“I prayed, worshiped, and fasted 40 days to Hindu gods and goddesses. I prayed for peace of mind I done yoga worshiped kundalini Spirits and wore special ritual clothes. I wore “Ayyappa Mala”, but the gods did not respond to my cry! Then I met Jesus Christ!” Jesus SAVED my Life from HELL
Sharing his story with Believers Portal, Johnson Veerapaneni, the founder and president of Holy God Ministries India, said, “my family, including me, were idol worshipers”.
Greetings in the mighty name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am very happy to write this message and to share my testimony with you, Johnson wrote.
I was born into a Hindu family (my name in Hindu Srinivas Chowdary) (heathen family). As our lives were moved this way, during my childhood, my father fell sick due to chronic diseases. Doctors had told my father that he would die within a few days due to illnesses. While he was on his bed, he came to know about Jesus Christ from an evangelist and received Jesus Christ into his life. He was healed by God’s grace and recovered from his sickness. Because of his conversion, however, my family members and relatives of my own caste excommunicated my father. After the sudden demise of my mother , I left my father and was brought up in the home of my grandparents. Before my conviction, I disliked my father and, along with all my relatives, we persecuted him by accusing that he believed in Jesus Christ who is the God of lower class people. Even then, my father did not open his mouth against us, but only bear all the persecution.
Meanwhile, I completed my degree in Business Management and accepted a job earning Rs. 35,000 per month (about $850) . I gradually habituated many bad habits like smoking, drinking, and my life then became bad. I was without peace of mind so I turned toward all kinds of Hindu gods and goddesses and worshipped those so called gods. I, also, wandered to different places to worship false gods so that I might find peace of mind, but without results. I used to wear different types of special ritual devotee clothes to become the devotee of this world’s false gods.
As part and parcel of the devotion, I wore “AYYAPPA SWAMY MALA,” which is a special type of ritual black clothes to become a devotee of a famous south India heathen god “AYYAPPA” and, also, I completed a difficult fast for 40 days. The rituals of “AYYAPPA MALA” are very difficult to do. It required getting up every morning at four o’clock in order to take a bath in freezing cold water, sleeping on the floor without even a simple blanket, and having on only one meal per day in order to worship this god.
Even though I felt it was difficult, I did all these rituals but had no mental peace, or joy, or encouragement in my life. Moreover, I thought that these rituals would lead to heaven.
One day, suddenly, I had some questions in my mind about my life, like who am I? Why was I born into this world? What happens to my life and where will I go after my death? I asked many people about these questions, but nobody could, convincingly, answer my questions. Some people said that those who do good things will go to heaven and those who do bad things will go to hell, but I was not satisfied will these answers. Sometimes I would be afraid when I thought of hell because of my own bad behavior.
My life was just like the prodigal son. So, my monthly salary was no longer sufficient to meet my basic needs besides my other expenditures. In addition to my job, I, also, was employed as Art Director in the movie field according to the advice of some of my relatives. I took the job because I desired to earn more money to meet my prodigal expenditures. However, the Rs. 15000 to 20,000 per day I had earned in this field did not bring happiness. I continued to feel something was still lacking in my life. My life only continued to be miserable.
One day, December 14, 2000, I was on the way to Chennai (one of the metropolitan cities of India) with Rs. 2 Lakhs ($5000) to purchase some equipment needed for the work of making movies. On this day, an untoward incident happened in my life. Some robbers followed me to snatch the cash bag I carried with me. During the ordeal, I was constrained in a net as they stabbed me two times and stole all of my cash. They left me on the ground cover in my own blood. I was stabbed so severely that my bowels came out of stomach. I thought I was going to die.
As I lay upon, what I thought was my death bed, I began praying to my Hindu gods, but they did not answered my prayers. I, then, remembered the words of a pastor, who had spoken to me during a time when we had been filming at a church for a Hindi movie in 1995. That pastor, looking at me, prophesied that I would become a great man for God and suggested that I remember and pray to Jesus Christ when troubles should come. He, also, requested, then, that I receive Jesus Christ as my personal savior. As I remembered those words, and facing the worst trouble in my life, I prayed to God my Savior Jesus Christ in my mind and ask Him to save my life. Immediately after I prayed, the Lord spoke to me, “Rise up! You cannot die.” I heard just one voice out of heaven and I saw, only, two great hands that lifted me up.
Some people had come to see me at the government hospital soon after the attack around 12:30pm on December 14. 2000. The doctors told them that I was going to die within 20 to 30 minutes and ordered that I be taken to the mortuary ward because they did not want to take the risk that they should operate because they feared that I would die anyway in their hospital bed. Meanwhile, some of the nurses (sisters) prayed four (4) hours in the name of Jesus Christ for my life. I remained alive without treatment; my bowels on the outside as I lay on a stretcher and continued bleeding. When the doctors observed that I was still alive at around 4:30pm, that afternoon, they were astonished and took me, immediately, to the operating room to perform surgery. Jesus, my God, miraculously saved my life. No heathen gods had heard my prayer previously although I had worshipped them.
After that time I began to read the Holy Bible, confessing my sins to God. I believed Jesus Christ and received Him, the only Savior on December 24, 2000. The pastor who led me to Christ and I prayed together as we fasted fasting for a period of 7 days. God spoke to me through the Scriptures (Jeremiah 1:5) and called me into His ministry. I resigned from my job and left my kith and kin (who were idol worshipers) and dedicated myself to full-time ministry. Beyond all the trials and tribulations, now, I am leading my life by putting my trust in my LORD and Savior Jesus Christ without compromising with the world or the things of the world.
It is gain to pray for the salvation of God’s people in INDIA and I humbly request your precious prayers for this holy ministry of God. We need your spiritual encouragement and generous involvement for the development of God’s work in India. (Currently we have ministry work in 6 different states) Once again thank you so much for sharing, prayerfully, your love and vision for this ministry.
With Love and Prayers,
Evangelist Johnson V.