Born in a staunch Hindu family
I, Hari Rao, am a native of Bangalore City. I was born into a devout Hindu family on May 14th, 1986. My family was zealous and obsessed with their faith in Hindu deities that is a common narrative of any average Hindu family in India. They visited many Hindu places of worship to gain blessings and good fortune. Being the firstborn in a middle class Marathi family, growing up was not a bed of roses. At the tender age of 3, my parents split due to domestic differences – something that had a lasting impact on me as a child. My childhood was highlighted by insecurity and doubts about myself as I sought to understand the complexities of his life.
My father (Raghunath Rao) and grandmother (Neelavathi Bai) worked very hard to provide me with quality education and make ends meet but things simply did not work out. I took violently ill when I was of the age 11 and 12. Diagnosed with different ailments, my life seemed dark and hopeless. After extensive treatment and spending thousands of rupees, I recovered. But the sickness left my family drowning in debt.
Stealing to view porn
Just when life seemed to get brighter for the Pawar family, I turned in to a rebellious teenager. I was selfish, abusive and irresponsible, causing more pain and heartache to my well-meaning family. I was soon introduced to the vulgar world around me. I often smoked, consumed alcohol and was addicted to pornography. The need to satisfy my porn addiction was so acute that it often made me steal petty things from within my house. I would then, sell the things that I stole to earn easy money, so that I could view more porn only to feel empty. I was, in many a sense, an average teenager. I was hurt, addicted, purposeless and had no conscious of sin.
A neighbor who invited me to church
God and piety were least of my interests until the time a dear neighbor (Bagya aunty) began to invite him to a local church. Little did I know that my whole life was about to encounter the life changing presence of the Creator God. In the beginning, I found the church services to be extremely boring and the preacher failed to hold my attention. Weeks rolled in to months and nothing extraordinary had happened. After about 5 or 6 months of attending church with the pure motive not to hurt the dear neighbor I found no other reason to go to Church.
Encounter with the Holy Spirit
In the weeks that followed, I began to encounter this feeling of extreme warmth every time I went to church. As alien as the feeling was, I grew to love this feeling of divine presence and pure love. The feeling seemed to get stronger and I was becoming more aware of its presence. I now know this was the presence of God the Holy Spirit but back in those days I did not know what to make of this feeling except for the fact that it was really good and unlike anything I had felt before. Words are finite and fail to express the emotions and thought that I felt every time I encountered this presence. Not only was this presence felt in the church but in any place that Jesus was being spoken about. The feeling was real and made definite impact on my life. After several such encounters
with the presence of God, I finally surrendered my heart to God and made him the Lord of my life.
Hours of prayer in a locked room
After his decision to accept Christ as His savior, my greatest desire and pursuit was the presence of God with an undying appetite for the Bible. I spent several hours locked in his room praying for more of God. These hours of prayer became the life-changing moment with the very presence of God touching me. Heaven was so real and God was so intimate.
No sooner the news of my conversion was known to my family, all hell broke lose in my life. I began to feel ostracized in my own family. My family thought of my conversion has a blemish to the family reputation. My dad thought I was brain washed and deceived. My grand mother was enraged by the act. Through these trying moments, God in His mercy was drawing me to a more intimate walk and poured out His Spirit upon me in an immeasurable way.
Soon a series of miracles began to happen in my life. Amongst them, was the healing a perforated ear drum (partially deaf) of my step-mother. God healed her miraculously whilst the Doctor had warned her that without surgery she would lose her hearing. Almost six years have gone by and she can still hear without any surgery!
Another miracle that is close to my heart is the salvation experience of my father. My father had enforced the strongest opposition to my faith, but by the grace of God, I had the honor of leading my Father into the knowledge of Christ. My father was amazingly freed from the 20 years of alcohol addiction he was into. He is now a zealous Christian himself. Currently, every member of my family is saved and knows Jesus as Lord. The Lord Jesus has performed several other miracles to prove His love and power in this life of mine that was on a highway to hell only to intervene and change the course of my life.
Influenced by T. D. Jakes
My greatest desire is to love God and His Savior Jesus, more and more. I am a passionate preacher (and yes, Rev. T. D. Jakes has had a huge influence on my sermon-delivery style) and have a genuine burden for lost souls. With all my heart, I share the Gospel with as many as are willing to hear. My greatest passion is to see revival breakout in this generation and to see an unprecedented harvest of souls. After a divine encounter with the voice of God and much prayer and waiting in the secret place, I founded what is now called “Get Ready ministry.”
True to my passion, “Get Ready Ministry” strives to take the Gospel to a people that know not God through youth conferences, college prayer cells and one to one counseling sessions. I also travel and minister the Word in different places.
I am a tent-making preacher in that I currently work with Firstsource Solutions as a Communication trainer. I reside in Bangalore. Find me and follow me on Facebook.
Accessed on January 12, 2011