“..buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” 

Col 2:13

Last Sunday, which was on the 29th January 2017, we baptized Ramu in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We rejoice in the Lord for what He has done in the life of Ramu. We all witnessed as a church how powerful the Gospel is. Ramu’s story is an encouragement for all those who strive to preach and live by the Gospel. It is an encouragement for all those who go out into the streets and share the glorious gospel of our Saviour. Often times, we bemoan the fact that we have to share the good news with men, women and children which is a shame. We literally have to bring our body into subjection every time we have to share the gospel with others (1 Cor 9:27), especially in the streets. Obvious apathy in spiritual things in people’s lives really upsets us and discourages us. But we can never lose hope in the promises that God has promised us in His Word (Heb 11:6; Matt 28:19).

Nearly eight months ago, brother Duke and Dil Kishan went to the streets to share the gospel, primarily by distributing the gospel tracts and to have one on one conversations. They found this young man, sitting in a cricket ground thinking about life. When he saw Duke and the other brother, he thought they were trying to sell their product which was called ‘Christian Gospel’, but he didn’t know powerful the gospel would work in his life in the future. When Duke initiated the conversation, he was interested to talk back and started asking him questions; lot of questions. One of the main objections that he had against God was why such a loving and good God would allow evil and suffering in this world. Duke kept answering all his questions by pointing him to God’s sovereignty. After the end of the conversation, Duke asked him to come to the church where he could hear the gospel. Like many people say ‘Oh! Yes’, Ramu did as well. But he did not come to the church the next Sunday. But God never lets His sheep go on their own when He sets His love upon him, does He? (Rom 8:29; John 6:39).

Meanwhile Ramu was suffering from negative thoughts as he had many troubles in his personal as well as his family life. He thought life was meaningless and there was a lot of suffering in this world and surely, there must be no God was the conclusion he got to in his life, after visiting numerous temples and being a devout Hindu. Ramu has a friend by the name ‘Moshe’. ‘Moshe’ knows us. In fact Moshe is from one of the village churches that are connected with us. When Moshe met with Ramu, he wanted to take him to a church where all his deep questions would be answered. You know what! He brought Ramu to us. In fact when Ramu came to us for the first time, one should look at his smile when he saw Duke. We thought it was God’s leading. Immediately Ramu kept asking all his deep questions one after the other. We tried to answer all his questions from God’s book; the Bible. We kept pointing him to human depravity and God’s Holiness, God’s righteousness, God’s justice and God’s radical love demonstrated through the suffering of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Initially he said he would come back next Sunday. We thought he wouldn’t. But he did. And He kept coming back to the church on Sunday morning, evening and also on Wednesday evening for the Bible Study.

It was after six months, we began discussing his relationship with the Lord and with the church. We explained to him that in order to join the church, he must be born again and be baptized. He wanted to join. We interviewed him more than twice just to make sure he was truly saved. And when the issue of baptism came forward, he was not willing to take baptism because baptism is an outward sign of becoming the disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. In many cases, in India, taking baptism is a matter of a huge risk. It is an outward sign of leaving one’s faith and joining the other. Ramu initially didn’t want to take that much risk. But we explained to him that being the disciples of Christ entails taking a lot of risks and experiencing hardships (2 Tim 3:12). He wanted to take his parents permission before he took baptism. But we encouraged him that it is between God and him. Finally on the 29th January 2017, he gave consent to be baptized and we all welcomed him into our church.

Last Sunday, we not only welcomed Ramu into our fellowship but also reminded ourselves of the divine responsibility to take care of the brothers and sisters who are in trouble as a church (Phil 2:2-6). Would you please continue to pray for Ramu? His parents are still Hindus and he is closely connected with his parents. I cannot tell you how it feels like to be at odds with your own family members in words. He hasn’t told his parents about his conversion yet and he feels nervous about it. Would you please pray for him that he may be protected from the attacks of the Devil and also for the wisdom we need to exercise as a church?

In His Grace,