Thayappan

18 09 2009

Brother Thayappan and his family were very staunch Hindu People who have recently been blessed by the Lord. They were very strong devotees of Goddess Adhi Parasakthi and were practicing Hindu rites very sincerely and devotedly. Brother Thayappan lives with his family in Tambaram of Madras in South India. Here is his heart touching testimony as to how he had come to know of the Lord Jesus Christ, saved and blessed.  Not only he, his complete family ie. his wife, daughter and his younger son were also touched by the Lord by miracles and now the complete family attend the church in the full faith & they stand as a living mighty witness to glorify the name of the Heavenly Father,  His son-Lord Jesus christ and the Holy Spirit.  Praise the Lord.

Pastor D. Solomon Raja

It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me who was an unpardonable sinner and a most ardent idol worshipper for 58 years. The Lord touched me and my entire family through the sickness of my son Karthik, who was working as a Software Engineer in USA. Once Jesus disciples asked Jesus about a man blind from the birth, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind, Jesus Christ answered,  “Neither this man nor his parents. This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life – (John 9:3)”. Similarly the Lord has chosen our family especially for His glory and to display His work. Psalmist says in Psalm 4:3 that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself. Thus the Lord has set apart us for His glory and bestowed upon us innumerable and unimaginable miracles and wonders.

S. Thayappan

Source: http://www.ipaseattle.org/thayappan.pdf

Accessed on Sep 18, 2009

Advertisements




Sukhdev Singh

28 05 2009

Sukhdev Singh is a Punjabi Christian attending New Creation Church in Singapore. He has been impacted by the love of Jesus Christ. The Lord has blessed him supernaturally through the abundance of grace given by the Lord Jesus. His greatest desire is to tell people about the loveliness of his Lord Jesus Christ. He is currently pursuing an Aerospace Degree Programme in Nanyang Technological University in Singapore as he has a strong passion for planes. He has wonderful parents that are an image of Christ to him and two beautiful sisters who have been ever-supportive of him all his life.
View all articles by Sukhdev Singh
The Hand Of The Lord Upon My Family

It all started in 2004 when a friend of mine invited me to New Creation Church. At first I was reluctant to go because I hated Christians. The reason being, they used to preach to me. Whenever I talked to them, they used to say that I was not in a relationship with the true and living God. Then I came to know this girl and was interested in her and to my surprise she was attending New Creation Church. I decided to go to church with her so that I could see her more often. As time went by, I fell in love with this girl and I got hooked to going church with her because I wanted see her more often.

Whenever the church service was going on, I used to shut my ears and tell myself how stupid this people can be to worship this man whom they think died for them. For about nine months I have been attending church and then suddenly came a bang. My girlfriend told me she was not interested in me anymore and I was hurt really deeply in my heart and that was the time I started looking for answers. I felt deeply rejected because I used to look at myself and say what is wrong with me.

At that time, I was also in Officer Cadet School and on top of the vigorous training, I was on the verge of breaking down. At that time my family was also going through problems (too may to count). Oh man I desperately needed help. I felt I needed to go back to church to listen to the Word of God. I was so desperate to find something to lift me up. I used to cry in my army bunk and ask myself what have I done to receive all this. Little did I know that the hand of the Lord was upon my life and he was drawing me towards Him.

Within a few weeks I accepted the Lord Jesus quietly without even telling my friend that invited me to church. I was so afraid of this decision but yet I know that I needed Jesus in my life. After a few days, I told him I had became a Christian and he was quite shocked. My life changed tremendously after that. I started going to church with him and I started growing in grace. All glory to Jesus Christ. His plan in our lives are perfect.

The bible declares that “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “ Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

As time went by I started lying to my parents that I was going to church. I did not have the courage to tell my parents that I had embraced Christianity because my parents were staunch Sikhs. But the Lord loves me so much that He built my courage within and strengthen me through the Word of God preached at New Creation Church.

About four months after accepting Jesus as my Savior, Master and Lord, I had this strong desire to tell my parents about my new found faith and the good news of our loving Savior Jesus Christ. At first, the persecution at home was intense because my parents were deeply devoted Sikhs. The persecution grew so bad that almost everyday I had a quarrels and arguments with my dad. But Jesus always reminded me of His everlasting love for me and my family. Lord thank you.

Then there came a breakthrough where things started to change. It changed so rapidly like a tsunami of blessings after blessings. My elder sister’s marriage failed within a year. She was in a state of depression after secretly going through verbal and physical abuse from her husband. There was one day she came back home was so broken that I told her to follow me to church and I remembered it was a Thursday and we had a weekday Bible Study. My mum seeing my sister in that state also decided to tag along. On that day, my sister and mum accepted the Lord. They said they have never been so loved in their life. Glory to Jesus. Your name forever be praised!!

Then came another tsunami of blessings when my bedridden grandmother accepted the Lord. After months of her receiving Christ, there came another wave. Wow!! so many waves of blessing. God always wants to so readily bless us. He can’t wait to bless us, His children.

I remember it was a Sunday and my mum managed to get my whole family, including my dad and younger sister to come to New Creation Church. I remembered that Pastor Lian was preaching that day and she was telling us a testimony about how this mother stood on the Word of God even though doctors have given up on her young son. My family were very touched by that testimony. Then just after the service we went to visit my bedridden grandmother as she was staying at my uncle’s place who is an unbeliever.

When we reached his place, there was no one there and we saw my grandmother breathing unusually. I decided to ask my mum to pray for her, but before even she could say a word she broke down and cried. So decided to pray for her and I remember telling her that Jesus loves her so much and the way is open for her to eternal freedom. I could see her face turning red and I knew Jesus was there just embracing her with his super abounding love.

The next day she went into the hospital and all my relatives visited her and the following day she passed away. The doctors said that medically she would have lived longer but she left earlier and my family knew it was Jesus who came to take her into freedom. I still remember that when she passed away, she looked as though she was sleeping and her body had this radiance and peace. When my family saw her body, we all broke down and cried because we knew it was a sign from Jesus telling us my grandmother was with him.

This series of events that had taken place brought my younger sister and my father to the Lord. Praise Jesus for everything. He showed His glory by bringing my whole family to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ within a short span of two months. Only Jesus can do that. I hope that this testimony would encourage many believers out there to trust God for the salvation of their families even though it’s been years or no matter how much a person can be religious but not have a living relationship with God. My family is an example of such a family whom Jesus has touched. We have become so deeply in love with Jesus. I give all glory to Jesus. No one is like you Jesus!

http://www.southasianconnection.com/articles/263/1/From-Rejection-To-Rock-Bottom-God-ReCreated-Restored-and-Filled-Me-With-His-Presence/Page1.html





Dr. Srinivasa Bhattacharya

3 11 2008

“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 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”.

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 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 Namaha- the 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 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?





Kaleb Arpit Shukla

16 01 2017

We all long for a deep sense of meaning and purpose in life, inner peace in the stormy circumstances, contentment in the rhythms of ordinary life, and especially knowing what’s truth versus a counterfeit reality. Whenever I reflect on my journey in search for these ideals, it always fills me with deep gratitude and awestruck wonder for having discovered a perpetual source of peace and joy. My reason for writing this is in hope that my journey would inspire and lead you to experiencing this truth that has brought joy beyond words. And sometimes truth can initially be wounding in order to heal–just like a surgeon–it can cut away false perceptions, shallow views and deep seated beliefs so that were anchored on a firm foundation with an enlightened perspective. This is what has brought me stability and a solid current of joy underneath all the ups and downs of life.

To give you some background, I was born in 1976 in Agra, the city known for the Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) one of the great wonders of the world. Growing up in India, I was saturated with Hindu culture and religion. My father was born into the Brahmin caste, the highest of the four Hindu castes. Brahmin’s are traditionally known for being engaged in attaining the highest spiritual knowledge of God and for performing religious duties as priests in the temples and homes and also served as mediators between humans and God. Even though my father was not deeply religious, yet he took great pride in the teachings of Hinduism. My mother would faithfully pray daily to the multiple gods that were kept in a set apart area of our home. Watching on television the ancient Indian Hindu religious epics and seeing the gods display their supernatural powers in battle developed in me a fascination for the Hindu gods and created a hunger for a deeper revelation of who God is. I had hoped that there was a God up there who we could connect to and get to know and who would help us through life.

