The Presence of God by K. P. Yohannan

As the Gospel team portrayed the desperately lost condition of the rest of the country—500,000 villages without a Gospel witness—I felt a strange sorrow for the lost. That day I vowed to help bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to those strange and mysterious states to the North. At the challenge to “forsake all and follow Christ,” I somewhat rashly took the leap, agreeing to join the student group for a short summer crusade in unreached parts of North India.

My decision to go into the ministry largely resulted from my mother’s faithful prayers. Although I still had not received what I later understood to be my real call from the Lord, my mother encouraged me to follow my heart in the matter. When I announced my decision, she wordlessly handed over 25 rupees—enough for my train ticket. I set off to apply to the mission’s headquarters in Trivandrum.

There I got my first rebuff. Because I was underage, the mission’s directors at first refused to let me join the teams going north. But I was permitted to attend the annual training conference to be held in Bangalore, Karnataka. At the conference I first heard missionary statesman George Verwer, who challenged me as never before to commit myself to a life of breathtaking, radical discipleship. I was impressed with how Verwer put the will of God for the lost world before career, family and self.

Alone that night in my bed, I argued with both God and my own conscience. By two o’clock in the morning, my pillow wet with sweat and tears, I shook with fear. What if God asked me to preach in the streets? How would I ever be able to stand up in public and speak? What if I were stoned and beaten?

I knew myself only too well. I could hardly bear to look a friend in the eye during a conversation, let alone speak publicly to hostile crowds on behalf of God. As I spoke the words, I realized that I was behaving as Moses did when he was called.

This entry was written by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

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