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Newly Baptized Indian Members Share Their Testimonies
Edited by Visitor Staff
After preaching in India from mid-October to November, five Potomac Conference pastors saw 7,851 people join the church through baptism. They preached at five sites that covered 50 villages. Here are some of the new members testimonies:
My name is Mattagunja Kotayya. I was born and brought up in Ambarupeta and married a woman of the same village. I had all kinds of bad habits. I used to smoke and drink and gamble. I used to have a group of friends who used to be the rebels of the village. We used to beat up anyone who used to turn against us. Everyone were scared of me and my habits. People of my village used to treat me like a stranger. They never talk to me and they abused me. I never really cared about what people talked. It was just dirt sticking to my shoes. One day the Adventist pastor came to our home and invited us to the gospel and health meetings that were being conducted in the same village. I flatly refused his invitation.
I along with my group of friends planned to spoil the holy atmosphere near the meeting area. The very first day we went for the meeting we did not pay any attention to the sermon. But towards the end, the speaker played the saxophone instrument. I was very much attracted towards the music and the way he played. The following day, I went alone to the meeting and sat in one corner. They sang songs, which I didn’t know and never heard of. When the speaker started to speak, I unknowingly closed my eyes and started to meditate on his word and pray to Him silently. It probably took me two days to realize that I was engulfed by the Holy Spirit that led me to that place through music. My attraction towards the music the speaker played helped me draw more closer to God. Now everyone in the village talks to me, and I am happy in Jesus.
My name is V. Prakash belonging to Thorlapadu Village. When the [Seventh-day Adventist] pastors came to our village to conduct evangelistic meetings, I along with a few Pentecost church members objected saying we have a large church enough to accommodate all our community. We don’t want another church in our village. But the Adventist pastors were persistent in inviting us to the gospel meetings. I thought, let me first attend the meetings and decide later. Meanwhile believing them as the heaven sent messengers I prayed to God to convince me if was on the wrong side or in the wrong church.
Few days after the meeting on a certain day the preacher spoke on the little horn power in Daniel 7. He preached how Sunday worship came in to the Christian church and the Sabbath is still applicable ever. I personally was convinced about it but I wanted other members of our church to know. I went and told this matter to my pastor. He on the coming Sunday announced that we all go to the gospel meeting. That day’s sermon was on the Sabbath. We were so astonished of the truth of the Bible. God had led us through these Adventists pastors into the biblical truth. We all from our community accepted Jesus. There are many others to know this truth. God has opened our spiritual eyes. Also He will do the same to all others. Though there is no church for us, we still meet up in some cottage meetings and praise God. We regularly worship on Sabbaths at a government school ground where we got permission to do it secretly as it would be a crime to lease the government place for public use.
My name is Ruth. I live in Muppala Village and I married a man from this same village. My father is from the neighboring village. I am the only daughter in the family besides me there is no one born after me. I studied up to 9th [grade] and was married. We have three girls and a boy. But my husband was addicted to alcohol. All what he earns was spent for his habit. We had some times no rice or grains to cook at least for the children. I used to work as a housemaid in few houses. That is a very meager amount to survive, but we still could adjust with that. My husband was so addicted that he died of heart and liver disease. After that my life became miserable. I was in a bad condition that I was unable to pay for my children’s tuition fees. Then one of the Adventist pastors came to invite us for the gospel meetings. He found out my family position and told me to come to the gospel meetings. I did not miss even one meeting and I was very much touched by the messages that were being preached and decided to give my life to Jesus by baptism.
I started believing in God and praying earnestly. The pastor encouraged me in the Lord Jesus through his help I came to know Jesus as my personal Savior. I wish my children would be well educated and be more close to God and learn His word and use it in their day-to-day lives. I started attending the church activities every Sabbath and worship the Lord. I have even learned a song and sing for God. We are learning what a ‘Mission Report’ and Sabbath School lesson studies are about. We are worshipping under a ‘pendal’ and are prayerfully waiting for Lord to help us for place of worship.