Hinduism is very complex to define because there is not a common source of authority, so although there are a wide range of traditions, philosophies, cultural practices and even conflicting ideas, there are some predominant beliefs that generally emerge. Hinduism teaches that there is only one ultimate reality and that is Brahman; all else is Maya (illusion, a false view of the world due to ignorance). The chief goal is the self-realization that there is nothing distinct or separate between you and God and the whole universe, all is of the same essence, Brahman. One author says, “You are God…you just don’t know it yet. Look within and realize that you and Brahman are One, and you will be delivered from the illusion of fleshly passions.” Hinduism consists of the teachings of Karma (action and subsequent reaction), Samsara (Reincarnation, continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), Moksha (liberation from Samsara) and Universal oneness. And the great objective of Hinduism is reaching moksha, or God-consciousness through various paths (yogas) that include Bhakti (love and devotion), Karma (right action), Raja (meditation), and Jnana (wisdom). Devotional practices include repeating prayers, holy baths in the Ganges, offerings to idols, sacrifices, mantras, rituals, pilgrimages to holy sites, in effect to elevate the worshipper into oneness with God.

My parents and I were first in our family history to leave India and settle in USA when I was just 8 years old. In 1992 (at the age of 15), as a junior (11th grade) in high school, I took an electrical engineering course where I made a new friend, Joseph. It was during that time that Joseph had made a radical commitment to follow Jesus Christ. He shared his faith with great zeal and with deep conviction. My impression of Christianity was that it was dry and boring, merely following a bunch of rules that restrained you from all the pleasures in life. After knowing Joseph for a short while, he invited me to come to church with him. Since we had become good friends and because I respected all faiths, I decided to attend the church service.

During the main service at the church, the minister preached passionately and with great boldness about having a relationship with the one and only living God through Jesus. He shared powerful testimonies of those who experienced God in supernatural ways. Afterwards, Joseph had me buy a bible from the bookstore. That evening as I was pondering the sermon, on one hand I was deeply offended by the preacher as to how he could be so narrow-minded by preaching Jesus as the only way to God, but also at the same time I was struck by the depth of conviction by which he spoke and how Jesus answered prayers supernaturally. I was offended by the message and yet captivated by the miracles. So, I thought to myself, “What if this Jesus is for real?” I had hoped that He wasn’t, because if He was then I knew that I would have to change my lifestyle. I felt that it would lead me to a less-fulfilled life because Jesus would cut out from my life the things that I really wanted to do. Since I was hungry for truth, I prayed a simple prayer that night asking Jesus that if He was really real than to prove and reveal Himself to me. I had no expectations that any convincing proofs would follow.

Out of curiosity, I immediately started reading the first book of the Bible in the New Testament which was the book of Matthew. I was quite shocked to find Jesus using strong, and sometimes even harsh language. I just simply could not believe that a loving God could display such harshness like Jesus because of His confrontational words and bold actions. I thought to myself there is no way I could believe in Jesus as God because if He really loved people, than He would not offend anyone’s feelings or make such hard demands on people. He did not fit my understanding of what love looked like, which was based on a backdrop of the love that Hinduism portrays as trying to include everyone in an effort to offend and disappoint no one. So, my heart grew cold and I was turned off to Jesus and did not want to pursue Him any further.

As a senior (12th grade) in high school, I vividly remember one afternoon I came across a television program, where I saw people sharing their testimonies about how Jesus set them free from drug addictions, healed them from various sicknesses and where several had supposedly even come out of wheelchairs. Suddenly, with a deep desire to know if this Jesus was really God, I broke down with tears crying out to God again to make Himself real to me. That very instant I got a call from Joseph, who I had not heard from for probably several months, inviting me to a bible study. So, I thought maybe this had to be more than just a coincidence and it left a lasting impression.

Throughout my childhood, I was very shy, introspective and longed to break out of the shell. As I went through high school and early college years, I had a deep hunger for truth and the supernatural realm. I came across books describing experiences of those who received communications from the spirit realm and how it had a great impact on their life. I became deeply absorbed by New Age as these authors offered their methods to develop these supernatural powers and it was very compatible to my already held Hindu beliefs. Just like every boy fantasizes about being a super hero with super powers, I yearned to have supernatural experiences and awaken these hidden powers. Based on testimonies I had read from those following New Age practices, I started practicing meditation, self-hypnosis, channeling spirits through Ouija boards, tried to develop psychic powers, pursued out of body experiences, lucid dreaming, astral travel, mind over matter, and went to psychics who did palm reading, astrology, and tarot card readings. My perception of truth became deeply rooted in new age and self-help ideas. I believed that when I unlocked these supernatural powers within me, that I would find fulfillment and completion of purpose. I believed that just as several roads lead to a city, so all religions and all paths are stepping stones that will take you to the same one God. This appealed to me because it was accepting, non-confrontational and seemed like a well-balanced view. I didn’t see any difference between Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Krishna…because to me all religions were merely the same, having universal moral values and their founders as those who had attained enlightenment. The peaceful looking yogis and gurus who went to great extremes to attain spiritual consciousness always impressed me because of their total abandonment of worldly pleasures to focus on spiritual practices by a lifestyle of continual fasting and prayer, living on very little means. It seemed that they knew God and lived a transcendental life. I believed that Jesus was an enlightened teacher who walked in great power but I was not willing to believe on Jesus alone.

The God described in Christianity did not make sense to me. I did not understand why if there is an all-powerful and all-loving God that He would allow so much evil in this world. The Christians would blame everything bad on the devil, but I felt it was a cop-out to blame everything bad on the devil when really their God should intervene. I figured they just blamed everything bad on the devil in order to make their God look good. I could not fathom why a loving God would send people to a place of eternal torment called hell and I argued that He should not have made them in the first place. I did not like Jesus because He claimed to be the only way to God. Furthermore, I did not want to serve this God because it was too costly and too demanding on my life. I wanted to have freedom to make my own decisions.

One of the greatest obstacles in understanding the Bible message was that I had a watered down concept of sin (which is anything the separates us from God in thought, word or deed), so I did not know that I needed to be saved from anything. The idea presented to me of Jesus dying on the cross for my sins did not make sense to me and I didn’t see any significance in that event. The concept of sin separating us from a perfect and holy God was a direct contrast to my beliefs, because Hinduism taught that we were gods and just needed to be enlightened to that reality; sin was not the issue but ignorance of our reality as already being One with Ultimate Reality (Brahman). The solution it offered was that supreme peace could only be attained through the practice of meditation. So, even though I had bad thoughts and committed wrongful deeds, I did not bother about them. I was not a bad person in my own eyes. Even if I did bad things occasionally, the good always seemed to more than compensate for the bad. This made me feel good about myself. I thought if there really is a God, He knows that I have a good heart and He’ll surely accept me. Even with all the lying, drinking, pride, rebellion, immorality, filthy thoughts…I saw myself as a very good person in comparison to others.

In 1995, during my second semester in college, I started pursuing a relationship with a friend I had met, who I later discovered was of the Christian faith. Our religious ideas strongly clashed because she held to the Christian faith. I did not want to lose her, so in order to preserve our relationship and out of respect for her, I began taking her to the same church that Joseph had introduced me to 3 years back. I was again very disturbed at some of the things that were preached from the Bible that were a direct contradiction to what I held dear. Yet, I was always intrigued by the great joy that my friend Joseph had and how Christians would testify of Jesus intervening supernaturally to answer prayers. So, a year later in the early part of 1996, I began to pray a little but I sought God for selfish reasons, I just wanted Jesus to answer my prayers, especially praying that God would strengthen my relationship with my girlfriend. I thought that if only I could just marry her, than that would bring me ultimate fulfillment. I would read the bible and listened to Christian radio programs, but conflicted inside about going all the way and giving up my lifestyle of sin.

The real spiritual struggle began in me as I wrestled with this concept of man being separated from God due to sin (disobedience to God’s ways). As I continued with church and heard about what God expects from us, I began to feel greater conviction and a sense of uncleanness before God, because I was living an immoral lifestyle. I reasoned that I would “really serve” God when I was much older when the youthful lusts and desires weren’t so strong. I knew that following Jesus meant I had to turn away from my sins. I didn’t want to do that! There was too much pleasure in my sin. I was still looking at Christianity through my religious glasses, seeing the Bible as full of Do’s and Don’ts, rules and regulations, and because I kept falling into sin, I didn’t think I could ever be good enough to please God. I still continued my search to fill the inner emptiness. I was comforted by hearing this Scripture on Christian radio, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”

After some time, I began to gradually experience how Jesus was distinct and really stood out when I compared and contrasted with everything else I had experienced and studied, primarily in relation to healing miracles, prophecies and most of all, personal life transformations. I had heard about Hindu gurus who had the power to read people’s minds, see into the future and heal the sick (e.g. migraine headaches). But Jesus and His followers seemed to far exceed these powers, because I would hear stories from those who went to places like Africa and India and through praying to Jesus on behalf of people had seen remarkable healings take place, such as blind eyes and deaf ears opening, cancer and tumors disappearing, lame walking, the dead being raised and many other such miracles. These were the same things that I had read about in the Bible of what Jesus and His followers did while on earth. When it came to prophecies, the fortune tellers were sometimes very accurate about the past but it was a hit-or-miss when it came to the future. However, in the Bible, I learned that over a fourth of it is prophecy and judged by scholars to be 100% accurate, where even Jesus’ coming to earth had fulfilled over 100 prophecies written down in the Bible hundreds of years before His birth. Evaluating these things and seeing great contrasts made such a deep impression on me, that now I was coming to realize that even though I don’t fully understand or like some things with the Bible message, yet I cannot deny the miracles and prophecies. So, I came to the realization that the reason for my lack of peace was not because I needed to meditate more but it was my disobedience to God that had separated me from God, because up until that point I was blinded by my own rebellion against God and my need for Jesus. So, on the one hand, I was growing in my understanding and desire for spiritual things, yet I was experiencing relational conflicts with my girlfriend and our relationship was fast deteriorating.

