Many people were brought to tears during our recent Winter Conference when Mandy, a fairly new believer from the Jat, Sikh of India (0.01% Christian) prayed for her people. Here is her story:
I grew up as a devout Sikh. I prayed daily, lived legalistically, and went to temple several times a week. By the age of 12, I was a very serious Sikh. I wanted to get baptized (that happens when you are an adult, and you choose – though without being baptized you can’t go to “heaven”). I wanted to do it more so to go to heaven, but also because I felt it was time. But when I went to do it I had this sick feeling in my stomach that literally stopped me dead in my tracks. It made no sense because I was so devout. But I believe that was God’s first intervention into my life. He knows that I am a very committed person and if I had gone through with it, it would have been very difficult for me to leave Sikhism. I tried again 6 months later and same thing. Then I went through a “period of darkness” when I was 15-17 where I was angry and frustrated all of the time. I got to a point where I resented all of the things I was doing in Sikhism. I had no sense of God’s presence. This eventually pushed me to find out what other religions said about God…before I totally gave up on Him. It was the summer before university (2004) and I started to read the Gospel of Matthew (through a Gideon’s Bible I had received two years earlier). I was amazed at what Jesus said and did..though I didn’t fully get it. Then I started going to church because “that’s what Christians do!” I heard the gospel my first day at church and was floored..and offended. I continued going that summer and almost received Christ, but was held back by fear of my parent’s reaction. I went to Queen’s University, hoping to continue my spiritual journey, but I ended up getting sick and it nearly killed me. Having that near death experience really made me appreciate my life more and want to know God better. After getting sick I left my spiritual journey for a year and a half, but I picked it back up in February of 2006. I went to a memorial mass where I felt God speak to me. I also contacted Andrew Williamson [a Campus for Christ student and now staff member in Montreal], whom I knew from first year and knew was a Christian. He gave me some books to read, including Mere Christianity and The Case for Christ. After reading those books and being convinced of the truth, I talked to Andrew and felt reassured of what I had come to know. After talking to him online I went on the Queen’s Campus for Christ (C4C) website and read the “Four Spiritual Laws.” I went through it twice and then at 7:40pm I prayed to receive Christ!
I got plugged into C4C in Sept 2006. Joined a Discipleship Group Bible study (DG) and was discipled one on one. I went on the Calgary Missions Project in the summer of 2007. In the 2007-2008 school year I co-led during frosh week, led a DG, discipled 3 girls, and went on the Desert Rain Summer Missions Project. In teacher’s college (2008-2009) I co-led a teacher DG. Now I am a high school History and English teacher living in Hamilton.
It was hard experience with my family for the first year. There was a lot of verbal persecution. It has gotten better over the years. They accept that I am a Christian, but they are still ashamed of it. They hide it from my extended family. Only a few family members know I am a Christian. It’s still a learning process for me in terms of how to interact with my family and handle conflict, but God has been faithful.