I met Jagan in Malacca and found out she was an English teacher interested in writing. As she was also teaching Bible knowledge preparing teenagers for the Malaysian Postal Bible Quizzes and was also a judge for the National Bible Quizzes I asked her to write about this for Asian Beacon. She also shared about her search for the real God as a teenager. Having found Him, she continues to use her writing gift to serve Him. She was the editor of her church magazine for 8 years and also produced the children’s church devotionals for 6 years.
If you search for Me you will find Me….
by A. Jagan Anandan
As a teenager, I thought a lot about the meaning of life and realized by the age of 14, that everything was a “mere chasing after the wind” as opined in the book of Ecclesiastes of the Bible. As life was good then, I decided to declare myself an atheist and told myself that God didn’t exist and I could depend on my own strength to get things done.
However, the following year, I faced problems in my studies as I couldn’t cope being in a pure Science class when I was Arts-inclined. As a consequence, I had to re-evaluate my earlier stance. I challenged God to reveal Himself to me by answering a specific prayer: that He would give me good results even as I was struggling to even pass my papers.
He did, so I acknowledged that God did exist. I then started praying to the “Unknown God” and asked Him to reveal in which religion He was in. I started searching and reading up material on all types of religions. This went on for about six months.
One day I was invited for a Christmas celebration at a friend’s place. Tucked away under a table was a book entitled, “A New Song” by Pat Boone which caught my eye. It was the testimony of a once-famous American singer who had gone away from the God of his youth when he found fame and fortune. Unfortunately his marriage almost broke up but once he re-dedicated his life to Christ, everything fell into place. I was strangely inspired by this book and couldn’t get it out of my mind. For three days, I debated whether Christ was the God I had been looking for.
One night, while lying in bed, I looked up into the darkness and decided to just give in. I said, “I believe in you, Lord Jesus Christ.” At once, to my amazement, I felt pure joy and peace flowing from the top of my head right through to every pore of my being. I was shocked (although pleasantly so) and knew the Jesus Christ was REAL.
I decided to keep everything a secret as I knew I would be persecuted by my tradition-bound Hindu family. To my amazement again, I found a book sent to my home (still in its package) by someone from India in obedience to God’s prompting. It had the Taj Mahal on the front cover and the phrase, “The Greatest is Love”. On examining it, I discovered it was the New Testament. I started reading it a chapter a day without fail and carried it with me wherever I went.
Soon after that, I discovered that two close friends of mine had also become Christians. One of them urged me to attend her church which I finally did one Sunday…in secret. Someone shared the gospel with me and answered all my searching questions confidently and convincingly. I believed what she told me but unfortunately, she insisted that I had to be water baptized to be saved. I said I could not do it then and left the church with a heavy heart.
A year later, I was offered a place in a public university. Members of the Varsity Christian Fellowship tried to share with me but I was filled with fear of my parents’ finding out and thus rejected them (harshly too, I’m afraid).
At the end of my second year, a Christian friend challenged me, “If you don’t want to join any Christian activities, how are you going to know more about God?” Her words hit home and returning to my room, I wept and asked forgiveness from God and re-dedicated my life to Christ. At once, I was delivered of the fear that had been gripping me. I started attending all the Christian meetings I heard about without any more fear.
There was an international Christian conference which was to be held in my residential college at the year-end holidays but I thought I could not attend because I didn’t have money or my parents’ permission. Worse still, they didn’t even know of my conversion. I was saddened by this and when I opened my Bible, John 14:1 jumped out at me – “Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.” Faith arose within me and I knew God would make a way. Thus I signed up in faith.
I did attend the conference and with my parents’ permission too. When I went back for the holidays, God’s prompting to tell my parents of my conversion was very great but I was also very fearful. Finally with tears streaming down my face, I told them. Fortunately my God had gone ahead to smoothen the way. Surprisingly my dear dad consoled me and told me to believe in private while my beloved mum was silent.
A few weeks later, after attending the conference at my residential college, I wanted badly to attend a Navigators (Christian organization) Camp at Port Dickson. I asked my mum and she gave me permission. This was how I was trained by the Navigators for two years. It was a precious and valuable time of learning God’s word and being equipped.
I became a teacher and to my dismay, was posted to my hometown. For three years, I faced persecution because I insisted on going to church. My mum would give me the cold shoulder and silent treatment every time after I returned from church.
With God’s prompting, I then changed my job and ended up in Malacca as a lecturer. I joined a church and decided to be water baptized. Not wanting to do this behind my mum’s back, I told her about it but she didn’t say a word. God had smoothened the way again. That was almost 30 years ago. I still worship and serve Jesus Christ.
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