S Amaravaram Village
My name is Priyamani. My husband’s name is Krishnaiah. I was a Hindu previously. I was converted into Adventist faith after this incident in my family. I am a housewife. My husband was a daily wage laborer. My husband after receiving his daily income he goes to the liquor shop and drinks heavily. He after drinking falls off on the roads and sleeps till his drunken state gets down. He used to return home sometimes with bruises. Sometimes he used to fight with some people and they used to beat him black and blue.
One day while I was cooking, the pastor from Adventist church came to my home and invited me and my family to the gospel meetings. I hesitated at first but later on the third day after listening to the previous night message, I was forced by the Holy Spirit to attend the meetings. After that I felt the Holy Spirit engulfing me, and I wanted my family too to walk in this light. I invited the pastor to come to my home and pray for my family to walk the right way. The pastor used to come everyday and pray for us. Slowly my husband started to change and we all attended last three days of meetings. We were very much strengthened by the messages given by the speaker and his music. We, along with our two children, were baptized into Adventist faith. We started enjoying God’s blessings by having peaceful days because my husband stopped drinking. We thank God, Jesus and the Adventist church [for bringing] peace into our family.
My name is Sambaiah. I have a wife and two children. My wife and I completed B A courses successfully yet we are without jobs. Since I don’t have any job, it gave me difficult time for me to feed my family. Before I never worked in the farm field, but I worked to feed my family. Financially I faced many problems.
While I was in great problem, that time Adventists started to conduct meetings in our village. I attended those meetings along with my family members. There I learned a great truth about the [Sabbath]. I was so discouraged that previously I never used to worship any God .. and [lacked] peace of mind. After learning about God, the Creator Jesus Christ and Sabbath, we were touched and filled with peace. All our family members accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior. I got some relief in my heart.
The meetings were over but the same problem started to trouble [me]. And I didn’t know how to feed my family. I took this issue to God and I prayed earnestly on my knees. God heard our prayers and was blessed with what I wanted. The great God of heaven prepared a job for me in Vijayawada. I joined there and doing my job. Now we don’t have any problems. We are enjoying our lives in Jesus Christ. We fully believe in God. He can make the impossible as possible for our sakes. First we must have faith in God. We thank Pastor Mark Sigue for his music. We will be the first ones to be at worship on every Sabbath day. Please pray for us.
My name is Velpula Vishranthamma. We, from our ancestors and great grand-parents on, used to worship the idols of few goddesses in our villages only. Every year during the month of January we offer sacrifices to the idols. Now and then we also visit the church in name [only] as we have believed Jesus as one of the gods.
I do not know but why in our family we have unrest, disunity discrepancies among our family members. We often fight among ourselves and curse each other. Due to the family disputes, I felt great heartaches. There is no income, no education for our children. They stopped going to the school. They don’t even work to earn bread. To solve our family problems we even built a small altar for one of our goddesses. Even though we did everything still we were with empty hearts and full of problems. One day two Adventist church pastors came to our village and started prayer meetings. We just attended these meetings not with the intention of accepting Jesus but just because everyone in the village is attending. But amazingly, through the Adventist pastors and speaker in the meetings, we came to know the Sabbath truth, the Creator, the Redeemer and the false gods. After attending a series of evangelistic meetings conducted by foreigners, all our family members were baptized. Our family disputes slowly disappeared and now we are at peace. We regularly go to the Sabbath worship. We do not have a church building but we have put up a tent. We have an amplifier and drums and sound boxes. We praise God by singing and praying and listening to His word. Thank God for His guidance into the truth.
My name is Muthaiah living in the village of Chandapuram. From the age of 20 I used to attend the Sunday church in my village. I am now 50 years old. One day I asked my pastor to conduct a prayer meeting on one Saturday because we had a special function on that day. But the pastor refused and said ‘no, I cannot conduct the prayer meeting on that day because I am not available on that day, you better postpone your meeting to another day.’ We requested our pastor so much but no use. I requested him once again and he said that he would not. I was stubborn and didn’t change my decision and he would not visit my family so I decided to drop off my membership from that church and told my firm decision to that pastor. He said, ‘Do as you wish.’ I was very much worried as to who is going to conduct the first marriage anniversary function of my only son on Saturday.
