How I Came to Know the Truth
On the stage there were some foreigners who were preaching... and I felt something inside my heart and soul. What should I do? Should I confess or just go out of the hall? I don't know what happened to me. My feet were as if they were stuck there. I could not move out of that place.
I was born in 1976, brought up in a Brahmin family and was a worshiper of Kali and other idols of Hinduism. I was not at all interested in any other religions. In 1996, I was studying in Class XI and living in a hostel in Ramkrishna Mission, Purulia, West Bengal.
Once I was returning towards my hostel from the market, someone on the roadside gave me a small book containing a verse from Revelation 3:20:
I read that verse but did not understand it. I kept it inside my study book. When I passed the final exam of Class XI, I returned to my hometown at Agartala in Tripura state. I was admitted to a new school for Class XII. The book that I received that day was still with me.
On December 12, 1996, when I was worshiping in a Kali temple, there was a Community Hall nearby and the same verse that I received in West Bengal was written on a big temporary sign. It made me remember that small book. Then I decided to investigate what was going on inside the hall.
I usually preferred to have friendship only with the high caste Brahmin families. I believed Muslims and Christians to be of low caste, so I always avoided them. I don’t know why, but I decided to go inside the hall with one of my friends, named Gopal Chakraborty.
There we found that the hall was completely full. We tried to locate seats but all in vain. So, we decided to leave. At that very moment I found a single vacant seat in the second row, third position. My friend insisted on me returning back, but due to some unknown attraction I sat down on the seat. I was feeling shy. My nearby audience was from tribal society, but they greeted me when I sat down.
On the stage there were some foreigners who were preaching that same particular verse (Rev 3:20) and also telling the audience to confess their sins and get saved through Jesus. At this I felt something inside my heart and soul. What should I do? Should I confess or just go out of the hall? I don’t know what happened to me. My feet were as if they were stuck there. I could not move out of that place.
The audience was told to keep their eyes closed and then someone started praying. Then someone came to me and prayed, holding my hand. I can’t express my feelings in writing about what happened to me. After the program ended, a man asked for my name and my details. I was given a book (New Testament) and a cake, as it was a pre-Christmas program. They said that the book was the Bible.
When I returned to my friends, they looked down on me. However, I started going there regularly without telling anyone, even my parents, and started Bible study. I studied there for six months. Once I asked the center head (Pastor) what I have to do to accept Jesus. He said that I had to be baptized in the name of Jesus.
During this time my friends informed my father about my activities with the Christians, and he became so angry that one evening he beat me very badly. But I was determined to accept Jesus. Ultimately on November 18, 1997, I was baptized in the name of Jesus by Agartala Baptist Church. I informed my mother about it.
At about that time I passed my Class XII exams. The Pastor suggested for me to study theology rather than study in normal college and be prepared to do God’s work. That was a very hard time for me. My father, sister and every Hindu relative were against me, and still today they are against my faith. But my mother was supportive of me from the very beginning because she doesn’t worship any idol.
She believes in Karma and not in idols. Around this time my father left us and decided to live at a Hindu Ashram (monastic community). I enrolled in and completed my theological degree from Emmanuel Theological Bible College, Kota, in Rajasthan State. In June 2001, I came back to Tripura and started working for the Baptist Church as an evangelist.
At that time there was a huge problem of militant political activities with a group wanting a separate state for the tribal Tripuri people. Some of these activities were encouraged and even run by the Baptist Church. Eventually these problems were mostly solved by negotiation, although difficulties do still sometimes arise.
Until 2003 I worked as an evangelist. Then in 2004 I got an opportunity to teach in Saint Paul Baptist School, along with preaching the gospel in Agartala. In Tripura state a large number of tribal people speak Kokborok language. In order to communicate the gospel to them I decided to learn the Kokborok language.
In January 2007, when I went to Kolkata, I found a Christian monthly journal named Nabayan, on College Street, where I came to know about the Christadelphian group having the name and address of Bro. Nirmal Mondal. Then I contacted him and started studying Christadelphian supported books. With help from those writings, I came to know the real truth of the Bible.
From Baptist Church Agartala I had learned about their belief of a Trinity God (God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit). Along with this, I found that they also wrongly preached about Satan, hell, going to heaven, etc. But these Christadelphian supported books opened my eyes, and I came to know about Bible Truth: who is God, who is His son and what is Holy Spirit along with other subjects.
I still remember that for one complete month I studied all these books very deeply. I stopped going to school, completely engaging myself in deep study of the Bible, and ultimately I came to know that God is one and unique as mentioned in the Bible. All sorts of problems and conflicts got cleared up for me.
When I was Hindu, the same conflict was there regarding who God really is, as there are so many gods and goddesses in the Hindu religion. The Truth gave me peace, and I was satisfied. My mind, heart and soul were full of spiritual happiness as I came to know the true God. I never experienced such feelings in my lifetime even though I was baptized in the Baptist Church.
The Bible says when you come to know the truth; the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). But I could not speak about the truth to the Baptist Church people because of my job. In October 2007, Bro. Nirmal Mondal invited me to Kolkata for a conference at “Seva Kendra” Tangra, Sealdah West Bengal, at the time of one of the main Hindu religious festivals.
There I went through two hours of baptismal interview by Bro. Ken Easson and Bro. Hugh Saxon, and another local brother. Then Bro. Ken baptized me nearby. After that, I was very much pleased to get the privilege to be a member of the worldwide Christadelphian ecclesia as my family in Christ.
There I met with Bro. Milton Richardson and other overseas and local brethren. They greeted me warmly as a member of their family. Then I returned to Agartala and started teaching school in late October after the holiday period. During the first week of November, the Baptist Church people requested me to preach in their church. When I preached the truth in the church before them the school secretary asked me to meet next Monday.
When I met with them before the school committee, they asked me from where did I get all the knowledge. After knowing about my membership with the Christadelphian group, they said that their faith is completely against my faith, and so they wanted me to resign if I would not give up Christadelphian teaching.
I then submitted my resignation letter and came back home and thought about how I would survive. Then I consulted with my overseas brethren, and at the same time I continued preaching the Truth and started private school children’s tuition to survive in 2008.
Still, I remember during the end of 2007 the first Bible missionary came to visit me was Bro. Wesley Butler from Vancouver, Canada. We preached together in so many places. Then other overseas brethren also visited me and encouraged me in preaching in Tripura. I met Dipa, who was born into a Baptist family. She had completed her graduation in accountancy from Odisha and finished a short theological course. I preached to her the Bible truth, and she diligently studied the Bible during 2011.
During this time, I became attracted to her, but I was determined that I could not marry her if she did not sincerely accept the Bible truth. We both attended the Hyderabad end of year camp. There Bro. Steve baptized her after a good confession of faith. So, Sis. Dipa became the second member of the Agartala, Tripura Christadelphian Ecclesia.
We were married in January 2012, solemnized by Bro. Milton Richardson and by other local and overseas brethren at Kolkata West Bengal. I was now blessed to have one close to me with whom I could share my thoughts and faith and love. We started teaching and preaching other Christian friends who came to our house.
I also tried to get as many opportunities as possible to preach the Truth at various churches and fellowships. I want to mention that Dipa, became pregnant in June 2012, and after 4 months was detected to have an ectopic pregnancy and lost the baby at ILS hospital Agartala. The physician said that there was no hope for any further pregnancy. We became very much upset, but we didn’t lose hope in Him. According to the Bible, Hannah cried, and God listened. In this way, we trust and obey the Lord. But still I continued my preaching work.
In 2013 we got the third member of our ecclesia, named Bro. Surajit Debbarma. After one year of study, he was baptized. Then his wife also joined us. In this way we started a small fellowship in our home in Agartala. In 2014 Dipa again got pregnant, and we were blessed with a baby boy in August 2014. As we miraculously got our baby, so we named him Samuel, God’s given. Then a number of overseas and local Indian brethren visited us.
Our Agartala Christadelphian Ecclesia got more and more members. Now we have 2 ecclesias in Tripura. One in Agartala, and another formed in late 2019 in the Gagrachera Village, Dhalai District of Tripura state. Now another nine interested people are preparing for baptismal interviews, after more than one and a half years of Bible study. I want to mention here that Bro. Surajit Debbarma is the key person to help me in this preaching work among tribal peoples.
Now we have two small meeting halls in Agartala and in Gagrachara, with a total of 29 brethren with so many children. During this lockdown period, God’s work has not stopped, rather many interested friends are coming to join our ecclesia and many are preparing themselves for baptism interviews, God willing.
In this way I want to tell you to never give up hope. When I was alone in true Bible faith in my life, God was with me and now I have so many brethren in Bible study every day. God is ready to help you, and He is ready to answer your prayer in every tough situation. So, brethren my message is to trust and obey the one and only Almighty God!
Argatala Ecclesia, Tripura, India