I was born on 20th May 1966. In my childhood, I was born and grew up in a remote village of Niranam in the state of Kerala in the Southern part of India. I am the 7th child among the ten children of my parents.
Though my parents were traditional and nominal Christians, they were very devoted to Christian values and principles. So, I was reared up in strict discipline and values. I was very active in all religious activities from my childhood. Though I grew up in a Christian background, I never had a personal relationship with God. I didn’t always live a life that was pleasing to God.
I didn’t understand it, but there was nothing else to do, and it was just another aspect of religious life. In high school, I was a “good boy.” I never drank, smoked, or did anything evil. It wasn’t because I had a high moral standard; it was because I didn’t want to, and my parents were around.
Outside the Box
I got involved with friends and worldly people when I graduated high school and went to college. My life was suddenly filled with people who challenged me to think outside the box. So, I enjoyed life with friends and began to go astray from traditional values.
However, when I was not with friends, I was depressed and thought there really was no point to life outside of this, so after I graduate, I’m just going to get a job, earn money, live my life, and die. That’s it.
I had a particularly hard time facing future challenges and unknown fear at college. I began to realize that many of my so-called friends were not sincere and genuine.
This prompted me to ask some big questions about myself and the world. My best efforts to find peace and happiness led me to more distress and disappointment.
In the meantime, my mother and eldest brother encountered a unique experience with Lord Jesus Christ and joined a spirit-filled fellowship from a traditional church. They, along with the new church, believers started to pray for me.
My circumstances pushed me to cry out for help and for someone to explain life’s Purpose, meaning and its relevance to me. I became hounded by basic questions about life and death: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? I started searching for them.
Purpose and Meaning
My search and best efforts to find peace and happiness led me to more questions and disappointments than answers. Moreover, my search for purpose and meaning couldn’t help me get rid of all wrong activities and attain peace.
The search for purpose, meaning, peace and genuine love continued. Hence, I started reading all kinds of religious, philosophical, and otherworldly books and periodicals.
I began to think maybe I could find happiness and meaning in knowledge. But the thrill of knowledge wore off like everything else. The search for truth, peace and Salvation continued.
About that time, I noticed a small group of ordinary but wise people in my village– who looked different from the others. They appeared to know who they were and where they were going and had convictions beyond comprehension. Finding people with confidence, passion, and purpose is refreshing, and I like to be around them.
It was clear that these people had something I didn’t have. They were exceptionally happy. And their happiness didn’t ride up and down with the circumstances of life; it was constant.
They appeared to possess an inner source of joy, and I wondered where it came from. A couple of weeks later, I interacted with some of the members of this group.
I Had to Get it Right
The conversation turned to the topic of knowing the Lord personally, and they invited me to join them for a prayer meeting. I knew I had to “get right” with God and that I had to do something.
It was 2nd July 1983, an unforgettable day in my life. I was really hungry for the truth. I began thinking that I needed to go to someone. So, I attended a prayer meeting.
One person from the group shared:
• Matt. 16:26, “For what will a man have profited if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul.”
Christ is simply teaching that it is a foolish bargain if we should try to exchange our souls for the world. Therefore, we need to recognise the value of our souls. the value of a soul is measured by the source from which it originates. The man was made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7). The value of the soul is measured by its eternal quality. The soul will never die, it will live forever. The value of the soul is also measured by God’s concern for saving it. (Rom. 5:8). God is very passionate about our souls. God sees man’s soul as the most valuable thing in the whole world, which is why He sent His son to redeem it. So, what will it profit a man…? (Mk. 8:36). The value of the soul is measured by the price paid for its redemption. The Bible says “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold… but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
Everyone on this planet has a soul in one of two conditions: it is either lost or it is found. The condition of one’s soul determines whether or not one will spend eternity alongside God in His goodness, or under the eternal wrath of God.
And Ecclesiastes 12:1:
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.”
