In photo: 21-year-old Gagan
21-year-old Gagan is the only Christian in his family. He wanted to continue his studies after school, but he had no money as his family is very poor. But when Open Doors partners got in touch with Gagan, they were able to help him acquire admission to a good college. He exclaims, “After the completion of my studies I will go back and serve God in my village.” Here he shares his story, and his thanks you for your prayers and support.
I first heard of the name Jesus Christ from some of my Christian friends while I was living in my school hostel away from my village. At that time I thought nothing about it but looking back I realize that it had sparked an interest in me.
Thus, during my final year in the high school I attended a youth camp and there I accepted Jesus Christ and decided to follow him. And there I decided I would eventually serve the Lord after college.
The burden of being the only believer in the family
I let my family know about my decision to follow Christ. While it was a surprise for them they did not object to it.
My parents had however always cautioned me before to not be influenced by anyone to become a Christian. I had been away from them and away from my tradition, culture and belief for the better part of my academic life. However, their opposition was mellowed down when they saw that I had become a better person after accepting Christ.
My family themselves however refused to come along with me in my journey of Christian faith. The reason is, they live in fear of society and for them to live in the village and be a part of the community is to follow the faith and belief system of our forefathers. Their fear is very real for me also because to accept Jesus Christ and to follow Him means becoming an outcast from the community.
And although I am thankful that my parents are understanding and considerate of my personal faith, I carry the burden of praying for my whole family to accept Jesus Christ in their lives.
I also fear for the safety of my parents because their son is following a different faith from them. The general outlook on Christ in my community is that He is a foreign god and everyone who follows Christianity is a traitor to our original religion.
In all this, I take courage from the story of Job from the Bible. Job was living a good and peaceful life but there came a time where he faced immense adversity from every aspect of his life, especially from his wife and his close friends, those whom should have stood with him through the storms in his life. I feel that Christian life is not at all easy and only those who are strong willed and rooted in Christ can live such a life.
Thank you so much
I am most thankful to God first of all for his guidance in my life. My family was too poor to support me for a good college. However Open Doors partners helped me get admission to one of the very well-reputed educational institutions.
I was overwhelmed with the obstacles as I belonged to a remote village and didn’t have the proper documentations required there. However, with the help of encouragement from the Open Doors partner I persevered and was relieved to finally be able to get admission and start my course.
And I’d like to add a word of gratitude and encouragement to the Open Doors supporters too. Jesus says that there is more rejoicing in heaven over a lost sinner who comes to God and I’d like to say that I am one of those who was lost and now am found because of your support and prayers. Thank you so much. After the completion of my studies I will go back and serve God in my village. This is a great challenge but I believe God will prepare me for it and give me the wisdom on how to do it.
An important goal for Open Doors local partners in India is to help strengthen young Christians. If their families are not Christians, young believers are often not supported by them, so Open Doors local partners may help them with financial support and encouragement to complete their college studies. By strengthening these young believers with education, the entire community is strengthened. Thank you for supporting young believers like Gagan.
Continue to pray for Gagan – that he will complete his studies well, that he will be strengthened in his faith as he returns to serve God in his village, and that his entire community, including his family, might also come to faith in Christ.