Deep in the night, Gospel for Asia native missionary Santosh Murari lay awake worried about the day to come. He was scared that he would not be able to speak clearly in the very important debate. Crying out to the Lord, Santosh prayed, “God, please give me wisdom and help me speak your words.”
Santosh’s village in Manipur, India, was dominated by 30local priests from a traditional religion. The priests often boldly condemned Christianity. Afraid of the priests, the villagers followed them because it appeared that the priests could hurt them through magic.
One of these priests, Nadish Rahul, had his own radio show to propagate his beliefs. He vehemently proclaimed that the deity he worshipped was the true living god, and he regularly blasted Christianity on the show. During one of his broadcasts, Nadish fearlessly challenged the local Christians to debate the two religions.
The Christian leaders in the area chose Santosh to represent them in the debate. Santosh feared that he would be too nervous to present a strong message, especially in a debate with someone like Nadish, who was an experienced public speaker.
Poring over the Scriptures and fervently seeking the Lord’s direction, Santosh began preparing for the big day. But he was still unsure of the best way to share about his faith with this hard audience, even the night before.
Tossing and turning, unable to sleep, Santosh continued to pray. Then at 2 a.m., the Lord placed on his heart exactly what to say. Praising God for providing the answers just in time, Santosh knew he was ready.
The next day, everyone gathered to watch the deliberation, including the 30 experienced priests from Nadish’s religion. The group chose Santosh to present his arguments first. Standing before the glaring audience, Santosh shared the Gospel message exactly the way the Lord had showed him.
After about two hours of clearly explaining his faith, Santosh was abruptly interrupted by one of the older priests. The priest stood up and said that Jesus was a “True God.”
Suddenly, all of the priests began arguing among themselves, and they came to the conclusion that Jesus was a real God. They told Nadish he was wrong and the god that he shared about on the radio was false. Then to everyone’s surprise, Nadish admitted that after hearing Santosh’s presentation, he believed Jesus was a “True God” as well.
Now the priests, including Nadish, do not oppose the local Christians. Although they have not accepted Jesus as the one true God, they are more open to the Gospel message.
Because of the debate, Santosh has had many opportunities to share his faith, and several people in the area chose to receive Christ into their lives.
Santosh asks for prayer that Nadish and the other priests will put their complete faith in Christ alone. He also asks for prayer that the new believers will continue to grow in their walk with the Lord.