When I read Jim Elliot’s biography, I was inspired by it. I soon developed an intense desire to go to a pioneering or needy area to serve the Lord. Subsequently, I started attending mission retreats and took part in a mission trip to know what actually is going on in the mission fields. I heard through some tent-makers about the concept of tent making and the opportunity it provides in places like North India. I applied for jobs in various places throughout North India through naukri. I received a call for an interview from Punjab. I had a telephonic interview and got through it. I received the offer letter the following day. I was offered a meager hike. My family members and my friends persuaded me to decline this job since they thought that it would squelch my career growth and considering that salary hikes were very promising in South India when compared to North India. I submitted it to the Lord and I accepted the offer.
After I came down here, I realized that I have to go through times of frustrations and struggles. I didn’t know the language and the work culture was quite different. And due to recession the job pressure was extreme. My first project failed. And I was robbed one day. Moreover, I had to deal with the problems that my family was facing. All these happened quite suddenly and were unanticipated. In regards to ministry, since I couldn’t do much it was very discouraging for me. I just attended EU and EGF bible study. I was humiliated in various circumstances because of the fact that I am a South Indian.
I felt lonely and lacked fellowship. I was spiritually arid that I didn’t read the word of GOD for some time. Some of my unbelieving friends shared their onsite experiences in countries like the US and UK like buying apartments, cars and likes while here I’m deprived of restaurant meal passes, team outing, salary hike and adding to that the work pressure was high compared to the South. While I was in the South I was constantly engaged in some ministerial activity. Since there are no such opportunities here and no fellowship too, one has to depend on God for company. My personal relationship with God gradually got strengthened during this time. Facing a lot of problems in my job already, I went to God with all my disappointments. Instead of comforting, God pointed out my sinfulness. It was painfully hard to accept that. But that is how God is molding me!
In the South we do have lot of programs and committees but no such activities here. Similarly, when I tried to share the Gospel with non-Christians it was immediately shunned. I asked God why he brought me to North. Gradually I felt that God is in fact doing a great work in me rather than through me. He is pruning me. Believe me, it is painful. These days, I diligently study the Scripture and spend more time alone with God. Each and every day God is revealing His truth from Scripture. I thought I came here to minister to other people and now God is ministering to me. I realize that God is sanctifying me and transforming me into His likeness. I was once a Pharisee. He took me out from the South and placed me here in the midst of such predicaments to prune me and to make me what I ought to be.
The challenges for us in North are: to understand the culture of people, to adjust with the living conditions, to remain patiently for God to open doors. Only a few people have heard about Christianity and Christ. Even in a big city like Amritsar it is difficult to find a Church. Christ’s words in Matthew 9:37-38 is true – “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” I believe the Lord will continue to work in me and shape me, and also provide opportunities to witness for him.
An Anonymous tent maker.