Arun is a kind, friendly young man, and much of his positivity grew out of the difficulty in his earlier years. Arun's father was an angry, arrogant man who routinely beat Arun's mother. His mother cried most every day. His brother suffered from mental illness, and the doctors counseled his parents not to expect him to succeed in school. In those days, Arun would often retreat to his bathroom and cry.
A Hindu and a child of a zealous orthodox Hindu family living in southern India, Arun sought the help of the Hindu gods. He fasted and worshiped and prayed to the idols of many gods crying out for help for his family, but there was no help. Arun said, "I have a big question in my mind, What's going to happen to my future? And what's going to happen to my family?" By the time he entered college, he was very depressed and hopeless.
It was in the time of Arun's deepest hopelessness, in his second year of college, when one of his best friends became what Arun calls "a born-again Christian believer." This hope-filled young man began preaching the message of Jesus to his classmates and friends, including Arun. He said, "You've tried many things, why don't you try Jesus?"
"Try Jesus." The two words touched Arun's heart. When he asked his friend what he should do, the young man took him to a meeting at a church. Arun saw people worshiping and crying out to God, but before he even tried to pray, Arun said, "Something struck my heart." The peace he had been longing for suddenly came over him. Arun said, "Then I believed that Jesus is the true living God. Without asking Him, He gave His peace to me. I gave my life to Christ, and I became a born-again Christian believer."
But, Arun said, he also became "a secret Christian believer," because of his devout Hindu parents. As Arun made up his mind to follow Christ, he discovered a problem—he didn't know how to pray to God without being found out by his parents and his brother. But upon reading the story in John 4:20 about Jesus and the Samaritan woman who asked if she had to pray in Jerusalem, he said, Jesus showed him it doesn't matter where you worship and pray. The Lord spoke to his heart, "Why don't you go inside your restroom and kneel down and pray?" In those early days, his prayer life occurred inside the bathroom with the water running so as not to be discovered.
Arun also felt led to pray for the salvation of his entire family, as in the story of the Philippian jailer whose entire family was saved in Acts 16:30. Arun fasted and prayed for his family for three months, and then the small Christian fellowship he belonged to organized a gospel meeting for unbelievers to hear the message of Jesus. Arun believed he should invite his brother, but there was a challenge in it, he said. If he invited him to a gospel meeting, his brother would tell his parents that he was following Jesus.
So he lied. He asked his brother if he would like to come to a birthday party. As his brother heard the message, he was convicted, and he also gave his life to Jesus and became a born-again Christian believer.
Now they were both secret Christian believers. His brother would pray in the bathroom, with the water running in the morning, and Arun prayed there in the evening. The two brothers now prayed for the salvation of their parents.
Then things got worse. Some friends Arun had shared the Jesus message with told his parents that he and his brothers had become Christians. His parents were ashamed and outraged, and his father started beating them to deny Christ. One day his mother doused herself with gasoline, and with a book of matches in her hand told her sons if they didn't deny Christ, she would kill herself. Fortunately, their faith and their mother survived.
Then an unexpected event shook Arun's family. His father left his mother for another woman. His mother prayed to the gods and performed Hindu rituals, but nothing happened. Arun cried out to God, "Lord, what's going on with my family? We were praying for salvation for my family, but things are getting worse." God did not answer at that time.
A few days later, when Arun went to bed after he closed his eyes, he felt someone tap his right shoulder two times. He opened his eyes to see who it was, but no one was there. Immediately, Arun said, the Holy Spirit said to him, "I am the one who tapped you. Today is the salvation day of your mother. Arun went to his mother, and politely brought her into his room, where he explained the gospel message to her. Then he told her the same thing his friend had told him. "Mom, you have tried everything. Why don't you try Jesus?"
His mother said, "I will try Jesus now."
Then Arun and his mother and brother knelt and prayed, and the presence of God filled the room, and his mother gave her life to Jesus and became a born-again Christian believer.
The next day Arun and his mentor and his brother began to fast and pray for three consecutive days for the restoration of their family. On the second day, they threw all of the Hindu idols out of the house. On the third day, Arun's mentor prophesied that Arun's father would return within thirty days.
On that thirtieth day, Arun's father returned. God gave all of them the grace, he said, to forgive his father. They took him to a church, and he listened, and they gave him a Bible, and he read it. Mostly, he observed that in spite of the wrong he had done, his wife and sons forgave him. After two months, God graciously touched him, and his father also gave his life to Jesus and became a born-again Christian believer.
The day his father was saved, his arrogance changed to love, and his mother's sadness turned to joy. From day one, his father began to take care of his mother, cleaning and doing household chores, and he rises at 4:00 AM every day to read the Bible and intercede in prayer for India and world leaders.
Now when there is conflict in the house, his father says, "We are following Jesus now. We are not supposed to fight. We have to calm down and pray, and God will take care of everything." His mother preaches the gospel, organizes Christian meetings, and leads other women to Jesus. Arun's brother was healed from the mental illness and is now married and has a beautiful young daughter.
Arun's future is not a question mark but great hope for himself and his family. Arun is also married and now serves effectively in a Christian healing ministry in Toronto. He said he has learned that God hates divorce and He loves family, but the enemy loves divorce and hates marriage. The hardship Arun endured in his younger years has turned into good and is bringing blessings for many people.