to various credit card companies. Ruth and Ted helped me financially through this time, though I was no relation to them, to help pay some of my outstanding bills. They volunteered to help me find a job during the summer. This was the first time that God humbled me. I had a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and yet could manage only a job as a trash picking laborer in a construction company. I began to repay some of the loans that I had taken and was hoping that I would be in the clear in about 18 months. The job lasted six months and I was laid off in December of that same year. During that summer, I began with a new fervor to read the Bible from the beginning and I went through the first hurdle in Numbers and hit the next spot in 1 Chronicles, and yet I persisted on. During September, while working at the construction company, an African - American man asked me if I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, to which I answered ’yes.’ I do not know even to this day why I answered in the affirmative even though I had not come to believe in Him as my Savior. I had grown a tremendous respect for His name and came to regard the Lord Jesus Christ as a Good Teacher. This troubled me day in and day out. When I was laid off, life came to a standstill. I did not plan to save money for the future, and honestly I was left with $8 in the bank. I was too ashamed to ask for help, for I was not responsible in my stewardship of the resources that God had granted me. I survived on noodles for a month or so and was depending upon some of my friends who would invite me to come and eat dinner with them. I could not live in this manner any longer. I decided to end my life, hoping that my parents would be able to collect the money from the insurance and pay my bank loan (I was not aware at that point of time, that the insurance companies did not pay any amount in case of a suicide). As I pondered as to what I had done with my life, I had failed myself (in not accomplishing for which I had come to this country), my friends from whom I had taken large loans and more importantly my family, who had put so much hope on me that I would do well. This led me to the conviction that life was not worth living anymore since I would only be a burden and would not have contributed in any positive manner. As I stood on the bridge of Lake Hartwell on one evening, as the sun was peering down the western sky in January 1993, I did not have the guts to jump over the bridge. I was well aware that if I jumped, I would not come out alive, because I did not know how to swim and the water near the bridge was over a hundred feet deep. Even if I had realized that it was a mistake after I had jumped into the lake, it would have not helped me to come to the shore, and I surely would have drowned. Like a bolt from the blue, I heard a voice saying to me, ”Naveen, go home, for I have better things in store for you.” I am sure this is not the first time that the Lord had spoken to me, but definitely it was the first time that I was all ears. Having nothing else to hold on to, I went back to the apartment pondering upon the promise that had been made to me. Two weeks later, I was offered a job at Dynacast Seneca (presently called SPM - Seneca) as a product machine operator on January 27, 1993 on the third shift. This meant that I had the whole day to myself. During the month of February, as I was reading through the book of Romans, I came to the verse ”All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” in 3:23 and was certainly aghast. The word ’all’ seemed misleading and I thought that it was probable that someone might have made a mistake by incorporating it 49

in that verse. I did not believe people like Mahatma Gandhi, Ramakrishna Parmahamsa, Shirdi Sai Baba, Guru Nanak Singh, to name a few, could have sinned, for they led very pure lives and gave themselves to the service of the people and to the nation. I was flustered to read that ”the wages of sin was death, but the gift of eternal life was through the Lord Jesus Christ” in Romans 6:23. As I reflected upon the very words of Jesus ”I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” in John 14:6, I asked myself how it is possible for so many people to go astray. That was indeed a very bold statement, and I somehow felt deep within my heart that it was true. The way of salvation that Paul proclaims in Romans 10:9-10, 13 ”If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God had raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart, you believe unto righteousness and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation . . . . For whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” confused me all the more, for I did not truly understand the meaning thereof. The problem was further confounded, when Paul writing to the Ephesians in 2:8-9 states ”For by grace are ye saved and this not of yourselves. It is the gift of God and not of works, lest any man should boast.” It was at this time that Ted shared with me his testimony as to how he came to know the Lord. Why he did at such at a time, I do not know. At the age of 29 years, after coming back from the Second World War, he walked down the aisle of a Baptist church when the invitation was given at the end of the preaching hour. The pastor asked him a few questions such as ”Do you want to be baptized? Do you want to join the church? Do you want to become an active participant in the Sunday School program? Would you be faithful in your giving and attendance in this congregational body?” To all the above, Ted answered yes, and he was baptized the very next week. One day, when Ted was reading through the same passages that I have quoted above, he was in a real dilemma. He questioned his ”Christianity” and was at odds for not having asked the Lord for the forgiveness of his sins and then turning to Him in faith. The Lord opened his eyes to His marvelous truth and Ted came to receive pardon for his iniquities and was saved by the Eternal God. Ted shared this testimony about three times with me in a matter of seven days. God used Ted’s testimony to break my heart and made me realize that I was a lost sinner who was in need of His forgiveness. I went on my knees and pleaded for His mercy and forgiveness. The Lord gloriously saved me that very day in February 1993 and granted His transcending peace to rest upon my heart. I asked God, ”If You indeed are Who You claim to be, what about my brothers and parents?” He pointed to Luke 14:26-27 ”If any man does not hate his mother, father, brothers, sisters, children and even his own self, he cannot be My disciple. If any man does not take up his cross and follow Me, he cannot be my disciple.” I was scared to share what the Lord had done in my life with anyone, including Ruth and Ted. Another reason that I did not share was of the fear of being rejected by the congregation at First Baptist in Westminster SC. The church was totally Caucasian, and I did not want to be left out, for I had come to love a lot of people in that church. I continued to study His word with great fervor and learned the importance of prayer and fellowship with other believers, even though they did not know that I was one of them. After three weeks or so, God placed a call upon my heart to leave everything and follow Him. I was scared and I did not make much sense out of it. I called upon the pastor, Rev. John Compton Jr., and asked him if he could answer a few questions that were bothering me and if he had fifteen minutes to spare. He set the time at 1:00 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon in March 1993, and I made it to his study with some apprehension not knowing as to how he would respond. I began to share with him as to what the Lord had been doing in my life since the time I had come to this country to pursue higher education in the field of mechanical engineering. His countenance was one of amazement, as God began to open ’windows of vision’ of how He had worked in unusual circumstances in my life, even as I was relating to the pastor. I could not believe what I was seeing and what I was saying. The God who my heart longed after was there by my side all the time, and I had failed to recognize His presence and His work in my life. I did not share all my fears with him that day and asked him to pray that the Lord would open the doors to lead me where He would want me to be. However, the pastor gave me an invitation to join the church if I chose to do so. I thanked him for the gracious opportunity and for his prayers concerning the Lord’s 50