In summer of 1996, I had surrendered my heart to Jesus, but it lasted only for a few months for a couple of reasons. The primary reason is that I came to a fork in the road and had to make a decision whether to follow Jesus all the way or to hold on to my relationship with my girlfriend. I could not keep both, because we were at different levels of spiritual pursuit and getting into sin was a continual battle. Because I was so emotionally tied up with my girlfriend, I allowed my personal desires and ambitions to rule my life. I chose to leave my relationship with Jesus in order to wholeheartedly pursue and try to restore my relationship with my girlfriend. Secondarily, is that even though I had felt sorry for my sins, I had been trying to live for God in my own strength, and was frustrated with lustful desires and struggled with what family and friends would think of me by following Christ. In my mind I convinced myself that I was not good enough or strong enough to be a Christian. I had wanted to serve Christ and wanted for Him to save me from pain and, of course, from hell, but I still wanted to pursue my own pleasures. So, it was not that I did not want God, but I wanted other things more than God. During this time, there were still many questions I wrestled with in my mind as I read the Bible and sometimes I would see contradictions that did not make sense to me which also became a stumbling block in fully surrendering to Jesus.

In early 1997, my third year in college was the real turning point of my life. I went through a really bitter breakup with my girlfriend and was very frustrated that the one relationship that I thought would bring so much fulfillment and tried so hard to keep was completely over, even after all my efforts to preserve it. I came to the place where the foundation I had built my life upon had totally crumbled and now life felt totally meaningless and without any purpose, only wishing to die to escape the emotional pain. For years, I had drifted through life pursuing the methods I learned from new age and self-help books and had done things my own way, but I was still empty and faced many regrets. I felt wearied from running around trying to fill my emptiness through religions, relationships, pleasing people and really wanted my life to end.

In the midst of this inner turmoil, I began to reflect on the life transforming stories of those I had witnessed, who lived for Jesus Christ and experienced lasting peace and joy, who seemed confident in decisions they made because they knew God helped them, and how their lives experienced healings both physically and emotionally. I was once again drawn to Jesus because he was relational and pursued us. I discovered that in all religions, man makes the effort to go to God through good works, while Jesus leaving heavenly bliss, comes to where we are to identify with our pain by the sufferings he endured in order to heal us from it and bring meaning to our lives. I concluded that I had nowhere else to turn to but to Jesus, because I understood that not only had I witnessed Him heal bodies but also broken hearts. The fear of God came upon me as I came across a website about this self-proclaimed Messiah with supernatural powers bringing together all religions and how multitudes were flocking to him. It reminded me where in the Bible, Jesus warned about this deception of false messengers that would claim to be the Messiah and deceive many. I realized that doing things my own way had in the end only brought more pain, so I surrendered myself completely to Jesus. My heart had been filled with bitterness and hatred toward life’s disappointments. So, in April 1997 (at 20 years of age) I made this promise to God, “I’ll serve you no matter how many times I fall [meaning it would only be a temporary fall, that I would always get back up] if You’ll heal this broken heart”. At first, I was bothered because I didn’t feel any immediate relief, but I later realized that Christ never promised wonderful experiences and feelings at the time anyone accepts Him. But that does not negate the authenticity of Jesus’ promise. So, even though I had felt nothing when I took this step of faith, the peace and emotional stability that I had longed for came progressively as a result of walking with Him. A genuine transformation took place in my heart; love for God and for people began to fill my heart driving out fears and bitterness.

As I attended church services, I felt stronger on the inside because the messages preached would speak right to my heart and I would receive the wisdom and power of God to soar above everyday challenges. I began to master the basic disciplines, like prayer, going to church as often as possible, bible school and got involved in reaching out to the community. That summer of 1997 I went to a life changing conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Joseph and after personally witnessing the healing miracles and demonstrations of God’s power in those meetings, all doubts about Christianity had been removed and I was completely rooted in Christ. I had also been filled with the Holy Spirit and experienced the gift of a new heavenly language flowing through me. I began to witness God working through me, in one case shortly after committing my life to Jesus, I prayed for a man with a dislocated shoulder and he was instantly healed, whereas previously he had not been able to move his arm for over a year. One of my Christian friends I met that same year in college told me how he had gone to India and prayed for a lady who was lame and was healed and could walk again and another story of praying for this lady with cataracts and she was instantly healed. And my faith grew as I continued to hear countless other testimonies of those who first-hand had seen God heal their bodies, speak to them through dreams and visions, and experienced God’s hand guiding their lives. Ever since this full surrender of my life to Jesus, a peace beyond comprehension guards me day and night and when I come across circumstances that try to disturb my peace, I immediately know where to find it by praying to God and getting His perspective. That inner vacuum and emptiness I had for so long has been filled forever!

My family thought that my new-found belief in Jesus was just another phase and that it would soon pass. All my relatives had a very difficult time with my conversion and it caused many arguments and heated conflicts. Since religion and culture are closely linked in Indian society, they believed that the culture a person is born into determines the religious beliefs of that person and especially with a born Hindu, they should never deviate from it. My family, though they loved me very much, they could not fathom why a person like me with family members from the Brahmin caste would resort to the lowest-caste religion of the Untouchables. They could not believe that I would do anything to hurt my parents and that Jesus would only want me to love my parents and never do anything that would disappoint them. They thought of Christianity as a western religion and that it was only because I had spent so many years in USA that I was influenced by Western thinking, deceived by the Christians and possibly offered money to convert. Because of the British rule in India for nearly 200 years, it had left them with a bitter taste of Christianity and they did not have anything positive to say about the Christian faith, especially hating the idea of evangelizing and converting people. Also, some in my family had very different views of Jesus, believing that He studied in India and taught meditation for which I had found no scholarly support. So, following Jesus brought great dishonor to the family and it appeared to them that I was rejecting the culture. Jesus teaches us to honor and respect our parents, but not at the expense of disobeying His commands. During these times of family pressures, I had to remind myself of Scriptures where Jesus said that if you want to be My follower you must love Me more than your family and that there will be strife and division in the family on account of Him.

At the time of this writing (Dec 2016 and 40 years of age), it has now been nearly 20 years from the time that I surrendered my life to Jesus in April 1997 and I stand in awe as I look back at the wisdom of God in directing my steps, His incredible healing power manifested many times over, and His continual display of loving-kindness and faithfulness. The thing I am most grateful for is the stability that I have found from an active and intimate relationship with Him and discovering the joys of answered prayers. Several years ago, I was inspired after I read the biography of George Mueller, who trusted in Jesus alone for every need, while caring for over 10,000 orphans, and in the course of his life had written down 50,000 answers to prayer. Imagine the immense daily needs involved in caring for over 10,000 orphans and his life is an awesome display of living in answered prayers continuously. So about 10 years ago I started writing answers to prayer and things that I praised God for and I’m so grateful to now have journaled over a 1,000 entries. One of my favorite stories of answered prayers in the life of George Mueller, who experienced these types of interventions daily, is the following.

“The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat,” the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.” Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.

The truth that I’m about to present to you is not “my” truth, it comes from a source above me to which I’m as responsible as everyone else. According to the Bible, it pleased God to create the world and mankind in order to reveal the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness. God made man in His own image, placed them in paradise, and gave them the ability to obey his law and the potential to disobey it. God wanted mankind to have the freedom of choice, so that they are not merely artificial, mechanical, compulsory beings. Adam and Eve, the first parents and root of all mankind, disobeyed God’s command and as God had warned them, the penalty for breaking His command was death. Consequently they were distanced from God and driven out of paradise. The disobedience created a barrier between them and a perfect, holy God. The powers of darkness began to rule over all people, causing sin, death, and destruction. This brought upon mankind further burden of guilt, shame and being enslaved to fear.

