EDITOR’S NOTE: The International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention shared this first-person article by a Hindu-background believer in South Asia. IMB workers in South Asia partner with Hindu-background believers to reach the lost with the gospel of Christ. You can give now and pray now to support their work. Learn more about South Asia and IMB’s work among the people who represent the greatest concentration of lostness in the world. For free resources to help you pray for South Asia, visit https://store.imb.org/ASAP .
I was born into darkness. The interesting thing is that I did not really know it was dark. I don’t think you can comprehend the difference between darkness and light until you have truly seen light. Thankfully, my life story does not end in darkness, but it did start there.
I was born a Hindu in India, which means I grew up in fear of evil spirits. In my home, there were always idols that my family would constantly bow before and plead with for protection, wealth and help. We gave these statues baths, placed flowers around their necks, and laid food and drinks before them. We lit the oil lamps and incense and did everything we were told to do to please these gods. I watched my mother go through all the ceremonial motions of worship on behalf of our family. Then my marriage was arranged, and I had to learn how to do all the necessary pujas (Hindu worship) for my future family.
I married and settled into my duties as wife and then as mother. I was a good Hindu but felt so little security and hope in my life. The statues before me never ate the food or took the flowers. I looked to them for help and they were silent.
Then one day a woman came and told me about a God who loves me and wants to have a relationship with me. She said that He has made a way for us to be free from the burden of our sins. No more fear? That seemed amazing. She taught me that He is a jealous God and I could not worship these idols and this One True God at the same time. I was tired of a life serving these statues, so I prayed for God to come into my life.
Then it was there. Light. Bright, beautiful and glorious light.
I told my husband. He beat me. I was no longer a good wife because I refused to complete all the prayers to these worthless idols. The more he beat me, the more I prayed.
I told others about this God and they too wanted to see the Light. Others followed. People began meeting together to pray to this wonderful God who heard our prayers and filled our hearts with love.
One day my husband said, “If you are going to pray—then pray for us to have some money.” So, we all prayed, and within a few days he found money on the ground. Another time he said, “If you are praying, then pray for me to get a job.” We again joined together in prayer for my husband’s request. God answered us with a good job. Still my husband would beat me and try to burn me and even electrocute me for my faith. Every time, I came back to God and asked for His help and mercy.
Our little group of God followers then began to pray that my husband would stop drinking. He was a mean drunk and this added to my misery. Soon, every time he took a drink he would vomit. This shook him and he decided to come to church.
Now, my husband also follows the One True God. We have seen many others turn away from idols to worship God. So, you see, I can tell you the difference between light and dark. It is the difference between life and death.
I chose life.