will for my life. When I left his study, it was nearly 5:30 p.m. that afternoon. The very next day, I looked into some of the catalogues of seminaries, though I was not very serious about it. I picked out Erskine Theological Seminary, for our Minister of Education and Music, Rev. Timothy L. Bowen, was a graduate of that seminary and decided to call them. I never followed through on that, but Ruth had called for an application from that seminary in my name, and I received an application a few days later. I prayed about the decision and joined the church the next Sunday. I informed Ruth and Ted about my decision to join the church beforehand, though I suspect that they knew all along. It had snowed the previous day, and yet there was a strong crowd on that Lord’s day. A lot of the people came forward with tears in their eyes and welcomed me into their family as one of their own. I had never such an outpouring of God’s love anywhere before. I came to realize only after a few months later that these people were praying in one accord for my salvation and that they had sacrificed their sleep a part of the night to pray for me. My heart was overwhelmed with deep gratitude and joy for having found a home with my brothers and sisters in the Lord. In that day I had received a hundred times as many brothers and sisters in the Lord, fulfilling His promise to me in John 10:10 ” I have come that they may have life and have life abundantly” and in Mark 10:29-30 ” ’I tell you the truth,’ Jesus replied, ’no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields– and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.’ ” I did not pursue the calling which God had placed on my heart and reasoned with my own self, saying that it was my whimsical idea, recognizing how important the salvation of the Lord really was and the great need of proclaiming His salvation to the lost world. The next six months were to set the stage for what was to follow in my Christian walk with the Lord in His Spirit. I devoted myself diligently to the study and meditation on His holy word, communicating with the Lord in prayer and in fellowship with other believers to worship and adore the Lord Jesus. The Lord opened my heart to understand His Word in the light of His truth and grace. I learned to pray publicly and yet had not shared my testimony with any congregation, though I did talk to a few friends of mine about the salvation of the Lord Jesus. I did not let my parents know that I had become a Christian, for I was afraid of being excommunicated and ostracized from the family. Being the eldest son, I had betrayed the family and its traditions to embrace and serve the One True and Living God. However, I did inform my parents that I was going to church on a very regular basis and they assumed that I was trying to conform to the western society while being here. I was beginning to enjoy life out here and looked forward to the good life that was in store for me in this country in the future. I had stayed here for three years and I liked it here and wanted to spend the rest of my life out here. Towards the end of September in 1993, the Lord burdened my heart one more time, asking me to leave everything behind and surrender my life to His calling. I began to reason with God and tried to bargain that if He would wait for a few more months, then I would get my green card and then I would follow Him. I cried to Him and there was no answer. I struggled with Him for five whole days and my days were miserable. I could not sleep, could not eat properly, lost interest in Bible study, could not pray, lost interest in work, etc. I even pointed out reasons that I did not have the money to pay for the tuition, which was a staggering $2,000 per semester. I did not have any form of transportation except for a used motorcycle in a dilapidated condition. If I heeded the Lord’s calling, I would not have a place to stay; and being a student full-time in the seminary meant I would not be able to even have a full-time job. I, a puny character, was challenging God to take care of the situation, for I had no avenue, since I was still on the verge of paying my debts both in India and in the United States. I have often wondered looking at this incident retrospectively if God was smiling at me, as He says in Jeremiah 32:27 ”Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?” Nevertheless, I conceded to His will and the day I posted the application to the seminary in September of 1993, God’s sheer and transcendent peace rested upon my heart and I knew it was the Lord’s will for my life. Fifteen days later, I received a letter from the 51

seminary stating that I had received a full tuition scholarship for the 90-hour Master of Divinity program. The pastor’s wife, Mrs. Anne Compton, graciously gave her old car, a 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass (it still runs, by the grace of the Lord), as a gift. Ruth and Ted told me that I could stay and eat at their house without cost. God had now taken care of three of the four hindrances that I had pointed out. I went to the Quality Manager in Dynacast and informed him of the Lord’s calling upon my life and asked him if I would be able to work there (for there are no part-time employees in that company). He told me that he would have to ask the General Manager and abide by his decision. One month passed and there was no answer from him yet. I dared to ask him if I would be allowed to work part-time, and he said, ’Yes!’ I could not believe my ears, for the Good Lord had taken care of my every need, even before I had started taking classes at the seminary. I joined the seminary in January of 1994 and was very apprehensive about the whole program, for theological education is a whole different arena. The transition took its toll on me, for it is was very vexing, as if one was going from the concrete to the abstract. I had to develop, by the grace of God, a whole different attitude to theological learning, for the concepts were mind-boggling to say the least. I was contemplating whether the Lord intended for me to be in the seminary in the first place. It was at this time, that Dr. Merwyn Johnson and few other seminarians who asserted to me, that ”this too shall pass.” It was their encouragement at that moment which has kept me going strong even to this day. It was in the summer of that year, after taking two classes in the Hebrew language, that I went with the youth group to Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville. During that week, the Spirit of the Lord convicted me of my need to write to my parents concerning the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. So far, I had only told them that I was going to the church with Ruth and Ted. They were unaware, even though they might have suspected, that I was a sinner saved by grace. I began to elucidate in a warm and courteous letter, as to what they meant to me and how they nurtured me in a culture in which they themselves were brought up. I wrote to them concerning the desire of my heart to know the Lord of all creation and how in that aspiration I had ventured, in vain, to various traditions which promised me that I would find God. I wrote to them, how the Lord, whom I was seeking, sought me and saved me. I wrote to them, how I came to understand His grace and His providence for my life and the calling that He had placed upon my life to follow Him and also, how the Lord came to fulfill every need to prepare me for His service. By the time, I was finished writing, it took me eight days and ten pages. To read that letter click on the following link, [1]Naveen’s Letter To His Parents I mailed the letter the first of August in 1994 to them. I called my parents after ten days, so as to allow enough time for the letter to reach them, and spoke to them. They were very heartbroken and my mother in tears, asked me to pack my bags, forget the seminary and come home. She told me that I was misinformed, deceived by the people into following something that was not true. My dad stated that it was okay for me ”to do as the Romans do while one is in Rome,” implying that once I moved out of this country and went back to India, I could return to my former way of life. I had to respond to my dad and indicate to him, that it is one thing to do as the Romans do when they are in Rome and to be a Roman no matter where in the world you were thereby emphasizing my conversion to Christianity was not merely cultural but an ongoing reality. It was not conformity to the western fad of living. My brother, Ganesh was aghast and asked of me as to why I was intent to force another heart attack / stroke in my mother’s life. The conversation did not end in a peaceful manner, and even some of my Hindu and Muslim friends were opposed to my conversion. It has been a hard road since then, and I pray for them diurnally, asking the Gracious Lord to intervene in their lives. My mother had suffered a heart stroke when my brother, Ganesh, informed his intention of marry52

