King's Business - 1947-01

we neared the station, I heard trumpets and firecrackers and asked the cause. “The official is being changed,” was the answer. I knew that must mean my father. As we came up to the station, sure enough, there he stood. I forgot all those years of separation. I just knew I was his child and he was my own dear father. So I rushed from the train to the platform where he was taking leave of his friends. I called “Ba-Ba!” In the confusion he did not notice me, so I went close, and pulled his coat, still calling "Ba-Ba.” Then God heard my prayer. My father looked tenderly upon me, and recog­ nized me as his child. I learned my mother and the family had al­ ready moved. So my destination was my new horhe and there I was wel­ comed. My father had been transferred because the bandits there were be­ coming troublesome and he knew how to deal with them. The family would remain in Hangchow. I begged to go with him. Dangers were ahead, and I wanted to be with him to pray for his life, especially for his soul’s salvation. My parents were highly amused at such a request, but finally consented to my going. We secured the services of a converted Buddhist nun from Nanking to be my com­ panion. This woman of little educa­ tion was a power in faith and prayer. My father was greatly affected by her spiritual life. When she 'asked the blessing before eating, he sat quietly with bowed head, not eating till she had finished her I heard father say that there were two hundred prisoners in the jail near our ya-men, mostly bandits. I requested permission for the Bible woman and myself to go and present the Gospel message. He replied: “Child, it’s impossible, the odor of the place would kill you.” How­ ever, my entreaties prevailed. He gave orders to prepare for services in the prison. The handcuffed men, with feet dragging their chains, most of them knowing execution was awaiting them, drank in the mes­ sage, and many were responsive. Who can say what eternity will re­ veal as results? I finally persuaded my father to read a little in the Bible. I selected Romans, and asked him for my sake, if for no other, to read it. He re­ marked after reading several chap­ ters, “Truly I see how different this book is from all others.” My father being an official makes it very difficult for him to become a Christian. He has not yet reached the state of consecration sufficient to give up his office. Please remem­ ber him and my mother and all of my needy people in your prayers. J A N U A R Y , 1947

A. D. Parvatham

T HAT “God moves in a mys­ terious way, His wonders to perform” is clearly seen from Hindu student: Venkat Ram was born of Hindu parents twenty-five years ago. Ac­ cording to the custom, as an infant he was taken to the Temple of Tiru- pathy and dedicated to that god who is one of the 33,000,000 deities of India. Great stories are told about this god Tirupathy. During the-reign of the Mohammedans, one ruling Nawab had imprisoned one of his devotees and this deity was supposed to have released him. As a mark of appreciation, another shrine was added to his temple. Every year dur­ ing the month of October, thousands of pilgrims flock to this temple, and their shouts are heard at great dis­ tances. One has to ascend 200 steps to reach the summit. Nearly all of the men come down clean shaven, according to their vows. The Indian girls sacrifice their lustrous black hair in the same manner. When Venkat Ram was five years old, he was invested with the sacred thread and given the first lessons by his Guru (instructor). One day as he and his friends were playing outside, a certain white man came along and distributed small booklets and picture cards. The stranger also taught the boys to re­ peat the name- of “Jesus.” When Venkat Ram took the booklets home, he was scolded by his parents and the literature was thrown into the fire. But the word "Jesus” kept re­ peating itself in his heart and mind. When he finished his elementary education, Venkat Ram was sent to the city for a high school education.

Here he inquired where he could se­ cure a book telling of the One, Jesus. But his companions soon silenced him by declaring that he must not pollute himself by reading the white man’s book. After completing his high school training, Venkat Ram applied to a government school where he was ac­ cepted for a teacher’s training course. Coming into a hotel one day, he saw some religious posters on the walls. He determined to visit the in­ stitution which had put up these posters, and get a book. One evening in May, while people were flocking to the local theater, the writer, equipped with some tracts and booklets, appeared among the crowds to tell them of Jesus. The sweetmeat vendor with his gocart approached and motioned to me. He took a book out of the cart, ex­ plaining that it was sold to him for a wrapping for sweetmeats, and that as he glanced through its pages, he found that it was the Christians’ book. He wanted to know if I would take it. Owing to the shortage of paper, there was a great dearth of Bibles, so I was glad to secure it. I found this to be a Bible in the Tamil language. No sooner had I paid one silver rupee for it, than I observed an outstretched hand. A young man begged that the copy be given him. I inquired who he was and why he wanted the Scriptures. It was Venkat Ram. Thereupon he related his story, and to the astonish­ ment of the Indian vendor, asserted: “ I have waited all these years for this treasure!” I invited him to our headquarters and he came, bringing another student with him. He is now secretary of the Student Association. Pray for him and others like him.

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