Finally, I could not stand there without responding to the truth. The outburst of my sinful ‘aching’ heart for help came as I knelt with God’s people and cried out to the Lord Jesus Christ for grace and mercy.
That night I prayed:
“Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me. I confess those things in my life that aren’t pleasing to you and ask you to forgive and cleanse me. I open the door of my heart and life and trust you as my Saviour and Lord. Change me from the inside out. Make me the type of person you created me to be. Thank you for coming into my life.”
The moment I finished my prayer of confession and submission, I experienced a unique transformation in my personal life. The salvation experience had completely removed the fear of death and hell, and God’s peace, joy, and happiness overwhelmed my heart with a deep sense of gratitude and assurance of eternal life.
The change was not feeling, but it was real. My life was forever changed.
I found a Saviour and Salvation through that experience. After my first encounter with the salvation experience, I began to study the Bible and started praying for deeper spiritual insight; as a result, God filled me with His Spirit.
That was the second experience of God’s empowerment with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
That experience gave me an inner passion for witnessing the Lord to others. From the very next day, I started sharing my experience with my friends and neighbours in our village house to house. On 19th August 1983, I obeyed the Lord through baptism according to the scripture.
The Call of God
From the very day of my Salvation, I strongly felt the call of God in my life that I must go and share the love and Salvation of our Lord with others, wherever Lord leads me. Yet I had certain reservations about doing so, and I was waiting upon the Lord for His time and leading.
The response to God’s call and surrendering my life to the full-time ministry came when I attended a youth camp in Trivandrum, Kerala where I heard from
• Matt. 9:37-38 ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few”.
And at the end of the sermon, the preacher gave an altar call to commit our life to the ministry. His words still remind me, “Who will go for Jesus to preach the Gospel in the most unreached areas of North India and neighbouring countries,” inspired me to respond to my call and make myself available to do His will and commit my life to the Lord’s ministry.
The same day, I had another encounter with the Lord. God spoke to me from Psalms 32:8:
• “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go, I will guide you with mine eye.”
This inspired me to commit my life to ministry, and I began to pray for North India and the ministry. Soon after confirmation of my call for the ministry I joined a Bible college in Kerala and completed my theological study, and after graduation, I travelled to North India a place called Varanasi, UP, for the ministry.
So as a cross-cultural Missionary, I migrated to North India when I was very young. Then I travelled to different parts of Central and North India – UP, Maharashtra, MP, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, and Bihar for the missionary journey and ministry.
Like every missionary, I wanted (and still want) to serve God and His people and share the Gospel and my experience – one characterized by contentment, a sense of peace, and meaning and purpose – along with a connectedness to other people.
Living in these diverse societies – of various language groups, religions, as well as diverse ethnic groups– and being a preacher, teacher, counsellor, mentor, and voracious reader, I was realized and exposed to the greatest need of the people. Billions of people live in places around the world where there is no Gospel witness and no opportunity to hear of God’s wisdom.
God desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). God does not want a single person to be lost to the flames of hell. There is nothing more prominent or glorious in the church than the ministry of the gospel. The gospel is important because it was planned by God. The death of Jesus was no accident. Paul said it was “according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:4). Peter said that Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” and adds that “God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer” (Acts 2:23; 3:18). The gospel is important because of the person at its centre. It is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel is important because of its purpose. God planned and Jesus died so that we could be delivered from this present evil age. The purpose of the gospel, then, is rescue and transformation. How thrilling it is to know that I can be rescued from sin! The gospel is the good news that God has provided the way for us to be restored in our relationship with God and experience life with Him, now and forever in His eternal kingdom, through His Son, if we turn from sin to God and place our faith in Jesus. Therefore, If there’s anything in life that we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel. How amazing it is to know that I can live above the standards of this world as a citizen of heaven! Jesus said, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” (Matthew 12:30 NLT). If you do not crown Jesus, you crucify Him. There is no middle ground. “It is never too late to do the right thing.” “It is your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.”