ing his girlfriend of eight years, who was of a different caste (Kshatriya) than my parents, who were Brahmins (a step higher than the Kshatriya) in 1992. She was hospitalized as a result of this stroke for the left side of her body was completely paralyzed, and she later came to know that a part of her brain had suffered permanent damage. She had to be carried to the wedding ceremony of my brother, for she was unable to walk. My mother did not talk to this girl (Navneeta) for over 6 months, while living in the same house. Such prejudice is prevalent in that society, though people will not openly declare it. The Shudras (the lowest caste - 3 notches below the Brahmin) were being saved by the glorious Hand of the Lord as they turned to the Compassionate One, and Christianity has always been treated as a low-caste man’s religion in India, by most Hindu believers. My mother had recovered from the paralysis after 1 ½ years, though not completely. That resulted in a remark from Ganesh, stating that he was responsible for her paralysis on her left side, and he asked me if I was trying to kill her by paralyzing her on the right side. They saw God’s salvation of my life as a betrayal of their faith. They thought that I was trying to shirk the responsibility of the eldest son of taking care of my parents. Yes, I had responded in faith (which again was given to me), but it was God Who had saved me. Luke 14:26-27 became a reality in my life. I sincerely did not know how to deal with these people, torn between my love for the Lord Jesus and my love for my parents. They could not understand as to how I could love them and still do something contrary to them and to their beliefs. I have since been praying that much more fervently, desiring that the Lord would graciously intervene in their lives, for Scripture reveals to us in Psalms 37:4 ”Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” In November of 1994, I was really overwhelmed by the amount of work at the seminary that I had to do, due to which I was spending eight to ten hours each day just writing papers for the various classes. The amount of time that I was spending studying the Bible was about ten minutes and another five minutes devoted to prayer life. My social life was non-existent. The Lord began to deal with me and asked me as to where my priorities lay? I was really ashamed of myself, and in the effort to do well at school, I was sacrificing my precious time with the Lord. I committed to the Lord at that time, that I would spend at least two hours each day, come what may, and started studying the Bible from Genesis to Revelation every 3 months. The Lord has since then blessed me in such marvelous ways that I had more time at my hands than I ever did before. He has given me a tremendous hunger to know His Word, and I am thankful for His grace that continues to uphold me, even in difficult times. He has brought to remembrance a number of things that He has taught me when I was perplexed by difficult questions posed by my friends who tested to see if the faith I professed was real. It was about this time that the Lord showed me how the illustration of the mountain failed. If all paths lead to the same God, with Whom there is no shadow of turning (in simpler terms - He does not change), then the paths ought to be harmonious with each other, i.e., one path cannot contradict another. However, it is very easy for one to see that each path contradicts the other and hence that illustration fails. Moreover, if we could make it to the top of the mountain by ourselves, why do we need God? For salvation does not depend upon what man does, but what God has accomplished through His Blessed Son Jesus Christ. Then came January of 1995, when I was short of funds in regards to paying the insurance on my car and for the purchase of books for the following semester. I was out of work, due to the company closing for about two weeks, and hence there were no paychecks to supplement the costs that were ahead. With five days left to pay for the car insurance and not knowing how to resolve the predicament that I was in, I committed this matter into the hands of the Lord according to the promise that He makes in Psalms 55:22 ”Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Amazingly enough, at that very moment, a transcending peace rested upon my heart, and I knew the Lord was going to take care of this matter. The third day, someone had 53

deposited about $500 in my bank account, a church sent me a check for $300 and another church sent me a check for $135, and by the time the loose change added up, it totaled more than $1,100 in less than five days. The Lord blessed my life more and beyond my need. Such a Generous and Gracious God that I do serve. More and more of these instances have crept in my life, and the Lord has been faithful in every circumstance, reminding me of Matthew 6:33 ”Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you,” and of Proverbs 3:5-6 ”Trust in the LORD with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” I have often wondered about His goodness to me and I am convinced that He cares for each and every one in the same manner, for there is no favoritism with Him. I thank Him for the life that He has bestowed upon me and continues to encourage me in my walk with Him. He has bolstered me to be a strong witness for Him and continues to uphold me, inspite of my inherent weaknesses. I have had my struggles with Him and have often questioned where my life was headed, for He was silent for a long time for, you see, the Lord works in His own time. Through these times, Ruth and Ted have been very gracious in putting up with my infirmities, and the heartaches that they endured on account of me cannot be described in words. I am so thankful for their prayerful support and understanding. I am also thankful to some of the precious brothers and sisters in the seminary who enabled me to keep my focus on the things that were important and to maintain my priorities. The Lord granted me a number of opportunities to bear witness to Him and to His work in my life to which I have been faithful. I have been called to preach / teach the word of God in a number of churches, and I am grateful for all these marvelous experiences as He continues to equip me in the work that He has for me. I had been praying to the Lord Jesus for 2 ½ years to show me the way where He would minister through me. The Lord asked me to wait upon Him, and it was really frustrating for I was nearing the end of my preparation at Erskine Seminary. On March 24, 1996 (Friday), while I was in the New Testament II class taught by Dr. John Blumenstein, the Lord spoke to me through His word - specifically, the Epistle to the Philippians and said to me to follow Him to a place where they have had not had the best which I interpreted to mean that He was calling me to go to India. Only later He would show me how wrong I was in that interpretation. I was very apprehensive of that call, for one, I am not even going to have my own family to support me in the God given ministry. Moreover, I know only a handful of Christians, (Indians - not the ”wahoo” ones), the ones who had come to this country for a visit during the past two years. I was sincerely desiring in my heart that He would ask me to stay in the United States and minister as His servant; but I have committed to the Lord that I would do His bidding. I called home on the following Sunday, to share the good news that I was finally coming home and for good for the Lord wanted me to do so. I did not get to share that with them, for Ganesh informed me that my mother was hospitalized because of congestive heart failure and probably needing a coronary bypass surgery. See the irony of God, the day He calls me to go back as His minister was the very day my mother ends up in the hospital. They were contacting a number of doctors to ascertain her present heart condition, and nothing really came to any avail for a week or so. They came to know that three arteries of her heart were completely blocked and that they needed to conduct the surgery at once. They tried a few hospitals and came to realize that this surgery was above and beyond their means. My dad had decided to sell the only apartment that was in his name, so that he could provide for the surgery. As an act of desperation my dad asked me if I would be to contribute $ 6000 to $ 7000 for the surgery and the medication that would ensue, which could thwart his plans of selling the apartment. At that time, I had only $ 50 in my bank account. In case if he had to sell the apartment, where would he and mother stay? I cried to the Lord and laid this matter before His throne of grace. I had asked a few people to pray concerning this situation and many of them responded with their prayers and financial support. I am 54

