To say that this was the youth camp with the most diverse selection of Google Generation I have been ever part of in 24 years of preaching in youth camps, is an understatement!
In the Sishya Team youth camp organised by Bro. Ashok Vedanayagam and team in Joe Beach, East Coast Road, Chennai, there were 300 plus young people from Chennai and beyond (Bangalore, Delhi, Madurai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Jharkhand, etc.). School students, college students, IT Professionals, families associated with the Sishya Team, school teachers, college professors, etc. were there. The Lord graciously blessed each of the three main messages I preached.
In message one, I gave the youth seven reasons why they must not procrastinate their salvation and total commitment to Christ (All starting with the letter, S). The young people responded to the altar call, raising hands, standing up and kneeling down and praying. They could not come forward because of the lack of space.
In the second main message, I brought a challenge for sexual purity from I Thessalonians 4, the Bible chapter with the most personal call for sexual purity. After this message the young people committed their hair to heels and everything in between to the Lord, 100%.
In the main message 3, delivered on the last day, of the four-day camp, 15 August 2022, I talked about Witnessing Whys and Ways. I outlined six ways to witness for Jesus. At the end of this message, 20 youth joined me on stage indicating their decision to ‘become Corn (of Wheat)’ rather than to spend their times ‘watching porn’ or in Phone addiction in the one life they have.
I also shared in two workshops spread over two days (Aug. 13-14). One workshop was on finding God’s Will. The other was on Career Choice Clues. Sections of the audience attended these out of their free-will. I started off with a Kahoot Quiz in both session to get warmed up. My daughter, Datasha, helped me with the technicalities. My son, Dale, who was flown to the Camp, from Delhi by Annan Ashok, shot videos of the workshop. My wife closed in prayer. I answered live questions after the workshop (‘Does it mean we must give up on our dreams if ‘Close Doors’ is one way of finding God’s Will?’ – this was one question which I answered).
I also counselled a group of 8 students from 8 different colleges on how to do youth ministry in their college talking about how I did ministry in the college I was in, Allahabad Agri Institute, where I did B. Tech. 1993-97. These youth had committed for ministry involvement after Ashok annan challenged them.
My wife and I joined others when we prayed for the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the campers after Annan Ashok spoke on the Holy Spirit.
The Lord mightily used the others several others in this camp: Annan Ashok, Bro. Sreedhan Manoharan (VP of an International Tractor Firm), Dr. Vijay-Dr.Ann (Assam Missionary Doctors), Swaroop (Sishya Team Staff) Andy (formerly with YFC), Bro. Sankar Ramachandran (UP), Sis. Samuela (Life Focus Society), Sis. Cynthi (Ashok annan’s sister-in-law). It was my humbling honor to be part of this wow team.
The campers had interesting activities they could get involved in during the camp. One of was sand-castle building. I was privileged to be one of the judges of this event!
I had a one on one interaction with one of the campers who told me this: ‘Every camp, I make a decision. I fail shortly after that. So this camp I do not want to make any commitment.’ I explained to him how he could sustain his camp decisions. He was soon praying the sinner’s prayer with me!
Thank you for praying. You prayed and I could feel the impact even as I ministered in Joe Beach, East Coast Road, Chennai.
I received warm words of encouragement and appreciation from the youth part of the camp and from Ashok annan. One 17-year old wrote to me via Instagram after the camp this: Praise God uncle! This is…… Heard all your messages at Sishya Camp. It was so inspiring, motivating and life-changing. Keep changing impure souls, uncle. You did a very great job, uncle. God bless you, uncle.’ Tears welled-up in my eyes. All glory to God.
