A Letter from Bharat

My name is H.P. I am from India and here is my story.

I grew up in a religious environment. I was taught that I had to please a deity by doing a lot of things to be blessed. In India there are many different religions: Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism being a few. Everywhere you turn there is a temple or mosque. One would think that with all of these places of worship God would be blatantly present in my country, but that’s not the case. With all of the religions and spiritual practices there is not very much known about the one true God. I never understood God's character.  Much like many of my friends, God was just someone who I would seek before I went for annual tests.

I grew quite curious about different faiths when I was in my first year of college. I had several conversations with Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists (it was a Muslim who shared a lot about his faith.. by far he knew the most). My faith, like that of most Hindus was just based out of rituals/pilgrimage.

I grew up knowing that there was a supreme power and he is going to judge the world, but that was the extent of my knowledge of God.

In my second year of college, I moved into another house and ended up being roommates with a guy who was a follower of Christ. There are not many Christians in my country and the Gospel is pigeonholed by the government and social objections. So the chances that I was roomed with a Christian were very low. ‘Til this day I view that as a God thing.

The first thing that struck me while I was talking to him about his faith was that he talked about God as if God was his father. This led me to attending a Bible study. After attending bible studies a lot during my second year, I decided to go to a church camp during vacation. The camp was a life changing experience in so many ways, but one thing that I should highlight is that I had never seen a nicer bunch of people than I had seen in the camp. After coming back from the camp, I was convicted of my sin by a force I had never felt. This force made me extremely uncomfortable from within. I responded to that conviction and surrendered my life to Christ.

I thank God that this is my story, but this isn’t what most Indians experience.

The Gospel is being met with so many obstacles. Christians are being persecuted and in some states there are non-conversion laws. With all of these hurdles in place I still have hope that the Lord can reach my people. I’m living proof that the Lord is working in India. My hope is that all of my people are reached. With me being the only believer in my family it gets hard. My father is an alcoholic and is far from wanting anything to do with Christ, but I know that there is hope. I’ve seen Christ do amazing things. My grandmother, who lived a long and dedicated life to Hinduism, gave her life to Christ not too long before passing away. I take this as a sign that God can reach those who we count as far-gone. Scripture says that the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few. That is so true here in India. There are so many needs and very few people meeting them. That’s why what Sandals Church is doing with Bharat 100 is so important.

One of my good friends attends your church and shared with me how you are planning to send 100 believers to work here in India. WOW! It’s overwhelming to know that God has not forgotten us. You walk around my amazing country and see just remnants of Christ and I desire for the day to come when the majority of India bows before Jesus.

As a follower of Christ here in India it’s so encouraging to know that there are brothers and sisters around the world who care about us.

I pray that we will be able to partner together to reach my country for the glory of the LORD.  Thank you Sandals Church for following Christ all the way to Bharat!

Blessings,

H.P


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