Is there a life without suffering and loneliness? Why God took away my mom? Why I live like an orphan? What I want to become? Who will love and cherish me? These are the some of the questions which was lingering on my mind. Where is the answer for my questions was the biggest question of all these in my life. My life story is the search for the answer for my questions. Would you take time to ponder my life as a story?
I’m Mohana Krishnan born on 23rd December in 1967 at Madurai in South India. My father’s name is Srinivasan Iyengar. His stature was so appealing and he had gigantic structure. He was a sincere Labour Officer, worked for Tamil Nadu Government in Labour Department. He was proved righteous by the testimony of the local proprietors of the firms when allegation brought against him for corruption. His hard working nature attracted me many times. Even in my mother’s sickness he attended her patiently did all household works for my elder sisters and went to office without fail. I admired his strong personality. He was a widower since 1972 but he declined the offer of remarriage till his death.
My mother acted violently one day when I was three years old. Some people told she may be a schizophrenic and some others told muni (spirit) attacked her. My father admitted her in Highground Government Hospital near Palayamkottai. My father left me along with her. In emergency occasions I only went to nearby medical shops for purchasing medicines. I always lost my way back and was crying and searching my mother in the big hospital. She died after two years of suffering. I couldn’t even recollect her face. These are all the only remembrance of my mother.
My childhood was a pitiable one when I look back my life. I had my elementary education which was on my street itself (now it is closed.) I applied in the St. Xavier’s Higher Secondary School and wrote entrance test to high school. In the entrance test out of five from my street I was the who passed in it and in the day of admission I met the Headmaster alone as my father went to take charge in his newly transferred place. Our neighbor only signed as a guardian in my admission form. I felt as an orphan.
My father worked in Madurai which is 155Km away from our place. My father left us with aunt (father’s own sister). My aunt has six girls and one boy. I have five elder sisters. I was brought up more like in girls’ hostel. My father used to come on Saturday evenings and leave us on Sunday evenings. Those evenings were so precious to me. Those nights his hands was my pillow. His weekend biscuits were the boost for the whole week. Every week I used to query him for hours together. He answered all my queries with patience. If he did not turn up on Saturday evenings I went on with tears to my bed.
I was longing for mother’s care and love. No special care was given from my family because I was one among the thirteen. I had a friend called Sri Ram in my Gopalaswamykoil South Mada Street. (Till now I search for him). One day we fought with one another in the street even then I went to his house just to find love from his family. We were all shifted to B-colony near Palayamkottai when I was studying eighth grade because my father and aunt had dispute over the ancestral property. Ravi became my close friend. His family also showed me love and care, they were our neighbour there. I finished my Diploma in Civil Engineering Course in Sankar Institute of Polytechnic at Sankar Nagar. I enjoyed a family environment from 1981 to 1986 from Ravi’s family. Ravi left me for studying Catering Technology and I again felt as an orphan.
My father brought us back to Palayamkottai house after winning a civil suit for the ancestral property with my aunt. I joined my first engineering job locally for the salary of Rs.300/-. I couldn’t get a job in Chennai for the lack of previous experience even though I secured 70% in my Diploma in Civil Engineering. My initial building projects were with Roman Catholic Institutions. I gained confidence of nuns because of my good conduct. Even their Provincial Superior asked my Richardson Company for me as a site supervisor for their Nagerkoil Provincial Home construction. I resigned my job as I felt depressed by the forcible separation from Ravi’s family. I went to Delhi as I got a favorable reply from Ram who is Ravi’s own brother. First month after attending lot of interviews I couldn’t find a job. The hope was fading away and money was running out of my purse. I got a job surprisingly from a structural designer in Janakpuri in the second month. I applied for my further study in Annamalai University for the Diploma course in Concrete Technology and Design of concrete structures. I went on accumulating my skill in engineering perspective drawings.
We were very proud because we belong to Brahmin Iyengar family and have a great heritage like my two grandpas and my uncle were astrologers. Mapillai (Bridegroom) Iyengar family is the title of our family in our locality. I ventured the spiritual world from my childhood. I learned slokas from Suthamalli Iyer and Ramanathan Iyer in my childhood. My favorites were Vishnu Sahashranamam and Venkateshwara subrabatham. I myself learned Lakshmi Astakam, Rajaraajeshwari Astakam and Kanthashashtikavasam. I used to take part in mudhal theertha koshti (who used get holy water in first place in holy place of vaishnavite temple) in Kopalaswamykoil temple and chant Naalayiradivya Prabandam and purshasuktam.