The camp brought a blessing into the lives of my kids who attended several sessions where I was not the speaker. When we wanted to leave after my final session was done, my daughter insisted we stay back till the end. Such was the impact. My prayer is this: the fire in the altar of their hearts will keep burning till the last day (Lev. 6:12). The messages I shared were recorded. We will release as and when our volunteers will edit them on our Youtube channel under ‘Duke Jeyaraj’
Fiercely introvertish. Super shy. That’s who I am still. That’s Duke Jeyaraj even now. But my God chose me – and when I get to heaven I will certainly ask him why – to preach His Word. 31 years ago as a 16 year old, I preached God’s Word from a stage for the first time as a class XII student of Ida Scudder School, Vellore, on this very day – 9th August. This journey has been marvelous and I fall down at His feet and worship Him acknowledging my nothingness. To each one of you who have ‘endured’ my sermons all these years I am most grateful.
Some of my preaching heroes are in heaven now. One of them is Rev. S. A. Sundarraj of Vellore-6 Assemblies of God. Once I paid a courtesy visit to him. He was in the church. He was the one who recommended me to Southern Asia Bible College for the M. Div. course. His face lit up as he saw me. He then asked me this question: “Will you preach the message in our church, this Sunday?” I was flattered. I was floored. Me, to preach in the church I went to week after week as a little boy? Me, to preach in the church where I was baptized in water? Me, to preach in the presence of my pastor?
When the day came – a Sunday in the month of May 2011 – Rev. S. A. Sundarraj introduced me to the congregation. He said, ‘Duke and me have a lot in common. We can start with anything we see or anything we have read in the newspaper and preach a message from that!’ And I went to preach a message that Sunday that was titled, Bible Lessons for Today’s Believers From India’s World Cup Win with Dorai Jasper annan interpreting into Tamil. The message can be heard here:
One of the joys that I have had in all these years of preaching is this: I have preached in meetings organised by others. By others I mean churches. By others, I mean parachurch organisations. By others I mean loosely-administered corporate company fellowships. By others I mean College Administrations or School Administrations. This way I have crossed many different boundaries and barriers. The kingdom of God has been built.
Another surprise that I have had in these 31 years of preaching is this: though I do not preach to get invited again, there are places I wanted again. Though I tell people what they should hear and not what they want to hear, in some cases, they want me back. For example, after I preached in a youth camp in Germany in 1998, the pastor wanted me back in 1999. I have been invited again to speak in a top medical college in their annual camp. Why do I say this? When you are faithful in executing God’s call upon you as a preacher, you will not become ‘jobless’! I am a witness!
Thank you for all your sacrificial support to my preaching over all these decades! I am ever so grateful!
On 29 June 2022, Wednesday, at 9 PM, we at Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission (G4 Mission) organised an online Bible Quiz. It was open for all age-groups. As the quiz began we had 54 players who joined. See this picture:
Duke Jeyaraj began asking the questions. These questions were fresh questions that focused on application of Bible Truth into one’s life. They were geared to make preachers and teachers of God’s Word down the line.
Here are a few sample questions:
As the quiz rolled, we had different leaders at different stages. Let us see a few pictures that will help us see that:
Priscilla D firmly holding onto her lead three questions later – after question 11 is done!
Finishing at no. 3 and no.4 are Mahima Bindu and Nayomi Christina. They are siblings! The top two – Pratiksha and Manas – are a married couple! I am so glad entire families are learning God’s Word and taking part in this quiz!
The recording of this quiz can be seen here:
The winners (top 5) will get Prize. A Study Bible plus a Book for the winner; a Study Bible for the person who stood second; a Stylish Bible for the third place winner; a Bible for the fourth place winner; a Sound Doctrine Christian Book for the fifth place winner. They will also get digital certificates.
The ministry that runs this quiz is not a church. It is not sponsored by a church or a big international organisation. It is an inter-church ministry which runs, thanks to the donors who want to see the Google Generation going gaga over God’s Word through some creative efforts like these. The supporters are mainly Indians who have been blessed by Duke Jeyaraj and Evangelin Duke’s ministry over the years and want to contribute in some way. Our support comes through sacrificial giving of such precious individuals. Would you like to donate so these kind of efforts are stepped up even more? Then please use this link: https://rzp.io/l/G4Mission
Take time to read the Word of God! Never leave a Bible Passage till it speaks to you! God bless you!
