I was born into a Hindu family of four Brothers. My father Late Dr.Reddiah Kosaraju was a Scientist and was very highly educated in England. He had to return back in 1959 to India to take care of his ailing Father. He being the youngest son of five sisters and three Brothers was very affectionate and help rendering by nature to everyone. He was an excellent Roving Champion and a very good Chess Player for the University of Liverpool during his College Days. So during the growing up years I used to have lots of questions and my Dad was ready to answer any question that I asked him. He always used to speak about scientific things. But what surprised me was he spoke about Creationism and how God Created the Universe. I was too young in Madras to understand all the answers. He lived as a paying guest with one of the British Families while in England. I understood that he lived with Christians. We are not sure whether he gave his heart to Jesus. But I wish he were a Christian. He had lots of colleagues who were Christians, He knew the Bible, he always remembers to recite verses, he always sends a bunch of Christmas greeting cards to them, but I am not sure whether he was a silent Believer or a Born Again Christian. He used to support poor students. He also sent money to those people who were facing drought or displaced situations during a cyclone. Unfortunately, before we could know more about him and his faith, he shocked all of us, and he died of a heart attack while asleep in Jan 1988. None of my ancestors were Christians.
This also has some background from his family. His two elder Brothers were communists. My late grandfather was also a silent communist activist. My several cousins are communists even today. All of them have received a high education and some are doctors and engineers. But when it comes to the question of believing the answer is a big no. They are atheists. They do not believe in God.
My mothers Father late Dukkipati Nageswara Rao was a freedom fighter and met The Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi during the pre-independence days. He also met Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and C. Rajagopalachari during his political struggle against the British. He was locked up in several prisons like Bellary jail, Tiruchirapalli jail, Rajahmundry jail and Vellore Jail to name a few. He was a rich landlord and used to help his fellow country men who were fighting for the freedom from the British. He was regarded as a trustworthy political friend. He received a Tamra Patra and Two acres of Land from the Government of Andhra Pradesh for his ardent services to the country. But he died unfortunately. He did not know Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior.
He is looking not for great and impressive people but for weak, humble servants who can boast only in Christ. The Savior alone is their strength and wisdom.
My conversion experience was nothing special; nothing extraordinary, no pomp, no processions, no festivities, as one is led to a simplistic drive to a small river accompanied by my wife with a few orphans and was baptized by our well known Friend and a wonderful Brother in the Lord Bishop Wayne Joseph. His family is well known. They Have Planted More than hundred Churches in Visakhapatnam District. Thus, I came into God’s Kingdom when I was baptized on 18 April 1996.There was rejoicing in heaven when sinners repent and turn toward the Lord. Luke (15 4-10). I was the First Christian convert in my family and so in my generation.
During mid September I had this Vision from Isaiah 43:18-21. I spoke to Brother Wayne and another Brother Caleb regarding the Vision. We all agreed that we need to Pray and so we prayed together. At that time I was a Branch Manager and profit Center Head in Hyderabad. We will see How God speaks. What are His Purposes? And His Plans that He Achieves.
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
Another Scripture which always spoke to me was from Luke 4:18 and Isaiah 61. Jesus Himself gave the answer to that question one day in the local synagogue. It was His turn to do the reading. He turned to a familiar passage about the coming Messiah: Isaiah 61. Jesus then read to everyone: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed" (Luke 4:18).
This was in November I996, and we came to Know of Mother Teresa’s deteriorating health. I was very familiar with Mother Teresa since I first saw her in a documentary in 1973 in Calcutta. I was in my 6th Grade in School when we moved from Madras to Calcutta. That was the first time in my life that I stole money from my Late Father’s Pockets because we were given very little money as pocket money. I wanted to help the Missionaries of Charity. I wanted to give the highest money to them. We were given Collection cards from everyone I filled every card that I had and gave all the money. I told my Dad everything and received scoldings and also beatings for having stolen money to give it to a charitable institution. Ever since that day Mother Teresa had a very special place in my Heart.
This is 1996 and now she was very ill. I strongly felt we need to do something for her. We decided to help. We Started with Prayer teams and spread the news of the health. We gathered about 80,000 prayer cards from schools and colleges and everyone that we came across. We decided we will go to Calcutta. We flew to Calcutta with all the cards, donations of medicines, get well prayer cards, Scriptures etc. We reached Calcutta and visited her. Admission to the hospital was very restricted, she was on medication. We prayed and came to her house which was in the Missionaries of Charity. We prayed and left all the collections and things in her tiny room with one cot and chair. Many things we can learn from her. She dedicated her life for Jesus. She came to serve the millions of poor and destitute people many of whom are leprosy victims. And here we have a 14 year young Girl from Armenia thousands of miles away from her home receiving her calling to serve the poor in Calcutta. Thinking about the Mother and how precious her life was to the millions of people of Calcutta .We returned to Hyderabad.
It was in January of 1997 when we received a letter. It was written by Mother Teresa. She thanked everyone who prayed for her, and the way she was healed by Jesus. It was a miracle. She was given the Master’s touch. She said that we should always serve like how Jesus did. What a powerful testimony. In September she went to be with the Lord. I was in Latin America and saw the news when she left for her heavenly abode.
