India: “I decided I would leave everything.”

Sanjeev, 3rd from right, waits with other Bible school students for lunch.

Sanjeev on his bed, praying.

Sanjeev in class at Bible school.

Portrait of Sanjeev with bicycle.

While Sanjeev (name changed for security) was still a young boy, his father became a Hindu sadhu, a holy man who gave up all worldly connections and possessions, even his wife and young children, to live a life of wandering and begging. This personal history was heavy on Sanjeev’s mind as he began contemplating leaving his own family for an extended time of Bible school. Several years ago he had been healed of a chronic illness and subsequently became a believer in Jesus. That decision changed everything in his life. To become a pastor became his heart’s desire.

“I felt God calling me when I was reading from the Word of God. For hours, I was crying in my bed. I got down on my knees. I decided I would leave everything, go to a Bible college where I could study.”

But making that decision was not easy for Sanjeev. A list of reasons against going to Bible school built up in his mind: He felt he was too old. He was married with three children. He struggled with the idea he was deserting his family, as he felt his own father had. Finally, after three months of more praying he decided he needed to go to a Bible school..

“At first, my wife said, ‘We have three children. How are we going to live? How are we going to eat?’ But after Sanjeev prayed again and told his wife he felt God was indeed saying he should leave everything and go. After a change of heart, his wife agreed and encouraged him to attend the training. A support system for his wife and children began to fall into place for the year he would be gone. Sanjeev’s prayers for his family to feel secure while he was gone were answered.

When asked what he hoped to do after graduation, he said, “In my village there are around 10,000 people. If you add the villages surrounding my village there are more than 100,000 people.” He says there is no church for those people. “I want to go to my home and serve there.”

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