so thankful to Dr. William Kuykendall (my Old Testament and Hebrew Professor) and to Myong Paik (my Korean sister and seminarian in the Lord) and to Timothy A. Erskine (not the founder of the Seminary, only a precious brother and a fellow seminarian in the Lord) for their diligent prayers and for their precious financial support and concern for my mother. There were a number of others both at the First Baptist Church at Westminster SC and at Erskine Theological Seminary who assured me that the Lord would take care of this matter. Within six weeks, the church and the Seminary collected $ 3,500 each to pay for mother’s surgery and all I could say was, ”Thank you, Lord, for Your faithfulness,” as He reminded me of Joshua 1:5, ”No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I sent the money immediately to India, and they were able to pay the cardiologist, Dr. Prasad, before the surgery. The surgery took longer than expected, and mother was having breathing problems following the surgery and had to be put on the respirator. I could not sleep on the night that she had her surgery and the night following the surgery, because she had breathing problems, and prayed for her recovery. She was out of the Intensive Care Center within a matter of days and was discharged from the hospital 9 days prior to her scheduled departure, and in that itself the Hand of the Lord was upon her. The Lord has been really gracious upon her life, and maybe this will lay the foundation for her to recognize that the Lord Jesus is very real and not only her but the whole family. During this time, I was not able to concentrate on my studies, and the professors were very gracious in helping me out and giving me extensions to finish my class work. I still have a long way to go, but ”He is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He has granted me to grow in the grace and knowledge of His dear Son, my Savior through these incredible situations where He enables me to rely upon Him alone. These are only a few instances that have been written down, and God will add many such chapters in the days to come. The LORD in His time sent me a very godly woman by the name of Trena and confirmed in both our hearts that He had chosen one for the other. The meeting with Trena was truly a God-ordained event. We were married in February 1998 after which we moved to SC to pastor a church. When I was pastoring Warrenton church, He indicated to me that this was the place He wanted me to serve. He would confirm His call that I was in the right place where He wanted me to be because I was still under the impression that I was going to be called back to go to India as His servant to preach and teach the blessed gospel of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. While we were in SC, the LORD blessed our household with the gift of a beautiful daughter, who was named Rachel in Sept 1999. We moved to Iowa at the LORD’s bidding at the end of 1999 and this is where we have been since. We both are waiting on the LORD for an open door wherein we can proclaim the gospel of the Blessed LORD Jesus Christ with all boldness. We would covet the prayers Of God’s people during this time of transition. This transition would last about two years during which time He would indeed lead us through some very difficult situations to teach us concerning how to be dependent upon Him for our every need. It has been a difficult passage but we are thankful for bringing us through it to remind us that He is faithful and He knows what He is doing through our lives for His honor and glory. When we found out that Trena was pregnant with our second child in January 2001, we were elated. The pregnancy progressed without much incident this time around (unlike with her pregnancy with Rachel wherein she was dehydrated a couple of times and ended up in the hospital). On July 17, 2002, on a routine checkup, during an ultrasound the sonographer got concerned and sent us back to the doctor. The doctor then scheduled for us to do a level 2 diagnostic ultrasound concerning the heart of the child in Trena’s womb the very next day, July 18th. After 3.5 hours of testing and going through three different level 2 diagnostic, Dr. Mahone, the attending physician, informed us that Mary had a condition called the Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. We had no idea what this entailed or meant. We were then scheduled to meet with doctors in Iowa City at the University of Iowa Hospital on July 19thsince the hospitals in Des Moines were ill-equipped to deal with the 55

