I was born and brought up in a Christian family. I grew up trying to live a moral life but constantly failed. I heard more of how a Christian should live, rather than hearing the true gospel. My efforts to please God went in vain. The ‘gospel’ I heard was always mixed with the promise of health, wealth, and prosperity. There were no Christian books available for me to read in Telugu. I was reading the Bible with moral applications. Sometimes I showed a great change and most of the time I was like the worst person.
Right after my schooling, I went to Theological seminary. My intention behind going there was to get settled in life by learning English. Secular studies in English was a costlier affair in those days, but Theological seminaries were giving Bible courses in English without much cost.
In one of the classes in the seminary, the Professor was teaching “Who is a Christian?” He started reading out with a few statements and asked whether they were right or not. Those statements were “1. A person who is born in a Christian family, 2. A person who is baptized, 3. A person who goes to church, 4. A person who reads the Bible and prays.” My answer was “Yes” for each of them. Then, he explained that none of those statements were right. He then taught the true gospel from John 1:12 about repenting and believing in the completed work of Christ. I knew that I was far away from God.
After a few months, while the President of the Seminary was preaching on the urgency of repenting and getting right with the Holy and Loving God, the Lord opened my heart to repent. I begged Him for the forgiveness of my sinful life. The Lord tremendously changed my life and then, I experienced the real joy of salvation which I couldn’t get by trying to live a moral life. I am ever thankful to Him for this.
One day while the same person was preaching, my heart was burdened about something which I never thought of before. “Even as he is a channel of blessing for me to hear the true gospel, I should be the same to others.” There I prayed “Lord! Here I am, equip me and use me to take the gospel to the people who need to hear it.” I then started sharing with other students the testimony of my conversion. I did the same after coming back to the church and family. Since then, the Lord shaped my character, sharpened my abilities, and led my passion to be in the right direction by teaching me regularly through reading books, attending seminars, and going through rough stages of life.
Yodi is supported by his local church. Over the years, the Lord has raised him up to help other pastors and young men in theological and ecclesiological training. HeartCry supports the training of interns through Yodi.