God seeks to restore that relationship, to bring us to that original state of glory, honor and harmony with Him. But that can only happen when we have been made perfectly righteous because nothing impure can withstand His glory. Mankind has sought to attain God’s level of righteousness through good works. For the Hindu, because of bad karma (even from previous lifetimes), life is lived out paying back a debt that one cannot know in total but that must be paid in total. So the only hope is to aspire to become righteous through spiritual practices such as meditation and many exhaust themselves with the goal of perfection, hoping that by going through innumerable rebirths they will one day find liberation from this cyclical pattern. However, the Bible says that in the single lifetime that every human is given, no one will ever perform enough good works to attain perfection because we all are born with a rebellious nature that is bent on doing things that separate us from God. Sin is anytime we disobey God that breaks up our relationship with God not only in this lifetime but also for eternity. Because we don’t have a perfect revelation of the holiness of God we don’t understand how serious our disobedience is to God. In fact, it is so serious that there is no payment that can be made, no punishment that we could take that is big enough to make us right with God. When we compare ourselves with others, we can have a false perception of our own righteousness, but in God’s sight all our attempts at being righteous before Him fall far short in light of His standards and even in all our good efforts we are left looking like filthy rags. You may think, Well I’m a good person with a good heart, why wouldn’t God accept me? If your drinking water had only 1% sewage, would you still drink it? In the same way, God looks for total purity in our lives – nothing less than 100%, that means never having lied, lusted, cheated, or even yielded to any of these things or entertained them in your mind, not even once. Imagine trying to do that just for an hour, or a day, let alone a whole lifetime.

Sin cannot survive in the presence of God. Though God is loving, yet because of His perfect character and nature which cannot be corrupted by sin, that without a mediator, the revealing of His full presence would destroy humankind because they could not meet God’s standard which is to love God and others perfectly. So there’s never enough good works we can do to make us right with God and come to His level of perfection. It would be as ridiculous as trying to jump high enough to reach the sky. Jesus is the only one in all of history to have lead a perfect life, so He could take a punishment that is big enough to pay for what we have done wrong. He wanted to do this for us, so He became a man and He took the punishment for our sins, wiping all our debts away and credited our account with His righteousness to get us right again with God. And by believing that He paid the price for our sins by His death on the cross we can all receive forgiveness of all bad works (karma) and instantly experience rebirth, ‘born again’, being forever grateful to start a new life with God dwelling in us. Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day and is alive forevermore. This is not philosophy or mythology, but based on historical events and His resurrection seen by many first-hand eyewitnesses.

Just as the ozone layer in the atmosphere shelters us from deadly ultraviolet rays from the sun, so also Christ was suspended between heaven and earth, on a cross taking our punishment, and now stands as a mediator absorbing the deadly rays of God’s wrath against wickedness so that we can experience the life-giving rays. Christ has purchased for those who believe in Him, the freedom from guilt that comes from sin, no longer under the condemning wrath of God, and obtaining victory over satan, fear, death, grave, and from everlasting damnation. As Jesus begins to live through us, we become more sensitive to what pleases and displeases Him, so our behavior and lifestyle starts changing from the inside out, and we begin to experience restoration at every level, guilt and shame leaving, addictions breaking, depression lifting, relationships improving, prayers being answered…and so much more that we can’t even conceive.

In closing, the first few times I heard the Christian message, I thought it was all too simple and didn’t give it serious contemplation. I also couldn’t understand that if we needed forgiveness for sin, why God can’t simply forgive (like people forgive one another) without Jesus having to go through so much suffering. I later understood that there is an underlying cost to our sin (e.g. if someone damaged a very expensive vehicle of mine, I could forgive the person, but there’s an underlying cost to restore the vehicle). I had grossly underestimated the damage of sin and didn’t consider the magnitude of the horrific torture that Jesus had to go through as punishment for our sins in order to restore and reconcile us back into an intimate relationship with God. Jesus endured extremely severe torment in His soul and extremely painful suffering in His body. By displaying the victim naked at a prominent place, there was no form of death more shameful than crucifixion. It was the lowest form of punishment used on the lowest classes of society–slaves, violent criminals and the unruly. He didn’t just teach about love, but demonstrated His enduring love with the greatest sacrifice and price ever paid in history.

It can seem like what Jesus did 2,000 years ago feel so distant and far removed from our current reality and the problems we have before us. Abraham Lincoln was instrumental in abolishing slavery by enforcing a legal document in 1863 that declared slavery dead in the USA. When this news first spread through southern plantations, many of the slaves would not believe it and thought it was a hoax. But as the truth dawned on them as they saw former slaves walking about happy in their new-found freedom, they also began to walk away from slavery and begin a new life. And this has brought tremendous freedoms to those who have never even met Abraham Lincoln. Millions of precious lives were lost during the Civil war to bring about this outward freedom from slavery. In the same way, what Jesus did on the cross of paying the debt for all mankind and offering forgiveness from the penalty of sin, it offered internal freedom (the inner enslavements of the heart) for the entire human race, clearing them from all guilt of wrongdoings and offering a new life. Just as it would have been tragic for the news to not have been spread to the slaves in the southern plantations, so also it would be tragic for followers of Jesus to not share what Jesus did to set mankind free, to all the world.

After walking with Jesus for many years, I realized that religion, even Christianity can complicate the simplicity of the good news of life of devotion to Christ, because religion creates a form of godliness with its rules and regulations but without any power to bring peace and lasting change. I learned that in order to have the unshakable peace of God, you first have to have peace with God by seeking forgiveness for sins and walking in forgiveness towards others. Even though the practice of meditation and other spiritual practices may offer a sense of peace, but that inner peace is not complete because the consequences of bad karma will still hang over us as a constant burden. There are so many paths that claim to be the superior way, but are like clouds without rain, promising fulfillment and freedom yet remaining shallow and never able to quench spiritual thirst. I have discovered that the greatest of all deceptions is self-deception, where you are enslaved by or settle for a false reality. The bible confirms that the heart is deceitful above all things, it can lead us down destructive paths, all the while rationalizing that it is the superior way. Many long for the greater thing but settle for the lesser thing that only on the surface has the appearance of the divine, but is not grounded in ultimate reality. This is where many feel that they can have their own personal way to God. And the Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.” So, there are many who are sincere in going down the path they are traveling and yet according to the Bible, they are sincerely going the wrong way. Because Jesus makes crystal clear claims that He is the only One who can bring us perfect peace, reconcile us back to God and can form an intimate relationship between God and man; it would sound totally illogical and insulting to presume that Jesus would share His throne with other gods or is the same one God but called by different names, when He is very explicit and exclusive in declaring “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life, No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Either Jesus is who He claims to be as the only way to God, or He would have to be a liar, or a lunatic or just another legend.

When I read through the Bible, the Koran, the Bhavagad Gita and other religious literature, I noticed that they all make exclusive claims about the nature of God, paths to peace and enlightenment, and I discovered that they all greatly contradict one another. Naturalism says that ultimate reality is simply material. New age says ultimate reality comes as some force, energy, or consciousness. In Hinduism, God is one with all creation, and God can be both personal and impersonal, formless and having form simultaneously. Whereas the God of the bible is clearly transcendent, superior, separate and distinct from creation, yet He is personal and longs for close relationship with mankind. Since all religions claim to be true and truth by its nature is exclusive and exposes counterfeits, that results with only two possible conclusions, either all religions are wrong, or one is right, but they cannot all be right at the same time, otherwise truth would be self-contradicting leading to confusion. And if there are many paths to God and Jesus was only making another way to God, than it would seem ludicrous for Jesus to go through such immense sufferings as blows to the head, being spat upon, beard pulled out, mockings, scourgings to the brink of death, and tormenting crucifixion, just to make one more path to God. And if all is One, and evil is an illusion born out of ignorance, then who is the source of the ignorance but the One? Since God is not the source of ignorance or confused about His identity, this means that He would not constantly contradict Himself by sending other messengers who are also claiming to be God but presenting contradictory views about God.

I think one of the greatest tragedies in life would be a life lived without experiencing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and settling for far less. I have realized that temporal pleasures are fleeting and cannot satisfy the human heart; they just leave you craving something else because they’re never enough. The psalmist in the Bible says to God, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” We can find joy through God even in the worst of circumstances, because a continual intimate relationship with God can satisfy our eternal longings and anchor our hearts on a spiritual bedrock of peace. After traveling through various paths and drinking from the streams of many religions, I have found Jesus Christ to be the only one who can transform an individual by healing the broken heart and filling that emptiness with His love, peace, and bring joy unspeakable (joy beyond words).

‘Kaleb’ Arpit Shukla

Source: https://kalebshukla.wordpress.com/joy-unspeakable/

accessed on 16th Jan. 2016





Karam Jeet Singh

23 09 2016

Rev Dr Nallaraj Edward shares Christ in school assemblies while teaching students choruses and moral stories. One day he was returning from St Hannah’s High School, Hyderabad. A man named Karam J Singh stopped his car and asked him whether he remembered him who had studied from LKG to 10th standard.

“What are you doing now? asked Nallaraj.

“I have finished graduation. I am going to London to do MBA. I still remember the choruses and moral stories you taught,” replied Karam.

“Are you a Christian?”

