A Hindu to Atheist to Christ Follower

I am Sam Shankar, fifty-one years old, live in Nashua NH and I have a son who is a Sophomore in UW-Madison.
I was born in India as a member of an extremely orthodox Hindu priest family. We were following Hinduism to the letter. However, my father became an alcoholic and my mother couldn’t tolerate the challenges and as a result, my mother started to pray to all Hindu God and Goddesses with no specific outcome or results for several years. Due to the divine intervention of Jesus in my mother’s life, my nursery school teacher introduced her to Jesus to pray to Jesus as one more God to submit her prayer requests. My mother did it with all sincerity and though the problems never got solved, she experienced the presence of God and she started sharing with us that she became a Christian and a follower of Christ because of her experiences in the presence of God. She also told us that everything else was no longer a priority in her life and abandoned her Hindu faith.
Two of my sisters followed the lead of my mother and embraced the Christian faith and I was the rebel in the family. Looking at the hypocrisies in the Hindu faith among our relatives, I gave up everything and declared myself to be an atheist at the age of ~15. That’s about the time my mother started praying for me and when I was 19, I lost my father. I used my father’s death as a tool to castigate my mother for her faith in Christ because she used to frequently quote Acts 16:31. I used the same verse to prove that Jesus is fake and claimed that my father did not become a Christian. My mother admitted and that she is struggling with that thought only for 24 hours and the next day, she told me that she is back to peace with Jesus. In fact, she became more active in Christian ministries. At the same time, I read the Bible, Quran, and Baghavat-Gita to confront my mother, but only to get convicted that my mother was right. Nevertheless, I did not admit it and hardened my heart.
I got angrier when I lost my mother at 23. That’s when, due to a few other challenges in my life, I reached a point of desperation that I could not handle, and with a mustard seed’s faith, I prayed like Gideon. “Jesus, if you are true, do this task for me and I will consider you as my God" (As a bargaining chip) – Yes, it was a childish prayer but sincere prayer at the age of 27. God fulfilled my request. Without any further questions, I went to the same church my mother attended and took baptism on my own terms, simply to fulfill my personal prayer commitment. Then I thought it was a coincidence and so submitted a second challenge to Jesus and I got an answer the second time. These challenges are literally extremely difficult life issues for someone of my age to experience as a miracle. I gave a few more challenges to God but Jesus answered every one of them. Since then, I never turned back from my faith and I am practicing Christian faith for the last 24 years. During the past 24 years, I can say that I had a fair share of victories and challenges and I am not perfect and even now working sincerely to become more like Jesus. Though I never understood when my mother told me about experiencing the peace of Jesus and the joy that she showed in her expressions, I can, not only understand what she said but also confess that Jesus is kind enough to give me a similar experience of the Joy of the Lord.
In closing, I would like to assure one thing. Our faith lives forever. My mother prayed and passed away, but her faith lives even today. Right now, both of my sisters and my family are following Christ and Christ alone (Acts 16:31).

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What a beautifully amazing God we serve! His faithfulness is so true, His love is so pure, and His forgiveness is so unfathomable!

Thank you for letting us see a beautiful working of our LORD throughout your life! Powerful. Encouraging. And invigorating!

Your life is being guided by a God Who knows exactly the people He wants your testimony to reach. May you continue to unashamedly shine light to the world from the one true God and His precious Word. Thank you for being a willing vessel God is using greatly!

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Thank you @samshankar for sharing your testimony from devout Hindu to a life of peace found in Christ alone!

I find it fascinating that such peace and joy wasn’t understood until you had experienced it yourself!

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Thank you very much Sam @samshankar for sharing this and for your candour. I was blessed to hear your testimony and to be a fellow journeyman in the core module hearing your insights and comments. May the Lord continue to use you and bless you to be a blessing to others.

As a person who grew up in a nominal Christian family background, I always felt that those who come to Christ from another faith have a passion for Him that is very different from those from a Christian family - and I see that in you. This testimony also satisfies one curiosity of mine - your name sounded very Indian; now that you have clarified your roots, that issue is settled in my mind.

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Greetings in the name of the Lord, Sam,

The Lord blesses and encourages us all when we read the testimonies of our brothers and sisters… How faithfully and powerfully He drew you to Himself. How amazing and extraordinary it is for each of us to see and comprehend His desire for us to be with Him.

I thank God that the Lord enabled you to see past the deceit that His response to your challenges were coincidences and that you now forever walk in the Light of His Presence.

Welcome, my brother. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Look forward to hearing from you in future posts and learning from your insights.

Grace and peace to you for the Father and Lord Jesus Christ.

K.C.

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Thank you so much for sharing, Sam! The way the Lord pursued you and your mother is so beautiful. And your mother’s perseverance to pray for you is inspiring! Praise God.

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@samshankar

I cannot describe how I felt when I read your testimony.

¡THANK YOU! very much for sharing it with us.
This testimony activates my faith to continue believing in Jesus with more passion and now, that we are living difficult times as a society and family.

From Spain I send you a hug as brothers in the faith, I’m only 26 years old but I know that Jesus always reigns :grin:

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Thanks to everyone for your encouraging words. On the one hand, I am glad that my testimony is encouraging to others but it sometimes makes me think that I should have shared with more people and I lost more opportunities. I used to think, “such” a person is not going to listen or his/her heart is hard and it make take more time and at other times, it was my disobedience to the call of God by not taking the step of faith without estimating the pros and cons as if God is not in control. That’s why when I was asked to share the testimony in RZIM Connect, I jumped in, Not to waste any such opportunities. Now I have a better understanding of God’s patience with me because I am a slow learner…

Blessings everyone - @ChristinaLinzey @CharityLinzey @tonyabthomas @KCB @RebekahD @carengm

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Thank you for sharing your road of faith and discovery of our Lord Jesus Christ!

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