baby’s heart condition which required immediate open heart surgery. Our trip then to Iowa City was made on the following day, July 19, 2001 wherein we waited an entire day trying to meet with the different physicians to get an understanding of what this heart condition meant and what were the consequences of having such a heart condition. By about 5pm that evening it was informed that this condition was pretty serious and that it needed immediate attention. We could not meet with the neonatologist or with the pediatric cardiac surgeon on that day and it was scheduled for us to meet with them on the following Tuesday July 24, 2001. At that point, we met with the OB-Gyn who was going to spearhead the delivery and they indicated to us that they were planning to induce Trena on July 31, 2001 and our presence was requested there at 6 a.m. on that day at the University of Iowa Hospitals at Iowa City, IA (about 125 miles from where we were living in Norwalk, IA (suburb of Des Moines). We met with the Neonatologist that afternoon and then with the Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon who did a level 2 ultrasound and indicated that the child’s heart condition was pretty serious but now we were in good hands. We proceeded to travel to Iowa City the afternoon before and spent the night at Trena’s sister’s place. The next morning we got to the hospital early in the morning and they got her hooked up at about 8:00 a.m. The child was born at 1:16 p.m. weighing 5 lbs. 12.5 oz and 17.5 inches long. We had waited to find out what God had blessed us with and found out that the child was a girl and Rachel that day became her big sister. We named her Mary Vishalam after her two grandmothers. She was immediately taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and it was nearly 3.5 hours before we were allowed to go and see her. By this time Mary was hooked up to a IV drip, called prostaglandin, to keep her blood vessel (PDA patent ductus arteriorus) which connects the Aorta to the Pulmonary Artery open so that she could have some oxygenated blood flow through her body. This medication was put in place until such time she could be operated upon. The very next day, August 1st, they had to put her on a nitrogen controlled environment so that they could monitor her level of oxygen intake. Mary looked peaceful and calm on the outside while on the inside she was battling for every breath to survive on her own. She was then moved to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) on Friday afternoon. On August 06, 2001 she was taken to the operating room at 8:00 a.m. and we did not hear any news until 5:00 p.m. that the doctors were still working with her in the operating room. Finally we got word that she was not doing too well and our pastor from First Baptist Church in Norwalk, IA, who was with us, started the prayer chain and within an hour or so, her heart was functioning as it should be and the surgeon was confounded, but we knew it was God at work hearing the cries of His children and responding to them. Mary finally got out of the recuperating room at 7:30 p.m. and the surgeon met us and explained to us that she was not out of the woods yet. They had lost her on the table, but she was given CPR and brought back within a couple of minutes. She had about 15 tubes coming out of her and with an open chest wherein one could see her little heart beating. We stayed around until 12:00 a.m. in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) before calling it a night and retired to a Ronald MacDonald House a couple of blocks from the hospital. At 4:15 a.m. Trena called the PICU and was informed that Mary had a rough time but by now she had been stabilized with medication. At 5:00 a.m. the phone rang and the PICU nurse informed that the intensivists had started CPR and told us to come right away. We made it there within 10 minutes and the doctors were furiously working on her trying to revive her. After 15 minutes or so, the surgeon (who had spent the night at the hospital) pulled us aside and informed us that they had been giving her CPR for over 25 minutes and it was difficult to ascertain the brain damage that she had already suffered. He gave us two option, one to stop CPR or the other to put her on EKMO Machine (Electro-Kardio Membrance Oxygenator – in layman terms.. heart lung bypass machine). We asked for 5 minutes and we went out to pray. We cried to our God and asked Him to grant us wisdom concerning the life of this child and what decision to make. He made it clear to us that He wanted us to let her go into His hands. This was the most difficult decision we ever had to make. We went back to the PICU and informed them to stop the CPR but 56

the doctors asked us to give them five more minutes since they had injected her with some medication and allow them time to work through it. After our second insistence they finally quit CPR and we let Mary into His loving hands as He had commanded us. We held the lifeless body of our child in our hands at 7 days old as it grew colder and colder with each passing moment. There was a smile on Mary’s face as if saying, ”Daddy, Mommy, I beat you to Jesus.” To check our second gift from the LORD, please click on the following link, [2]Mary Vishalam’s Webpage We would learn a very difficult lesson through this struggle of losing Mary. God would indeed teach us that He does not put upon us anymore than we are able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). He also reminded us to Cast our every burden upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He promised to sustain us by His grace through every difficult situation (Psalm 55:22; 2 Corinthians 12:9). Finally, He would teach us that He is working in all things for our good to us who love Him and are called in accordance to His purpose (Romans 8:28). He reveals through His Son in John 13:7, ”What I do now you do not understand, but you will understand hereafter.” He is Sovereign and we are thankful He has kept Mary from suffering further upon this earth. His love was made manifest to draw us closer to Him as He met our every single need through Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:19). God would then proceed to provide for all our financial needs to meet Mary’s hospital and funeral bills. We not only were in shock but God would bring us into a midst a number of people who had lost loved ones. He granted to us an opportunity to share with that community of people how God had shown Himself faithful even as He says in His word in 1 Thessalonians 5:24, ”Faithful is He that calleth you, He also will do it.” About six weeks following Mary’s passing we were contacted by a Baptist Church in IL. Over the course of the next three months, God would set into motion to bring the church and our family together. He opened the door with an unanimous vote (the first one among the 12 they have had since it constituted in 1952) to be called as their pastor, which in itself was an act of God, and we started at the end of December. The LORD has been blessing our ministry even as we had sought to put Him first in our lives and orient our priorities unto His Own. The LORD further confirmed our calling to this place when He allowed us to find a house to buy within 2 days during Thanksgiving weekend of 2001. God s grace is always sufficient for all our needs for He sees our needs and sends an answer to it before we even become aware of it. In February of 2002, when my dad’s health worsened because of a stroke followed by a heart attack, the church granted us a month’s leave and allowed me to return to India to visit my parents. My dad had lost over 60 pounds and was down to a meagre 100 pounds. We made our trip at the end of March 2002 and it lasted for four weeks. Trena and Rachel accompanied me on this trip. We were able to share the gospel with my dad and he has started reading the Bible. It is our prayer that God would open his blinded eyes to the glorious Gospel of His Son, our LORD Jesus Christ. Since our return, God has been doing extra ordinary things at Paxton. Recently the church celebrated its 50th anniversary and we are thankful to the LORD for being in the midst of it. We look forward to God’s working at First Baptist Church to conform it to His will and to the image of His Son that He may be glorified all in all through her. During my time here, God has impressed upon my heart that I need to be further grounded in His truth. He has allowed me to see His passion for His people in this community and in this state. The LORD has allowed us to see a great harvest and hunger in the lives of His people in this church wherein we have had 15 people who are committed to reading through the Scriptures at least once a year. He has burdened my heart to be a witness unto Jesus Christ concerning His glorious salvation with at least one individual a day. He has allowed me to see His increase to His kingdom through bold witness like I have never seen before in my life. He has granted me the privilege to see two young men surrender their lives to the LORD Jesus Christ in response to His call to the gospel ministry and gave to me the privilege of mentoring them prior 57

to that and during that process. One is already at Southern Seminary pursuing the call to the ministry. Right now, we are training members of this church to be bold witnesses to all peoples right here in this city and surrounding areas. We had the privilege of holding our first ever evangelistic block party at the local community park wherein we witnessed to about 75 and about 10 of them surrendered their lives to the LORDship of Jesus Christ that very day. These are only a few instances that have been written down, and God will add many such chapters in the days to come. May the LORD bless you and keep you steadfast in the days to come as you look unto the Author and Perfecter of our Faith even the LORD Jesus Christ to whom be the glory forever and ever (Hebrews 12:1-2). Amen!!!!!!

