Church Planter – South India
Charles T. is a church planter in South India. His was sent out from his local church in North India in 2018 to begin a new church plant. HeartCry began partnering with Charles in June of 2018.
Testimony of Conversion
I was born and brought up in a nominal Christian family where church was not a priority, so I did not attend church regularly in my early years. Sundays were meant for fun and relaxation to me. However, I did learn a little about Christ and Christianity from my parents and through Christian T.V. programs that my family would watch.
In the year 2004 (at the age of 19), at the request of my parents I thought of taking baptism, without really knowing anything about it. However, before taking it, I had to attend three classes. This is where I heard the Gospel and began to deeply think about it. On the final day of the classes, the Pastor said to me that taking baptism without repenting of my sins would do me no good. That got my attention. That night, for the first time, I knelt down to seriously pray. Suddenly my entire past sinful life came into my mind. I was loaded heavily with guilt and shame. Without delaying, I confessed my sins and pleaded with God to forgive me. I committed my life to Christ Jesus that night and I was radically transformed by the power of God. I knew He had saved me. The next day, I publically identified myself with the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus through baptism. From that moment on, my love for Him and His word have continued to grow. Glory be to God alone!
Call to the Ministry
There was a deep desire in me to understand the Bible from the day that I was born again in 2004. That year, I spent all my energy and time reading the Bible. After a year or two, I got into a Sunday school (for ages 5-25) and found out that nobody, including the teachers, knew the Bible well. It is there I began to develop a burden to teach the Bible and share the Gospel. The burden for the lost increased in me everyday and the Gospel burned within my chest. I couldn’t help myself but share the Gospel with everyone who crossed my paths. I was mocked, challenged, and rejected by many, but some people began to respond and I taught them what I knew.
I started to think about getting into a Bible college to learn more and then serve God on a full time basis, but my family did not agree with that. So, I decided to wait for a while. When I moved to USA in 2007, I attended some healthy, Gospel-centered, Baptist churches where I grew both spiritually and theologically. The church members saw my evangelistic zeal and invested their time and energy in my life to mentor me. They gave me opportunities to teach in small groups. After observing me carefully, they confirmed that I was gifted by the Lord to teach.
After spending three years at a Seminary in South India preparing myself theologically, I moved to North India for a pastoral internship. My year at this church was filled with reading books (on the Church), discussion with the leadership (about church planting), attending service reviews, reading the Bible with church members, visiting homes, and teaching some of the younger guys. In this internship I learned how to disciple people and pastor. This church confirmed my desire for pastoral ministry. I’m excited to be sent from this church to plant a church in South India.