I'M A CHRISTIAN...NOW WHAT?
Chapter 23… Shynu Vareghese’ Testimony …The Year Of Miracles…Evangelism Continued…Practical Applications Of The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
For the audio version of this chapter:
Index To The Book ‘I’m A Christian…Now What?’ http://godisforus.ning.com/profiles/blogs/live-link-index-for-the-book
I have known Shynu Vareghese through our internet ministry for about a year and a half as of November 2010. He has been a real blessing in my life.
2009 was a year of God’s Miracles in Shynu’s life and it was the year, that the previous years of struggle and growth, drawing near to God and Shynu’s complete trust and submission to our
Father produced fruit in his life.
Each Testimony is as unique in its details as we, the individuals, are…and yet, the underlying principles remain the same when it comes to evoking God’s Miracles…His Truly Magic Ways
(Chapters 5 and 6 of this book).
This testimony speaks of how God is unifying the Body of Christ…His Bride…before He returns. The enemy has been very effective at destroying families…if we listen to him…ever since Adam and
The enemy has used mankind’s pride and ego, Spiritual Warfare, since the 7 original churches John and Paul wrote and prophesied about in (1Timothy 4:1-3, Revelation 2:1-29, Revelation 3:1-11).
Among other things, the enemy has placed into the thoughts of man the lie that individual parts and pieces of the Body are some how the ONLY true and complete parts that will receive Salvation through Christ.
In other words, these denominations and cults basically say that if you don’t belong to their denomination, then you are not a Christian and therefore God does not love you enough to give you Salvation…much less His Miracles and Blessings.
If this is true…then Jesus died on that tree of life in vein…because He died for EVERYONE…not for just a select few. That is precisely why that veil to the Most Holy was ripped at His Death…so that we may all develop a personal relationship with our Creator…Folks our
modern day Tree of Life is that tree that Jesus was nailed to.
The simple truth of why Jesus was here (2 Corinthians 1:1-4) is that we Christians all have salvation because we all worship the same God, through the same Christ and therefore we all have salvation (Chapter 3 of this book for Scriptural References). The Body of Christ is not made up of any one denomination or any single ‘chosen’ group of Christian people…that is what the Old Mosaic Covenant was about…and that is precisely why God ripped that veil keeping us from the Inner Sanctum…the Holy Of Holies where He resided in the Ark of the Covenant.
This tactic of the enemy to cause divisions in the Body effectively isolates the individual parts of the Body, us…and divides us as a world-wide Christian family. The effectiveness of this tactic has made the enemy smile ever since humans were first created and began listening to satan…worshiping him.
Of course, God has a Plan, and that plan is unfolding in this ‘Me’ generation.
Shynu’s Testimony is ammunition against this tactic of the enemy’s because it shows how God gets His Work done in spite of the enemy.
Families of all Christian denominations and families of no faith at all and families of other religions all have the opportunity to share in this Testimony because God wants all families and all people to gain Salvation through
All we have to do is ask…and then submit ourselves completely to God in trust…then be on fire to tell the whole world about how amazing He is…and spread the Good News of His Kingdom through Christ. Simple. God makes it easy for us…He has already done the heavy lifting.
Shynu’s Testimony is also a witness of how God uses others to move in our lives: Through the Gifts of Evangelism, Exhortation (encouragement) Teaching, Prophesying and all of the other Spiritual Gifts of The Holy Spirit.
God has moved in Shynu’s life. Right on time and according to God’s Plan, Shynu now is able to share and be part of that process so that others can also see God and His Miracles in their
own lives through Shynu’s personal ministry as a Christian.
This Testimony also speaks of signs and wonders (Jeremiah 32:20, John 4:48, Acts 14:3, Acts 4:30, Hebrews 2:4) and dreams and visions (Genesis 40:5, Matthew 2:19, 1 Kings 3:5, Acts 9:10, Joel 2:28-29) It speaks of healings: Spiritual, emotional and physical healings…and other ways God communicates to us, one on one…to draw us to His
Will…but we have to die away from our own will. Please see all previous chapters of this book for Scriptural References.
In the previous chapter, chapter 22 of this book, Pastor Tobe Johnson, in his teaching on the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism…pointed out that the type of Evangelism that we are most in awe of comes in the form of huge mega-Revivals where thousands, even millions are saved and healed and the signs and wonders and other miracles are abundant and overwhelming. And it is true…we love to see God in that glorious fashion.
