Oasis Church

My Journey to Salvation

TESTIMONIES OF SALVATION

Miss J, SW London

I come from a Gujarati Hindu family and whilst growing up, God seemed so mysterious. We chanted many rituals and made offerings to the several idols we worshipped at home. I wanted to know God more but I wasn’t even 100% sure of His existence. Whenever I asked my parents questions about Hinduism, they never had answers that satisfied me. I was told not to question and to follow out of tradition.

Praying

When I was a young teenager, my father became unwell. I began to care for him and helped support my mother. I took on a lot of responsibility and struggled to cope. In 2005 I went to university and a good friend I was studying with was a Christian. She was always joyful and peaceful, rejoicing in her ‘relationship with God’. One day she said to me, “Not all religions can be correct. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus”. I was so angry and hurt by what she had said. Did it really matter which religion we follow? Aren’t all religions different paths to the same God? She was so confident in her faith, an assurance I’d never had as a Hindu. Nobody had ever told me about Jesus before. She told me about heaven awaiting those who believe in Jesus.

As I progressed in studying Medicine I began to see life, death and sickness all around me. Despite my best efforts of studying hard and doing my best for patients, I knew it would never be enough. We all will die one day. What a depressing thought! Is this all there is to life? I could see from a young age that there was more sadness than there was true joy in this world. Why was my friend so happy? Is there really a life after death? I felt there was emptiness in my soul.

In 2006 my older brother became a Christian. My parents were distraught and angry, threatening to never see him again. I thought our family would be torn to pieces and I was so hurt by his faith. What could Jesus offer him that Hinduism couldn’t? I explored the historical accuracy and reliability of the bible. I had a great deal of unrest within my heart when I came to know I couldn’t fault the bible’s integrity. I felt Jesus was calling me but I couldn’t think about Christianity. I was born and brought up a Hindu. I was taught to honour and respect my culture and tradition. I was terrified of losing my parents and family.

In 2007 I explored Hinduism more to answer my questions. I was certain I’d find what I was looking for. I asked the extremely knowledgeable leader of the Hindu society all of my questions regarding reincarnation, karma and religion and I read several books. I eventually hit a brick wall and was shocked when the leader apologised to me after several in depth conversations. “I’m sorry, I don’t have any more answers for you. Hinduism is a way of life. We just have to try to be good people”. I wasn’t interested in philosophy or mythology, I wanted to find God. If all religions teach different principles, I reasoned that they contradict one another and therefore cannot all be correct. I was left with one important question; ‘What is the truth?’ I remember crying on my bedroom floor on my knees in tears pleading to God, “I am hurting so much and so broken. If you are really there and do exist, please reveal yourself to me”. A few days later my brother gently spoke to me on the phone. “I love you very much and I know something that can help you and change your life. Trust me and keep an open mind. Go to church with your housemate”. With nothing left to lose, I listened to him.

In 2008 I asked my Christian housemate if I could go to church with her one day. It was the first time I entered church and it was completely different to the formality of ‘religion’ I had expected. It was in a school building and the people were so friendly and welcoming. I couldn’t forget the joy, love and peace I experienced from all these Christian people. A pastor from India came to speak that very day and began to talk about how he came to faith in Jesus from a Hindu background. I was intrigued why people became Christians and I wanted to know more. My housemate later bought me a bible which I’d never read before. I began reading Mathew’s gospel which describes Jesus’ life. The 20 questions I’d initially taken to the Hindu leader were answered in this one book which I finished reading in 1-2 days! I was so hungry for answers and my appetite was finally satisfied. Christianity was not a ‘western religion’ as I previously thought. God is so holy and man is so sinful. We will never be ‘good enough’ to be in His presence. But Jesus loves the world so much and was willing to die in our place for the punishment for our sin. If we choose to believe in Him and accept His sacrifice we can be forgiven of our sins entering into a relationship with God. Jesus offers us ‘abundant life’ on earth filled with hope, direction, meaning and purpose as well as ‘eternal life’ in heaven. I was convicted of ‘the truth’ I had been searching for and I gave my life to Jesus accepting Him alone as my Lord and Saviour.

Over just a few weeks my sadness and brokenness was replaced with an inexpressible joy and peace I’d never experienced before. My parents stopped talking to me initially but they soon came to accept my faith. In 2009 I got baptised in water in obedience to the Lord’s direction and as a testimony to others for the great work God had done in my life. Choosing to follow Jesus is the best decision I have made in my entire life and it is something I will never regret. I have found treasure that is worth keeping despite losing everything else in this world. My worst days as a follower of Jesus are amazingly better than my best days without Jesus! God loves me unconditionally and I know He will never leave me nor forsake me. There is a choice of eternal life and death set before each person. Will you choose life?

Queenie, London

I came to know the Lord as a youth in 1982 through a series of seemingly disconnected events all culminating in me surrendering my life to Jesus.

Childrens Bible My earliest recollection is of a children's bible my dad bought for me and my siblings when we were much younger. I loved reading the simply-told stories and the fact that every page had a colourful picture.

Once, during a primary school outing, I remember a group of us, accompanied by teachers, walking past a traditional church building and my little heart being so drawn to go in there. At that time, my parents only took us to church if there was a wedding to attend.

Several years later, my parents moved the family to Nigeria. I remember picking up a Christian tract once that has forever stuck in my mind. The front page read 'THERE IS NO GOD' and as I opened the page, the full text from Psalm 14.1 read 'The fool says in his heart "There is no God" ' followed by an invitation to receive Jesus.

My parents' house move in the '70s led the family to experience open air evangelistic meetings. I remember feeling so convicted at each meeting I attended in those early days that I would weep, struggling in vain to hold back my tears to save feeling embarrassed. No invitations to accept Jesus were made and I didn't know what to do with all the conviction I was under and my growing love for Jesus. On my way home one night, I remember praying and asking God to simply give me Jesus - nothing else, he was all I wanted. Water baptism soon followed.

I later had many opportunities to publicly give my life to Jesus when I moved on to University. One night as I was studying in one of the lecture rooms, I heard singing wafting through, as I continued to listen, I lost concentration and decided to pack up my books and find out what was going on. As I entered the hall where the singing was coming from, I saw a group of students lost in worship, some kneeling, some with hands raised, some in tears. I was amazed and full of wonder at the same time. I had never seen such a sight before! At the first 'altar call' I went forward to give my life to Jesus publicly. I found out that the students belonged to the Christian Union and joined them...my friends later told me that I went forward on so many different occasions after that, repeatedly giving my life to Jesus.

I have not looked back since, knowing Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to me...I am totally in love.

Are you a member of Oasis Church? Can you remember how you became a Christian and would you like to share it here? If yes, please send your story together with your contact details to testimonies@oasischurch.org.uk