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I Didn’t Want to Work for God

JFA Bible Workers: India

Suraj’s* parents died when he was four years old. After their death, one of the teachers at the school where their mother had taught took in Suraj and his sister. The teacher and her family were Christians, so Suraj and his sister grew up learning about Jesus. 

When Suraj had grown and completed his studies, Suresh decided he wanted to become a police officer. His adoptive mother (and his sister) had other ideas. They told him not to go after a government job but to serve God in ministry work.

Although he never became a police officer, Suraj was not interested in working for God. Against his family’s prayers and wishes, he got a job as the manager of a shoe factory and started to make good money.

One Sunday, Suraj visited a new church in the town where he worked. No one knew who he was. That day, the sermon was on Jonah. Suraj felt the message was just for him, but he didn’t want to admit it. 

The following week, Suraj visited the same church, and his new acquaintances told him exactly what he didn’t want to hear.

“We don’t want you to go for any job, but to go for the ministry,” they said. 

Just like Jonah ran from God, Suresh was doing the same. Just like Jonah’s disobedience caused problems for the ship on the way to Tarshish, Suraj’s disobedience led to the shoe factory where he worked closing. 

While we don’t know all the details of why the shoe factory closed, Suraj shared that his family prayed for God to do whatever was necessary to get him into the ministry. 

The shoe company owner offered Suraj a job at another shoe factory, but Suraj could not go. He packed up his things and headed home. 

Suraj still did not want to work for God, but at his mother’s request, he took a call to do ministry work in another state. At first, he was unhappy there; at one point, he even planned to sneak off at night and never return, but something changed his view entirely.

One day, his group was passing out literature in the people’s local language (which he did not speak). 

As they were doing so, they were approached by members of an anti-Christian group. “Why are you distributing literature in [our language]?” They asked Suraj. “You’re [not from this state].”

The men cursed at him and beat him with an iron rod, breaking his hand in the process. The men also beat up the other members of his group. 

Somehow, rather than discouraging him, this experience motivated him to continue doing God’s ministry. After learning the local language, he helped establish two churches. 

Eventually, he became a Seventh-day Adventist and recently became one of our newest Bible Workers.

Another Bible Worker, Vivek*, had a similar experience. He also grew up in a Sunday-keeping Christian family. Vivek’s parents dedicated him to the Lord’s ministry at age five. The five children born before him had died, and his parents thought he would be safer in God’s hands. 

As he grew up, he made some poor life choices and became addicted to alcohol. From “Morning, six o’clock, to evening, ten o’clock, I used to be drunk,” he said. “Whatever I wanted to do, I did it.”

One day, Vivek heard or read Isaiah 6:8, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’”

Jokingly, Vivek responded, “Send me, Lord.”

He who began a good work in Vivek eventually moved in his life until He was ready to say again, this time sincerely, “Send me, Lord.” 

Since then, he has also become a Seventh-Day Adventist and a JFA Bible Worker. 

Suraj and Vivek are serving in the place where we plan to help reopen 22 closed churches. We pray that their testimonies of God’s transforming power will touch the hearts of those who have fallen away from Jesus and many others. 

Please keep them and our other new Bible Workers in prayer. Their work in this area will be challenging, but with God’s help, we believe many people will be won for Christ. 

If you would like to invest in the ministries of Bible Workers like Suraj and Vivek, please click the button below.

*Names have been changed.

-Contributed by Jesus for Asia


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