Soldier Encouraged by Old Acquaintance
Rochan grew up with a father who squandered his earnings on alcohol. His mother struggled to meet their needs. In the midst of the family’s hardships, Rochan received a helping hand from Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor Shreyas, who provided free tutoring to Rochan for several years. Although Rochan learned a little bit about Jesus from the pastor during those years, he didn’t believe the Good News then.
Because of financial difficulties, Rochan had to stop school after 10th grade, but he eventually got a job in the army. Overjoyed, he spent part of his first paycheck on two goats, which he sacrificed to his gods as a thank offering for the job.
When Rochan arrived home on military leave for the Christmas holiday, Pastor Shreyas paid him a visit and told him once again about a different God, a God who gave up His heavenly riches to live among sinful humanity. He also offered Rochan a New Testament and a few booklets that explained the Good News. Pastor Shreyas encouraged Rochan to read the Bible, and he shared Jesus’ words from Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
The friendship between the pastor and the soldier grew as Pastor Shreyas continued visiting Rochan during the holiday season. Rochan knew believers in Pastor Shreyas’ church would sometimes sing carols at people’s homes, and Rochan asked the pastor to host a time of Christmas caroling at his home. When people gathered at Rochan’s home to carol, Pastor Shreyas told Rochan and his family of the God whose birth they were singing about.
Soldier’s Search for God Continues
The message of the Savior who came to earth to reconcile man to his Creator continued to impact Rochan when he returned back to the army. He took the New Testament Pastor Shreyas had given him, and he and the pastor kept in touch by phone.
When Rochan came home again in April, he told Pastor Shreyas that the passages of Scripture he’d been finding in the Bible had touched his heart. He was amazed by Jesus’ miracles and wanted to know more.
As he sought to know the God whose words had so encouraged him, he went to Pastor Shreyas’ church. Rochan told the pastor he wanted to walk with Jesus, so Pastor Shreyas prayed with him.
When Rochan went back to his work in the army, he returned having something far better than a good job: He had eternal life through a relationship with the God whose birth the angels praised on the first Christmas long ago.
Meanwhile, Rochan’s parents have also started going to church, and his father is trying to overcome his alcohol addiction. Because God gave Pastor Shreyas the opportunity to visit Rochan during Christmastime, the light of the Savior has transformed Rochan’s life and begun to change his parents’ lives too.