To the Reader: Maybe you have not been confronted with the gospel of the blessed LORD Jesus Christ in this manner before. You may be asking what do I do now? Do not be concerned, the Bible gives us clear direction how you can know Christ and have eternal life by believing on His name. The first stage of your need is to Acknowledge Your Need. First, Agree with God that you have sinned, for the Bible clearly tells us in Romans 3:23, For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. You may wonder what sin is. Ask yourself this question, Have I ever lied? What does that make you? A Liar!!! Have I ever stolen anything (value is not important if I take one dollar from your wallet or a $1000 dollars, I am still guilty of stealing)? What does that make you? A Thief!!! This one gets me, Jesus said, If a man looks upon a woman to lust after her, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Have you ever lusted after a woman? So you see, by your own admission, you are a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart!!! So if God judges you by these commandments on the Day of Judgment, Will you be innocent or guilty? You know in your heart that you will be guilty just as I was. It also reaffirms to us that we have been created in sin and that our nature is to sin from our birth (Psalm 51:5; Ecclesiastes 7:20). Furthermore God clearly states the consequences of our sins is death in Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death. Secondly, Admit to God that you cannot save yourself even as the Bible informs us in Titus 3:5, Not by works of righteousness which we have done. Furthermore our condemnation is made clear in Romans 3:20, Also by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Thirdly, Accept God s provision for you in Jesus Christ as He tells us in this well known verse in John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God made Jesus Christ our atoning sacrifice as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:21, God made Him who knew no sin to become sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God, and in John 1:29, Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world. In other words, Jesus took your punishment and my punishment for sin and paid our penalty on the cross. All you have to do is to turn from your sin once and for all and trust in Jesus Christ and you will have passed from death to life (John 5:24). The second stage of your need is to Become His Child. It is really not that complicated. First, Believe in the LORD Jesus Christ for salvation as He states in Acts 16:31, Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. He has given you a very simple proposition as in Romans 10:9, If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is LORD and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. John further iterates in John 1:12, As many as believed on His Name, to them gave He the right to become children of God. Secondly, after you have confessed your sins and repented from it, you need to 58

follow the LORD in obedience to His command to be Baptized in water even as Jesus commanded you in Matthew 28:19, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, you need to start living a life that brings glory and honor to the LORD Jesus Christ. You cannot do this on your own strength, but on the strength that Jesus provides you on a daily basis, for Paul says in Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. You do this by reading your bible on a daily basis to get spiritual nourishment even as God reveals Himself through His eternal unchanging word. Read 4 chapters a day, (one chapter at breakfast, one chapter during lunch time, one chapter during supper and one chapter before you go to bed. If you do this faithfully starting from the first book of the bible Genesis, you would have read through the Bible in less than 10 months. Also, learn to Bring all your requests to Jesus Christ, meaning pray. You learn to pray by praying. Praying is nothing but talking with God. I did not say, talking to, but talking with. You listen to God as He speaks to you through His holy unchanging word. Then you need to find a church where you can join fellow Believers to worship and fellowship. This means you need to find a local church where the Bible is taught and preached. Last but not least, you need to Bear witness to others. Telling others what about Jesus has done for you (Mark 5:19-20). Keep the focus on Jesus, not on yourself, since Jesus has commanded you to be a witness for Him (Acts 1:8; John 15:27). If you do know Him as your Lord and Savior, let this encourage your heart, and please continue to bear witness to the All-Glorious Name Lord Jesus and may your life continue to be blessed by the Lord God Almighty. Understand the passion that the Lord has for His people, and wholeheartedly accept that which He lays upon your heart. For you see, He is the One who cares for you and asks that you cast all your burdens and anxieties upon Him (1 Peter 5:7).

Praise the Lord, for He alone is Worthy. May the Lord uphold you in His Grace and keep you from stumbling until He comes again!!!

Amen and Amen and Amen Source: PERSONAL TESTIMONY OF ”NAVEEN”, accessed from the link:http://home.illicom.net/ naveen/, accessed on November 7th 2008.
1. http://home.illicom.net/~naveen/letter.htm 2. http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/b/babymaryb

1.2.21

Inderpaul Singh (2008-11-25 12:37)

InderPaul Singh is a 23 years old Punjabi Christian in his final year of Mass Communications at TMC Business School in Singapore. He has a deep love for comedies, spicy food and football - Liverpool’s the best!!. He is a ’born actor’ and is actively involved in the Drama Ministry of Khush Khabri Fellowship. His philosophy in life is ”A cheerful heart is good medicine” and ”Serving this generation with the Love of God modelling the example of Jesus” A New Creation 59

My name is Inderpaul Singh and I am from Singapore. I was born into a Sikh family and, so, naturally followed the customs and rituals that were associated with Sikhism. I would go to the Sikh temple, as that was the norm. That changed when my grandmother passed away in 1998, after which I never bothered going to the temple. I thought that since GOD is omnipresent the need for going to the temple to pray was redundant. Praying at home would suffice, not that I did anyway! All these were just convenient excuses and I continued being apathetic.

My uncle brought me to Khush Kabri North Indian Fellowship for the first time in April 2004, and I was kind of amused seeing the congregation singing and dancing during the worship. All my life in the Sikh temple made me think that you have to be very solemn when it came to GODLY matters and worship, yet here were people singing and dancing. After coming to terms with that, I sat through the message and realised that what was being preached was totally pragmatic and I, a first timer to church, could relate to it. Once the message was over, most people went out for some refreshments and I felt shy because I knew no one there. Sensing this, Amit came and chatted with me. He was extremely friendly and very humble in his mannerisms, which came as a shock. I found him to be a gentleman and from past experiences, almost all of the aesthetically pleasing North Indians I knew were arrogant. So it came as a pleasant shock that left me with a good impression of Christians.

I came to Khush Kabri a few more times in 2004 and finally on December 2004, accepted The Lord Jesus Christ as my personal saviour and God. The period that followed was not a rosy one: I had to deal with a lot of personal turbulence and at one point I even regretted what I had done. But one thing I can say for sure is that God was with me all through this period and I did not succumb to my problems. God gave me the strength of character to overcome them and I can confidently say that God loves each and every one of us. If God can bless an ordinary person like myself, then why not you? We just have to let him and trust Him with all our heart. The ride that ensues will by no means be comfortable but even in your problems, there will be a peace of mind that only GOD can bestow. Source:Testimony of Inderpaul Singh, A New Creation, by Inderpaul Singh, taken from the link:http://www.southasianconnection.com/articles/30/1/Testimony-of- Inderpaul-Singh/Page1.html, accessed on 17th November 2008

1.2.22

Rabi Maharaj (2008-11-25 12:39)

