My name is R_____. I was born in a village in the year 1967. I belonged to a Hindu family. We are seven brothers and sisters in total, three brothers and 4 sisters, and I am the sixth child of our parents. I remember, when I was 4 years old, my elder sister and her husband adopted me. I came to the city with them and lived quite a long time them. They had no child till then and they loved me as if I was their own kid. They fulfilled all my requirements/desires as and when I had need. As the days passed by, I grew up to know that at time my father was working as a guard for a company. He also loved me a lot. In fact, my elder brother’s and my parent’s love of me was so much that I would lack nothing. I was a very active child. Right from the young age of 7-8, I started earning my pocket-money through some home-trades, so I was independent to some extent to take my decisions on my own.
In year 1978, I took membership with Rashtriya Swyamsewak Sangh (RSS). I would go to Shakha that was led in the park. I usually would go in SEVA BHARTI. In this way I grew up in an RSS environment, where we were taught the art of self-defence and different sort of fighting tricks and techniques. Here I learnt many exciting games and weapons like Lathi, Talwar, Ballabhbhh etc. Simultaneously I was learning Judo-Karate and exercises to build the body. As I learnt all these things, I was no longer afraid of anybody, and for this I went on being ill mannered and mischievous day by day. I was proud of my physical strength and fighting tactics. I was proud and would cherish the fact that I could beat 4-5 guys at a time like a film hero. I knocked down many big badmaash and gained fame of being a bigger badmaash. I started enjoying the company of wicked/anti-social guys and became quite popular. I had a very short temper and would be angry in no time for any cause. I contrasted myself with hindi-film action-hero Dharmendra.
All this time, my elder brother who was working in the Indian Army heard the gospel of Jesus Christ in a open-meeting of ‘India Every Home Crusade.’ The gospel took a place in his heart and he enquired more about it. After some time he accepted Jesus as his personal saviour and God. He started sharing the message of Jesus with many. He shared the gospel message in our village and even in our home. In fact, he only took the initiative to take us out of the township and admit us to a better school so that we could get educated. He had to face many challenges from the family, but at last, he won all the debates and discussions. He persuaded many villagers as well to put their children in the mission school. He agreed to pay all our fees and thus admitted us to the mission school, which was 60 kms from our home. My sister and I were admitted to the school, and I learnt the Christian way of living. I learnt lot of things of the Bible as all the teachings and prayers were from the Bible. I was considered to be the most ill-behaved boy of the hostel. I would jump out of the boundary wall of the hostel and would steal fruits and veggies from outside. Well, after completing 8th standard, I came to Delhi to my brother and sister. I was granted admission in 9th standard. I joined the RSS again. I fell in the company of some bad boys. My brother, though being miles away, was worried about me and would write letters frequently to guide me through spiritual bearing.
He came to the city once and introduced me to a pastor there. He had to leave early because his job would not allow him stay any longer. He did one thing very fervently-- that he would write spiritual letters frequently to me. He used to continuously remind the pastor to keep track of me. This Pastor would come to our home every once in a while. He always used to invite me to church, but I used to just agree to please him. I would go to church half hearted whenever I used to get a letter from my elder brother. I did so because I didn’t want to tell a lie nor did I want to disrespect him. I loved my brother and had a great respect for him. I would just go to church, touch it’s building and come back so that I would not have to tell a lie. Despite all efforts put in by my brother and the pastor, I steadily went on defiling myself. I was in quest for romance too as I was growing.
I became disciple of one Tantrik Baba for quite some time. I did all the service to him along with one of my old pals who still is a magic-vendor. We would offer food, sacrifices to the idols and burn incense. I would not miss going Peer Baba ki Dargah every Thursday. I offered many prayers and sought many blessings, but all were in vain.
I went to Banares to tie some sticks in the Ganges as was the tradition but got no peace. In fact, I was loosing my peace and gaining nothing. One more thing, which needs attention, is that my mother was very religious. Many spirits would come upon her and drive her crazy. Especially often she prayed Kali Kalkatta wal--i and this was the goddess which when came upon her would make her most crazy and horrifying. She used to offer foods and live sacrifices to please this goddess. Somehow, if she forgot sometime to offer the sacrifices, she had to suffer a lot. Many evil spirits would hold her and this would make her not only ugly but also the most horrible figure I can remember in my imaginations. I used to get so scared that I would generally hide myself in a quilt. She usually wore 4-5 pendents (taabeez) on her neck or arms. She never kept well all this while. She would be sick of something or other though being ultra religious. In those days, I remember, my father bought the a flat. Our complete family shifted to this flat. My sister had a child by then and my father's home being so near, my mother called me back to our flat. My father was still in working; he and my mother loved me so much. My brother was always trying to draw our family nearer to Jesus Christ, but none would listen to him. All were happy with him, but we did not want to leave our habits and religious practices. I had tried many times to leave all my evil deeds, but in vain. In fact, I made two attempts to bring my life to an end, but the medicine I had gulped to commit suicide did not prove any harm to me.