Karam said, “My sister was suffering from a terrible skin disease. If you touched her skin, it peeled off her body. She was in ICU, Osmania General Hospital. Doctors said that she would die within a week. I could not see her pathetic condition.”

He asked a Christian teacher to pray for her. She said to Karam, “Why don’t you pray?”

He locked the room and prayed to the Lord Jesus. At the same time Jesus Christ appeared to her in the ICU, and touched and healed her. That time onward he put his trust in the Lord Jesus.

His twin-brother Param also received Jesus into his life. Praise the Lord.

Source: Received through email. 27th August 2016





Dr Preeti Krishnan

3 08 2016




Actor Raja

3 08 2016




Actress Jaya Sudha

3 08 2016




Sister. Sindhu Girijan

3 08 2016




Vijayavenkataraman

14 07 2016

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Am extremely happy and privileged to meet you and talk to you through this letter that I may be of little use to you on behalf of His Kingdom.

Am always struck with awe, when I think of my past and wonder “What good He found in me that He came in search of me to this world full of filth, shed His last drop of Blood on the cross of Calvary, died on my behalf and called me His son??” That is why I call this letter of testimony “In my Agony, His Amazing Grace”.

“Grace” is one awesome word which means a lot to me!!

This letter is all about that amazing grace that He showered on me and still showering in my life. The way God came in search of me, changed my heart, filled me with His love, led me in His path supernaturally that I could boldly say “Nothing that I have now in my life came by ordinarily because of my knowledge, hard work or skill set, but from God, by His Grace” and I mean it. You will know it yourself after you finish reading this whole article!

I am Vijayavenkataraman, a Mechanical Engineering graduate from College of Engineering, Guindy (Anna University), completed my graduation in 2011. I was born and brought up in an orthodox Brahmin family. I was taught with the customs and rituals that a Brahmin must follow and practice. I had a great passion for God and Godly things. I used to get up early in the morning during the month of December (Maarghazhi), take bath, go out to fetch flowers, decorate the so called Gods and Goddesses, chant mantras and serve them with much zeal and dedication. I was dreaming that my Gods would descend down to see me and talk with me. On the other hand, I was a very brilliant and intelligent student, liked and envied by people around. I used to stand first in class, winning laurels in all other extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. I wished and yearned to be perfect in all things I do. Like Jews, I followed my scriptures religiously and like Greeks, I sought after wisdom. At this juncture, I would like to stress another point. My family was in absolute poverty. My dad and mom were not graduates. They had no permanent jobs. With the meager remuneration, it was difficult to even pay my fees. Many days, I would go to school with half-tummy food and even empty tummy!! Still my passion for God and Wisdom remained still.

My mom lost her mother at a very small age of 3 and her only place of peace from then was a Catholic church in my town. She was forced to earn her living from the age of 16. On the way back from her work, she used to go to the church and cry out to God in despair. There would be no people in the church in the weekdays unlike the temples and hence she would pour out all her bitterness to God. The sight of the crucified Jesus shook her and she longed for His love. She loved Jesus in fact! When my dad liked to marry my mom, there were confusions, chaos and absolute resistance in both their families. Astrology was the root of all these problems. But by God’s perfect plan, they tied their nuptial knot and to prove false the astrological predictions, I was born as a great and precious gift and tongues that spoke against their marriage now admired me. This big story is to say a simple but crucial fact that my mom had a passion for Jesus even before her marriage. A seed sowed in a good land waiting for a stipulated period to uproot.

My grandpa died when I were in my primary school. He was a retired Pharmacist from Government Hospital. The pension he received and my mom’s meager income fed the whole family and my education as my dad had no permanent job by then and his usual problem of not remaining in a job more than 2 or 3 months. Now that my grandpa had kicked the bucket, family’s total income drastically came down and now with much reduced grandma’s family pension, we had to run the show. I am so closely attached to my grandpa that his death caused high fever and fits in me for the first time and from then on, whenever my temperature rose, fits accompanied it unwelcomed. One of my teachers in the school, who knows our family well, gave an invitation to my parents for a week’s camp in Divine Retreat Centre, Chalakudi. Both my mom and dad attended it and on the last day of the camp, during the time of prayer, the Father who prayed mentioned that “ God is touching a little boy who is affected by fits and it will never come again” and my mom was moved to tears and a seed of faith started springing up.

After they returned home, my mom started to attend a protestant church regularly and Jesus entered my mom’s heart and stayed permanently. A day came when my dad and even my orthodox grandma accepted Jesus Christ. It was a night. My grandma became seriously ill. She had asthma problem which severed. We had no vehicles to take her to hospital and no money to hire an auto. My dad lifted my grandma in his arms and said, ‘all the Gods whom I served all these days couldn’t save my mom and Jesus, as people claim, if you are true God, deliver my mom and I will leave all my customs and accept you’. After the whole hearted dedication, an auto was hired to carry her to hospital, just to know that there were no doctors in the town and they were out for some conference. Hopeless they were returning and my grandma started to tell in her heart ‘Jesus, help me!’ Jesus heard her cry and she felt ‘something’ left her and she felt light both in her heart and body. Wonder, the whole family was now christened, as I called. Another occasion, my grandma’s leg fracture was cured just by prayer and a bottle of coconut oil.

But I was not moved in any way. Nothing could shake my belief. When pastor entered my house, I would go out and shout at my mom for her changing belief. I challenged her that till my death I will serve only Hindu Gods and never allow anyone to mesmerize me to accept Christ. I could not remain silent as days passed. I was bewildered and started searching for books and scriptures that would clear my confusions and prove to me that my Gods are superior to Jesus. I read more than 50 books and nothing could satisfy me. Though I studied in a Christian school, I had the broad mind to embrace all Gods and religions, may it be Christianity or Islam but I can never compromise on the preaching that Jesus is the only God. No holy scriptures, no teachings of holy saints quenched my thirst for the eternal divine power. As I invested time in the search for true God, my mom invested her time in prayers to bring me to God. Meanwhile, I attended church services a few Sundays and the verses from Bible seemed to be authoritative and talking to me, answering my questions. I was exhausted searching and my heart melted slowly and I was surprised to see myself attending Sunday services and prayer meetings regularly. I don’t remember the exact day or event but my salvation was a very slow and gradual experience. Praise the Lord! I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and started to grow in Him. More willingly and enthusiastically, I started reading the Holy Bible and be in His presence. God lifted me up and I can very strongly say that “The fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom”. I really felt the difference. I had knowledge before accepting Christ but filled with the spirit of Wisdom after accepting Him. God fulfilled all the desires of my heart, small and big. But I didn’t go to seek Him just as He is fulfilling all my desires. I always go to Him because of the love that He had showered on me and the blood He shed on the cross for me.

I was then advised by the doctors to take medicine continuously (for years) for my nerve weakness that caused fits and one fine day, God put a thought in me that when He had already touched me and healed me, why should I take this medicine! I decided to stop taking medicine and God was faithful to me, that sickness didn’t show up even once afterward. I was very weak even from my infancy and a myriad times, my dad would cycle me and my mom to the doctor’s residence at late nights. But then, God made me strong, for the Bible says, “By His stripes, we were healed” and I had rarely visited any doctor thereafter.

Once I suffered from Sinus problem and great breathing difficulty. I had been breathing through my mouth for a few months and when we consulted a doctor, he diagnosed it to be Sinus and said it had to be operated. My mom had faith in God and prayed that no knife should touch my body. And it happened so. I didn’t undergo any operation nor did any medicine cure me. God healed me by His Grace!!

My grandma was a heart patient, had sugar and blood pressure with additional gift of asthma (wheezing). After she gave her life to Jesus, she too believed that Jesus healed her and the one who had a big box full of medicines and a timetable to take it at different times of the day now was hale and healthy and she didn’t take any medicine till her death. The one, who suffered badly from Asthma, now took bath early in the morning in the December chill in cold water and there were no signs of that disease surfacing back! There is no medicine to cure Asthma but Jesus healed her completely. She lived a life of testimony healthily and slept peacefully in the Lord after some years.

Dear ones, there were many incidents recorded in the Bible, where sick people came to Jesus and He healed them. There was no one instance in which Jesus didn’t cure a sickness or a disease. Nor He refused to heal anyone who came to Him for healing. He is the real healer and divine doctor. There is no disease in this world that He can’t heal. Doctors in this world may say no but our doctor in Heaven never says so!!

When I gave my heart to Jesus completely, this became my prayer.

“Lord, help me to love you more than anything in this world. Take me to heights but take care that you guide me in every step of my ascent and by your strength every step I ascend, that when I reach some high point in life, let there be NOTHING that I can boast of as my accomplishment when I look back. When I look back, let me with gratitude and not with pride. Every single thing that comes in to my life let it come from you by your Grace Lord! Amen!”

