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Conversion on a Mountaintop
Dissatisfied with Hindu gods, a Hindu priest climbed a mountain determined to stay there till he met the real God.

I am a fourth generation Christian who surrendered my life to Christ at the age of 16. This is the story of the miraculous conversion of my great-grandfather and the faithfulness of God to generations of my family.

My great-grandfather was a Hindu priest who found himself very dissatisfied with serving the idols as his gods. One day he decided to go on a mountaintop and earnestly seek for the true God to reveal Himself. He went on a fast for three days and, until the last day, no revelation took place.

In utter frustration he shouted out that all along he had blindly believed in "God" when in fact there was none.

Just at that moment, my great grandfather felt a gentle hand touching his shoulder. As he sat down, there was a bright book in front of him, where an index finger was pointing to a particular Scripture verse from the Bible. He mistook the finger as belonging to a British missionary pushing his western Christian religion, so he requested to be left alone. He turned around to look for the persistent missionary, but to his surprise found no one. Thank God for missionaries who carried the Bible wherever they went because my grandfather recognized the Bible as the book of the white man!

Although my great-grandfather was illiterate, at that moment God gave him the ability to read. He started to read the verse that the finger was pointing to: am the Way, the Truth and Life; no man comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). God opened the eyes and heart of this spiritually impoverished man. God's promise, "Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7) became real. The Bible says, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32), and my great-grandfather certainly became free from the shackles of sin and idol worship.

He immediately came down from the mountain and stood in front of the temple. It was customary for the Hindus to bring their produce and offer it to their gods. Great-grandfather informed them of his spiritual enlightenment and his decision not to serve the Hindu gods, but people thought he had gone insane. He was overjoyed with this true God who had filled his life with a new passion, joy, peace and direction. He decided to change his name to "Christian" because in my mother tongue it meant a person who has Christ living in his heart.

During the time of his conversion, many Indians were dying of cholera, but God gave my great-grandfather the gift of healing. He would pray for the dying individuals, and they would receive healing. People saw a complete change in his lifestyle and were so drawn to the God who performed such miracles through him that they gave their hearts to the Lord. People wanted to name the street after him: "Christian Street" is still there! His entire family turned to Christ.

As a priest he felt it was appropriate to build a church to the true God who took keen interest in revealing Himself. However, he did not have the finances to buy a piece of property. Meanwhile, there was a Muslim man who was partially convinced about the true God and had agreed to give him the land needed to build the church. The Muslim community did not want him to give the land. So, he came on horseback to relay this bad news, but as soon as he reached my great-grandfather's house, he got down and the horse stomped him to death. In his final moments, he made a confession: "The God you serve is the true God and He did not want me to change my mind, so you can have my land." Then he died. Even to this day the church stands.

With a heritage like this, I feel I am a chosen generation and I don't mind being "peculiar" for God. I am reminded of the chorus: Jesus Loves the Little Children. Perhaps I should rephrase it as Jesus' love extends to all people around the world: Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew—and the list goes on.

Nava Bobby immigrated to Newfoundland in 1978. She has taught in the English department at Memorial University (MUN) since 1989 and for Master's College and Seminary. Nava and her husband Walter have been married for 30 years and have two children. They attend Bethesda Pentecostal Church in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Originally published in testimony, March 2007.




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