I heard a discourse on Bhagavat Gita because of my spiritual quest while I was there in Delhi. I didn’t have any point of living because of whom I loved was engaged with another man. I wanted to embrace asceticism and wanted to practice bhakti yoga (devotional meditation) to leave from this world permanently. I went Mathura to an Ashram and found contradictions in their word and walk so I continued my job. My unfortunates continued and my boss didn’t get contract. I didn’t want to give him trouble and came back to Chennai and got job in Arunachalam & Co. I did construction of Fuel Injection Equipment plant for Lucas-TVS through them. I wanted to achieve greater things and expected appreciations. I voluntarily did the survey and prepared contour map of that land along with the construction work. My over interest and tireless dedication in work gifted me an ailing health. I resigned and came back to my native.
My darkest period of my life started. My life carrier was daunting me very much. I cursed myself for studying the Civil Engineering. I loved to become mechanical engineer but because of my father’s compulsion I took the Civil branch. My father also lost heart and worried about my future in Civil Engineering. My inconsistent work experience in construction field made my efforts futile for Gulf employment opportunities.
I started to hate my life, the world and the people. My dad encouraged me to study secretarial course training. I learned English typing lower grade, finished my pre-university certificate course and started to pursue my Hindi learning. My part in social life started with running the ration shop which was closed by the interference of rowdies in our locality. I took charge of that shop along with other friends for one week. This led me to a conscience for the need of revival among Brahmin community. The Brahmin Association at that time was in condition of inertia in my locality. Ad hoc committee was formed to reform and I was in that committee. I motivated and took leadership of surveying Palayamkottai for Brahmin families and conducted a poll for new office bearers and renewed that Association. My father became an executive member of that Association.
I studied Bagavat Gita with the commentary of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. I argued with the principal and others of CMS girls’ hostel of my locality to prove Bhagavat Gita and Bible are same. I proved by giving many explicit answers from Gita than in Bible for the cause of evil that much I was thorough in Gita. Two spiritual questions arose in my mind after I went through Gita. The first was how much sin I committed in my previous birth and my incapability of leading a holy life in present time and also to find atonement for my past sins. This view led me to the truth of impracticality of attaining Mukthi (salvation from the birth cycle). The second question was about the Ultimate Truth about Brahman. Brahman is without attributes and formless. This led me search God who is formless. In the meantime I got introduced with Prajaphitha Brahmakumari World University movement. I learnt transcendental meditation and even went to nearby centers to teach as a volunteer. I had to leave that organization because of their internal power struggle. My college mate Abdul Razeek introduced me to Islam and I went along with him to mosque and attended prayers. There also I couldn’t find answers for my life questions.
My life’s turning points encouraged me a little. I got job in Shiva Associates in Tirunelveli and took the construction job of Mountain Spinning Mill which is on the way to Tuticorin. I took personal interest of drawing an emblem for that company. They approved me by using that emblem till now. My aptitude in singing also recognized by the All India Radio when I participated in the vocal melody competition in Tirunelveli (The competitors were from Tuticorin, Virudhunagar and Nagercoil districts). I was selected as the number one. I was selected for voice audition test and sang three songs for All India Radio in the year 1992 which were also broadcasted.
My caste and my religious pride also made me to think Christianity in disdain manner. My colleague and my two years junior Mr. Fredrick Christopher gave me a biography book of an Evangelist Sthuthi Sankar. I took that book to my house to find out where Stuthi Sankar went wrong from Hinduism and embraced the Christianity. The inbuilt hatredness regarding Christianity made me to read that book like manner. A portion of that book says, “Sthuthi Sankar wanted to commit suicide when he studied Polytechnic in Chennai. He went Pallavaram Hills with poison in his hand. In that night he heard a voice telling “I’m sufficient for you”. He came down immediately and saw his hostel mates where praying in a circle. He joined that prayer and found his heart filled with God’s peace.” This led me to a question of whether God can speak to man. In Hinduism as there is popular belief of rebirth and not of resurrection, I thought Christians worship ghost of Christ. The next day I returned that book to Christopher and asked for another book which may tell the where about of Christ but not of his teachings. He gave me a Tamil translation of an English book name ‘We would see Jesus’ written by Roy & Revel Hession.
In my Agraharam (where Brahmins reside surrounding the temple) on 8th November of 1993 at 9:30 night when I was reading the particularly this line,
“He (God) had already showered upon man His love, and man had thrown that love back in His face. But the love of God was such that, when man had done all that, He yet purposed his recovery, and He stretched out His hand the second time, this time to redeem. To create, God had but to speak, and it was done. But to redeem, He had to bleed. And He did so in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent to take for us the place of death upon the Cross which our sin had so richly deserved.”