However, Pastor Tobe also points out that probably most souls have been saved and more miracles have been witnessed in small groups…or in individual, personal ways. We will be including personal Testimonies and accounts of those who have participated in modern day mega-Revivals…but in this chapter we are focusing on how God most often moves in a person’s life…one on one, through Jesus, with perhaps two or three, or
just a handful of mature believers participating as a team to accomplish His Work.
By the way, the voice you hear singing at the beginning of this Testimony is that of Shynu Varaghese…our dear Christian brother who now is not only a Christian but a Christian who knows God personally, not through any Priest or Pastor…but through the Holy Spirit, in person, dwelling inside of Shynu…God on earth in Spiritual Form.
The companion chapters to this book will be noted at the end of this chapter…as well as contact information and other program notes. Here is the Testimony of our Christian brother, Shynu Varaghese:
Praise the Lord
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:37)
My name is Shynu Varughese I was born in a traditional Christian family. My father was working in an iron ore mines in North India. From childhood onwards I attended Sunday school and I was very active in most of the Sunday school activities. I still remember at the age of 13, I was nicknamed for being Christian (Matt. 5:10, John 15:20-21, Psalm 119:161-162, 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, 2 Corinthians 4:8-12, 1 Corinthians
4:12-13, Romans 12:14-21). So, I told my parents that I am no longer interested in continuing Christian faith. My parents were horrified. They called up parish priest for my counseling but that did not have any effect
of me. The main thing was that I could not find any difference between Jesus
and gods of other religion. My parents would force me to attend church services. Life went on ahead. For higher studies, I left my parents and went to other city. There was nobody to control me. After studies I got job. Meanwhile I was getting addicted to liquor, cigarettes and other stuffs. Many friends were there to support me. But one after another, accidents started haunting my life. Bus accidents, train accidents, bike
accidents, accidents at work sites. Each time I escaped unhurt. After each incident I felt somebody speaking ‘This is not your way, turn back’. But I would not listen to it (Proverbs 13:10, Isaiah 2:17, Proverbs 29:23, Proverbs
16:18, Jeremiah 49:16, Mark 7:22, Proverbs 21:24, Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 11:22)
Once I was rescued from the hands of death (Psalm 144:7). At that time I was working in a shipyard as junior mechanical engineer. This incident occurred during Sept. 1997. Starboard anchor of a ship was lost in sea while anchoring. They had a spare anchor but it was completely jam. So, I was assigned the job for freeing the anchor and fixing it with the anchor chains. The vessel was anchored at the anchorage. Job was
completed and everything was done perfectly.
After completion of work, we returned back to Jetty at 3 am early morning. As the client steel company is situated on the banks of river, the lighterage operations are done during high tides. As the jetty was not free, our vessel was tied along side dumb barges. To reach jetty we had to cross three dumb barges. First, I came out of the
barge and told all my workers to take out all the items which had been taken for repair and load it in company bus. After half an hour one of them came to me and told that all materials are loaded in bus.
I told them to wait for me in bus and went back to vessel to see anything left behind. By this time high tide was over and tide started receding. I just looked inside the cargo hold for any left out materials but found nothing there. So I thought to return back. To return back I had to jump on to 3 dumb barges one by one to reach jetty. That
was not a problem for me as I came to the vessel jumping on each dumb barge.
As I was moving from third to second barge I noticed that I could not see anything. Every thing was getting dark in front of my eyes. Then I started to move slowly as I could not understand what was happening. As I was about to jump to adjacent barge I heard a voice “Do not jump”. A strong voice. Another voice came “why what’s problem u
came here running and jumping on the barges. Jump ahead.”
Well there was a big clash. One is saying Jump and the other telling do not jump ahead. I was panicked as I could not see anything as it was dark there and I was totally blank. I felt something dangerous is going to happen.
Then the only thing is to pray to God for help (Psalm 144:7, James 4:8-10, Psalm 73:28, Psalm 5:1-8, Psalm 25:4-5).
I cried out ‘Lord, please help me I could not identify your voice what shall I do now?? Give me a solution what to do??’
The voice came back “there is chain near your feet”. I sat down there and found a chain. I cried out ‘yes there is a chain’. A voice came back “That chain is of tyre fender. Catch that chain and hang on to tyre fender” I was just obeying what that voice was telling me. I caught up that chain and went down on tyre fender which was one meter below deck. Then voice again came back “Hang on to tyre fender and stretch out one leg holding on the chain and check.” I
stretched out my leg as far I could. My foot touched the side shell of the adjacent barge. There was a big gap between the two barges.
