Ready for Death
The moments that
change your life are not always physical ones. One of the most crucial points in
my life was when I decided to follow my secret passion, which is to understand
Jesus Christ. It was quite a change. I believed that all religions were true
when I was a child. But there were lots of difficulties about religions. Who is
really God? This was my big question. I looked around and asked myself what
would be the best way of living life. Some of my friends used drug, enjoy their
life some few hours, practiced corruption, and there is injustice throughout
society. One of my best friends died as a drug addict. Where is real life? I
gave more and more worship to the gods. I asked god to give me success, and god
has given me success--but where is real life of living peaceful? What shall I
do? Finally I decided instead of doing the usual rounds of looking for a regular
worship of other gods and goddesses, I decided on a change. It was in September
16, 1989 that I went to a small island and I was baptized to confirm my belief
that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. I found really happiness in my life and found peace. I learned the importance of believing in God and His Son
Jesus. When everything seemed
to go wrong, just believe. When the job gets you down, just believe! When people
don't react the way you think they should, just believe! When your money is low
and the bills are due, just believe.! When people just don't understand you,
just believe. You could find real life.
I was born and brought
up in a Hindu family in the North-east of India, in Manipur.
I am the youngest son
of my family. I have three brothers and one sister. My father was a teacher and
mother was a housewife. Most of my childhood friends were girls--because there
were no boys around my age among our neighbors. When ever I go to their houses,
they welcomed me.
My mother and father
taught me about the Hindu ways of worship. Also we had our daily devotion
morning and evening. Sometimes we sat together and listened from Bhagavad Gita
that my father would read. As well as I had been listening on the weekend to the
radio, the "Story of Ramayana." I never missed that; sometimes I stopped going
to school just to listen the story.
One day I found some
beautiful black stones from the road. I brought them home to keep and play with.
One of the magi came to my home to do some puja (family worship). I showed him
the stones and he told me that it was a god. I was so happy and devoted and
sometimes I would pour milk on it. Later it could not find them any more. They
told me they may have run away. I don't know how it could have happened.
Nearby my home town
there was a small hill. On top of the hill there was a very beautiful temple. I
used to clean the temple every Friday and I worshiped and lit one candle.
My uncle had big idol
of Lakshmi or Saraswati and before lunchtime he used to worship this idol. When
I was shown this idol the first time I said to myself, “One day I will worship
like this when I grow up.” These were the kinds of influences I grew up
How God called
I was still remember
when I was four or five years old, sitting with my mother along with one other
person [I cannot remember this person] looking at the life story of Jesus Christ
in a small storybook. After looking at this storybook, my heart and body felt so
clean, like I just took a bath. I asked my mother who this man is, and why after
dying and raising from the dead he did not kill his enemies? My mother could not
give me a good answer. Again I asked her, she said that it is a story. Again she
told us that after death the dead will be raised. I was not satisfied with my
mother’s response . At this moment I saw the sun shine with rain, beautifully in
the sky. There was a heavy rain surrounding the area of my house with much
water. I had never seen this kind of beautiful brilliant sky, rain with
sunshine. It is the first time God showed me something of His way.
One day my friend
asked me to go and see Christian worship. We found that it was a nice way of
worship, but we didn't know about the person of Jesus. When we saw them pray we
mocked them. Also, we didn't know their tribal tongue.
Some years later, one
of my cousin’s brother became a Christian. His father beat him for this. He told
his father, “In the name of Jesus you could kill me; I am ready for death.”
Because this happened, my older relative called a meeting. They said at this
meeting, "If you become a Christian we will not associate with you. If any one
enters his home we will take Rs 200.00." My cousin said that I should not stop
worshipping Jesus Christ.
Later his family moved
out of our society-- his house was built near a paddy field and his friends were
tribals. Also, I supported my relative’s decision and action. I thought this way
because I thought Christians killed cows and demolished our civilization.
I accept Jesus
One evening I went to
my cousin’s house with some friends and joined in the home worship service. The
singing was very good; I had never heard this before and my heart began to feel
something. Again and again we sang one song right after another. The song said,
"Jesus will come into this world and we will rejoice". But I did't know anything
more about Jesus; I thought that Jesus was a tribal God. I told my father about
their worship their praying and singing song. I was derisive during the prayer
time. We mocked them.