Believe or not, God hears all prayers and He heard mine too and I have to face a lot of tough times before getting a thing in my life and when I got that thing, my eyes would be filled with tears, my heart with gratitude and my lips with thanks.

I will let you walk through some of those times, where I experienced the hand of God working and how He cares for His beloved.

Consolation Prize in a Science Exhibition:

The first time when I felt the love of God is when I am awarded a “Consolation Prize” for my silly working model that I exhibited in the first science exhibition of my school. All my friends who had money and had educated parents to guide them came with expensive and real technocratic models to be amazed off. I had only a piece of motor from a broken remote control car that came to me second hand, a plastic three blade fan that usually accompanies a one rupee candy and a small “perungaya dappa”. I fixed the blade on the motor shaft, hid the motor in the box, covered it with thermo plastics and said this is fan. I don’t remember what I called it, what did I explain to the visitors but one thing for sure I remember, mine was the smallest, least bothered object in the exhibition. After the exhibition is over, prizes were awarded in the assembly the next day and when they called out my name for Consolation prize, my eyes were filled with tears and my heart with joy, how God by His Grace has consoled me by consolation prize. Though I had little in my hand to spend, with whatever I had I had done my best and God had not put me to shame. Probably the judges would have thought that it’s Green Energy I don’t know but from that time on, I started experiencing the love of God. Though it’s not a very big incident or miracle that some of you may be bored reading or ridicule, it’s the joy of a 13 year old boy with his broken toys exhibited winning a prize in a science exhibition. I always cherish that moment. How good it feels when you put your trust in God even in small things like a science exhibition!!

Admission to High School:

I have to look out for a new school for my ninth standard (first year of high school) since boys were allowed to study only till eighth in my current school. Though some of the schools came knocking our doors for admission as am known for my academic and other achievements, I was waiting on the Lord. The principal of the school am in called on the last day of my school, gave a letter of recommendation to the principal of other school and she in her letter had asked the principal of my new school to give me 50% concession. Praise be to God! I joined that school and God by His Grace made me stand first in the school in my tenth standard public exams with 95% marks, standing second in my town.

Admission to Higher Secondary School:

I would say this was the starting point where people around were awestruck by seeing the hand of God guiding me. I wanted to study my higher secondary in a better school in my town, with good coaching and teaching but unfortunately the fees was not affordable. I tried to seek the opinion of many about that school, the fee structure and the possibility of availing any scholarship. Many replied that there were no such scholarships given in the past and it won’t work out. I used to cry to God in prayer that I wanted to study in that school. The pastor of my Church came home and gave me Rs.1000/- for getting notebooks or books. We prayed that this is the money of poor people given to God and now it’s God’s money and its value is far more than a crore rupee. Me and my mom prayed and went for admission to the school in which I wished to study. Since that was one of the best schools in my town, getting admission was bit tough and people from neighboring towns were waiting for admission from early hours of that day. We entered with the filled in application form and the shabby notes of Rs.1000/- which we counted for a crore rupee. The admission hall was crowded with parents and students. I hesitated to go and give the application to the correspondent as I feared the money might not be sufficient and my admission denied. My mom went to the front and handed over the application form to the correspondent, which she accepted with a gracious smile. She kept my admission form first over all the applications that were already submitted from the morning and mine was the last or the one before the few. First name to be called out was mine and we went forward. She (the correspondent) said that she was very happy to have me there and she asked me to pay the fees and get admitted. I said, “Madam, I want to talk to you before I join this school”. Already people in the hall were murmuring that the one who came last was called first. She asked us to wait downstairs and before we hardly got down the stairs with despair, we were called up again. She asked us to sit before her and one man from the crowd started shouting “We are waiting here from the morning and you call somebody who came in the last and patiently talking to them” and we were shocked to hear her reply, “This is my school and if you want admission, wait patiently!” The whole crowd was dumb-struck and we spell bound and I explained my family situation and that I can’t afford to pay the intended fees and I promised her that I will do my best and get good name for the school. She immediately acceded and said “Money is not at all a problem, You should study well!” She called on the office staff that collected fees and said, “Get whatever Vijayavenkataraman pays and give the receipt to me, I will pay the rest of the money”. And happily I paid the same 1000 rupees which was from God and that served the whole fees for the entire 2 years of my higher secondary education!! Is it not true that God’s 1000 rupees is worth more than a crore??!!

Admission to College of Engineering, Guindy:

I completed my 12th board exams with 96% and a cut-off 198.75 out of 200. I wanted to study Mechanical Engineering in College of Engineering, Guindy and by God’s grace I got a seat. I have a testimony even here. When all my classmates joined entrance coaching classes, I had no money to go. I used to cry in God’s presence daily saying, ‘God, if there will be entrance, You teach me or else there need not be any entrance exam!’ And the gracious God, who heard my prayers, cancelled the entrance exam and I was through the gate in to the prestigious Anna University. We were the first batch to enter Anna University without entrance examination. Our God is the one who restates the Law of the land and I still consciously and very strongly believe that He had cancelled the entrance exam for my sake!

I had written my public exams without food, prepared and toiled burning the midnight oil, with only water as my energy drink! God strengthened me at all times and never put my head down.1 Good marks! Sure Mechanical Engineering seat in Anna University! But, where is the money to pursue my studies? With 3000 per month as family income, with a brother in school, how dare am I to dream about doing my Engineering?? But Bible says our God is Jehovah Jireh. Only a day remained for my counseling, my mom was grieving in her heart of her inability to educate me. It was 5 O’clock in the evening. My mom’s boss had sponsored me a ticket to Chennai. I have to pay the fees for counseling Rs.5000/- – a billion dollar value for me!! We were waiting on the Lord. I thank God for the faith that He had given me in my heart. Suddenly a lady came and knocked the door at say 5.15 pm. The door was opened and she was welcomed and served tea. She introduced herself as my friend’s mom. Minutes passed in silence. I have never seen her before and she too had not!! She broke the silence and asked me “DO YOU HAVE ANY NEED?” I replied “No aunty! Not at all!” It is not my habit not to advertise my adversity to gain sympathy. Already people around are talking ill about our family, mocking at us for accepting Jesus from a Brahmin family and waiting for another opportunity to poke us. I can bear hunger, poverty, hurts, insults, crisis and anything. But I can never digest someone talking ill about my loving God. I allowed nobody to question “Didn’t Jesus, whom you follow and testify, provide for your need?” and the subsequent questions that will defile the glory of God. This attitude of mine had not permitted me to say “Yes aunty! I need money!” She remained quiet and a few seconds later, the same question came more concretely this time, “DO YOU HAVE ANY NEED?” Now, with a surprised heart, I said more strongly “NO!!” She started telling something and I was struck with awe and wonder! Tears filled my eyes (even now as I write) and joy filled my heart thinking how much God loves His people!!

In her own words,

“For the past two days, I could not eat or sleep or do any work. I constantly heard a voice saying “Vijay! Vijay! Vijay!” My heart was burdened with the name ‘Vijay!” The voice started saying “COUNT THE MONEY IN YOUR BUREAU!I know it is God’s voice. I prayed God asking Him, “God, in this big town of more than One Lakh inhabitants, how will I find the person you are pointing to, with no other identity except his name “VIJAY?”. I asked my son Livingston, “Do you know anybody called VIJAY?” and he immediately replied “Yes!” Surprised and baffled, I continued “Is he a Christian?” and my son replied “Yes! Of course he is a Brahmin-convert!!” Now I know it is God’s perfect plan and requested my son to drop me in your home and am here now. I don’t know what is your need or how much you need but AS GOD COMMANDED, I COUNTED ALL THE MONEY IN MY LOCKER AND IT AMOUNTS TO Rs.5000/-. Kindly have it!!”

Filled with tears, I got the cover in my hand and after opening it, drops of tears evolved in to flood. There were 1 and 2 Rupee coins in it!! Exactly Rs.5000/- in the cover!! I thanked God! I know Livingston, not so closely, but as a student studying in my class in the high school. I had no contacts with him after that, not even his mobile number I had. God always sends His angels to save His children and this aunty, a true servant of God is one appointed for me!! There was no direct contact or communication between us. It is God who communicated. I proceeded to counseling and there were all the departments available in all 385 Engineering Colleges in Tamilnadu, except ECE in CEG!! My three options were 1) CEG Mechanical 2) CEG Mechanical and 3) CEG Mechanical and am in!! I am now a student of the most prestigious institution in the world, the first and the oldest technical university in Asia and where the Mechanical Engineering course was first introduced in India!! Dreaming to sit inside the premises of the Red dome building, a dream of 6 lakh students of Tamilnadu at that time and which remained a dream for all except the cream 2000 of Tamilnadu!! Praise the Lord!! Glory to His matchless name!!