When I understood that there is a big gap I regained my sight on the tyre fender. As the rope was loosely tied there was a big gap between the barges. If I had jumped, I would have jumped into the receding tide. Unfortunately I didn’t know swimming. That would have been my end. The tide would rise 6 meter there. The current of receding tide is very high. It’s sure that I would have died on that spot.
I was fully terrified and my feet did not have any strength. Some how I climbed up from the tyre fender on to the main deck. I had no strength to stand as I have faced death and had been saved by a voice. I sat down on the main deck not knowing what to do. Then the voice came back and asked me “if u would have died today where will u go??”I answered ‘Lord if I would have died today I would have surely gone to hell.’
I thanked God and some how reached jetty and went back to shipyard. Lord saved me and gave me another life to live for Him.
I was very eager to lead a spiritual life. But the overload work responsibilities, my ambitious character, my ego problems, my habits and many things prevented me to lead such a life. The more I tried to live, greater was the temptations and I failed miserably each time. My spiritual living became a virtual image for me. But Lord was
patient with me. Days and months went by. My plans for future started shattering. Oct 1998 I got a chance in a Mumbai based shipping company as mechanical engineer. I got higher salary and facilities. I felt my future
secured. But Lord had another plan in my life, which I did not know.
I was posted to Tuticorin on 14th December 1998. I was very happy as Tuticorin was near to my native place. So this city is near to the southern tip of India I was completely cutoff from my friends in other cities. I did not know the native language Tamil. So, my desire was to finish the job of steel renewal as early as possible and to go
back to Mumbai by Jan 1999. I stayed in a lodge there. I could not make any friends in Tuticorin. So somehow I had to finish the work and get out of this city. Well after some days I met an insurance surveryor, Mr Balan. We spent together our spare time.
After 6 pm it was always boring. So I used to walk around the street. Once I was walking I came across a Christian book stall. I asked for a good book. The guy smiled at me and told me that all good books are sold here. I glanced at the book shelf and decided to buy a book Holy Spirit-my senior partner written by Paul Yonggi Cho. From this
book I started to know about Holy Spirit. Well the next day onwards problem started in work site. Later I felt that all problems are due to this book. So I stopped reading book and threw it to the corner of my room. As the problem grew
the work started delaying. Everyday I would pray earnestly for my site.
Once I opened up bible and read (John 8:58), I was struck by the verse “ Before Abraham was, I am”. Again and again I read that verse and more joyful I became. This verse was quite refreshing for me. I was wondering what was happening to me.
On 6th Jan , 1999 I was reading the book of Genesis, there Abraham had a discussion with God regarding city of Sodom, which God wants to destroy. As the discussion progresses Abraham asked God “If
there are 10 persons in the city will you destroy it”( Genesis 18:32). God says‘No’. I just stopped reading the verse there. I asked to myself “is this incident true” God speaking to a man. I was lying on my bed and was reading
bible. And then I cried out ‘If it is true then show me at least one person in this city Tuticorin who is your servant??’ Immediately I felt some one speaking to me “what are your conditions for identification??” For identification I put
up 5 conditions (1)He should not smoke, (2) He should not take liquor, (3)He should not be a person speaking in my language, (4) He should be a simple person, (5) When he would meet me then he should say that “Are u searching for God”?
This thing was completely secret, nobody knew about it. I didn’t tell about it to my friend Balan or any of my family members. I thought any priest or pastor of any church would come near and ask me “Whether u r searching for God”? but nothing happened like this. After one week I forgot about it but Lord Jesus didn’t forget.
It was during the month of February 1999 an evangelist came to meet Mr. Balan. Every Wednesday he would come and meet him. One day he told the evangelist about me and waited till 9pm that day for me. As the work schedule was very tight I came late.
Next day Mr. balan told me about the evangelist. At that time I felt a kind of eagerness to meet him. So I asked balan if he is free so that we could visit the evangelist. We went to the evangelist house on a bike. We met him at his house. He could speak only tamil (not my language).
Well balan translated each and everything to me in English. So I required a translator to speak to him. After sometime we had a prayer together. After prayer, he told my friend that this boy is searching for God but his ways are all closed. I could not understand anything what he spoke. On the way back to lodge balan informed me what he spoke.