Of late, after Russia invaded Ukraine, there has been a lot of focus on Bible Passages like Ezekiel 38 and 39. There is a talk that Gog and Magog mentioned in these chapters concerns Russia and Putin and so on and so forth. But I want issue a word of caution here. This word of warning comes straight from Scripture. Revelation 11:8 goes this way: “Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city – which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt – where also their Lord was crucified” (NIV). We know that the city where our Lord was crucified to be historically Jerusalem. But historic Jerusalem is symbolically called Sodom and Egypt in the book of Revelation. Why should this be so. The answer is obvious: Jerusalem committed the very same sins of Sodom (sexual immorality) and Egypt (Idol Worship).
So as the coming of the Lord nears, we must not get super-excited about names of places and their physical locations! You excitedly blurt out, “Gog and Magog – that is about Russia! This is about Putin!” Don’t be so quick! Just above we saw proof that when the Bible talks about literal Jerusalem it may not be literal Jerusalem! We need to open to the possibility that Gog and Magog can signify another place spiritually speaking and not Russia. I am not saying this because of a personal bias. But I am saying this from the method of interpretation laid out in Revelation 11:8. Similarly, the ‘Babylon’ mentioned in I Peter 5:13, could have been used instead of Rome as there is no record in any other Bible passage which mentions that Apostle Peter and his spiritual son Mark ever ministered in geographical Babylon. Peter was using Babylon as a codeword for Rome, where he ministered. The phrase ‘She who is in Babylon together with you, sends you her greetings’ can be taken to mean the church in Rome sends you greetings. Peter uses this phrase just to be on the safer side when persecution was being stepped up. Babylon was a cryptogram for Rome. That’s all. If a Roman officer who was against the church get go to read I Peter, he would have got fooled when he read I Peter 5:13’s reference in Babylon, but believers of that time would instinctively know that Peter was talking about the church in Rome, and not the church in Babylon there.
Let’s read another passage from the book of Revelation: Revelation 20:7-8. It goes this way: ‘When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth – Gog and Magog – and to gather them for battle.’ Here Satan-deceived nations from the four corners of the Earth are called Gog and Magog. So, there is a real possibility that Gog and Magog is not indicative of one place in the end-times. As the coming of the Lord nears, you would be biblically wise, if you don’t be focus on physical locations like Russia, Jerusalem, Israel, etc. Instead your spiritual senses alert and you will see that people from all four directions of the globe are being deceived by Satan as the end draws near.
Jesus had told his disciples in no uncertain terms that the time of his return could not be guessed as the Father only knows this (Matt. 24:36; Mk. 13:32). Knowing they could not get an answer if they asked him a question, ‘When will you return Lord?’, I believe, they asked him a smartly-worded question which was a lot similar. They asked Jesus this question concerning the last days, the end times: ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?’ I believe this question is not much different from the questions we spend all our time speculating about these days: “Is Gog and Magog about Russia? Is Putin the anti-Christ? Will not Jesus surely return before one generation of people pass away after the formation of national Israel?” I believe Jesus’ answer to these questions is the same as his answer to the question of his disciples concerning geographical Israel’s future recorded by Luke in Acts: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Did you notice that Jesus indirectly mentions Gog and Magog, here? When speaks about the ‘ends of the earth’, I believe, Gog and Magog are also included in the list of places we must share the Goodnews with, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather than do unfruitful speculation about lesser important details about eschatology(end-times), we must focus our attention on gospel proclamation – that is the clear message of Acts 1:6-8. Ofcourse, the most important things concerning eschatology are these: the physical return of Jesus, the day of judgement where Jesus would be the judge, the eternal conscious torment of the stubborn Christ-rejectors, the reality of eternal heaven.
If I get a chance to meet Putin, I will not ask him, ‘Are you the anti-Christ?’. Rather, I would look to share the Gospel with him! Rather than speculate on the role of nations in the endtimes, we must seek to spread the goodnews there! It is God’s job to harden their heart after having given them enough opportunities to repent like he did in Pharoah’s case. Once their heart is hardened they would go about fulfilling all what is written in the Bible about them in God’s calender. Till that happens, frankly, is none of our business. But it is our business to proclaim the Gospel to all in all nations – including Russia and Israel. God’s Word says so.
