November 26, 2008. The events of that blood-curdling day still remain green in our memory. It was that day when Kasab and co entered the CST Railway Station in Mumbai and went on a shooting spree. They could have killed a lot more people than they actually did. But they didn’t. One of the reasons was this man: Vishnu Dattaram Zende, the announcer who was behind the mike, sitting on an elevation looking over the railway stations’ concourse spread out below his glass window when the terrorist duo started the firing indescriminately. Here is how he did it: He responded to the sound of an explosion and firing from the direction of CST’s long-distance platforms with a flurry of announcements that have left a grateful metropolis amazed at his presence of mind and courage. First Zende directed the railway gaurds to rush towards the long-distance area. Then, repeatedly, in Hindi and Marathi, he told alighting crowds to head to the back of the concourse and leave from a back exit. “All I could think of,” he explains, “is somehow stop them from going towards the explosion and the bullets’.” Having done his job, Zende sank to the floor, below his glass window, hearing a shot shatter glass periliously close to the announcer’s booth. and finally saw the terrorists leave a virtually empty concourse (Outlook, 15 December 2008).
When I read this story, I whispered a “sorry” to the Lord. You may wonder why. Let me explain: Zende warned the platform dwellers of CST Railway Station about the dangers they were facing from the 26/11 terrorists. But do we warn our fellow travellers in the journey called life about the real danger of them going to hell. That’s where they will go, Without a knowledge of Jesus, they are doomed,for He alone is the way to Heaven (Acts 4:12). You too are also called to be an “announcer” – the announcer of the Good News of Jesus. You too are also called to be an “announcer” of the sins of the people. That is what Ezekiel 33:8 teaches: If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. I told the Lord “sorry” because, there were times when I have failed to obey His gentle nudge inside of me to share the Gospel to that Hell-heading soul, Jesus told us, “What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetop….” (Math 10:27). In other words, the Gospel message is so important that it should be shouted out loud so that our in-danger-of-going-to-hell hearers would take heed. If a house is on fire, would you not run up to the terrace of that house and scream out for help? In the same way, unbelievers need to hear your announcement of the Goodnews, loud and clear. That would be one practical way we save others by snatching them out of the road to eternal fire (Jude 23).
(Duke Jeyaraj, the author of this piece, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader supported Indian ministry. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. WhatsApp him via +91-8886040605).