When he spoke I was amazed. Lord has shown one of his servants which fulfilled all conditions which I had placed. As days went by the evangelist used to visit me most of the days and he used to guide me regarding the doubts which I had. I called him pastor.
On 25th march 1999, pastor and balan went to a nearby city for preaching. Due to my busy work schedule I could not accompany them. 28th March 1999 was Sunday. Holy Spirit compelled pastor to leave for tuticorin. Most of the Sunday s I used to visit my native place but that day I did not go. I was loaded with doubts after
reading bible. My plan was to attend service at English church.
Some kind of hesitation was there as I was alone and secondly I hadn’t been there before. To my surprise balan came to my room at 5 pm. I asked him “You were supposed to come by Monday, what happened”. He told me that Pastor told me to leave for tuticorin immediately”. Well I was happy that somebody is there to accompany me to English church. After one hour pastor came to my room. He started clearing my doubts. It took
quite lot of time that we could not go for the English service. As he was clearing my doubts, I took a decision and told him “Pastor tomorrow onwards I am going to dedicate my life to Jesus Christ.”
Pastor was much surprised when I told him about my decision. He used to think that I was living as a witness for Christ. He asked me “have u not surrendered your life to Lord Jesus shynu”. I told him’ no if I dedicate my life to Christ who will take careof my job my parents and all the responsibility that I had.’
Then he replied ‘U do not have to leave ur job as u dedicate ur life to Christ. Be a witness for Christ wherever you are.’ Then he told me to bring my bible and he started quoting the verses from Old Testament regarding salvation. He told me to read the verses. I became nervous as I was reading it aloud. I was not able to understand why I
Suddenly a small voice from my heart “I will kill you”. Gradually that voice became louder and louder inside me. As if some one speaking inside me telling “I will kill you”. Later I was not able to read the verse, a type of frustration came down heavily on me. I started weeping. I could not understand what was happening. My left side near to my
heart I could feel some thing melting down drop by drop and my whole body felt as if dipped in hot water. I started weeping. Pastor and Balan enquired “ what happened”. I told them my feelings. Both began to pray by laying their hands on me. Well after prayer, I was relaxed. I felt something new.
After this incident we went out and had dinner together. Pastor went back to his house. I called up my parents and told them about the incidents. My parents got panicked. My father told me to be careful as it would break the traditional beliefs. My father was little upset. My mother only said ‘Let God guide u’. My parents were not able to understand me. Well I came back to my room. My friend Balan told me to pray for Holy Spirit. As I closed my eyes, I saw a vision. That was the first vision
from God that I had ever seen. Lord showed me my heart which was shining very brightly. I was able to see through and through inside my heart. Word of God says “If anyone is in Christ,he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things
have become new”. (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Next day onwards conviction started. I felt somebody started instructing me from inside. I had no option but to obey Him. My new life has started and I began to give testimony that Jesus lives. After few months I lost my job and I went to Mumbai in search of a job. There I met one of my cousins. He was a pastor. He told me about water baptism.
I took the decision for water baptism. That night I rang up and told this matter to my parents.
They were very angry with me for the decision. The extent of my father’s anger was so high that he called up my cousin and told him to book my train ticket to home town as soon possible. I came back to my native place and did not take water baptism. When I read the
word of God, I could clearly understand that water baptism is very essential. But my parents did not allow me to take it. Meanwhile I was searching for job. I got a job but slowly and slowly I started moving away from God. Again Lord spoke to me regarding baptism. By that time I got a job in one of the leading companies in India. When I came back for vacation I called up my pastor in tuticorin and went to his house around 160 km
from my home town. I told him regarding water baptism. He was very happy to hear about it. He gave me water baptism. I came back home next day and did not mention about water baptism to my parents or other persons of my family. kept it secret from my family members. Now I was a secret believer. I would
attend the traditional church services every Sundays.
This did not satisfy me at all. At the time of marriage, I even did not tell my wife that I am born again and had taken water baptism. I came to Bahrain on Jan 2004, 10 days after my marriage. In Bahrain, I cried out “Jesus please tell me where should I go for worship”. Within one week some persons came to room and asked me to join their small cell group for prayer. Gladly I accepted it. Later they invited me to attend the worship session in church. I went with
them. I could feel the strong presence of God entirely different from my traditional belief system.