I got the vision of the crucified Christ and his bleeding hand on the Cross. I started to cry by saying to Christ, “I never seek you but hated you. What a wretched man I am and how much your love is great that you are dying for me?” My heart was started to fill with love and peace which surpasses my understanding in my age of 26. In spite of this my guilty conscience started to kill me as I don’t know the forgiveness of Christ. I came to a conclusion that there is God and I have seen him. I wanted to end my earthly life as I have seen the Ultimate Truth. Christopher immediately took me to Bro. Shantha Kumar who was then working with Central Excise Department. He showed me the Christ’s gift of grace and forgiveness. That love and forgiveness of Jesus motivated me to finish reading the Tamil New Testament (Anbin Seithi) within fifteen days and then I finished reading of the whole Bible within two months. The love of Christ filled my heart and I started to love him with my whole heart. My life schedule for the next ten months was like this. My day began at 3:30 AM. I took bath and read the Bible inside the big bath room in my house. I started to experience some supernatural feelings. Somebody used to preach me God’s word in my sleep in those nights. I also felt a floating experience of my body and overflowing joy for the first three months. A white robed being came along with me around 5:30AM while I walked in the dark roads. I went Clarinda Church by 6 AM and my praying and reading of Bible and messages ended by 8:30AM. After my daily work, evening 7 to 9 PM I confessed my sins and read spiritual messages in Clarinda Church. Every week Wednesday I attended the Blessing Youth Mission prayer cell. I went for village ministries on Sundays. I preached the word and shared my testimony now and then among small groups and Churches.
I took baptism in the camp called Halo (Blessing Youth Mission conducts youth camp every alternative year for boys) and was anointed with the Holy Spirit in January 1994. God talked and inspired me the way I have to live from Acts 9:15-16, “This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (NIV) I thank my God for his faithfulness in keeping His promise in my life’s difficult situations.
God called me to minister Him through an incident, a dream and his word. I committed my life for missionary work in Tuticorin Missionary Convention which was conducted on 26th Jan in 1994. I went for Summer Missionary Camp (youths reaching tribes with gospel in their summer vacation) which was conducted by BYM in the month of May of that same year. I got clarity of my missionary call in Aranooth Hills which is near Arur in Salem. God confirmed my life mission through Acts 26:16-18, “I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (NIV). Then I applied for missionary work with BYM. My family understood my firmness and sent me as a missionary. I also felt the hurt as I left my secular job, my family members, my people, my language, my culture and many other things and stepped into unknown world on faith on 7th Sep of 1994 exactly after 10 months of my salvation experience.
I was sent to Alnavar in Dharwad District of Karnataka. My first missionary work started in those forests. Our ministerial life started every morning by 9 o’clock and ended by evening by 6 or 7 o’clock. I felt tired because of lot of walk and talk among village folks and of our self cooking. God enabled us by His grace as a team to build two churches in forest areas Kambarganvi and Nagerhalli. I got transferred to Gargoti which is in Maharashtra and took part in the Church construction for about 8 months. Then I came to Saundatti in Karnataka after the dedication of the Church and served there for 6 months. Again I came back to Alnavar and ministered there till August ’99. I got married with Catherine on May 1997, who served some time with Gospel Echoing Missionary Society in Bihar, and then with Youth for Christ in Tamil Nadu. I also travelled to other States like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh and helped in building construction works. I thank God for the promise and used me later to preach to four Israelite young girls in my train journeys as I used my travel to share the gospel according to God’s leading. We as a family were sent to Saundatti field on August 99 and started the left-out work of my previous missionaries. God gave me his promise from Isa 41:15, "See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff” (NIV). God enabled me to love and serve the people and to construct and dedicate the Church on 30th Sep. of 2001. I came to Chennai on May 2006 for a medical treatment. I helped in establishing a departmental set up for Blessing Youth Mission’s construction activities. My daughter Merlin Jones, born on June 2, 2007 was a new addition to our family.
We were transferred to Hassan, Karnataka on Nov 2 of 2007. I have finished by this time my Bachelor of Missiology and then Master of Theology in Missiology. Now God is using me as a revival preacher, missionary training faculty and State Coordinator of Karnataka in Blessing Youth Mission. Now I pursue my PhD. I also preach gospel to the elite group of society in a personal way. God’s word says in 1Co 1:27-29, God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. Likewise I can surely say from my life,
Not because I am –
A Brahmin but because of my brokenness,
An Engineer but because of my emptiness,
A Singer but because a sinner,
A complete but because a condemned,
An outnumbered but because an orphan,
Gentle but because of gruesome,
A lovable but because a left out,
God chose me as his son and
Jesus chose me as his minister and the
Holy Spirit has become my Companion.
Not I get everything I desire but the peace that surpasses the understanding guards my heart in Jesus Christ in every situation. Will you not receive this peace, tranquility, love, forgiveness, and freedom from guilty from the God and Savior Jesus Christ in your life that He died also for your sins on the Cross? Good news is He lives and wants to live with us. If you invite him he will forgive, and willingly come in your life and reform your empty life to eternal life. I invite you to think about your life and where is it heading to? I plead you take a right decision. This is the right time to choose him. May God reveal himself in love to transform your life!
Source: Received through email on 25 Oct 11 13:22:10