Once in a while, I would go to a church in the city, where no one used to notice me and in the crowd of all those who knew each other; I used to feel aloof and lonely. Once I went to a prayer meeting. The passage being discussed was Revelation 2:17. 'He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows except he that receives it.' All these things settled down in my mind and I was scared of my eternal destiny. I struggled for many days with random thoughts being generated in my mind out of this intercourse. I was meditating upon the words...He that has an ear, let him hear...I will give unto every one of you according to your works...I was terrified by the thought that I was doing all what has been forbidden by God. So I would be a sinner lifelong, and would I die as a sinner. I could not understand the depth of the matter, so I decided to go to the pastor. The pastor introduced me to new things of life. From many verses he explained that if we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9). But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7). I was struck by the thought that our home was the stronghold of all the goddess and gods and yet we still had to suffer all the problems, sicknesses and poverty; how is it that all our Gods came to destroy the sinners and to save the righteous but this God Jesus came not to destroy but to save the sinners by shedding his own blood? I did some research and came to believe that Jesus Christ was/is the God, who accepts mankind as his children. He does not ill-treat his children but loves them unconditionally. This God loved us so much that he could not resist to come on this earth in Jesus Christ to save us and model the real child of God. After being satisfied with the results of my research, I accepted Jesus as my savior and God and put forward all my sins and transgressions before him, because the Bible says "1For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made for salvation. " (Romans 10:10) This is how I accepted Jesus Christ in my life. I started growing in Christ and his teachings. I would go to church every Sunday for worship and would consistently read the bible. I testified that I had believed in the Lord in my life through water baptism on 21st April of 1989. I started following bible as it says. But whenever I used to share the gospel with the people who knew my life before conversion, they would ridicule and comment upon me. Many would say...nau sau choohe khakar billi chali haj ko...and others...see, this man has come from Holland or England or US...Even many said...see..he has forsaken his own father and has accepted others father as his own... I felt so furious, but the love of Christ overruled the anger and hatred. I was very happy; because I had received 'the peace ' what I was actually searching for. Walking in his ways, I got married in a believing family. Suddenly something happened which surfaced the person in me and I committed a crime for which I had to go to jail. I was kept in jail beginning 11 September 1993. I am happy to say that Jesus did not forsake me even there and brought his word in the jail through Gideons Ministry. As they distributed the Bible in the jail, and then did complete worship service followed by the preaching, the word of God touched me once again. I remembered that I decided to leave the God of the Bible and committed sin, but he did not leave me even in this condition. He came to me to cheer me up and bless me with his peace and joy. I then decided once again that come what may I would not leave Jesus ever in my life. Then I shared the gospel, the message of Jesus, with many fellow prisoners but they would not hear me-- but would counter-question me instead with “Why was I in jail if I knew God?” As soon as I got the bail, I went to the person to whom I had beaten so badly. I went there to ask him to forgive me and I confessed in front of his family. Then I confessed in front of my church and sought the prayers of the elders. I myself also prayed that God might keep me life-long. God has cared for me and kept me happy and content; gradually my mother, brother and sisters also accepted Christ in their lives. All in my family are blessed in the grace of God. God is keeping me along with my wife, my son, my elder daughter and younger daughter. God has commanded me to serve him and now I am walking faithfully in his grace. I want to thank him that his timing was perfect and he saved me in his own time. I want to state this through my life story that Jesus is not the God of any country but he is the creator of this earth and heavens. He has loved all and he loves all irrespective of caste, creed and religion. He loves sinners and has a solution to all the problems of men. When we take a step of faith, he moves twice the distance towards us.
If you want to come closer to Lord Jesus Christ today, then have faith that he is calling you with his arms open wide. Dear brothers and sisters, this is the time because nobody has seen tomorrow. If you want to receive eternal life and the life of peace, then please come to Jesus Christ. There is the way of peace and the way of sin--which way do you want to go? The decision is yours. I shall always pray that Lord Jesus may help you in choosing the Way of Peace.
R_____, Feb 2004