Every Friday I would attend church and would wait eagerly for next week session. I could see believers worshipping God in Spirit which was very new to me. I asked Lord ‘Fill me with spirit so that I too can worship u in spirit.’ I would often enquire my friends when would God fill me with His spirit?? It became my desire to be filled with
spirit. That desire was so strong that I would sacrifice anything to be filled with spirit.
In December, 2004, one pastor from India came to Bahrain for a visit. I met him at my friend’s house. I told him that my desire is to be filled with Holy Ghost. He told me that there are some hindrances for the
infilling of Holy Spirit, so start repenting for the sins which u have committed.
After three days when he laid his hands I felt the power of Spirit. I started speaking an unknown word. It was single word but when I spoke I felt power. One day as I was praying then suddenly there was gush of words which I have never spoke earlier and it was continuous. I was speaking in an unknown language. Such a joy I had while
speaking that language that I would love to continue speaking. From that day onwards my pattern of worshiping and praying changed. I took a decision never to go back to the old manmade traditional worship.
I shared this incident and my decision with my wife. It was big surprise for her. She could not accept it. Then I informed her that I am a born again Christian and had taken water baptism. It was a shock for her and for my in-laws. That
shock wave reached my home too. There was also blame for hiding such thing from them before marriage. I told my parents and sisters that I had taken water baptism. They too were shocked. I told them “Now I do not want to continue my old traditional faith”. “No turning back at any cost”.
My relations were severed with all. I did not know what to do. I was blamed by most of them. Even my church members in Bahrain condemned me for hiding such thing. I had no answer to reply but I kept silent. Those were the days
full of tears finding no way ahead. But I trusted Jesus. “ My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2).
Days went by I did not speak with my wife and we were about to break away. Satan challenged that he would destroy and crush my family life. As I read the word of God( Mathew 19:3 -9) it is written not to divorce (and remarry) for any reason other than fornication. That verse struck me and I took a decision not for divorce at any cost.
Days went by. Slowly we started speaking. Meanwhile I went for vacation and she got conceived. It was a miracle. Lord opened ways for her. She got job in Oman and when she went there while she was carrying. As she was away from her
parents, she would call me. Once I took visit visa to Oman and stayed with her for 10 days. She delivered a baby girl. We named her Sarah.
Then Lord started speaking to me” Bring your wife to Bahrain.” I hesitated due to many reasons. My salary is not high enough to afford a family life in Bahrain. We would clash each other on spiritual and family matters which I wished to
avoid. Lord again spoke to me to bring my wife to Bahrain. I asked Lord to open up the ways to bring her. Meanwhile I spoke to my sponsor regarding family visa status for me. By God’s grace he accepted it. My wife applied for a job in a Bahrain
and she got selected. June 2008 she landed in Bahrain after resigning the job there in Oman.
Most of our church believers came and met us and discussed about salvation but she rejected it. Often we had difficulty in adjusting, we were moving through tough times but Lord saved us from breaking away. After 4 months I brought our
daughter Sarah to Bahrain. She had been with her grand parents for a year and half. Meanwhile my wife
started attending worship meeting at our church every Friday. During the month of August 2009 she went for vacation and took water baptism there. Halleluiah. It was an answer for my prayers. My father was against me for leaving the traditional church. That offended him very much. His desire was to bring me back to the traditional belief. I was totally unacceptable for him.
Meanwhile my mother got saved and got water baptism secretly. My father had told her that if she accepts water baptism then he would kick her out of house. So my mother did not tell him about her baptism. I went to India for 2 days and explained to
my parents regarding my wife’s baptism. They were surprised to hear that as they knew how my wife opposed everything.
Father was infected in his bladder and doctors recommended surgery. An evangelist came to him and shared gospel with him and prayed for him. Mother too prayed for him. Next day they went for check up. Sugar level was normal and the swelling
was not traceable. Well, he started believing. Within few days he accepted water baptism. When my sisters heard that my parents had taken water baptism they accepted Jesus and took water baptism. Halleluiah.
2009 was miracle year for me. My whole family came to Lord. That verse came true in my life “Believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household”(Acts 16:31). During my past years, I was very eager to hear about miracles. Truly, I say that each moment I live with Christ, miracles have become part of my life.
My witnessing does not end here. It continues………….Amen. You are right Shynu…your witness will continue into eternity.
Index To The Book ‘I’m A Christian…Now What?’ http://godisforus.ning.com/profiles/blogs/live-link-index-for-the-book