I come from an influential family in central India and grew up worshipping stone gods.
My parents wanted the best education for me, so they enrolled me in an Adventist secondary school. We didn’t know what “Adventist” meant then.
I liked the school and made friends quickly. One friend, Amith, invited me to his home on Saturday. I was surprised that he and his family weren’t watching television, but instead were talking about something called the “Sabbath.” When I asked Amith what the Sabbath was, he invited me to church the next Saturday. I was curious, so I went.
Inside the church I recognized some people I knew from school. To my surprise, the sermon was on the Sabbath. The pastor read Bible texts and explained why the Sabbath was so special. I didn’t know Christ, but by the time we left church I understood the Sabbath.
I attended church with Amith every week. I loved the worship service, and the hymns brought me peace. The Bible lessons were simple but profound. Christianity was so different from my family’s religion.
I often joined a classmate for her family’s worship. They explained difficult Bible texts, and I began reading the Bible for myself. The Creation story was so different from what I had been taught. I knew I had to follow God, not my family’s gods.
I told my parents that I had decided to follow Jesus and would no longer worship the gods I had once worshipped. But they didn’t give up. One day they asked me to go with them on a religious pilgrimage-to carry their luggage, they said. But when I realized that they wanted me to take part in the temple rituals. I knew I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to argue with them, so I left the train at the next station and returned home.
When my parents returned, they asked me why I had left them. I explained that God forbids worship of other gods. We sat for five hours as I explained what I could about God, Creation, Jesus’ life and death, and His second coming. Finally my parents nodded. They didn’t understand my new faith, but they let me follow my convictions.
I thank God for leading me to the Adventist high school. It changed my life. I now teach young people knowing that they can share their faith with their families. It’s my way of giving back.
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