Joneish and Saroj, a young Indian couple, attend West Park Church in Wolverhampton. They were married last year. Here they tell how they each came to know Jesus as their Saviour.
I came from a Sikh background, although my family were not very religious. My grandmother came to know the Lord Jesus through a Christian lady who would visit her, and she began to attend a local Asian church on a regular basis.
She began to tell me many things about Jesus and the Bible. These things always interested me as a child and I found the stories fascinating.
As peculiar as this may sound, my parents, although they were not Christians at the time, wanted to send my brother and me to a school that would have a Christian influence on us. Later on, they came to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Therefore, I had a lot of knowledge about Jesus during my childhood.
I knew there was a God
I grew up knowing there was a God. But I had no real relationship with him. I used to think, ‘He is so mighty and holy; what value am I to him?’
How wrong I was. I will never forget one Christmas, when I was a young boy and saw a film in church about Jesus Christ and his death. It really touched me deeply to think how this person went through all that suffering and pain.
When I was a teenager I continued to go to church and was always eager to learn and know more. I joined in the young people’s meetings and activities. But in my later teenage years we had some very difficult family problems.
They really broke me up and shattered my faith. I started to drift away from God. As I got older I got into the wrong company of friends and made a lot of mistakes. I wanted to do things my way and I got casual with my life.
There was a big, empty gap in my life that I tried to fill with people, friends, going to clubs and bars, and lots of other things. But nothing in my life was working out. I had a difficult time finding a job and everything in my life was upside down.
It really made me feel depressed at times because I thought nothing would ever work out for me.
I came to realise that only God could fill that empty gap in my life. I started to remember that first love I had for him. Even when my life was not right with God, I never stopped praying to him.
I somehow knew that he is a God of faithfulness and would always honour and provide for all my needs – if only my relationship was right with him. I needed to be obedient to his Word.
So I started to seek God again, realising that when we come near to God he will come near to us. In all the many problems I faced in my life, I knew that I could never deal or cope with them myself. I had to surrender them to the Lord.
To get to heaven
Things began to workout in my life again. God led me to a good job, and eventually I got married to the most wonderful girl. I found real happiness in my life.
God used many people to show me things. One person in particular was my pastor, who is no longer with us. He taught me many things about God and helped me to strengthen my relationship with him. He taught me to put God first in my life and to glorify his name. Godly role models are very helpful.
Life is like a journey. If we are unsure about how to get to our destination we have to use an atlas or map. To get to heaven we need Jesus, because he said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6).
Jesus is our guide and only he can lead us to the Father, both in this life and when we die.
Can I leave you with this question? Do you know where you are going after death?
My advice to you would be – trust in Jesus. He offers you eternal life beyond all the riches of this world. And he gives it freely to everyone who calls upon his name and follows him.
Your life will change and you will have a new purpose – to live for Christ.
As a child I watched my mother faithfully attend church and occasionally went to Sunday school. My mum would often tell me stories from the Bible that intrigued me, and from an early age I was comforted by knowing that there is a God.
However, like most teenagers, I began to think that I could find joy and fulfilment in this world. I still read my Bible and prayed but, looking back now, I realise I had no relationship with God.
Just reading the Bible and attending church does not make you a Christian. I needed to ask God to forgive me because I was a sinner. And then, supported by his strength, I needed to live a new life that was obedient to God’s Word.
Searching for God
Following the death of a very dear cousin, I began to question the purpose of my existence. Why was I here and, more significantly, where was I heading for after death? I went through a period of loneliness and this was when I truly began to search for God.
I realised that I could not find real inner peace and fulfilment in this world or the people of this world, but in God alone.
I attended Emmanuel Church in Handsworth (Birmingham) on a regular basis, where I was eventually led to receive Christ as my Saviour. The Bible began to come to life. I was no longer reading out of habit, but as spiritual food for every day.
I no longer feared death, because I realised I was heading for a place that God had prepared for me. I was also comforted to know that in Christ I had ‘new’ life, and things began to fall into place.
I found that Christ had plans for my life! He has proven to be faithful to me in times of darkness and trouble. The world offers happiness, but it is not true happiness. It is only temporary and nothing like the joy and hope I have in Jesus, as I believe in and follow him.