Counseling was over and I am guaranteed a seat in Anna University. Admission date was given along with the fee structure!! I had had to pay Rs.28,000/- including all during the day of my admission. I was waiting for another miracle from God as usual. Meanwhile, I was trying for an education loan in the State Bank of India in my town. After my repeated vain frequent visits to the bank, I could meet the manager at the last. He told me that though I have got good marks, more than 700 students have requested loans before me and I have a least chance of getting it. Also, he had been transferred and moving to another branch and he was not sure when would the next manager come. When am about to move out of the room after thanking him, he called me again and asked me to write my name and address in a diary. Per his earlier statement, almost half the pages of diary were filled with names and addresses, which again proved that there were many in the queue before me. At this juncture, again the same aunty called me and said that God was still telling that she had some pending work regarding me. And she said she has Rs.14,000/- with her, which was given to her to pay the insurance premium and since the deadline is one month ahead, she would give me that amount and I can repay after securing my loan. I praised God and told her that I will come in the evening to collect it. Again I got a call around 3 or 4 pm and she was almost in tears. When I asked her the reason, she said “Vijay, God loves you so much. It seems that He will change the whole world for your sake!” I didn’t understand and asked her what the matter was. She started to explain “We (aunty, her husband and their son) were having lunch together and somehow your name cropped up during our discussion. Suddenly my husband said he is a very good boy and he also will be waiting for college admission as our son. I have Rs.14,000/- in my hand and you can give that to him. He can repay after he got the education loan sanctioned!! This never happened before and I could not believe what he just spoke!” Praise the Lord!! When God could use a single man called Moses to stand against the biggest and most powerful nation of that time, Egypt and the one worshipped equivalent to God, the Pharaoh, is it not a silly thing for God to change a man’s heart?? I used to get this thought in my mind always, “One man with God is an army!!” Hallelujah!! Now, the math, 14000 plus 14000 equals 28000, the exact amount needed for my admission!!

I just finished my regular morning prayer during my holidays (before joining the university) for an hour or so and about to go out one such morning. A friend of my dad came running and asked me “What’s your full name?” Bewildered, I answered him, “Vijayavenkataraman!” People know me as Vijay and very few knew my full name then. He heaved a sigh of relief and said State Bank Manager has come in search of me!! Having introduced me to the manager, he left. The manager came in to my house. It was a very small house, a single room partitioned in to two. It was like a wall with a single slope of tiles extending in the front as the roof! It was located at the back of a house in a compound and it was difficult to find out. He came in and said, “I just assumed my office as a manager this morning at 9 o clock. As I ran through the diary containing the names and addresses of those requesting education loans, something stopped me when I reached your name. I decided to immediately come to your house, hired a call taxi and searching your home for the past 2 hours and more. This man (my dad’s friend) was standing out of his home and I told in my heart that I will enquire him about the address lastly and if its negative I will return for lunch (as it was already noon). When I enquired, he was also not sure and just in a doubt he guided me here and fortunately, you are the one!!” I was very happy and answered all his questions regarding my studies, marks and aspirations. He took a note of the whole house and then said, “You have got very good marks. I will definitely help you. Come to the bank anytime and I will process the loan!!” My joy knew no bounds. My heart was bubbling with joy. But God had something more in store for me. When he left the gate and about to get in to the car, he hesitated and seemed like he wanted to ask something. I told him, “Sir, you want to ask me something?”. He said, “Don’t mistake me. Your name is Vijayavenkataraman, I think you are a Brahmin. But, I don’t see any images in your house. Instead, you have Bible and Bible verses filling your home”. I told him that we were brahmins and Jesus came in search of us and now we have given ourselves to Him completely. His eyes widened and hands came together and said, “Praise the Lord Brother! My name is Muthuswamy and I am also a Christian!!” Can you imagine how much God loves His children!! I still wonder what in me had attracted the Almighty for Him to love me so much!

When we went to the bank with all the required documents, we were asked if we have any property, house or land or gold or silver. We had nothing! My mom replied, “We have only Jesus and nobody else or nothing else!” You believe or not, no more questions were posted and the loan was sanctioned immediately without any surety! Jesus is our only property that will help us at any point of time and nothing else can or nobody else can! His name is worth more than anything, any amount of money, gold or silver is not worth comparable to His name! And here is the proof!

Even after I entered the college, God enabled me to stand in the top 5 in my department. He gave me wisdom to author 2 papers published in reputed international journals and a few papers in national and international conferences.

I was in my final semester and I approached the bank manager to pay my last semester fees. He was signing my last payment cheque and handed it over to me and said, “I am transferred and I will be moving to another place shortly!” Can you believe? God brought him to this place to sanction my loan and when all my dues were over, God transferred him. It was like God brought him here exclusively for me and when am done, He took him to another place.

God is not someone who is far off and messing up your life often as many think. He cares for those who love and trust Him personally. I used to always quote this example wherever I go and whenever I get a chance and I am led by God to state it here too. Imagine a situation where you have a son or a daughter and he or she wants something, say a chocolate. How will you feel when your kid ignores you and goes straight to your neighbor standing by you and requests for a chocolate? Will your heart not break?? It is the same way with God. We do blabber something in prayer and go on to humans to tell our needs. God stands right before us, with stretched arms, tears flowing from His eyes and with a broken heart, “When am here who gave even my last drop of blood and my life, my son, my daughter, why are you not coming to me?” Think how many times we have failed His expectation, rejected His love and broke His heart!! From all my experience, I tell you, He leads you like a person physically present with you 24 X 7. A sister who heard my testimony said this way, “It was like God holding your hands and making you walk, like a mother does it to the Child!” How true!! Though am not worth this love, He is so beloved that He loves me more and more.

God is not tired and so His works continued. God enabled me to glorify His name in my college and He gave me grace to lead the fellowship there and be a blessing for many. Though I was at the heart of a metropolitan city, I had only once gone to the beach and once to the spencer plaza in all four years of my college. I was so obsessed with God’s love that I didn’t have time for all that and I don’t have any regrets for that till now! When God is with you, life is very smooth because when the path becomes rugged, He will carry us on His shoulders!!

Summer Internship in Germany:

I was awarded a fellowship to carry out my summer research in Germany, which only 200 students in India got out of thousands who had applied. God helped me right from filling the application form, getting consent from a German professor, selection, booking my flight ticket (with nil bank balance!!), my stay in Germany and my project. If I have to elaborate this, I need another 4 or 5 pages. God is so wonderful!

I was selected as a WISE (Working Internships in Science and Engineering) Scholar by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) to carry out summer research in Germany. Again, the Lord whom I serve led me graciously from day 1, when I started filling the application till the last day of my return from Germany. First step of the application is to get a consent letter from a professor in Germany, expressing his willingness to take me as a research intern under his supervision. I had written to hundreds of professors and a few replied and almost all of them negative. It is at that time a professor from Technical University, Munich (TUM), a top-notch institution in Germany visited my department a month before the deadline, regarding a joint project that was in progress between Anna University Chennai and TUM. One of my professor and a Godly man, Dr.S.Iniyan helped me meet the German professor and to my surprise, he immediately accepted my request and assured to give the consent letter. In fact, he (the German professor) waited for me for more than half an hour, which I came to know later just to say that he is happy to invite me to come to Germany. Praise the Lord! After all the application and selection process, I was selected for the internship. I had no money to book my flight tickets. God led me wonderfully through one of the research scholars to contact a Travels Agency, who gave me the flight ticket and permitted me to repay it after I get the money from DAAD after reaching Germany! Glory to His matchless name! God helped me and guided me all the days that I spent in Germany. I would like to share my experiences and feelings that I experienced in a foreign land.

My experience in Germany was wonderful! First flight travel, that too in an International flight! I traveled in Qatar Airways, one of the five star airlines in the world. The flight was from Chennai to Doha, transit at Doha and then from Doha to Munich. Approximate travel time nearly 10 hrs. one way. After all the formalities, I was waiting impatiently as the announcement came regarding the departure of my flight. I boarded the flight and I felt like I was inside some A/C Volvo bus! Nothing so different! I expected turbulence during take-off, to experience some thrill but to my disappointment, everything went perfectly well. I was the only fellow inside with camera in hand, clicking photos as the flight ascended! People would have probably thought I am crazy or they would have been reminded of their first air travel. At last, I landed in the Munich International Airport. After all the immigration checks, I was out of the airport and one of the students of Technical University of Munich (TUM), where I was supposed to work, was waiting for me. He guided me to the metro rail ticket counter to get a ticket for my travel to the apartment in Olympia Park, where I had booked my room. I reached my apartment in the Olympia Park. My room was in the fifth floor. The number read A0551. Oh now am left alone in a foreign land! I knew nobody there and I by then for the first time felt the pain of solitude. No phone to talk to my parents or my dear ones! No internet connection (procedure for getting IP address possible only the next morning)! But I was so excited because of three reasons

1) I was then in the land of prodigies (Karl Benz , Robert Bosch, Daimler, Rudolf Diesel, Albert Einstein, Hertz, Kepler, Kirchoff, May Bach, Ohm, Max Plank, Rontgen, Somerfield, Wankel and so on) The list runs exhaustive!!

