From India to Lansdale: Inspired by holy fear to serve faithfully

, Plains

paulus2c.jpgMy parents worked all of their lives with Christian missionary schools in the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. The Lord called my father to heaven when I was 10 years old. So, my mother took total responsibility of our family. There are a total of six siblings. My mother took lead of family prayers everyday in our home; one in the early morning and one in the evening. During each prayer meeting we started by praising the Lord with a hymn or song, my mother read a suggested bible reading and passage from the “Daily Devotions” book, and then she closed with a prayer.

Right from my childhood I feared the Lord for He is God the Creator. This holy fear inspired me to live closer to God by attending Sunday School and Vacation Bible School during my childhood and then church worship services since 11th grade. I also attended many gospel meetings and evangelistic meetings in my hometown. Since my boyhood I wanted to become a faithful servant of God and a preacher of the Word and Gospel of Jesus Christ, for which I have been having peace in my heart.

I was a student at Nagarjuna University during the academic years of 1985-87. While I was in my final year of my Master’s degree, I had a strong desire to repent for my sins one night and asked the Lord to forgive me. From that moment on, my desires have changed and I have so much interest in the Lord and reading the Bible, Christian books and literature. My habits have changed. My interest turned from movies to the church, gospel and evangelistic meetings, and seminars. Before I came to the United States, I worked for a little over three years as a graduate Professor in Wesley Degree College for Men (a minority institution of the Church of South India).

After spending four years in Seminary in Hatfield, PA and in Philadelphia, PA, I graduated with a M.Div in 1998. During the final year in seminary studies, a couple of the Professors came and tapped my shoulder and asked, “When are you starting a Church?” I could not answer. I smiled and asked them to pray for me. I know in my heart and have been listening to His voice that there is “a God’s call to serve Him”.

The first time I visited Plains Mennonite Church to participate in the worship service was in September 2000. In the Lord’s time, in the summer of 2001, my family and I became members in the family of Plains. The Lord opened the door to serve as a Pastoral Intern for a short period of time under Mike Derstine, Lead Pastor of Plains. I thank the Lord for this opportunity as a gift through the Church Council of Plains congregation. From that point on, I have been privileged to teach along with the teaching team for the Adult Bible Sunday school class for seniors. Plains has also given me the opportunity to serve the Lord as a delegate to Franconia Mennonite Conference and on the Church Council.

I have been serving as a Chairman for Penn Bible Fellowship (PBF). PBF is not a church but is a congregation. We gather every fourth Saturday in the Plains Mennonite Meetinghouse to praise and worship the Lord through a regular formal worship service and also for fellowship of the Community. The congregational members are from the Mennonite Church, other denominations, and evangelical groups. As part of the ministry, I have been serving in planning regular worship services, giving communion, and doing visitations. Through this ministry and through counseling and teaching ministries in person, on the phone, and electronically, I have peace in my heart that I have been doing what the Lord has called me to do — to serve faithfully and with a serving heart.