Rabi Maharaj is an Indian evangelist and founder of East-West Ministries. He is a descendent of a long line of Brahmin priests and gurus and trained as a Yogi. Rabi was raised in Trinidad where he came to Christ. He is the most travelled Hindu convert who has spoken to thousands in colleges, universities, churches and crusades worldwide. Rabi tells his remarkable story of his journey to Christ in the book, ”Death of a Guru” which has gone through several publications. No matter how fulfilling life becomes, there are always certain regrets when one looks back. My deepest sense of loss involves my father. So much has happened since his death. I often wonder what it would be like to share it all with him, and what his reaction would be. We never shared anything in our lives. 60 Because of vows he had taken before I was born, not once

did he ever speak to me or pay me the slightest heed. Just two words from him would have made me unspeakably happy. How I wanted to hear him say, ”Rabi. Son.” Just once. But he never did. For eight long years he uttered not a word. The trance-like condition he had achieved is called in the East a state of higher consciousness and can be attained only through deep meditation. ”Why is Father that way?” I would ask my mother, still too young to understand. ”He is someone very special – the greatest man you could have for a father,” she would reply. ”He is seeking the true Self that lies within us all, the One Being, of which there is no other. And that’s what you are too, Rabi.” Father had set an example, achieved wide acclaim, and earned the worship of many, and it was inevitable that upon his death his mantle would fall upon me. I had never imagined, however, that I would still be so young when this fateful day arrived. When father died I felt I had lost everything. Though I had scarcely known him as my father, he had been my inspiration – a god – and now he was dead. At his funeral, my father’s stiff body was placed on a great npile of firewood. The thought of his body being sacrificed to Agni, the god of fire, added a new dimension of mystery to the bewilderment and deep sense of loss that already overwhelmed me. As the flames engulfed him, it was impossible to suppress the anguish I felt. ”Mommy!” I screamed. ”Mommy!” If she heard me above the roar of sparks and fire, she made no indication. A true Hindu, she found strength to follow the teaching of Krishna: she would mourn neither the living nor the dead. Not once did she cry as the flames consumed my father. After my father’s funeral, I became a favorite subject for the palm-readers and astrologers who frequented our house. Our family would hardly make an important decision without consulting an astrologer, so it was vital that my future be confirmed in the same way. It was encouraging to learn that the lines on my palms and the planets and stars, according to those who interpreted them, all agreed I would become a great Hindu leader. I was obviously a chosen vessel, destined for early success in the search for union with Brahman (the One). The forces that had guided my father were now guiding me.

I was only eleven and already many people were bowing before me, laying gifts of money, cotton cloth, and other treasures at my feet and hanging garlands of flowers around my neck at religious ceremonies. How I loved religious ceremonies – especially private ones in our own home or those of others, where friends and relatives would crowd in. There I would be the center of attention, admired by all. I loved to move through the audience, sprinkling holy water on worshipers or marking foreheads with the sacred white sandalwood paste. I also loved how the worshipers, after the ceremony, bowed low before me to leave their offerings at my feet. While vacationing at an Aunt’s ranch, I had my first real encounter with Jesus. I was walking along enjoying nature one day and was startled by a rustling sound in the underbrush behind me. I turned quickly and, to my horror, saw a large snake coming directly toward me – its beady eyes staring intently into mine. I felt paralyzed, wanting desperately to run but unable to move. 61

In that moment of frozen terror, out of the past came my mother’s voice, repeating words I had long forgotten: ”Rabi, if ever you’re in real danger and nothing else seems to work, there’s another god you can pray to. His name is Jesus.” ”Jesus! Help me!” I tried to yell, but the desperate cry was choked and hardly audible. To my astonishment, the snake turned around and quickly wriggled off into the underbrush. Breathless and still trembling, I was filled with wondering gratitude to this amazing god, Jesus. Why had my mother not taught me more about him? During my third year in high school I experienced an increasingly deep inner conflict. My growing awareness of God as the Creator, separate and distinct from the universe He had made, contradicted the Hindu concept that god was everything, that the Creator and the Creation were one and the same. If there was only One Reality, then Brahman was evil as well as good, death as well as life, hatred as well as love. That made everything meaningless, life an absurdity. It was not easy to maintain both one’s sanity and the view that good and evil, love and hate, life and death were One Reality. One day a friend of my cousin Shanti, whose name was Molli, came by to visit. She asked me about whether I found Hinduism fulfilling. Trying to hide my emptiness, I lied and told her I was very happy and that my religion was the Truth. She listened patiently to my pompous and sometimes arrogant pronouncements. Without arguing, she exposed my emptiness gently with politely phrased questions. She told me that Jesus had brought her close to God. She also said that God is a God of love and that He desires us to be close to Him. As appealing as this sounded to me, I stubbornly resisted, not willing to surrender my Hindu roots. Still, I found myself asking, ”What makes you so happy? tation.” You must have been doing a lot of medi-

”I used to,” Molli responded, ”but not any more. Jesus has given me a peace and joy that I never knew before.” Then she said, ”Rabi, you don’t seem very happy. Are you?” I lowered my voice: ”I’m not happy. I wish I had your joy.” Was I saying this? ”My joy is because my sins are forgiven,” said Molli. ally knowing Him.” ”Peace and joy come from Christ, through re-

We continued talking for half a day, unaware of how the time had passed. I wanted her peace and joy, but I was absolutely resolved that I wasn’t going to give up any part of my religion. As she was leaving, she said: ”Before you go to bed tonight, Rabi, please get on your knees and ask God to show you the Truth – and I’ll be praying for you.” With a wave of her hand she was gone. Pride demanded that I reject everything Molli had said, but I was too desperate to save face any longer. I fell to my knees, conscious that I was giving in to her request. ”God, the true God and Creator, please show me the truth!” Something inside me snapped. For the first time in my life, I felt I had really prayed and gotten through – not to some impersonal Force, but to the true God who loves and cares. Too tired to think any longer, I crawled into bed and fell asleep almost instantly. 62

Soon after, my cousin Krishna invited me to a Christian meeting. sponding: ”Why not?”

