Church Planter - South India
After studying in a Bible college, the Lord used John to plant two churches in southern India. He is currently the pastor of one of these church plants.
Testimony of Conversion
I was born in a Christian family where my father was a true believer. In the midst of so many nominal Christians, to have a father like mine really was a miracle. I thank the Lord for him and for the way that the Lord used his testimony to have such a great impact in my life. I am the oldest of five children, and until high school, I was a very obedient child who attended Sunday school and went to church regularly. However, when I was fifteen and I had reached 10th grade (10th grade is very important in the Indian schools because unless you pass all the subjects, you will not be promoted to higher studies), I made friendships with many worldly people, and they introduced me to all kinds of sinful activities. All of these worldly things were new to me, and I was attracted to them, and eventually I began partying with friends, drinking, and smoking.
I continued in this life for two years without my parents knowing anything about what was happening to me. I was leading the life of a hypocrite, and when my parents found out, they were very shocked and dismayed, and they began giving me counsel by leading me through the Word of God. My father spent a great deal of time teaching me about the lives of different great leaders in the Bible, like John the Baptist and Samson (who were Nazarites and were consecrated for the Lord’s service even before they were born). However, at that point the things he was teaching me did not register in my mind, and they had no impact on me.
Because of all of the bad things that I was doing, I began lagging behind in my studies, and slowly I got attracted to the gang culture. I was involved in fights and quarrels, and I became a great burden to my parents, and above all, a great burden to my heavenly Father. However, my parents never gave up asking the Lord to change me. Every time I came home, I heard either my father or mother praying for me, but that did not change my stony heart. One day my father called me and told me, “Son, I dedicated you to the Lord’s service, and I do not want to discipline you. You are not my son; you are a son of God. I know He is going to make use of you one day.” But I was not interested in what he was saying. I had different plans for my life.
After that I got into big trouble. One day while we were playing cards, we got into a scuffle, and as a result, we were all put behind bars for a month. God publically humiliated my family and me in order that I would draw closer to Him. I became the black sheep of the family, and all the prayers of my father and mother came before my eyes very vividly. My life closely resembled the story of the Prodigal Son.
While I was in jail, a pastor came to visit all the prisoners and to teach from the Bible, and everything he said directly pierced my heart. I knew that I was a sinner, and I knew that I needed to be rescued out of my spiritual and Satanic bondage. That was the day the Lord dealt with me. It was in the jail that the Lord spoke to me and humbled me, and I prayed to God to forgive all my sins that I had committed against Him and against my family. The Lord not only brought me out of jail, but He also delivered me out of bondage to my sin, Satan, and the world. And after 34 days of jail life, I went home. It was an emotional welcoming, and all my family members wept. As I look back, I cannot stop thanking the Lord for demonstrating His abundant mercy toward a sinner like me. Now I live only for the glory of God.