2) The place where I stay is a historically significant one. It is called the Olympia Park or the Olympia Zentrum, which was built for the 1972 Summer Olympics.

3) There in front of my apartment stood the headquarters of the majestic Bavarian Motor Works (BMW), the dream of any Mechanical Engineer!

Above all, the love of God which brought me here, which I could feel in the air around me!

The first evening and night in the foreign land passed as a dream. The next day, I went to TUM to meet my professor and start my work. If I had to write all my experiences, pages will not be sufficient and you may also get bored! It was a wonderful experience indeed to witness a different culture in a foreign land! I cooked my own food (!) during the entire stay. I traveled a lot during weekends both inside and outside Germany. Inside Germany, I visited the most disgusting Dachau Concentration Camp (Hitler’s Nazi rule killed millions of Jews here!), Stuttgard, Hamburg, Berlin, the famous Berlin Wall, Neuschwanstein Castle of King Ludwig II (the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle) and lot other places. Outside Germany, I toured in Swiss. I went to the top of Germany called the “Zugspitze”, a mountain top from where 4 countries are visible! In fact, I was inside the clouds!

Zugspitze, The top of Germany!

Zugspitze, The top of Germany!

Snow! Snow! Snow!

Snow! Snow! Snow!

dscn3096.jpg

Executive class, return journey!

Executive class, return journey!

As true as that, God was with me all the time and helped me to survive in the foreign land alone. During my return flight, I was upgraded to Business class, without any additional fare. Oh, my God is just so loving and wonderful that he understands my little desires and fulfills it to fill my heart with joy! Landed safely in Chennai International Airport early in the morning and with the thought of the routine college life that will follow! A penny less young man returns in a 5 star airline, that too in business class, after a foreign trip!! Still I wonder what made God to love such a worthless wretched sinner like me!!

My Job in a Multi-National Corporation:

During the final year of my college, the placement season started. It was a tough and tried time for me as one of my professor started treating me badly and hurt me with harsh words almost daily, for no valid reason! I used to cry before God multiple times a day, wetting my bed with tears. I was short listed to attend the interview of one of the big public sector companies in India and rejected on face stating that I was over qualified and I would not stay in that company for more than a year. The interviewers even doubted whether I would join at all if they offered me the job. All were due to my research internship in Germany and my publications in international journals and conference proceedings. They were very confident that I would be pursuing my higher studies, probably a doctorate, keeping in mind all my past academic achievements. But none except God knew that we were suffering for a cup of gruel! It was at the start of the semester and I didn’t feel like attending any other company that followed. The last company that came for placement was a big private company, an MNC where every mechanical engineer would dream to work in. I could not attend the pre-placement talk as I had to attend that particular professor’s class when all others in my class attended. Even that day, am badly hit by words and with a wounded heart, on my way back to hostel, I happened to pass through the auditorium in which the pre-placement talk was being conducted. I walked in unintentionally, with the fuming stares of our placement officer. By the time, I went in and sat, question papers were distributed!! I was not prepared to take it, but no other way, 3 papers (technical, verbal and numerical) in 3 hours, I completed it in less than 1 hr, not knowing what I wrote, gave the paper, surprised the company representative and went for lunch. In the afternoon, we had a lab exam and I went to attend that, knowing for sure that I will not be short listed. But miraculously, our placement representative called me and said I was short listed for the second round Group Discussion. Again I came attended the GD and went back, not sure of getting selected. Again a phone call, saying I am short listed for the final interview. It was almost end of the semester and students will be leaving home for study holidays the day after, I just had only one set of dress washed and ironed. I was seen with beard and when I rushed in to the interview room, our placement officer stopped and scolded me for my interview attire (with beard!!) and asked me to shave my beard in the nearby saloon and then get in. As usual, I didn’t have even a rupee with me and I pleaded that I would go to hostel and come back quickly and he reluctantly agreed exclaiming that whether am really interested in getting a job. I sent my friend to get a print out of my resume as I didn’t have one and the time matched when I came clean shaven and my friend with my resume, met before the building where interview was being conducted. My interview was very short compared to others and again as I didn’t have time to modify my resume (removing my internship experience in Germany, which caused the rejection in previous interview), the placement coordinator came out and told me that the interview panelists were discussing that I might fly to Germany again for my higher studies and I was not even considered for the final selection list. I was so depressed saying that I was not even prepared for the first round, but having attended three rounds of selection and it was almost 8 ‘O’ Clock in the night and I hear such a thing. Though we were informed that all who attended the interview had to wait till the results were announced, I just walked away to my room, as more than one person said am not in the final list. Immediately after reaching my room, I got a call from the same placement coordinator that I am selected!! I didn’t believe his words and he gave the phone over to one of the company representative and he said “Vijay, you are really selected. Please come soon. We are waiting for you!” I can’t express in words the joy and ecstasy that filled my heart and the tears welling my eyes. How loving God is and what measure His Grace is upon His children!! And the miracles continue….

Whenever I think of my past, my heart will tell me, whatever I achieved is by God’s Grace and only by God’s Grace! God heard even the softest of my whispers!! I would feel like having a sweet and somehow God ensured that I got it in the same day or the immediate next day, the same sweet which I wished to have! May sound silly but I am amazed at His love for me! When my friends had 3 or 4 sets of uniform, I had a single set of uniform that too sometimes an old one borrowed from a senior; when most of them bought brand new books, I borrowed books from a generous senior; when all my classmates went for School tour, I was stranded in home! Amidst all this, God gave me His grace and maturity to bear all things happily and patiently! With good academic achievements and extra-curricular and co-curricular achievements, I was awarded the “Best out-going student award” in the year 2003, when I have to leave the school after my eighth standard. I got calls from almost all the schools in my town, inviting me to join their schools! The next two years I exposed myself to all the inter-school competitions and social service activities! I was awarded the “Best student award” of my town, following the “Achiever Award” and “Top Achiever Award” by the Lions Club in 2005. I got 95% marks in my matriculation exams, 96% in my HSC and with 90% marks graduated out of College of Engineering, Guindy which I had always dremt about!! I remember with tears that I had written most of my HSC exams with empty stomach as I could not expect something to eat out of an empty vessel in home!! Out of all these, it is God who strengthened me and graciously led me through the darkness of my life, which I feel every moment!! Only in the dark, the beautiful stars are seen and so will be the ever-lasting love and never-ending grace of Lord Jesus!

Change in the Inner Man:

Not only did Jesus help me miraculously at the time of my materialistic needs, but more than that he helped me mentally and spiritually too! Because what is more important is the inward man! My very nature before accepting Christ was so arrogant and unbearable! I used to get angry very soon even in silly issues and words that come out of my mouth will pierce anybody’s heart. I used to be so selfish; I can’t bear anybody talking ill about me! All these were my characteristics! Not that only the time line is divided in to B.C and A.D, even my life (in that case, everyone who accepts Jesus Christ) can be divided! In B.C, the above stated characteristics featured me, but the change in my character was so obvious, not only to others, but to myself after accepting Christ! The fruits of salvation namely love; long-suffering and patience filled my heart! The man who can’t bear anyone talking ill about him now accepted happily the words that came from the mouth of his friend’s mom “Vijay?? He’ll go to church or eat the shit!! Do your business!!” When I passed by his house, I heard these words and now as a completely changed man, I happily accepted! My anger subdued and patience and long-suffering filled my heart. My selfishness vanished and then I started to help people with whatever I had! I remember a day when a poor old man asked for a cup of tea, I had only 2 rupees for bus and I happily gave him that and walked back home (nearly 3 or 4 km)! The love of Jesus changed me! He gave me a new heart! Praise the Lord! God is still changing me and it is high time to remember that the purpose of Christ’s calling is to make us like Him, to transform us like Him, in our words, deeds, thoughts and actions! Jesus gives a new and transformed life and eternal happiness (even when you starve!).

There are many other things to write but pages won’t be sufficient. I have a testimony for all that I have, my purse, my driving license, my education, and my job and so on. God so truly loved me that though I don’t have many things that I wanted but I have all things that I really needed so that nothing or nobody comes in between me and God. We many times cling on to the blessings and forget the one who really blessed us. It is a sad truth that instead of us possessing the blessings, it’s the blessings that possess us.

I attribute all the goodness that I received in my life to Jesus Christ; the greatest of all being the salvation of my soul. The Almighty God humbled Himself, came down to take upon Himself all the sins of the world, died on the cross and resurrected on the third day and is still alive. He who found me and lifted my head is powerful and faithful to do the same and even more in your life. Glory to God! Amen!








%d bloggers like this: