Stephen Sharkey, pastor of Highrock Covenant Church in Quincy, Massachusetts, and a member of the CWR advisory team who recently visited India with CWR.
Vijay shares his faith at a street rally in New Delhi, India.
It’s not often that we get a glimpse of what Paul’s ministry might have been like. Recently I was afforded the opportunity to see God moving like most of us only hear about in Sunday school.
I had been in New Delhi less than twenty-four hours when I met Vijay, a member of Truthseekers International, whose mission is to set India free from its 3,000 year-old caste system that today results in hundreds of millions of Indians living in abject poverty. Their message is simple—the caste system is a lie holding India captive, but Jesus is the truth that will set them free. The message of that freedom so moved Vijay that he left Hinduism altogether. He rejected the lie that he was inextricably defined by his caste and embraced the truth that his identity is defined by a God who has set him free. Before hearing the good news of Jesus, Vijay was a stonecutter. Over the years he had perfected the art of carving Hindu gods, which he had made into a successful career. Vijay had been participating in and perpetuating the very system that holds him and his country captive.
Isn’t it so true that freedom always comes at great cost? Nowhere has that been clearer to me than in this New Testament-like street gathering as we listened to Vijay. The same system that enslaved him was also the same system that provided income and security. Yet for the sake of true freedom, he laid it all aside.