I Was Honored to Suffer for Jesus
Pastor Malachi* is faithfully ministering with his family in the Andaman Islands, India. He reaches Andamanese, Nicobarese, and Kharia peoples.
"I was born in Tamil Nadu, but my family moved to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands when I was five years old. We were not financially sound, but my parents did their best to provide a good education for their children. I was the oldest of four children (two boys and two girls), so my parents put their hopes on me for improving the family’s fortunes. My parents were rigid Hindus, and they devoted me to many different kinds of rituals.
Around the time that I completed my high school studies, I began to question the truth of Hinduism. At the same time, I reconnected with two neighborhood girls who were once rigid Hindus; they had gone to university in Nagpur and dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ. Part of me was angry at their conversion, because I was proud of my Hinduism. At the same time, however, I knew that both of them were once facing many questions and problems like I was facing now. They told me that they found joy, peace, and rest in Christ.
I was curious, and continued to learn more from these girls as I began looking for a job to support my study expenses. Soon after, someone came and screened a Christian film called Dayasagar in our village. My heart was touched by the wonderful works of Jesus, and I began to think positively about Christianity.
There were no churches in our village, but I eventually came in touch with a pastor named Mark* and began to attend Sunday worship at his church. My parents feared that they would lose me if I became a Christian, so my father told Pastor Mark to only teach me good morals without converting me to his faith.
In spite of their efforts, my regular church attendance and discipleship with Pastor Mark paved the way for me to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior. My conversion created many problems in my home, and my family tried to prevent me from going to church. With Pastor Mark’s encouragement, however, I confronted these antagonisms for the sake of the Gospel.
The problems only grew – my family friends, and the other villagers opposed, threatened, and abused me so much that I could no longer bear to live in my village. I went to discuss these issues with Pastor Mark, but my parents followed me to the church and scolded both me and the pastor. They took my watch and untied my clothes right in front of Pastor Mark. They also reported to the police that their son was missing.
When I found out about this, I went to the police station and told them I accepted Jesus Christ of my own free will. The policemen responded by beating me and throwing me into a dark, bug-infested jail cell. I was honored to suffer for Christ, much like Paul did.
In the meantime, Pastor Mark was seeking all ways to have me released. The police superintendent was a Christian, so I was released once he found out what happened. My parents were called to the station and told that they could not stop me from being a Christian, as I was then 21 years old.My father then made a document to disown me and said that I was not entitled to anything he owned. Once again, I was honored to suffer for Jesus. I took baptism on December 2nd, 1996.
Pastor Mark accepted me as a brother, and I was married to my wife, Rue*, on August 10th, 1998, and we now have two children, a son and a daughter".
Pastor Malachi received a diploma in church planting and evangelism in 1995, and has been in full time ministry since 2007. Please pray for his family and ministry, and that their churches will continue to grow in numbers, and most importantly, depth!*Names changed for safety