Calling and the Spiritual life
During December 1997 I was in a Costa Rican friends place in San Jose. We were having a get together. Suddenly there was a middle aged Sister in the Lord that she started Praying. A Brother who was working in KPMG Costa Rica came and took me inside the house. She prophesied over me in Spanish. Her brother was the interpreter. She continued her prophecy and told me that I will be used in the ministry and that I will be entrusted with helping the believers and will be in the Apostolic calling.
In 1998 I was in the US and used to attend a Baptist Church in South Texas. I brought a couple of my friends to the Lord. In December 1999 I went back to India. I came to US again in August 2000.This was the turning point of my spiritual life. I went to First Assembly of God Church in Springfield, Illinois where I met Pastor Eric Hansen. He was a God fearing, Spirit filled, mission oriented, Servant Leadership and a mighty man of the Lord. I spent considerable amount of time with him trying to learn the word. Pastor Hansen was a good teacher and a great singer. He used to have the Feed the Hungry program every Sunday. Poor people often requiring help would come to the Church every day. A clinic with doctor and staff was made available every week. A support team used to give away clothes, leather goods, and household articles. Free medicines were given and most importantly there was the Testimony time in which we used to preach the word and listen to the various testimonies of the people. Pastor Tim Schultz and Brother Dennis used to lead the worship in the services. Pastor Jonathan and Pastor Derek Phillip used to preach to the youth. This is the place where I was every Sunday in the evening session. We had many preachers from different places. One day a preacher from Illinois came to preach. After Preaching he applied oil on everyone especially on those who required prayer. He was teaching about the glimpses of the five fold Ministry. All of a sudden he started sharing in his word of knowledge that I will be in the prophetic ministry. He told me about being in the prophetic requires lots of prayer support, determination and a higher calling. He was a senior Pastor in the five fold Ministry from Sheldon, Illinois…
Ministry in the Workplace
Jesus both modeled and instructed an approach in which He neither isolated nor assimilated. He continually interacted with people where they were, in the "marketplaces" of His day. He drew His closest associates from trades and professional people, and His teachings centered on the everyday world — "a sower went out to sow," "the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant" (see Matthew 13:3.45). Although Jesus fully engaged the world around Him, He did so without losing one iota of His devotion to His Father or deviating in the slightest from His integrity or values.
You have not been given a new life in order to isolate, nor have you been transformed only to assimilate. You are called to Christ, first to be His — heart, soul, mind and strength — and then commissioned to go out in His power to a needy world. As Paul said, "We are ambassadors for Christ … workers together with Him" (2 Corinthians 5:20, 6:1).
Immanuel and the vision.
Then the ultimate vision I had. I saw Jesus in my vision. I was in Kansas city .It was during July 2001.I had a late night because I was reading a book by Sergio Scataglini”The Fire of His Holiness”. Around half past midnight I lay down to sleep. Then I had seen Jesus who at first looked rather angry but immediately. He laughed; He was cheerful and shared many things. I became awake when I saw Jesus was gone from the dream. The bottom line is it became morning and I begin to recollect the dream .All throughout my childhood where I was in my seventh grade always staring at the statue of Jesus which hung in my classroom. It was sad. Nails were pierced in each of His hands, legs, and a crown of thorns on his forehead. It never used to miss those who were present in the class. I was too young to understand why he had to die. It used to remind me everyday and I always used to think why Jesus never smiles. Always I had this feeling as a kid. He was killed for each one of us. He took up all of our sins and died on the Cross at Calvary. He died and rose again after three days and showed himself to all the disciples and about 500 people. He defeated death in those 3 days. He went back to Heaven and has promised to come back again for all of us who believe.
He demands that we stop making peace with sin and pursue holiness. Only then will we see His power flow through us and experience His presence in our lives. There is just one path to this spiritual cleansing – and it runs directly through the fire of His holiness! Its purpose becomes clear once you emerge, pure and spotless. You now realize the undreamed-of benefits of living a holy life devoted to our Lord – and find His power flowing through you to reach the lost.
Indwelling Holy Spirit, by faith
During the second week of January 2002 I was in London. One evening my friend told me to wait at an Indian Restaurant in Wembley and he will just run an errand and come back. So I waited for him to return. In the meantime the restaurant was crowded. The owner of this restaurant began talking to me. He asked me where do I live and what kind of job I do. I told him that I worked for an IT company in the States and was here on an assignment. He became friendly. He started talking about Sai Baba. He was the General Secretary of UK for Sai Baba devotees. He said he was very close to Sai Baba. He goes to India every three months to meet Sai Baba. But during his last two visits Sai Baba never spoke to him well because he married again. Anyways to cut a long story short I told him we will pray together. I spoke to him about Jesus and the Gospel and as I prayed the Holy Spirit was there amidst us. He convicted the Brother of his sins and to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. With tears and overjoyment that Brother came to the Lord. There were hundreds of people who were watching.
