A Bible Burner, Transformed

Recently, we received an email with the following testimony:

My name is Ravi. I was raised in an orthodox upper-caste family in India. My father was very strict and controlling. I was a devotee of Hindu and read most of the eastern religion books, careful to follow all the rituals with utmost dedication.

As a young man, I was accepted into the engineering program at one of India’s best universities. I remember always feeling lonely and depressed. I was mean to others, never enjoying any true friendship and always suspicious of people.

My heart held great hatred for God, for His Word, and for His people. My radical Hindu friends at the university and I used to destroy the New Testaments distributed on campus by Gideons. I strongly believed and stated many times, “We have 30 million gods and there is no place for Christ in India.”

Divine Intervention On A Train Ride Toward Destruction

By the third year of my studies, I had become very depressed and isolated. I still remember the place I was sitting on campus when I made the decision to kill myself. Because I did not want to bring shame to my family or have them read about my death in the newspapers, I determined to carry out my plan in the city of Goa, a two-day train ride, on the other side of India.

On the train, the Lord provided a stranger beside me for a short period of the journey. He was a Christian. He presented me his Bible, which was from The Gideons International, and explained the Gospel to me. He also told me I would soon meet some unknown people and that it was the Lord’s plan for me to follow them.

When I arrived in Goa, true to the exhortation I had received, I met some people who spoke the language of my home state (Telugu) and who also were followers of Jesus. They were very poor, but very loving, and rich in Christian faith. I spent three weeks with them. Through them, the Lord taught me the purpose of living.

The Lord used a Bible from The Gideons to get my attention. He spoke to me through Isaiah 41:10 and assured me He would help me, lead me, strengthen me, and take care of me the rest of my life: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Growing In The Faith

I prayed for God to lead me where He would have me serve, and one day His answer came loud and clear. I had stopped at a church to pray, and there on the steps was a U.S. dime. It was the first time I had seen American currency. As I picked up the coin, I read “In God We Trust.” Immediately, I started applying for jobs in America, and within a few months, I landed a job in Philadelphia.

I was baptized shortly thereafter in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. God anointed me with His Spirit, and I dedicated my life as a testimony to His mercy. God provided me a Christian wife, and a baby boy, Jonathan, a year later.

I do not forget where I come from. God has placed a burden for India on my heart. There are over 1 billion non-Christian souls in India, including my relatives. My hope is to live a life in obedience to the Lord as I pray for my family and trust God to reveal himself to them as He has done for me.

Today, I am living a Christ-centered life. He is the ultimate meaning of my life. I am a living testimony of Christ and I love to witness. I am an active member of many Christian organizations, including The Gideons International, working to distribute the same Scriptures I once destroyed.

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