15 May Leaders in Missions – The Trial of Obedience
Paul who was one of the mission leaders of the Bible obeyed the heavenly vision and preached the gospel to the Gentiles and Kings. He planted churches and trained leaders to take care of them. He wrote thirteen epistles to encourage the churches and leaders. Even today God is looking for individuals who would obey Him and fulfill His plan to reach their generation.
Hudson Taylor a missionary to China said, “God is not looking for people of great faith but for individuals ready to follow Him.” He also said, “God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him.” UESI has contributed in the lives of many such individuals in equipping them at some point of their life’s journey who are now involved in missions. Here are the testimonies of two such men of God who committed their lives to serve Him.
Rev. Raja Singh
Rev. Raja Singh who is the Associate General Secretary of Indian Evangelical mission (IEM) and is soon to become the General Secretary shares. . .
“The pain experienced at the loss of a loved one is often compared with the pain parents go through when they ‘give up’ their children for missionary service. But our God has proved over and over again that He will never let go of those whose lives are fully committed to Him.
I was born to Rev. and Mrs. Elias, a missionary couple whom God called to the Jawadhi hills in the northern part of TamilNadu to share the Good News.
When I was four years old, my left hand was affected with polio. I was treated in Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore in Tamil Nadu. But my hand became small and lifeless. It was one third of my right hand. My parents were discouraged. The people whom they served questioned God. They asked, ‘If Jesus is alive, why doesn’t He help your son in his sickness?’ My parents returned to their home town and then served as a chaplain in CMC because of my treatment. During that difficult time, God gave them a promise, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrew 6:10. My parents and many prayed hard. One early morning I had a vision of Christ coming to our home and touching my left hand. Praise God…I was healed instantly. My left hand became like the right one. The obstacle to the gospel became an opportunity to witness to the greatness of God.
When I was sixteen I heard someone say, “There are 4 gospels in the Bible but the 5th gospel is
your life.” It was affirmed by my daily reading for that day from 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.” I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour.
When I was in my 12th standard and during my visit to my parent’s mission field, I was disappointed at my parent’s commitment to serve in a remote area because it was not an easy life. It was a 12 mile climb to reach the mission field. As it was a Christmas time, the people shared their testimonies on how the Lord used my parents to bring them into the saving knowledge. This shook my life and the Spirit of God reminded what the Lord did in my life by healing my hand. It was then I committed my life for the missionary service.
My parents are the living missionary text God gave me. God is faithful to the promise that He gave them when they first went to the mission field… “All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54: 13. Their obedience to God’s missionary call has made all their five children to accept Christ and also serve Him.
When I joined Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur in Vellore district, my brother David Jeba Singh introduced me to UESI. I started to grow in the fellowship of God’s people. Then my studies at Union Biblical Seminary (UBS) in Pune put a strong foundation and formation for my ministerial journey. I joined Indian Evangelical Mission (IEM) in 1991 and serve Him joyfully till now. We rejoice in connecting many of our converts to UESI. Now we as a mission enjoy the partnership between IEM and UESI.
When I look back, I do not have any regrets because my call is linked with obedience, compassion, filling of the Holy Spirit where the covenant with the unchanging God is real, refreshed and relevant all the time. God is no man’s debtor. This is my story and this is my song.”
Mr Johnny Desai
Mr Johnny Desai who is the Secretary for Urban Missions, Family CCare and Mentoring Leadership with Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) shares,
“I had attended a Gospel camp at Khrist Seva Sadan, Ahmedabad in mid-60s and prayed a sinner’s prayer to escape embarrassment. No sign of conversion… I messed up my life by all means. Wasted years, oh how foolish!
Coming out of Indian Air Force, I worked in Ahmedabad and studied Diploma in Mechanical Engineering as a part-time student. Pinakin Peter visited me in my office and shared his testimony briefly. That made me restless and I began to seek God. I had an encountered with God on October 10, 1975 at night, in the dark, lonely corner of my home. I asked Jesus Christ to forgive all my sins and take control of my life. I realized that things within me and around me began to change.
I did not know the term for my ‘born again’ experience and was unaware of the Holy Spirit indwelling within me. I did not know how to hold the Bible and walk. The EGF friends gave me the right hand of fellowship who had prayed much for my salvation. I began to learn to walk with Jesus in UESI atmosphere. In November 1975, I attended UESI Gospel camp in Mahemadabad where I learnt basic doctrinal foundation for the spiritual life. Again, in Ahemadabad, during Gujarat UESI Missionary Conference in February 1976, the Lord asked me: “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” I put my hand in God’s saying: “Here I am. Send me.” God’s Mission of reaching the unreached became my passion, my life’s goal and something to live for.
In UESI circle the Lord brought Koki in my life who is a lovely wife, faithful companion, wonderful mentor and a lot more. . .
We had blessed opportunities to stand in the shadow of some UESI heroes like PT Chandapilla, Arthur Hope, PC Varghese, Ravikant Kant and are proud of some of our colleagues for their obedient faith and sacrificial love. We have a long way to go.
After 22 years of cross-cultural missionary service with IEM, now in EFI (since 2002) we have been involved in active ministries with MentorLink International, Partners International, Barnabas International, Biblical Institute of Leadership Development, World Vision India, EFICOR and TEAM India.
God has done so much for us through UESI. We are grateful to UESI.” Isobel Kuhn, a missionary to China and Thailand said, “I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelise all the yet unreached . . . It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond.” Will you respond to the call of Jesus and walk the trail of obedience in fulfilling His plan for your life and His mission?
1. http://www.historymakers. info/stuff/inspirational-quotes.html acessed on12/17/2014 9:14 PM
2. Raja Singh ‘God is no man’s debtor’ unpublished write up received on 13. 12. 2014.
3. Johnny Desai ‘Debtor to UESI’ unpublished write up received on 13. 12. 2014.