Aman* is an Open Doors local partner in India. Here, he shares his own story of coming to faith.
How did you come to faith in Christ?
I am Aman* from South India. I am blessed with three children. For the last 20 years I have been ministering in a small town here.
I was born into a Hindu family. My family used to be involved in idol worship. Our entire village used to look up to our family as the mediators between the gods and goddesses and men. We were renowned for having direct conversations with our gods and goddesses and carry messages from them to men on Earth. So, I was very firm in my faith. I was growing in a Hindu spiritual atmosphere and had no idea about the Living God.
I got married when I was 21 years old and was waiting upon our Hindu gods and goddesses to bless us with a child. We were childless for eight years. Meanwhile my mother died and my grandmother committed suicide because of the stress in their lives.
I decided to leave my hometown for work along with my wife. I started earning well but whatever I was earning I had to spend on our treatment as we were longing for a child and there was an emptiness in my heart.
A few years later one of my friends who had accepted Christ used to come to us to share about Jesus and His love for us. I was not happy with his conversion. But he kept coming and sharing the gospel.
Something inside me was forcing me to listen to him but my mind would always say, ‘No’. Then one fine day, I went to church with him and got to know that Jesus died for us. I was hearing this for the first time. ‘How can someone die for us?’ I thought. ‘God can kill us, punish us but he cannot die for us. In fact we have to be the ones to offer sacrifices to them.’
This thought forced me to read the Bible. I accepted Christ as my saviour that year after reading the Bible.
Soon after that I went back to my village and my wife conceived. We were blessed with a baby boy but the boy died after the sixth day. Untimely death (natural or unnatural) was like a generational curse in my family. The people in my family blamed my new faith for this sad demise.
This did not shake my faith in Christ as by then I had completed reading the Bible twice. Amidst that trauma God talked to me through book of Job and I was encouraged.
I was mocked, persecuted in my family and then they expelled me from my house so I took my wife and again we went back to the town.
We started a new life with Christ and after some time again I was blessed with a baby girl. After her birth I started working for the ministry. My father had stopped talking to me but we were praying for his salvation. He accepted Christ as his saviour in answer to our prayers, after some time. He was expelled from the village for this. He had been known in past for his spiritual walk with gods and goddesses, but now people saw in him as a different person. He kept sharing his testimony and slowly many villagers accepted Christ through him, so they invited him back to their village.
Why did you begin partnering with Open Doors?
From the beginning I have been facing persecution in various forms.
I used to organise health awareness programs in the villages to help with their health conditions. But one day while working in a village, someone filed a complaint against me, saying that I am involved in conversion. A few days later I was surrounded by thousands of people who wanted to kill me, and the police force was called to arrest me.
This happened many times; people used to come to beat me, but always God did a miracle and always the village head or some of the influential villagers would stand by me and God saved me from death.
A few years ago a believer brother was killed for his faith. Prior to this his church was forcefully closed by the extremists while he was been conducting church services in a different village. He had been threatened to stop his ministry, but he did not step back and he was finally murdered.
The extremists openly mocked him and his family while attacking him. This incident was a traumatic experience for all of us. Seeing his children and wife in such a painful situation, I got connected with your team and stood firm for that family. With our encouragement and prayer support, the family is nicely settled and standing firm amidst the storm.
The way your team responded to our call, the way they stand with the persecuted body of Christ made me realise that I should also work for them and support them in their initiatives.
Aman is one of many Open Doors local partners who works with persecuted Christians where faith costs the most. Your prayers continue to help the Gospel spread in these places, and reach people like Aman. Please pray for his work with our persecuted family, and for Christ's work in his life to bear fruit through him.
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