Samuel B. is a pastor and missionary leader in South India who HeartCry began partnering with in February 2013. He is married and has two children. Together with his father, Samuel oversees a missionary organization that is currently supporting and training 12 pastors who labor in the villages surrounding his church.
My name is Samuel B. I am 33 years old, and I got married to Vijaya in the year 2006. We are now blessed with two children, Shane (4 1/2 years) and Shireen (2 years).
Let me start my testimony with my childhood. My sister and I were born into a Christian family where my father was a Baptist minister. This was a miracle in and of itself as we look at the countless Indians who do not have any clue whatsoever about Christianity. We were exposed to the Scriptures and to Sunday School right from the beginning. As a child, I could clearly remember how I used to pray to God when I couldn’t find things I lost, and when I eventually got them, I used to thank the Lord. We had a Gospel meeting in school when I was 12 years old, and the speaker emphasized the topic, “Giving one’s life to Jesus.” This was something I never pondered upon, but it would soon vanish from my mind.
When I was 16, I had to go to junior college in a city called V_______ from the year 1994 to 1996. Those two years were the worst years in my life as it was a residential college and the principal was a hard taskmaster. Against my will, I was forced to join mathematics, physics, and chemistry when I knew I was no good at mathematics. For these two years, I would have to stay away from my family. In addition, endless exams, constant humiliation for being a Christian who belonged to a lower caste, and regular beatings by the principal left a very deep and very sad impression in my life. I used to pray to God to let me come out of this jail-like life as soon as I could, and I felt as though my prayers seemed to have been unheard. I was not given permission to go to church on Sundays, and during this time, I was introduced to the sinful world of my friends.
By the year 1996, I was able to pass in math, physics, and chemistry, and I decided to say a permanent goodbye to the sciences. But my father insisted that I should pursue a B.S. in electronics at a time when I wanted to do anything but the sciences. Education plays a very important role in India. Unless you are educated and highly successful, you cannot even get married. If you were to get a decent job, you would be competing with countless other people. Although I was told by my dad that I was to become a pastor later on, he always insisted that I should at least earn a Bachelor’s degree in sciences as he thought that would fetch me a job. So I was left without any choice. From the year 1996 to 1998, I went to do my bachelor’s degree in electronics, but I was very unsuccessful. During these two years, I would not go to college; I would skip classes to go to movies. But during this period also, I would not be absent from going to church on Sundays.
In the year 1998, I decided I could not go ahead with my studies. Those were the days when I was nervous even to speak to my dad. But somehow I told him that this science thing would not go well with me. In those days, I constantly prayed to God, asking Him to give me a new start to my life, as I was tired of living as a hypocrite. And not only that, I was also a failure in the eyes of society, because I was unsuccessful with my studies. This is when the Lord broke through my life and opened a way for me to do my Bachelor studies in English literature.
From 1998 to 2001, I worked on a B.A. in English literature. During these three years, I was constantly reading God’s Word and praying and trying to live a good Christian life. To live a Christian life without Christ was impossible. When my dad approached me with the option of studying at the London Theological Seminary right after my bachelor’s program, I was delighted for the fact that I would soon be leaving for London. I applied for the two-year program at LTS and soon got admission into it.
Everybody believed I was a good Christian, including my dad. He thought I would come back to India to help him serve the Lord. Deep down in my heart, though, I knew something was seriously wrong with me, and I knew I needed to get right with God. As I boarded an airplane for the first time in my life in October 2001, I started thinking, “Why did the Lord choose me and pick me out of millions of people to do His service? What’s so special about me?’ (I must tell you that I was overwhelmed with the fact that the Lord was actually taking me to the distant land of England to let me know who He was).
On my first Sunday, I went to the Metropolitan Tabernacle, as I would continue to do throughout my two-year stay in London. As I sat in the evening Gospel Service, Dr. Peter Masters was preaching the Gospel and pleading with sinners earnestly to come to Christ, who was punished on the Cross. I could not stop myself from beholding the glory of God. The Gospel came to my heart more clearly than ever before in my life. For the first time in my life, I saw the Lord Jesus dying on the Cross for my sins, for my transgressions, and my heart melted, and immediately I rushed to my room and started weeping. Tears ran down my cheeks as I understood that I had sinned against my God and I had hurt Him so badly all through my life. Suddenly I could see, and the Word of God became more meaningful to me, and prayer became all the sweeter. Later on, I was interviewed and was baptized at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.