What can God do with a desperate young man? I know what he has done with this one. My name is A Stephen. I am a Christian from the country of India and this is my story.
I was born and raised in India. My parents were orthodox Hindus and I was thought the doctrine of my family’s religion. As a young man I travelled all over southern India with my parents to offer sacrifices and to worship Hindu idols. Yet my life remained empty and had no peace or happiness. After stealing money from my father’s temple, I left my family and village. I travelled from village to village talking to sadhus (Hindu holy men), yet their counsel did not provide me the life changing experience with God for which I was searching. Again, the peace I was seeking eluded me.
After three months I returned home with no money and no peace. I was so broke that I thought suicide was the answer. My conclusion was that only death could relieve me from my misery. I tried to buy some poison but by God’s preventive hand the shop owner would not sell it to me. Yet a few days later I went to my room and tied a rope to the ceiling and slipped a noose around my neck. In one last desperate attempt, with the fearful uncertainty of what might come after death, I cried out in anger and bitterness, “God, where are you? I’ve searched for you everywhere but couldn’t find you. Why did you create me for all these problems?” At that same moment an sweet voice said to me, “My son, there is peace for you.” Immediately I cut the rope with a knife from my pocket and looked to see who has spoken these precious words to me.
Not finding anyone in my room. I left and walked to the nearby village. I was soon approached by a young man who asked me why I was so sad. I told him that my sadness was my own business, not his. He responded by saying that he has something to tell me that would help me. There was such a love and concern in his voice that I told him of my misery. After listening to my story of my search for peace and my near to suicide, he looked at me and told me that Jesus Christ loves me. He died for me, and that He would give me peace if I believed in Him.
I told the young man that I had already called on many gods and had found no peace. He then asked me if I knew where I would go if I died that day, to heaven or hell? I confessed that I did not know that I struggled with that very question. Then the young man quoted to me the words of Jesus, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me.”
These words pierced my heart and I asked him what I should do. He urged me. “Commit yourself to Jesus.” As I confessed my sins to God and prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of my life, an overwhelming sense of peace and joy flooded me as I prayed. Even more, as Jesus came in to dwell in me I experienced a sensation like an electric shock in my body. I knew my life was changed forever and I had received the peace for which I had searched for so long.
After thanking the young man I hurried to tell my family of my new found peace and happiness. My father did not rejoice with me as I hoped he would. Instead he beat me badly. My mother also added to my beatings. Life at home soon became unbearable. As I cherished every word from the gospel of John which the young man had given me, my mother snatched it from me, and threw it in the fire saying, “There goes your God and your western religion.” After three weeks my sister committed suicide blaming me for he shame I had brought on my family. My mother was bitten by a snake and the people of my village blamed me saying that the Hindu gods were angry because I had come to Christ.
Since neither his rejection nor beatings caused me to forsake Jesus, my father began to appeal to Hindu gods to kill me. Since I was no longer participating in the religious activities of the village, even my two older brothers threatened to kill me. Finally, my father threw me out of our home forever saying, “you are no longer my son and I am not your father,” He did not even allow me to take any cloths or food. I left home with only the cloths on my back.
I wandered alone and hungry for two days. Then a farmer hired me to help him for the wages of food and shelter. A week later God brought me to a man preaching Christ in a nearby village. He too was a Hindu convert. He took me in for six months and gave me my first Bible. I will never forget the day when while reading my first Bible that I found the precious promise of Psalms 27:10; “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” In every way the Lord has taken me up and given me the very peace and happiness for which I was searching.
What can God do with a desperate young man? Since the Lord has called and privileged me to travel all over the country of India declaring the message of eternal life in Jesus Christ. The Lord graciously gave my Christian wife Queenly, also from India, and has honored our effects to serve Him by establishing Cornerstone Ministries. Through more than two hundred churches, a hospital and a well drilling rig which travels throughout southern India bringing fresh water to forgotten people, in the name of Jesus. By God’s grace and power Cornerstone Ministries has over three hundred Indian pastors and evangelists in the field proclaiming the Good News of Jesus and establishing indigenous Christian churches in the remote villages of India.
What can God do with a desperate young man? I know what God has done with this one and I will thank and praise Him all the days of my life.
Pray for us as we continue to look and search for other desperate young men and women.
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