I write this update as a married man. It has been a long journey, but the Lord has been gracious to provide for me a faithful wife. In this update, I just wanted to share with you how my marriage opened up doors for the gospel ministry. After finishing my Church Planting internship in N. India, I came back to the south with a mission to plant a local church in my local language – Telugu. It is my desire to reach out to Telugu-speaking people. There are two states in India that share the same language i.e., Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. I am from Telangana, but I also wanted to reach out to Andhra Pradesh with the gospel. So, I thought that if I could marry a girl from Andhra Pradesh, that might easily open up doors for me to serve there. So, I did! Yes, the Lord answered my prayer.
A few weeks after my wedding I went to visit my in-laws and stayed there for just a couple of weeks. It was a new place and a new venture for me. My wife’s extended family members are still in the darkness of Catholicism. When we went to visit them or when they came to visit us, I took opportunities to share the gospel clearly with them. They once hated Protestants and even opposed my marriage. But now looking at my life and testimony they changed their minds about Protestants and are being very friendly with me. That was really a surprise to my wife as she never witnessed such a thing in them. Their hardened hearts are softening. I am hoping and praying that I will get many more opportunities to share the Gospel with my in-laws and see them trust the Lord Jesus alone for their salvation.
Another instance took place when I was there. My mother-in-law’s colleague, a teacher in a school, came to visit us. It is a custom for friends and family members in Indian cities and villages to meet and greet newly wedded couples. It is a gesture of welcome to their community. So, this middle school teacher came to see me and we chatted for a while. He seemed to be a religious person from a Hindu background. After knowing about me and my passion to serve the church and Christians in India, he was impressed and appreciated my effort. While he was leaving, I quickly grabbed a Telugu version of Paul Washer’s book, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and gave it to him. While giving, when I told him that it is about Jesus Christ, he removed his sandals as a gesture of reverence and took the book with gratitude. I hope a pray that he will read that book and come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Would you please take a little time and prayer for him?