Peter Sadhu is a SOON reader in India. Here is his life story.
My life began in a small village in South India. I was the tenth child in our family. My father's work was to care for the local church building. Sometimes I helped him with his work. All my family went to the church and we learned about God and followed the Christian religion. As I grew up I met the wrong sort of friends, so I did not study much at school. I stopped my studies early and went to Chennai (then called Madras) to find a job. But I could not stay in any job for very long. In three years I worked for twenty-two different companies.
A wrong move
I decided to go to Mumbai (then called Bombay) to work in the cloth business. I saved 8,000 rupees and went to Mumbai. The same night I arrived, I lost all my money. I had nothing, I knew no-one. For three days I could not get any food. I was desperate and afraid of what would happen to me. On the fourth day, I found some pieces of bread near a hotel. This is how I managed to live for a whole year. It was a terrible time for me.
I wanted to die
At last I was able to return to Chennai to find some work. But I was still very unhappy and afraid of the future. I decided I would end my life. All I wanted was to be alone when I died. I wrote a letter to the police. "I am writing this letter. I know what I am doing. I have no friends or family. The police are to take care of my body."
I put the letter in my pocket and went to buy poison to kill myself. I stood in front of a church near Broadway (in Chennai) and drank the poison at 10pm.
I was dying slowly. I could not open my eyes. I felt as if I was going down, down, down, …. At that moment I heard a voice, "Peter, Peter."
I tried to see who spoke, but there was no-one there. But what I saw was a vision of hands. These hands had nail marks on them, belonging to someone who was nailed to a wooden gallows in the shape of a cross, and left to hang there. I knew at once that these were the hands of Jesus Christ, whom I had learnt about when I was a child. As I looked, I saw blood flowing from Jesus' hands onto me. After this I was sick and all the poison went from my body before it could do me any more harm. I know it was God healing me because heshowed me the vision. But I was not only healed that night, God changed my mind and heart too.
From that moment I had a new life – God's forgiveness for all the wrong I had done in the past, and freedom from all the fear and failure of the past few years. I had a new friend too, Jesus Christ – who was nailed to a wooden cross, not as a punishment for any wrong he had done, but for our wrongs.
Soon I heard God telling me to work for him, but I still felt bad inside because of my past. I forgot that God had forgiven me and how he saved me from killing myself. One day I was in a lorry with a friend. We had a very bad accident. My friend died straight away, but I was not hurt. I remembered how God had saved my life before, now it had happened again. I knew it was God's way of showing me how much he loved me and that he wanted me to work for him. I had forgotten God, but he had not forgotten me.
Again I asked him for forgiveness. I decided to study the Bible (the Christians' holy book) at a college and learn more about God. Now, with my wife and three children, I work for God to help other people know about his forgiveness.