Dear brothers and sisters,
I would like to share with you a story of God’s grace, and his work in the lives of those in our village. It was around 3 years ago, we announced Naik’s baptism in our church and everyone in the church was elated. While everyone was looking forward to the next Sunday to witness Naik’s baptism, Naik didn’t come to the church. When I inquired about this matter, to my utter shock, he told me that Jesus was not God and that he was only a prophet. It was discovered that he was spending a lot of time with his cousin, who had become a Muslim. As much as we tried to address the teachings of the Scriptures, he would not listen to us, and eventually became very argumentative with us. Soon, he avoided us all together.
What transpired within those few weeks deeply saddened me, and I honestly became discouraged and disappointed, and in some ways even taking the blame upon myself. After grappling about this issue in God’s presence through prayer, I surrendered the whole matter into His hands. I had to remind myself that it is according to His mercy that people are converted. Even so, it was still painful. I would sometimes still see him passing by on the street. He would smile at me, say hello, but the fellowship we once had was no more. More than two years have passed.
A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from Naik. He was letting me know that he wanted to come to church the next Sunday and asked about service times. I reassured him that he was most welcome to come, and gave him all the information needed. Naik attended the service and brought along with him a woman. After the service, he introduced her to us as his wife. I expressed how happy I was to see him and to meet his wife.
Last Sunday after the service, Naik once again approached me and let me know that he wanted to be baptized. So we sat together, I began to ask him questions about what happened to him these last couple of years when he stopped attending the church, and why he wanted to be baptized now. He just blurted out that he had committed the greatest sin ever. He told me that by denying Jesus as God, he had to of committed the greatest sin in the world. I asked him if he had brought these matters to the Lord, and if he had asked for forgiveness. He assured me that he had, but he now doubts if God would ever forgive his sin. I told him of God’s grace in Christ once again, and the fact that “there is no sin in this world He cannot cleanse you from.”
As we chatted for a couple of hours last Sunday over a meal, he just opened his heart and told me how God had chased him down. He spoke of how God brought about many twists and turns in his life, his life, and how He would not let him escape, bringing a deep conviction in his heart. As I listened to him speak, my heart was warmed. I praise God for His mysterious ways in which He pursues and saves sinners. As I pondered upon what happened in Naik’s life, His Divine and electing grace, and the fact that He did what I could never do, I was moved to praise. “To the only God, our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” ( Jude 25).
Now that Naik is married, he wants to introduce Jesus to his wife. They now live in an isolated village, which makes it difficult to attend the church. In fact, they need to walk for three kilometers to get a tuk-tuk (also known as an autorickshaw) or a bus to get to our area. Then they would still have to walk an additional kilometer to get to the fellowship. When his wife asked him why they would have to take such risks to go to a church, when there was a church in their village, he told her, “there are many churches, but there are not many that preach the truth.” Having witnessed our fellowship, Naik’s wife seems interested, and willing to come to the church. In addition, when she is unable to attend, she watches our sermons online.
Naik and his wife live with his parents, and both his parents are Hindu. Please pray that the Lord would grant me wisdom as I continue to speak with Naik about the gospel and baptism. Pray that the Lord would save his wife and that He would open a door for them to live closer, and attend the church more regularly. Pray that in all things would be done for the glory of God and the honor of Jesus Christ.