(A version of this article by Dr. Duke Jeyaraj appeared in the June 2022 edition of Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Aim magazine. Duke Jeyaraj, the author, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader-supported, inter-denominational Indian ministry to presentday people. Find out more by emailing Duke via email@example.com or whatsapping him at +91-8886040605).
The writer to the Hebrews writes, ‘Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral’ (Heb. 13:4, NIV). This is a clear call to sanctify the marriage bed! That means that there is no room in the marriage bed for anyone else apart from your spouse. To cite an example: You cannot watch porn to spice up your sex inside marriage for that is akin to having a porn star in your marriage bed (recall Jesus’ words which makes lust, adultery in Matt. 5:28).
Duke Jeyaraj writes, ‘You cannot watch porn to spice up your sex inside marriage for that is akin to having a porn star in your marriage bed (recall Jesus’ words which makes lust, adultery in Matt. 5:28).’
The same Bible that calls us to sanctify our marriage bed, calls us to electrify it as well! Let me explain: by saying that I mean there are clear calls in both the Old Testament and New Testament to celebrate inside-marriage sex! Can I briefly take you through a survey in this regard, which I believe, will be memorable!
The Call from the THE FONDLING STORY:
We read that Isaac – he was not exactly young – fondling his wife Rebecca in Genesis 26. Genesis 26:8 goes this way: ‘When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.’ The word ‘caressing’ here implies sexual foreplay. It is talking about a physical intimacy that may not necessarily lead to a sexual climax! It is sad phenomenon that among many Christian couple, the touching leads to super-fast sex without the lingering in the acts like caressing. As a couple, Isaac and Rebecca explored each other’s bodies in an unhurried way! That is indeed a biblical way to electrify your marriage bed!
The Call from the FOUNTAIN JODI:
The Proverbs-writer compares the wife to a fountain. I call the couple talked about in Proverbs 5, ‘the Fountain Jodi’ (the Fountain Couple). He writes in Proverbs 5:18-20: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer – may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son is intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?” (ESV). Why is the wife called a fountain? The fountain was the source of clean drinking water in Biblical times. The implication is direct: the only guilt-free place that God has ordained for sexual thirsts to be quenched should be inside the boundaries of marriage. Men, from time immemorial have visit prostitutes, had affairs with the ‘wayward woman’ because of their thirst for sexual variety. And that is a sin against God as this above passage and other Bible passages would clearly teach. But what Proverbs 5:18-20 teaches is this: the husband and wife should together make their sex life so exciting that it would make a visit to a prostitute or affairs with wayward women/men a big bore! And what is more, this passage calls us for the only sin-free intoxication which is to enjoy sex within the boundaries of marriage! All other intoxication, alcohol and drug intoxication included, is sin according to the Bible. Have you ever realized that intoxication with sexual love for your spouse, is a God-commanded intoxication! Yes, Proverbs 5:18-20 is a biblical call to electrify the marriage bed!
The Call from the Fragrance of En Gedi
I refer to the Song of Songs couple here. The woman says in 1:12 to 14 this: ‘While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.’ This book uses word pictures to depict actual sexual intimacy situations. So, what is the meaning of Song of Songs 1:12-14? It is this, according to me: The husband becomes a sachet of good smell emanating myrrh who celebrates every curve of his wife in electrifying sexual union (the curves are explicitly named in the above passage). Myrrh used to drive away bad smell from dead bodies. But in this passage, myrrh represents the husband himself who transforms into a pleasing aroma which exhilarates his wife as they enjoy sexual union. In short, the perfume the wife wears not Victoria Secret (the famous perfume brand) but Victor (if Victor was the name of the husband)! What is more, in all the eight chapters of Song of Songs, there is no mention of a birth of a child. That tells me, that God created sex inside of marriage, not just for production of children but also the enjoyment of sexual pleasures! Have you heard the call from the fragrance of En Gedi to make your marriage bed, electrifying?
