How Stephen Found the Courage to Stand Up for Christ – Andhra Pradesh, India
Dec 4, 2015 1162
Stephen was born and brought up in a Hindu family. Although his family were practising Hindus who performed all the rituals and participated in the festivals, like many of the young men, he preferred to hang about with his friends on the edges of the festivals. One day, one of his friends discovered that the local Christian church had a cake that was going to be cut to celebrate the New Year. They decided to go along.
So it was that New Year’s Day, 2013, was the day when Stephen first heard the message of Jesus. He was fascinated and inspired; every Sunday, he would find an excuse to go to the church. His relatives were angry when they saw that he wanted to go to church, and his parents forbade him to go again. They said, “We are traditional Hindus. If you go to the Christian church, you destroy our values, our good name, our whole way of life and our traditions.”
Stephen was disappointed, but he followed his parents’ orders. Then one day two years later when he was home alone, Stephen happened to see the GNU television broadcast. He called Pastor Joseph, and they arranged to meet. Pastor Joseph gave him a Bible and the book Jesus Only. He hid them from his parents, but he read them every day, and his conviction about the truth of the Gospel increased.
Stephen found work as a carpenter and spent six months away from home. During this time he studied the Bible and prayed for his parents. After he returned home, his mother became ill. Stephen felt moved by God to share the Bible and the book Jesus Only with his parents, and to tell them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The whole family joyfully accepted Jesus into their lives. They threw out their idol photos, and began going to church. Stephen’s mother became well again, and they praised God for his goodness.
There is another happy ending to Stephen’s story. Just this month he married a beautiful Christian lady who has been studying the Bible in Hyderabad. Together, they want to work for God, to spread the Gospel across this part of India.
– Eliezer Gonzalez