At present I am an English teacher in the Ministry of Education in Oman. I was born and brought up in a Protestant Christian family. I lived the life of a Pharisee and never had a deep relationship with God. I was not a regular churchgoer but used to observe the Good Fridays and Easters, Christmas and New Years. I did not attend Sunday school lessons. I depended on my wisdom and intelligence and was always confident in my life and deeds. I was advised by my grandmother to pray and worship God but I used to tease her and say, “You are old and fear death; that’s why you pray. When I am 50 years old I too will take the Bible and pray.” Never did I realize that I would take the Bible before reaching my twenties.
I used to sincerely pray during my exams and once it got over turn to my old ways of life. Now I realize how God cared for me even when I didn’t know Him as He ought to be known. Many brothers from prayer groups used to call me for meetings and I would not attend them. As I was doing my B.A. final year exams in 1988 the Lord touched me. I had already finished four main papers and was about to do the fifth and last main paper in English Literature. I did very well in all the four exams and was confident of getting a first class which was very difficult in those days. As I got the question paper I was very happy but while writing through, about halfway, my hand started shivering and I could not continue my exam. Somehow I managed to sit through and left the exam hall early without having the courage to face my friends and discuss the questions.
I reached home and started to cry and told the facts to my parents. They consoled me but I started to fear something–loss or failure. Until then I had never lost marks in an exam so badly. This thought haunted me and I could neither sleep nor have food. Fear overcame me and my parents were worried. They had great expectations for me but I felt I had lost everything. I went into a state of depression and utter hopelessness. I could not concentrate on prayers. My grandmother visited me unexpectedly and took me to a revival meeting in Thiruvalla by Reverend C. M. Varghese. I was so troubled that I got irritated when I heard people praising God with drums and music. I told my grandmother to go by herself inside the hall and I waited outside. After a while, something in me forced me to go inside. I went and sat in a corner so that nobody could see me. But the Lord saw me and when the testimony of Br. Reny George, a convict on parole, started I was touched. The Lord opened my heart and for the first time I realized that I was a sinner. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I repented. Oh, Lord Jesus, if You can save Br. Reny, why not me? I am the worst sinner. Please save me. Just then I felt a great relief and comfort. The priest prayed for me and when I came home I was a new person. I said that I would write the exams again and I didn’t bother any longer about my future. I found Jesus who could care for my future. My family members were happy. I started reading the Bible and praying daily. The Lord spoke to me through the Word and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
After a month I had to write the subsidiary subject of sociology. I wrote the exam very well. Never in an exam have I been so confident. As I came out from the hall my friends asked me and I told them what had happened to me. Then I wished them well and told them that I didn’t do well in the fifth main paper so I may repeat and not be with them for the M.A. As I began going to meetings, Rev. C.M. Varghese gave me a promise one day. It is found in Psalms 37:3-5. When I reached home my sister told me that the B.A. results had been declared. I told her to get my hall ticket and asked her to read the promise I got. She read it. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. I told her my heart’s desire was to get a first class but now as a paper had gone bad it was out of the question. But I went to S.B. College Changanacherry and I reached the noticeboard. I didn’t have the courage to look at it. Suddenly, a classmate Josekutty hit me on the back and said, “Bijo, you got a first class!” I didn’t believe it. I checked the results and got the marklist. Wow! It was true . A triple first class! The Lord gave me my heart’s desire. I knelt down and praised my God. I shared my testimony to my friends. I called my parents and they too were surprised. We gave all glory and honor to God. I got 76% in the subsidiary subject sociology that helped me to get the first class in B.A. English. All my teachers and friends congratulated me. But I realized that it was by His grace not by my merits.
I had ups and downs and struggled a lot. I worked in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, went back to Kerala and was married to Jancy. God gave us two kids–Irene and Merlin. I visited Oman returning jobless; I had much mental agony and conflicts. But I trusted in the Lord and the Lord had given me a promise while I was returning from Oman after four months without hope. The promise was found in Isaiah 43:18-19 and Psalms 40:17. This was back in 1997. Three years later I got a job in Oman. The Lord fulfills all his promises. I thank and glorify Him.
Life in Oman has brought me closer to God. I got baptized here. My wife, my parents, my brother and my sister got saved and baptized. The Lord chose me and I thank God for saving my family. My brother is an evangelist now. I have more thrilling experiences with Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior here. I shall share them in course of time. My advice for the new generation is that once you surrender your life to the Lord He will mold you and shape you and offer a bright future which you may never expect at all. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL.