In a testimony, we hear of many victories over trials that have been overcome. However, how many times do we hear about a testimony that reflects God’s Faithfulness, in moments of constant, persistent persecution; or even when you are delivered from the bondage of such persecution. Seeing the faithfulness of His Servants being mocked and ridiculed, to the point of discrediting them, and showing reproof for those who persistently persecute His Servants that keep “turning the other cheek”, instead of giving in to human nature, and practicing “eye for an eye”. I, at first, being of the same mold to hearing testimonies that only reflected victories over personal trials, to gain earthly things, did not initially believe that my own personal testimony, became a two part testimony: 1) One of the Immediate Victory over the trial of persecution that God put His Shield of Protection over me, at the time; and 2) 18 years later, for the reward of remaining faithful to God’s Divine Laws of Love, despite consistent persecution continued for the sake of justifying the original act. I would not have believed it myself, if I had not received the Scripture, and physical proof of a letter that I wrote 18 years ago, that was long hidden away, but put right in front of me, to see, within months of the act. He showed me that despite others not having any value for me, that HE HAD VALUE OF ME…to the point of showing me that HE STILL HAD VALUE OF ME, 18 years later. This is a testimony for the downtroddened, and God’s Faithfulness to those who endure at all costs, to uphold His Divine Laws of Love, the ways to the Eternal Kingdom.
As a child, I always had an affinity to Jesus Christ. I remember one of the first songs I heard as a toddler was a Indian Christian Devotional of the “Our Father” by K.J. Yesudas. My father would play it in the car, as we drove around from place to place, and even in the house stereo system. Till this day, I have to pause when I hear this song. I had a picture of Jesus Christ in my bedroom, and as a child I remember that I used to talk to Him, as if He was my friend. Looking back now, with what I have learned within my Walk with God, I can testify that children are particularly aware of God’s Presence in this world.
Even though I was born and raised a Christian, I can honestly recall the one moment that changed not only my life, but also my Spiritual Journey. It was a moment of when I finally understood God’s Unfailing Love for all those that come to Him, with a sincere and humble heart, broken from the world’s ways. Where what I was going through was not understood by anyone that was physically around me, in fact they were in disbelief….and the ones that could understand were just too far away to be there for me, in the physical sense. This is when God revealed Himself to me….and that He was there for me. He walked beside me, when no one else did….and showed His Unconditional Love for me, despite what the world demonstrated.
My Spiritual Journey began when I was 18 years old, and in my first year of college. Altogether it’s a terrifying time for any person, especially since it is the first time leaving home. For me I was several thousands of miles away, studying abroad, with a phone call coming from home, once a week, being in different time zones. I remember after school one day, I had gone to take a run with some friends of mine. While cooling down, one of my classmates who lived in the same hostel as I did, came running looking for me, saying that 3 men came looking and asking for me. She also mentioned that they did not look like they were there for a friendly visit. I honestly did not know of any men who would come see me, so this frightened me. So I went to the nearest phone booth to call my parents, to explain what was happening, (this was during a time of when public phones were made in phone booths). (Alittle background to my family history) You see my Mom is the oldest of 7 siblings, where the first 5 siblings were all girls; and the youngest 2 are boys. My Mom left early from her home in order to help provide for them. As a result, my Mom and her things within her family life (from the clothes of not only herself, but also those of her husband and children; their toys; money, etc…) were the community property of her siblings and their married lives; while her married life was destroyed in the process. In fact, we (her children, and her husband) were considered hinderances to her sharing her things with her siblings, their families and their children. So there was a lot of family strain. (Back to the testimony) When I called home, that is when I found out that there was some conflict with my Mom’s youngest brother. Where my parents actually felt so threatened that they had to file an order of protection against him, and his family because he actually had said, that he would “slit my mother’s throat”; and “my father would not come home from work, one day.” My mother’s second sister’s son was living in our house, because my parents were helping him to get an American College Education. Apparently it was understood that the people that were sent after me, were sent in order to intimidate my parents to drop the court hearing against my youngest uncle; to indicate that they will cause harm to me if not done. My parents called my relatives who were in the vicinity. The first person my Mom called was her 2nd sister (the one directly under her, as previously mentioned, whose son was staying at our home). My parents were told that “if they got involved, that the rest of the family would be upset with them…”. So they went to the next person who was aunty number 4. She basically told my mom, as her sister mind you, that “If my parents were going to bite, that they were all going to fight back. That she was getting what she deserved.” I just could not believe what I was hearing. Everyone in my parents’ direct vicinity (the remaining 4 siblings) were siding with the youngest uncle. Eventually, it was my Dad’s Brother who would come and regularly check up on me; which required and overnight bus ride to get to where I was. It was my Dad’s Brother’s In-laws that helped me during this time.
