by Yehoshua (S. India)
Yehoshua was born in a Hindu family of the Dalit caste, which is made up of those who are considered the “untouchables” of India. After he was converted, the Lord called him to serve in the ministry. He is now the pastor of a church in southern India and is taking courses at a Bible institute. This report contains information about his new members.
Praise the Lord for His faithfulness! I just wanted to give you an update on the work of the Lord here. The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). The following report contains the stories of some who were baptized in early 2015.
Ramanamma (50 years old) has been coming to the church for three years. Even though I explained the gospel to her many times, she rejected it for many years. She would not surrender her life to Jesus Christ. In time, she began to suffer from heart problems, which lasted for many days. The church prayed for her healing, and by God’s grace, He heard our prayers: she was healed! This led her to surrender her life to Jesus Christ. To make sure that she was truly trusting in the Lord, I examined her for a period of six months. After showing genuine fruit of repentance, I baptized her, and we welcomed her into the church family. We praise God for His grace in the saving of sinners!
Shyamala (20 years old) has been attending the church for a year and a half. She repented of her sins, but I decided to delay her baptism until we could see genuine evidence. At one point in her walk, she had a nervous breakdown. She assumed that this happened to her because she had not been baptized. She thought that the Lord was punishing her with this problem. As I examined her life, she said to me, “Pastor, if you don’t baptize me and I die, I will go to hell.” It was clear that she had a misconception about baptism, and I saw the need to explain to her its true meaning. The whole church prayed for her, and the Lord helped her. We praise God for His mercy. She too was baptized, and we welcomed her into the fellowship.
Danamma (70 years old) has been coming to our church for the last four years. She used to beg me to baptize her because she thought that baptism would get her into heaven, a commonly held belief in this region. Every time I asked her a few questions about baptism, she could not give me the right answers. One day I was preaching on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. She was convicted of her sins, repented, and placed her trust in Jesus. It is Christ who saves! I baptized her, and we welcomed her into the fellowship as well. Praise God that He still saves sinners – even older sinners.
Ravi is my brother, who was enslaved to alcohol. He disliked Christianity so much that he would criticize all Christians, calling them hypocrites. He would not allow his wife to attend church, even though she was a Christian. He hated the idea that Jesus Christ is the only true God. He claimed that there were many gods, and many ways to reach God. Every time I preached to him, he would not listen. One day, the Lord troubled his heart, and he came to the church seeking peace in his life. Again, the Lord burdened me to preach the gospel to him. Since that day, he has never stopped coming to church. After examining the fruit in his life, I had the privilege of baptizing my own brother. It has been a great joy to receive him into the fellowship!
Yesu Raktam’s name means, “the blood of Jesus.” What a glorious name! However, he was an agnostic and did not believe in God. He used to say, “We work, get money, eat, drink, and die.” He never desired to understand anything about life beyond this world. This is common in the villages of southern India. We can sympathize with those who have this wrong idea because we understand that every person is born in the ignorance of sin. If not for the grace of God, no one would believe in the true God of heaven and earth.
One day, his wife invited me to conduct a prayer meeting in his house. Taking hold of the opportunity, I shared the gospel with him again and told him about the cross of Christ. He asked, “Why would Jesus die for man’s sins?” In response, I walked him through the gospel. I told him, “If you believe on Jesus, He will save you from your sins and from eternal damnation.” From that day, I have seen a great change in his life. He has been faithful for the last two years. When he requested me to baptize him, I did so immediately. Once he was an agnostic, but now he is the first one to arrive at the church for the meetings! What a God we serve! Praise be to God! May He receive all of the glory!
Thank you for supporting us through your prayers. Please continue to pray for my family, ministry, and church. Please pray for my two sons. One is married, and the other is currently pursuing his studies.