Finally, the call from FIRST CORINTHIANS ISSUED CALL OF ‘MISSIONARY’ DUTY
Apostle Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthian believer underlines a call of duty for both husband and wife: “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife” (I Cor. 7:3-4). This passage is akin to a missionary call. The only God-ordained ‘missionary’ that can deliver and demonstrate the ‘goodnews’ of sexual joy to your husband is you, wife! The only God-ordained ‘missionary’ that can declare and demonstrate the ‘goodnews’ of sexual joy to your wife is, husband! So, if not you, then who will excite the sexual life of your spouse?
The clear call not just to sanctify but electrify the marriage bed has come from different parts of Scripture.
Are Christian couples listening?
Duke Jeyaraj, a fulltime Bible Teacher, itinerant Revival Preacher, who is the author of this piece, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission (G4 Mission). This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Duke’s book, Straight Talk, brings frank Bible Teaching wrapped around contemporary events on sex, love, marriage, porn, phone addiction and the like. Duke is married to Evangelin who also works fulltime with G4 Mission. They have two children – Dale, 18 and Datasha, 14. They currently live in Chennai. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further information.
“Hello Brother! Thanks for organizing this kahoot quiz! It was a great joy to be part of this event… was really inspired by young boys like Jerome, Jaaziel, etc. taking God’s Word seriously (by preparing hard for this quiz and doing well). And finally your short yet powerful and direct snippets-in-between was really useful!” – a young married man and working professional, Chennai.
“Good questions and a lot of learning!” – a young woman, Hyderabad.
“Yesterday’s (kahoot quiz) session was really useful and was really fun uncle. This quiz helps me study and know the secrets hidden in that Bible book assigned for the quiz. It is indeed a soup for the soul! It really encourages us to complete reading of that Bible book!” – a young woman, Chennai.
“Thank you so much for the Amazing session, Duke anna!” – a young woman, Mumbai.
“Thank you Duke for painstakingly preparing such a thrilling quiz on the book of Ecclesiastes, yesterday. By conducting such quizzes, you have motivated us to read the particular Bible book assigned for the quiz and try to ascertain the theme of the book, etc. It is amazing how with the Spirit’s leading you are able to relate verses/parables from the Bible with something contemporary from today’s world. Looking forward to the next quiz.” – a young working professional woman, Cuttack.
“Thanks sir for the efforts taken towards the quiz. It really helped me study and understand Ecclesiastes better than I did before. Also the questions were so engaging and fun! Our whole family enjoyed doing it together. My kids who are under 7 want to participate next time.” – a home-maker and mother, Chennai.
“During the Kahoot Quiz, God spoke to me through you as I explored Scripture to answer the questions asked.” – a young working professional woman, Hyderabad.
“I really enjoyed the Kahoot quiz. It was interesting and very different. So much brain-work you had put in. Looking forward to having many more!” – a College Professor, Vellore.
We are encouraged to receive all your kindly-worded testimonies. Thank you for taking time to write-in. All glory to God. Now we welcome you to the next quiz on the book of Nehemiah (all 13 chapters) on Wednesday 27 April 2022 from 9 PM India time. Use this link to register now – :https://forms.gle/38msjE4hw2TPYo7a7 — and WhatsApp, Bro. Duke and 91-8886040605 once you have registered so that you can be placed in a WhatsApp list where regular updates about quiz will be sent. THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED FOR THE NEHEMIAH QUIZ PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER AGAIN!