I again surprised myself by re-

On our way there, Krishna and I were joined by Ramkair, a new acquaintance of his. ”Do you know anything about this meeting?” I asked him, anxious to get some advance information. ”A little,” he replied. ”I became a Christian recently.” ”Tell me,” I said eagerly. ”Did Jesus really change your life?” Ramkair smiled broadly. ”He sure did! Everything is different.” ”It’s really true, Rab!” added Krishna enthusiastically. days ago.” ”I’ve become a Christian too – just a few

The preacher’s sermon was based on Psalm 23, and the words, ”The Lord is my shepherd,” made my heart leap. After expounding the Psalm, the preacher said: ”Jesus wants to be your Shepherd. Have you heard His voice speaking to your heart? Why not open your heart to Him now? Don’t wait until tomorrow – that may be too late!” The preacher seemed to be speaking directly to me. I could delay no longer. I quickly knelt in front of him. He smiled and asked if anyone else wanted to receive Jesus. No one stirred. Then he asked the Christians to come forward and pray with me. Several did, kneeling beside me. For years Hindus had bowed before me – and now I was kneeling before a Christian. Aloud I repeated after him a prayer inviting Jesus into my heart. When the preacher said, ”Amen,” he suggested I pray in my own words. Quietly, choking with emotion, I began: ”Lord Jesus, I’ve never studied the Bible, but I’ve heard that you died for my sins at Calvary so I could be forgiven and reconciled to God. Please forgive me all my sins. Come into my heart!” Before I finished, I knew that Jesus wasn’t just another one of several million gods. He was the God for whom I had hungered. He Himself was the Creator. Yet, He loved me enough to become a man and die for my sins. With that realization, tons of darkness seemed to lift and a brilliant light flooded my soul. After arriving home, Krishna and I found the entire family waiting up for us, apparently having heard what had happened. ”I asked Jesus into my life tonight!” I exclaimed happily, as I looked from one to another of those startled faces. ”It’s glorious. I can’t tell you how much he means to me already.” Some in my family seemed wounded and bewildered; others seemed happy for me. But before it was all over with, thirteen of us had ended up giving our hearts to Jesus! It was incredible. The following day I walked resolutely into the prayer room with Krishna. Together we carried everything out into the yard: idols, Hindu scriptures, and religious paraphernalia. We wanted to rid ourselves of every tie with the past and with the powers of darkness that had blinded and enslaved us for so long. When everything had been piled on the rubbish heap, we set it on fire and watched the flames consume our past. The tiny figures we once feared as gods were turning to ashes. We hugged one another and offered thanks to the Son of God who had died to set us free. I found my thoughts going back to my father’s cremation nearly eight years before. In contrast to our new found joy, that scene had aroused inconsolable grief. My father’s body had been offered to the very 63

same false gods who now lay in smoldering fragments before me. It seemed unbelievable that I should be participating with great joy in the utter destruction of that which represented all I had once believed in so fanatically. In a sense this was my cremation ceremony – the end of the person I had once been...the death of a guru. The old Rabi Maharaj had died in Christ. And out of that grave a new Rabi had risen in whom Christ was now living. (Editor’s Note: If you would be interested in a detailed account of Rabi’s conversion, his book Death of a Guru is available on Amazon.com. Rabi is presently based in Southern California and is involved in evangelism all over the world. He invites you to write to: East/West Gospel Ministries, P.O. Box 2191, La Habra, CA 90632.) Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute. Source:Death of a Guru - The Story of Rabi Maharaj, by Rabi Mahara, taken from the link:http://www.southasianconnection.com/articles/24/1/Death-of-a-Gu ru—The-Story-of-RabiMaharaj/Page1.html, accessed on 17th November 2008

1.3
1.3.1

December
Bro. Anil Kumar (2008-12-12 05:40)

[1]Bro. Anil Kumar\’s Testimony
1. http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=oF_Gz2WHorw

1.3.2

(2008-12-12 12:43)

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Who is Jesus Christ? Is Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus ) really the promised Messiah of Israel (Hebrew for Christ ) of the Old Testament? Is Jesus Christ truly the Son of God & literally God Himself, the Divine living within human flesh? Were Jesus Christ s claims that of a Liar or Lunatic & or is He really Lord of the universe? You may want to take a [1]tour of some of the major highlights of Jesus life. Or you may want to [2]preview what people were saying before Christ was born. Of course, you may want to check out Jesus [3]claims about himself. Some may be interested in learning about the [4]muscle Jesus exercised and the miracles he performed. Knowledgeable people will agree that Jesus Christ has made quite an [5]impact on the world. You may even come to learn that Yeshua is indeed the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. If you prefer, you can take time to further [6]investigate Jesus Christ s claims in the New Testament. But after all is said and done, the key question for [7]you is, What does all this information about Jesus Christ have to do with my life? Or, you may have other [8]questions. The following describes how you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ today, experience forgiveness of your sins, receive eternal life, and gain a whole new purpose for living. 65

Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws which govern your relationship with God. 1. God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. (References contained on this page are from the Bible and should be read in context wherever possible.) God’s Love ”God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). God’s Plan Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life? Because...

2. Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life. Man Is Sinful ”All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin. Man Is Separated ”The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).

This diagram illustrates that God is holy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that a man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as seeking to lead a good life, philosophy, or religion - but he inevitably fails. 66

The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf...

3. Jesus Christ is God’s ONLY provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life. He Died in Our Place

”God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He Rose From the Dead

”Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred...” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). He Is the Only Way to God

”Jesus said to him, ’I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me’” (John 14:6).

This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins. However, it is not enough just to know these three laws...

4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.

John 3:1-8 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, ”Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, ”I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 67

”How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. ”Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, ”I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ’You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Scripture taken from the New International Version. We Must Receive Christ

”As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). We Receive Christ Through Faith

”By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth (Read [9]John 3:1-8) We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation

[Christ speaking] ”Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20). Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. You receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will. These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

Which circle best describes your life? 68

Which circle would you like to have represent your life? The following explains how you can receive Christ: You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer: (Prayer is talking to God)

God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

”Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised. Did you pray this prayer? [10]

[11]I still have questions [12] I am already a follower of Jesus Source: http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/
1. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/tour.htm 2. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/preview.htm 3. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/claims.htm 4. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/muscle.htm 5. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/impact.htm 6. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/studyd.htm 7. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/you.htm 8. http://www.greatcom.org/resources/toughquestions/ 9. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/ 10. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/feedbak-yes.htm 11. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/feedbak.htm 12. http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/feedbak.htm

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Gad’s BlogBook v0.1, EX 2ε & GNU/Linux. http://www.blogbooker.com
A LT

Edited: December 23, 2008


				
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