Went to Puttaparthi to meet Satya Sai Baba
On September 12 2002 I decided to go to Puttaparthy. Accompanying me was one of my cousins who also wanted to visit his mother who is a Sai Baba’s Devotee since more than 40 years. She is one of the early disciples and has her own house in Puttaparthi right opposite Sai Baba’s ashram and spends a considerable amount of her time in prayer. She has given up her life to worship and was mostly concerned with meditation. I met her last about 25 years ago. This time I just wanted to offer my condolences to her Husband and my uncle who passed away in 2001. More than being a relative he was a very close friend of my Father. So it was a family reunion after almost nearly two and a half decades.
On the 14th I did have a chance to write a prayer request to meet Sai Baba. Unfortunately he was not meeting anyone in person because of his health .But we were given a chance to write him a letter. I wrote him a letter. It was about Christ’s love for everyone. It was a free gift for everyone. It was unconditional. I wrote about How Jesus died for Him. I spoke about how he paid for others sins by dying on the cross. I told him to become a believer. I wrote the simplistic letter with some quotes. I prayed and returned back.
The Vision came true
During 2002 held evangelical meetings along with Pastor Michel Borchardt from Kansas. Planted several Churches. I recall my vision which I first had after my baptism. This Vision from Isaiah 43:18-21. It came true. We built a church for all those people who for years did not know God. They were once regarded as the poorest of the poor people. When you read Isaiah 43 it says,
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
The people those who were living were above 3000 feet of sea level. They were surrounded by hills and mountains. They were living on fruits and vegetables. Now they had something on which they always depend upon. That is Jesus. They started prayers. There is no more sickness, pain and hardship. They evangelized their village and started sharing the Gospel. Soon after they started going to all the surrounding villages. They evangelized all the villages and started being born again. A marvelous testimony.
Met some great Brothers and Sisters in the Lord.
During 2005 I went to the Haggai Institute in the US for a Leadership program .It was a soul searching exercise for me. I had some wonderful brothers who came to learn and whom I met during the training program. Some of the Faculty like Pastor Frank Farag from Sydney, Dr. Aldo Fantao Vice President, Arthur Dhanraj VP training, were some of the outstanding Professors that I had met.
The entire year 2005 and 2006 May I was in The US. Trying to equip myself with my work. I met and had several meetings with Brother Brian in Indianapolis and Pastor Spiro Kavadas a Greek Pastor with a good fellowship in Chicago. My warm wishes to Pastor Tom Schulz and Brother Dennis who are in the I -worship center in Illinois. I also met Brother Fikru Aligaz and Pastor Solomon from Kansas. In short I met several Brothers and Sisters who were actively helping the Lords work. Sister Teresa Wright from Kansas is a very good prayer warrior. She is very helpful and has been an important member of the team.
I have been blessed with a son Ashwin Asher Kosaraju 17 years and daughter Lubasha Angel Kosaraju 13 years. Both of them are born again and gave their hearts to Jesus. Pray for us and we will do the same for all of you.
During 2006 had participated in meetings along with Michael Vijay Kumar who is the Chief Ministers cousin in several meetings in Andhra Pradesh. For those of you who do not know him he is like Nicky Cruz. He has got a fantastic testimony. He has a famous DVD titled ‘From Guns to Gospel. You must watch it. In 2007 went to Nepal and Bhutan for evangelical meetings.
In 2007 travelled for various evangelical meetings in Nagpur, Belgaum, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Varanasi, Allahabad, Delhi, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, and Visakhapatnam.
On November 28 in 2007 in Koraput Orissa, immediately after a Leaders Meeting I was paralyzed on my right side. By God’s Grace I have been able to withstand it. Right now I am recouping a bit faster and give all the glory and Praises to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1:12
The further you go down this path, the more difficult it is to recover. Some never do. They abandon their faith and give up on trying to walk further with Jesus. Sadly, the world is full of people who once believed, but have strayed far away. The writer to the Hebrews issues this caution, and it applies to everyone: "Do not drift away" (Hebrews 2:1 NIV).
On occasion, every one of us will go through troubling times, and when that happens, it’s easy to get disheartened. But the Bible indicates that even during periods of challenge and adversity, God expects His children to respond correctly. And His word equips us to do so.
What does a right response look like? Today’s passage teaches us to rejoice during difficulty. Of course, this does not mean that we must be glad about the hardship. But we can be joyful because we know that God is using the circumstances to prepare and grow us. Even though having a positive attitude during something so negative does not seem logical, it actually makes sense for several reasons.
First of all, through difficult experiences, the Lord teaches us endurance. Our natural reaction to pain is oftentimes to run in the opposite direction—and as fast as possible. However, God wants us to "hang in there" so that we can derive the full benefit of whatever lesson He has for us.
Second, the heavenly Father uses trials as a refining fire to purify His children and bring them to greater spiritual maturity. He has a plan for each believer, and hardship is one of the tools necessary to prepare us to do His will. In the process, we will find that our faith has been strengthened.
As we realize God brings benefit from our adversities, we’ll begin to face challenging times with confidence that He always has our best interest in mind. This leads to joy, because we know He is building our endurance, purifying our hearts, and making us people with unshakeable trust in Him.
God Bless You
Raj Paul Kosaraju
14 December 2010