Virat Kohli was unceremoniously sacked from his position of ODI Captain of India and his position was given to Rohit Sharma in Dec 2021. Earlier on, he himself gave up his role as the captain of the Indian T20 team. The reason for his demotion was not hard to find. While he had one of the best ever win-loss percentages in ODIs among modern captains (over 70 percent), most of those wins came in bilateral series. In multi-team tournaments, like the ICC World Cups, India could not win the Cup when Kohli captained. In short, Kohli could not lead his team to wins in important games. ‘Chasemaster’ and Captain Kohli became ‘choker’ and the-cause-of-pain Kohli when he scored 5 off 9 when India chased 339 for a win in the Champions Trophy final versus Pakistan in 2017. That’s not all. He made 1 off 6 when India chased 240 for a place in the World Cup ODI Final 2019 versus New Zealand. We are not done yet. He made 13 off 29 balls in the crucial second innings in the World Test Championships Final 2021 after India and New Zealand scored almost equally in the first innings. However his counterpart Kane Williamson made 52 runs to take his team, New Zealand to the Test World Cup win. Kohli made underwhelming 9 off 17 when his team depended on him to reach a match-winning first innings score in the crucial T20 Super 12 game versus New Zealand in the World Cup T20 2021. So, Kohli has had a sub-20 score in four crucial innings for India as a Limited Overs Captain (a far cry from his average as a ODI Captain which is nearly 73 runs per innings). This analysis tells the story clearly: when the game gets big, Kohli as Captain underperforms as a batsmen very badly. When his team needs him the most, that is when Kohli would get out early. Hence this unceremonious sacking and handing over of mantle to Rohit Sharma, an accomplished captain who is known to take the team he captains to big tournament wins (He has led Mumbai Indians to five IPL Titles already while Kohli has never led his team RCB even to a single title win).
Kohli reminds me of Samson of the Bible. While Samson was so keen to keep ritualistic laws as a Nazirite he was not not that keen to keep far more important laws which concerned his personal holiness. He would often talk about not having his hair cut (see Num. 6:1-5 and Jud. 13:5) but he did not cut off his sexually immoral relationship with many women (a violatation of two of the 10 commandments given to all including the Nazirites – ‘You shall not commit adultery’ – Ex. 20:14; ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife’ – Ex. 20:17). What was easy to do – ritualistic purity part – Samson did with great consistency till one point. What was even more important – moral holiness is, see Micah 6:7-8 – Samson blew it. Are we like Samson? Empowered by the Spirit (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:16), let us please God in key matters such as sexual purity (I Cor. 6:18b). When we sin sexually we directly oppose God’s clearly expressed will (I Thess. 4:3) which is one the same important level as his will to welcome everyone for salvation (3 Peter 3:9; I Tim. 2:4). When we live stubbornly in sexual sin we will go to hell (Rev. 21:7-8). But that is not God’s desire for us! God’s desire is that we overcome sin when sin’s allurments come knocking!
(Duke Jeyaraj, the author of this article is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission, a reader-supported Indian ministry to presentday people. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Or WhatsApp him via 91-8886040605. )
On thanksgiving day 2021, I want to thank God for the fifteen different houses I have been privileged to stay in during two decades of my married life (2021).
The house we stayed in Saket, New Delhi, in 2001 – we just had one room in a house of three bedrooms. From there Evan and I organized tracts outreach to one of Delhi’s earliest malls, the Ansal Plaza. I wrote the first version of the Bubbly tract sitting in that room using Evan’s desktop. Young people we pastored would home and once we took them to Nirula’s. The fruit market outside our home had the best fruits from all over India.
From there we moved to another house in Lado Sarai behind the Central Bank of India in Delhi. It was a village which had a lot of kids who benefited from the Compassion International project which Evan managed then. As we waded through that village, the kids would come running behind Evan crying out ‘ma’am, ma’am’! We got our first set of furniture there – from a sale with furniture used by international diplomats who had left India. We still use a tall stool which I got for Rs.800/- in that sale!
We moved to our third house in New Delhi – it was not even one year since we had gotten married! This first-floor house was so close to the electric lines above, that I could have reached out and touched them, if I wanted to! It was a house where I realized my call was not to be a pastor in the long run, but to be an evangelist or a travelling Bible Teacher! So, I say bye to my pastor role, from here.
By 2002 July we were in house no. 4 . We stayed in one-room in Kannamoola, Trivandrum. Our things were shipped from Delhi by Agarwal Packers in ‘Hunter Douglas’ boxes. We were now missionaries with a leading missionary organization.