While my parents were making these calls, I had snuck back into the hostel, walking past the people, by wearing a disguise. You see another classmate of mine is Muslim, and she wore the traditional clothing, where they are completely covered from head to toe, whenever she had to travel to go see her relatives. So with this, I was able to get back into my room, without being recognized.
In the meanwhile, my Dean was notified of the situation, along with my 50 classmates. A male classmate would take a turn to escort me to and from class, each day. I had to disguise myself everyday, because they were showing my picture all of over campus, asking anyone they encountered,where I was. I remember because one of my classmates that lived 2 doors down from me, told me this; and I was wondering how they had a picture. This is when I understood that it was an entire family effort. These men stayed on my school campus for 5 days. I remember overhearing some of my classmates saying, “How can an uncle do this?”. At that moment was when I knew no one would understand what I was going through. This was the night I ended up turning to my friend, as I remembered as I did when I was that young child…Jesus Christ. That very night, I ended up opening the Bible I had in my room. This Bible was given to me before I left from home, by a Priest who was known to be a Charismatic Priest, and had come to our home to pray for me, and to wish me well on my journey. I remember beginning with reading his inscription to me which was in reference to Psalm 119:105, stating the following:
“May the word of God be a Lamp to guide you and the light for your path, as you journey forward toward your future.”
Like I did many times as a child, for all of the family strains in the past….I prayed, with endless tears in my eyes, with a complete surrender of wondering why was this happening to my family…..to me? I just could not understand why none of my Mom’s siblings stood up against this wrong being committed not only to me, but to what was said and done to my parents. Did they not see their own children in this situation? Was I that much “not a person” in their eyes? Did they not think that God sees all done to the innocent…that the very thing that they are allowing for their brother’s family to do, could have easily been done to their children? Being the older siblings of this youngest uncle, why didn’t they advise him that it was wrong? All 6 of them stood on the side of this uncle (What warranted for my mother’s 6 brothers and sisters, and 4 older cousins, and 1 younger cousin that was 3 months younger to my own brother;belonging to my mom’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th out of 7 siblings, one of which was living in my parents home), to allow for such an act to be committed not only towards my parents and brother, but also to me. This is how much we were not people to them. I just remember crying and crying to God, the Father, to provide me with some answer for this injustice, day after day. Before this, I had never really opened the Bible. So, I would close my eyes, and pray for God to provide me with His Word…one was from Psalm 46:1-2, which stated:
“God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths…”
This brought me so much comfort, to the point where I stopped crying. I meditated on this scripture for a night. And did this everyday, for the 5 days that they were on campus. I did this every night…prayer and a scripture reading, again each time with my eyes closed and praying for God to give me a word. I even began to fast. I remember using a fluorescent pen to highlight and underline the scriptures that He gave me. It included the following:
1. Psalm 3: 3-4 “But you, O Lord, are always my shield from danger; you give me victory and restore my courage. I call to the Lord for help, and from His sacred hill He answers me.”
2. Psalm 4
3. Psalm 7: 10-16 “God is my protection; He saves those who obey Him. God is a righteous judge and always condemns the wicked. If they do not change their ways, God will sharpen His Sword. He bends His Bow and makes it ready; he takes up His deadly weapons and aims His burning arrows. See how wicked people think up evil; they plan trouble and practice deception. But in the traps they set for others, they themselves get caught. So they are punished by their own evil and are hurt by their own violence.”
4. Psalm 25:9-13, 15-20 “He leads the humble in the right way and teaches them His Will. With faithfulness and love He leads all who keep his covenant and obey his commands. Keep your promise, Lord, and forgive my sins for they are many. Those who have reverence for the Lord will learn from Him the path they should follow….I look to the Lord for help at all times, and He rescues me from danger. Turn to me, Lord, and be merciful to me, because I am lonely and weak. Relieve me of my worries and save me from all my troubles. Consider my distress and suffering and forgive all my sins. See how many enemies I have; see how much they hate me. Protect me and save me; keep me from defeat. I come to you for safety. May my goodness and honesty preserve me because I trust in you.”
Testimony continued in Part 3…