A few months later we
talked about the Christians at my school. I spoke personally with some Christian
friends. When we spoke, we debated with the Christians about which way was the
true god. Sometimes I would win the dialogue, sometimes they would win. I wanted
to know more about Jesus. At the same time, I began, more and more, to worship the Hindu gods. I began to
ask so many questions about Jesus, but nobody could give me the right answer
about the Jesus Christ. They only taught me if you are a Christian you have to
do this and this...They said, “You should not worship Hindu idols. They are all
evils. (I was so angry at that). You are not allowed to work on Sunday if you
become a Christian.” Also, they said to me, “How can a stone become god? They would
always condemn the Hindu way of worship. Sometime, I could not understand their
language. The Christian people were not allowed to come our home; we looked down
on them because of the caste system. I did not believe that this was right
because they had broken only the culture. But I couldn't go and ask to my cousin
because of our relative’s decision to penalize those who visited him.
After six years, one
of the Christians who came from a Hindu background completed his studies and came to be near my home
town. We spent time together. He would teach us the word of God. He explain the
faith and other religious. I asked many questions and his answers seemed the
right ones. We prayed and formed a friendship for a few months. We did this in
secret, none of our neighbors knew. A very interesting sentence in the Bible was
in John 14:1-3, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in
me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told
you, I am going to prepare a place for you, And if I go to prepare a place for
you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I
am." One day I decided in my mind that this evening I would like to ask to my
leader to follow Jesus and show this by being baptized. But I also decided I
would not let anyone know. I reached some of my friends and talked to them about
my decision to know Jesus. Before I asked him, he said, we have someone who will
help you at a small island of Manipur. They wanted to go with me and were very
excited to know of my decision to follow Jesus and be baptized. I was
overflowing with joy in my heart to know Jesus. I was filled with joy in my
heart. Then I decided, "I will go."
I asked my family if I could go to this island and see the full moon.
They allowed me to go. It was 53 km from my home and it was there that I
declared my intention to follow Jesus and was baptized.
My family closed
the door but a theology college opened the door :
One day my father came
to know I was attending a Christian marriage ceremony. He was about to beat me
and tell me, "You have to go the five elders of my relative and say you are
sorry, and that you will not do this any more." I did this at the time.
My family suspected I
was secretly going to a church. But they were not able to discover me and prove
that I was going. Whenever I used to go church, before I entered the gate I had
to look around and see if anyone was watching from the road. When there was
nobody watching, I would run inside the church. My bible was something I kept
secretly and cared for carefully. During the year, my father was transferred to
the hill area, as he was a teacher.
On October 3, 1989,
during lunchtime, my father came to know I was attending a Christian fellowship.
My father then took away my food and beat me. I ran to my room, closed the door
and cried to God, "What will happen to me Lord?" Tears flowed down my face
continually, but my heart was so happy and clean-- I will never find that kind
of happiness. My father told me, "From today you are not my son. Never come
again." After some time my father left. I came out from my home and went to ask
the pastor what I should do? "We pray." he said. I would manage for some time
and then would go to Bible School the following year. After seven days I entered
my house when my mother was alone. My father use to come monthly one or two days
from his work place. If my father was at home I use to stay away.
I was finding out the
best way to stay at home. I had to keep doing good work for the needs of home. I
had to show I would be always home and not going to the church on Sundays. They
were happy with what I was doing, but my father never called me. If anythings
was wrong, my brothers would mock me because I believed in Jesus.
In 1990, I asked my
family to allow me to study in Kolkata. They allowed me and I joined the
Calcutta Bible Seminary. I use to give different address and communication than
the Theology College as I did not want them to know I was studying the bible.
Sixteen months later they discovered it and came to take me from Kolkata. I
stayed six months and then I ran away from home and joined again in my studies
at Calcutta Bible Seminary. This time they wrote me many letters and also had
friend’s write they and me are criticized me severely. They did not support me
anything. Somehow I finished my studies and found a little work while studying
at Calcutta Bible Seminary.
close the door and My family open the door :
Doing ministry at big
city and working, the seminary thought that my theology and values were not
strong enough to fit into the seminary. I come to understand that I could accept
my call and still who Am I - this encounter was an integral my focused
I worked six years at
this Seminary under three directors. I learned so much as well going through so
many difficulties. It was much responsibility, but I enjoyed the work.
I believe that God is
there. Whenever trouble came, I just believed that He can do every thing. I
believed that "Our God shall supply all my need."
I then began to attend
Serampore College. My studies have always been challenging in that I had no
finances and could hardly afford the things one needs to study well. During
these times I would sometimes talk with my family by phone and letter. I was
praying often for them. They were happy to talk with me, so I asked if I could
visit them in Manipur. They invited me to come home to visit. I realized I had
changed much. My father was not so happy about me still, but he said I was
welcome to be home as long as I did not talk about Jesus. This visit was so
meaningful to me! My father even supported me a little. Father asked me if you
want to go to service I am ready to help you. But for the Bible or missionary
works don't ask me.
Even though I
struggled much with finances, God sent help to me from time to time. I struggled for another year. I still have a challenge in front of
me. I am determined to strive and
to act in a way so as to win this struggle.