On the Friday of the same week, two Adventist pastors came to our village to look for shelter and stay for 10 days to conduct gospel meetings in our village. Nobody’s house was big enough to accommodate two persons and finally they came to my house and requested me. I was glad to accept their request and provided shelter for them. They went on their work in the morning, and I too went to the paddy fields and returned at noon. The pastors too returned home after their work and were getting ready for church. The pastors noticed that I was looking worried and asked me what the problem is. I explained to them everything and they told me that they would conduct the function in the evening of Saturday. I was overjoyed and went along with them to the church that day and the following Sabbath too. In the evening they both conducted the first anniversary function of my son and prayed for our family.
[In the Adventist] church they treat me, and every member, with love and compassion. I decided to follow Jesus and got baptized during the gospel meetings. The church on Sabbath is conducted at my home itself as it can accommodate a lot more that 50 people. We are regular church members, and we thank God for bringing us to His fold.
My name is Jayaraju. I am from the village Kothapalem in which most of the population are Hindus and the Roman Catholic Church is the only church in our village. The elders did not allow any other denominations to enter into our village to conduct evangelistic meetings. My family and some of the Roman Catholic families have some sociological misunderstanding. Due to this we always undermined each other. One day two Adventist pastors came to them and requested them to give shelter and allow them to conduct prayer meetings in the nights. After knowing the denominational background of the pastors they rejected them and did not allow them to conduct meetings.
Now I got a chance through this to [rebuke] them for their unkindness to their fellow Christians and so I gave the pastors shelter in my house and requested them to conduct prayer meetings in our relatives houses each night. With my kind of reaction towards the Adventist Pastors, the Catholic members said to one another, “If a Hindu can give shelter to the pastors not related to them at all, why can’t we give them the same who are related to us through Christ?” and indeed they came to me to apologize and requested me to give the pastors to them to provide shelter and allowed to conduct meetings which lead to 70 Catholic members to attend meetings that includes me and my family. After attending series of meetings in a central place for a number of villages, many Hindus along with our 70 Catholic members became Seventh-day Adventists through baptism! We are worshipping in my home right now for all the Sabbath services. We sincerely thank the heavenly Father and Adventist missionaries for bringing us to the foot of the Cross and way of Salvation. Praise God!!
My name is Anjaneyulu Nanavarapu belonging to the same village. I was a strong Hindu and decided not to marry all my life. But due to the influence of my friends and their bad habits, I began to practice all dirty things in my life including consuming drugs. My parents thought that I would settle in my life if they get me married. I broke the vow of remaining bachelor to my god and I found a pretty girl whom I married. But old bad habits die hard and could not treat my wife as lovingly as I could have. I threatened her if she did not give more money in the form of a dowry I will leave her. Therefore, her parents brought some money and in no time I used it for my bad habits and demanded for more money. As they were unable to give more, I left my wife in their home.
After that my life became miserable. Even my parents and relatives and fellow villagers started hating me and even trying to ex-communicate me. During which time the pastors from the Seventh-day Adventist Church conducted meetings in my village. No one is talking to me, and I thought I will become insane. I started attending these meetings even though no one invited me to attend. The preacher talked about a bachelor God who died for my sins to save me. I reasoned the Hindu god whom I trusted up till now also is a bachelor god but he did not die for my sins. This message is entirely new for me. I attended all the meetings. At the end, I realized that only Jesus could help me to come out of my bad habits. I learned how to pray and sing for the real God of salvation. On the baptismal day, I accepted Jesus. I brought back my wife, and our life is filled with joy and happiness in Jesus. She is also preparing to be baptized. Thank God for reuniting us through these spiritual meetings.
READ Potomac Pastors Minister in India, Thousands Baptized