On the day I removed my turban, cut my hair, and received baptism, my mother looked at me and screamed. My sister ran to my dad, “Come see what brother has done!”
My father came down with his gun and told me, “If you ever step back in this house again, I will shoot you. You are not a member of this family if this is how you want to live.”
I grew up in a Sikh home in Northern India. Male Sikhs wear a turban, never cut their hair and tie it under the turban. After removing my turban, I became a disgrace to my community. Many people suggested that I should be killed because I was considered a bad example.
When I heard people were trying to kill me, I escaped to New Delhi. For the first few nights, I slept in a park, or under a bridge. I was still wearing the same clothes because my father would not allow me to take a second set from my home. I was hungry, dirty, and I didn’t know anyone in the city. My initial joy of salvation was wearing off.
But God supplied all my needs. About a month later, I found a job. And six months later, I went back to college. Two months after that I went back to my hometown to talk to my parents. Eventually my family accepted me back. Fifteen years later, I led my mother to the Lord! I shared my faith with my father a couple of times, but he died suddenly. I don’t know what happened in his last moments, but he had a clear change of heart in his perception of who Jesus is.
Today, I am in the ministry not because I fear that God’s work won’t be done—but because I fear that if I were not involved, it would be done without me. The Lord is gracious and good, and it is a blessing to experience it firsthand.
The Lord opened the door for me to pursue my Master of Theology studies at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), majoring in Bible exposition and biblical languages. While pursuing my PhD studies at DTS and University of North Texas, I made a commitment to contribute to the spread of the Word of God by making it understandable to the north Indians.
Sukhwant S. Bhatia, ThM, PhD and his team of seven have been involved in producing a fresh translation of the Bible from original biblical languages into Hindi for Biblica. The Hindi NT Study Edition was released in February 2010, the full Bible is scheduled to be released in 2013.