WORD OF GUIDANCE

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MY STORY

 

As a son of a Pastor and growing up in a conservative Hindu pilgrims’ town of Thiruvannamalai (near Chennai, India), life and religion appeared to gel well, in my childhood days. However, my mother, who was a school teacher, was ruthlessly judgmental, and used to humiliate us to any level in order to ensure that we were no “problem kids!” Growing up in a Pastor’s home is tougher than you think, due to the attack of evil spirits or Satan himself, who hates the good work of a pastor! Satan’s choice was my mother to accomplish his destructive purposes in the family! Mother suffered from complex emotional problems, hated my father till the last day of his life and us, children.  She was arrogant and pugnacious against his compassionate and rare ministry with the gypsies.

 

That turned home a virtual hell on earth brimming with almost violent conflicts, economic inadequacy, parental neglect, depressive atmosphere and deep rooted bitterness, rendering the home totally traumatic and unconducive even to read a few lines of a newspaper in peace, where an academic study or any constructive activity is virtually out of question. Life at home was also interrupted by many visitors (who came to see my father) which pressed the home into uneasy calm, for an appearance, while it was never a ‘home sweet home.’

 

At school, though teachers were generally good, the educational system was arcane, with a third class syllabus, that neither inspires you nor takes you anywhere in life.  There were friends around of two kinds – one, happy to be youthful rebels (with a guarantee of ancestral wealth) and the other, fiercely and secretly chasing so-called academic success.  Soon, I realized it was never going to be an easy road uphill to success, if at all there appeared one on the horizon!

 

God, whose love surpasses that of a mother, saved me when I was a school boy, through the preaching of Evangelist (late) Brother DGS Dhinakaran, in April 1980.  I sensed that I needed a Saviour for my troubled home and a redeemer for me, of course.  I surrendered my life to Jesus, as I believed He will lead me on, as the Good Shepherd, despite a depressing scenario at home.  

 

In a few years, I suddenly fell ill with chicken pox right during my exam days that I had to miss some of my 10th standard exams and had to spend a lonely year out of school. The incident turned my life’s clock by a year! To escape sheer boredom, loneliness and the introductory pull of a world into sin, I deliberately, rather desperately chose to read out a few spiritual books at random from a modest collection of books at home, and began reading in solitude and melancholy, and a sure sense of failure, merely hoping to improve my grasp of English, at least.  Conversely, those readings sounded upbeat, pointing to Jesus as the only hope in this dark world and how Jesus is ready to help a repentant sinner and bless him with His divine nature and an abundant (meaningful) life. My father’s perseverance in faith life (and markings in those books) inspired me.  An elder friend of my father (Brother Darling) took personal interest in me and led me to a deeper understanding of the Bible.  Another friend of my father (Brother Augustine Joseph), counseled me towards a life of holiness.  Those personal encounters challenged me to read the Bible better than an academic book, during my college days, and to spend a lot of time in prayer and meditation, made possible then, being in a hostel within a vast, serene campus of American College, Madurai. 

 

After graduation, I re-dedicated my life to the Lord and desired to serve Him. God used me among the students of Karunya University in 1993, and then in small groups of college students under Evangelical Union ministry, and later with youth of various churches and later in larger congregations, in several cities and towns across India and in eight countries, in the last two decades.

 

In October 1999, God led me to S h a r m i l e e - a caring, quiet-hearted young woman, to be my wife.  We read the Bible and pray each day.  Together we are grateful to God for grant us a deep-seated hope for greater blessings in our lives, in order to be a blessing to many. In my free time, I engage in preaching ministry and S h a r m i l e e helps me through her prayers, dedicated household work, and travels along on ministry.

 

God gave me the opportunity to work with reputed organisations such as Karunya University (Coimbatore), Loyola College (Chennai), The Leprosy Mission (Delhi) and the Embassy of Ireland (Delhi).  I continued my education, by distance mode, while being employed and qualified further with an MBA in non-profits management and a Masters in Divinity (MDiv). I am currently writing my PhD thesis. I also had the opportunity of being trained in advanced leadership at Haggai Institute, Hawaii, USA.

 

God blessed me to have a fulfilling work experience.  God helped me to travel USA, UK (on transits), China, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.  Sharmilee and I have been living in Delhi, since Oct 2004.  It has been a path of recovering peace in my own life, work and at home.  As a result of many prayers of us children, my mother realized and repented of her destructive and abusive behavior for nearly four decades. God lead me through challenging pathways and ultimately led me to reconcile with my mother! 

 

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns (as we see Phil 1:6). I am sharing this testimony to encourage people who question God’s ways in their lives, to look beyond current situations, for a better tomorrow, as the Good Shepherd, can lead you from shame to glory, if you and your family surrender to Him, by turning away from Sin and trusting His forgiveness and receiving His gift of Salvation, where life will be full; the journey of faith will be promising and truth found in Christ will be liberating. May all glory be to HIM!

                                                                                                                                                             

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Word of Guidance, New Delhi, India. Email: wordofguidance@gmail.com