This podcast is a repost originally published on Oct 1, 2016.
Q. Tell us something about yourself and your passions:
– I love football, but now I’m a child of God.
– I love reading the Bible, talking with people. I learn a lot in a conversation.
Q. Tell us about your childhood.
– I was born in a Hindu family, in Salem, Tamilnadu.
– I grew up in a Brahmin restrictive family.
– It was a quite regular middle class upbringing.
Q. How were your parents like?
– They were a blessing. My dad was mentally strong and bold, without fear. I could remember him sleeping with the door open because he wasn’t scared.
– Mom was a quiet person. She was always there beside my dad in every situation.
Q. Can you tell us about the demise of your parents and the effect it produced?
– I was twenty years old when mom passed away in 2010 and then dad in 2012. It was a tough time. They, especially mom, was really dear to me. It affected me a lot.
– At mom’s passing, it was the first time I saw my father cry. Later at dad’s passing, I had to stay strong for my sister.
– I ran to friends for comfort I couldn’t expect it from relatives. I stayed at Avi’s place and his parents took care of me for a couple months. My friends stayed with me just so I was fine.
Q. How did you live after these situations?
– I had followed after the idols my parents worshiped. But when I prayed for my mom’s health to improve, it didn’t happen and I gave up on the gods. I questioned their very existence.
– My girlfriend of three years left me. It was like the only two people you walked with in the middle of the forest disappears.
– Those days were a nightmare before Jesus found me. I was not at peace. I was hurt. I couldn’t sleep because of nightmares that showed my mother dying repeatedly. It was traumatic. I’d be crying and not be able to sleep for more than an hour in the morning.
Q. How did you come to know Jesus?
– This was 2015 February. It was a normal day.
– Before Jesus found me, I had dated a lot of girls to keep my mind off things and be a part of the world. When I heard my sister talking of her roommate and I went to meet her just so I could get to meet this girl too.
– When I did, I found her mother and sister were there. So, I didn’t get to talk with her anyway, but I did talk with my sister, met you (Pastor. Priji) and Karan.
– The next day however, I remember, she directly comes to me and tells me about Jesus. I was wondering why she was talking of God to me. Though I mostly didn’t believe in God, I still was offended by what she said.
– Later after she shared her testimony, I told her how I couldn’t find peace and was affected deeply by the smallest of things. She asked me to try Jesus; after all I had tried everything else. So I thought “let me try Jesus” and that one sentence changed everything.
– A part of me was saying He is real. I never believe with no evidence, but this time it was like God was making me believe. They gave me a Bible and I read Psalm 91 and every word made so much sense, everything I was going through stopped.
Q. What happened between you being introduced to Jesus to absolute surrender to Him?
– I used to be a chronic drunk. But the very next day of me getting the Bible, I stood outside the pub calling her up to ask whether I could, with her just leaving it to my decision.
– There was no other reason by which I knew it was wrong, but by the Holy Spirit. I stared attending church and was overwhelmed with the people and how they joyfully worshiped.
– I experienced peace.
– They prayed over me. It was different from what I thought a church would be.
Q. When did you start knowing Jesus personally?
– It took a long time for me to get baptised. Between February (when I first got to know Jesus) to August I used to struggle with certain things.
– I used to smoke and though you (Pastor. Priji) never told me to stop, I knew from within, I was wrong. I then started bargaining with Jesus as to the amount of times I’d smoke.
– But after a conference, I experienced His presence and knew Him. The very next day I tried lighting a cigar and couldn’t. I used to smoke thirty to forty cigarettes per day. I realised then that this is not me.
– After experiencing this freedom, I decided to completely surrender to God.
– (There is definitely hope as long as you’re willing to go to Jesus)
Q. How has it been since knowing Jesus?
– I decided to follow Jesus and leave all other things behind.
– I began reading the Bible making it a habit and spending time in prayer.
– Jesus example in Matthew and many men of God I know have been an example to me.
Q. What is the one advice you would like to give a new believer?
– Read your Bible everyday and pray without ceasing.
– The Bible says keep knocking and the door will be opened. Keep your focus on Jesus.
– The Bible is the living Word and that Word is God.
Q. Coming from a non Christian background, how did you learn to pray?
– God was teaching me right from how to pray and what to pray.
– I once wanted to be like you (Pastor. Priji), Pastor, Shyju, Pastor. Ankit and Hari Rao.
– But God began changing the way I prayed and I started praying to grow in Him and get to experience Him more and for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Q.What is the greatest goal/desire of your life.
– No matter where I am, I want to have an encounter with Jesus in every way possible.
– I didn’t grow up knowing Him and I don’t want to waste a single moment without Him.
(David says in Psalms how his one desire is to know Him.
If one of you listening here is a non Christian, know this that we are not here to force you to convert. Invite Jesus into your heart and He’ll change your heart to do what is true and right.
It is a step by step process)
The Holy Spirit says do not depend on your own strength but on Him alone.
You can connect with Dilip On Instagram (http://instagram.com/dilipr14)
Watch the video of the interview here.
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