by brother John

A pseudonym has been attributed in this article to the name of Pastor U.C. to intentionally protect his identity.

I was a hard-core gang leader in my late teens and early twenties. My gang robbed, stole, beat and threatened to get the money we wanted. Everyone feared us. I was ruthless. My Father had died, and no one dared confront me. People kept going to my Hindu Mom to tell her of all the bad things I was doing to others. She spent a lot of time alone crying. I didn't care how she felt.

The local government came up with a plan: give Uday a good secure job that makes him important, keeps him busy and pays well. I became an official Malaria supervisor whose team went to malaria infested villages to spray for mosquitoes.

One day I was walking alone back to my office in a new area while my team cleaned the equipment in the river. Suddenly I heard a loud, strong authoritative voice that made my spine tingle. "Uday! Uday! Uday!" I looked around. Who knew my name in this area? He spoke with such authority and confidence. He was not afraid of me like others. I was afraid. Was it a Hindu spirit, a devil about to repay me for my deeds? The voice spoke again. "Uday! Uday! Uday!" I was shaking and sweating. "Uday, I am Jesus Christ. I love you. I have chosen you. Leave your job."

I was overwhelmed. Shaking, sweating, trembling, amazed and no longer in charge. My twenty-two year old heart was changed in one moment of great, lasting transformation. I had been a Hindu with millions of gods. I knew nothing about Jesus Christ. Now he had spoken to me as the truly great God with all authority over me. He was my Lord. My life now had a totally new purpose, to live for Jesus Christ and not myself. In one brief moment on the road, everything changed.

I immediately went to my boss and resigned from my job. Early the next morning, I walked 25 km to the bus stop that would take me home. When I arrived in my town that night, whom should I meet, of all people? Christians! They were afraid of me and turned away as I came toward them. I called out, "Don't be afraid. Jesus Christ has changed me." They listened to my story and affirmed what had happened. "Oh! Wonderful! Jesus Christ the Lord has called you! You must do all he plans. We will arrange for you to go to Bible School to learn all about Jesus and the Bible."

Two years in Northern India flew by at Bible School and I returned to do ministry in Joda, my hometown. A Hindu family whose daughter had a serious wound in her thigh called for me to pray for her. The witchdoctor and others had not been able to help her. The wound smelled horrible and had maggots eating the dead tissue. In desperation they asked me to come. I shared the gospel of Christ, prayed for the girl's healing in the name of Jesus, and anointed the wound with oil.

In the morning, the young girl woke up with her wound completely dry and healed over. She got up, walked and ran perfectly as before her injury. The parents were amazed at the power of Jesus. They turned from their Hindu gods and received Jesus Christ as their one Savior and Lord. They became an important foundation of the little church. They reached out to others and spoke boldly for Christ. No one could deny what the Lord had done for their daughter.

The ministry expanded and we began visiting unreached villages outside Joda to share the gospel. In spring there was a drought. It was so dry that no one could plant crops. In one village, we began to explain how the One true God and Creator of all had sent his Son, Jesus Christ, who did miracles to show he was the Son of God as he said. We shared of his suffering, death and resurrection.

As soon as I spoke of Christ's resurrection in three days, the chief challenged me. "If Jesus Christ is the Son of God was raised to life, then let Him send rain to us within three days and we will believe he has greater power than all our gods, for they have not sent rain no matter what we do to please them. If it rains, then you may come back."

Our ministry team got down on our knees in front of the villagers. We asked the Lord to send rain so the seeds could be sown. We then left as we were asked by the chief.

As soon as we left the village it began to pour. After our ministry tour we returned to Joda and found a letter from the village chief requesting that we come and teach them and neighbouring villages who Jesus is. Thus the gospel spread to other villages in our first years in Joda.

The healing of the little girl, and the sending of rain are two good examples of how the LORD went before us in our preaching of the Gospel. Today the Lord has raised up 104 churches with 85 leaders throughout our region.

In 2008, religious riots broke out in our state. A Hindu holy man was murdered. In their initial fury, some Hindus accused the Christians of murdering him. Churches were burned and destroyed. Over three hundred Christians were killed. In rage, the Hindus stormed across the city to our undefended church. Everything we had was burned and demolished. We survived with only the clothes on our back, hiding for a month in the forest with little food, the Spirit helping us persevere until things settled down.

Why are many North American Christians silenced by cultural pressure rather than obeying God not men? Why do so many say they follow Jesus, but don’t go to others as Jesus would? What is our excuse? Didn't he die for our friends and neighbours? Is not the Spirit of Christ in us to empower us to witness to Christ's power to save?

In Luke 5, Jesus filled the net with fish after the disciples caught nothing on their own. Others were needed to help bring in the miraculous catch. Then Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” The fields are ready for harvest, but the laborers who believe Jesus are few.

Pastor U.C. just spent one month with us here in Canada. This testimony is an abbreviated version of a longer story that brother John recorded. If you are interested, please contact our office and we would be delighted to send you the full length account.

We would urge you to partner with Pastor U.C. in his ministry. The doors that Jesus has opened before him are incredible. On the day he left us to return home, he was informed us that he received a message from one of his staff that 5 new villages are requesting that someone come and share about Jesus because the news has spread that he is the One true and living God.

December 6, 2019
Advancing Indigenous Missions 2019