God's Spirit Is On the Move In India
“The Lord saved my life from the pleasures of this world and made my life meaningful to others.” Isn’t it an amazing salvation that frees us from slavery to trinkets and recreates us as people of eternal significance?
This is Dayal’s story.
If we were to talk with Dayal’s friends, they would describe him as a joker, a food lover, and a flexible guy. He is fun-loving and easygoing. They would also tell us that he is a person who has learned to love people with Christ’s love, patiently and deliberately walking alongside them as they learn to know Jesus.
As a child, Dayal was awakened by his grandfather every morning for a ritual bath in the river, which was followed by a visit to a nearby temple to bow before statues and icons of their gods and goddesses. His grandfather was a Hindu priest, and the entire family took great pride in their religious status and dedication to the temple. All the while, though, Dayal lived in fear of not measuring up. Punishment and even death awaited those who didn’t worship often enough or well enough. The gods and goddesses demanded his best, and Dayal wasn’t sure he could offer it.
A family of Christians lived in his neighborhood in Ranchi, a city of over one million in the state of Jharkhand. Dayal noticed that their lives and lifestyle seemed different from his and his family’s. Dayal began to spend more and more time at his friend’s house, and the family shared the gospel with him. He heard about Jesus for the first time.
All of it was interesting and intriguing, but Dayal’s initial conclusion was that Jesus was a foreign god and wasn’t right for him. As a kid trying to be a good Hindu, he couldn’t ever imagine himself as a Christian.
Several years went by, and at the end of high school, his Christ-following friend gave him a Bible. Dayal started reading and was struck by Jesus’ power to mend, set free, and give peace. Satanic bondage, illness, and alienation were broken and healed at Jesus’ hand. He said, “I started reading and found the truth.” He was drawn near. Through reading the word of God, Dayal said, he personally experienced Jesus’ love and divine peace. He confessed his sin and worshipped Jesus as the one true God, his personal savior.
Since then, of course, he’s been on an adventure with Jesus. His family members strongly disapproved of his decision to follow Jesus and demanded that he drop it. He began to pray that one day they too would come to the Lord.
A godly man named Ruael began to disciple him, walking him through the early days of his faith. Initially Dayal said he found it hard to love people with the boldness and patience of Christ. Sharing the gospel was nerve-racking, and the disappointment Dayal felt when people rejected the gospel was severe. But the Lord molded him. Recently he told me, “As a child of God, I am very happy to share God’s love and to love people.” What a beautiful thing!
Dayal is still fun-loving and still likes to eat, especially his wife’s mouth-watering mutton biryani. And today, God is using this friendly, even-tempered man in significant ways. His entire family has come to Christ, and they too consider themselves witnesses and ambassadors for Jesus. Dayal is discipling another man, Sunil, and loves getting together with him to talk about Jesus, purpose, and eternal life. He prays that Sunil will also be light in the darkness and will teach other men to be disciples of Jesus.
Dayal asked that you pray for him—that he would do the Lord’s work faithfully and play his part in building the Kingdom of God. Dayal is eager to be part of church planting in the unreached villages in his state. He says, “Thank you for hearing about me.”
Excerpt taken from Unleashed, the newest book by Sam Stephens.
Order your copy of Unleashed at iglworld.org/unleashed