The next house was searched out for us by Uncle Sarasam who lives in Trivandrum. A first floor house in the Museum Bains Compound with the approach road that gave an impression we were climbing a hill. We could hear the roar of the lions from the nearby Zoo. We went to the nearby park and gave out xeroxed versions of the Bubbly tract. We drove in Uncle Arthur’s Vespa to nearby Shengamugham Beach. And had lots of coffee in the Indian Coffee House which almost kissed the breath-taking beach there. I wrote a lot in this house including articles that became lead articles of the famous Blessing magazine. Our son Dale was born when we were here.
House number 6 we lived in for rent was in Jabalpur. I lost my cool when the owner’s dog was about to bite our little son, Dale. That meant we had to shift our home again. It was back to packing yet again!
House number 7 overlooked a church in Jabalpur. It was a first-floor house with a nice terrace. Evan and I with little Dale in tow were in cross-roads then. We knew we could not be travelling missionaries with an organization. We had to be on our own to execute what was God’s unique call for us – to grab the google Generation from going to Gehenna (the word Jesus used for Hell)!
House number 8 we lived in was in the city of Hyderabad. There was no water in this house! When Dale’s backside had to be washed, there wasn’t a drop of water in the rest room! This situation pushed us move to House number 9. This house in Ashok Colony, Kapra region of Hyderabad became the first office of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. We stayed in this first-floor house exactly for 11 months. The first issue of The Days of Your Youth magazine was published from here. Our board member, Franklin, visited us here. We met our long-standing friend, Bro. Christopher here!
House number 9 Evan and I stayed in was near the A. S. Rao Nagar Railway reservation center in Hyderabad. Datasha was born here! The Daniels drove down to meet us here for the first time. I was invited to lead Bible Studies in their centrally located home. I started off with the Bible book summary of the book of Amos. Seven years later we would complete doing short Bible Studies summarizing every book of the Bible. We had an open air on-terrace meeting in this house on Datasha’s first birthday. We shared the story of her miracle birth to neighbors who came. This was just days after I quit my HSBC job not able to cope with both a secular job which I had picked up to support the new ministry I started and the fulltime ministry with our new organization. A dear annan (elder brother) walked into this house and left us an offering the size of which left us stunned. A secular college classmate of mine sent some offering – the highest monthly support we received then – and said he could do that every month! God prepared us for faith-living in this house!
We invited neighbors and told them about the miracle story of Datasha’s birth wrapped with the Gospel in our AS Rao Nagar home in Hyderabad on 12 Nov 2008.
As Dale would often doze off when he returned home in the School bus – the ride took him 45 minutes – we thought it was a good idea to move near his school, St. Andrews, 8 kms away towards the center of the city. We got a house near the Subhash Nagar’s Kallu compound (Arrack shop). A techie was in our home and Evan spend hours counselling her and praying with her. The rains lashed continuously that year – it was the 2009, the year Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr. YS Rajashekar Reddy died in a helicopter crash. And as the waters threatened to enter the living room of this house – the tenth house we lived in post our marriage – we knew we had to move, even though we had lived there only for two months. So we moved. We moved to a house closer to the main road – the Military Dairy Farm Road in Hyderabad. This house was just behind the Indian Oil Petrol bunk. This house was put for sale, but the owner was kind to allow us to stay there till it got sold. We ended up staying there from 2009 till 2015 – the longest stretch we have stayed in any home so far. Both Dale and Datasha received Jesus as their Savior in our family prayers as Evan and I led them into sinner’s prayer following the explanation of what salvation meant. I graduated with a Doctor of Ministry degree from here in 2014.
In this house – house number 11 – God blessed us. He gave us a confidence to pay rent that touched five figures for the first time. And we did that before the 6th of the month. We never missed this deadline and all our house-owner’s loved this about us. This house was a triplex house – three floors. It had four bed-rooms. God filled this house with Google Genners. As I led Bible studies, people would even sit on the steps leading up to the second floor and hungrily lap up the Word of God served without compromise. We would pray for healing. Couples without children received babies. The Fountain of Tears Against Mountain Of Fears event started off here as our neighbor, Sister Sandhya, encouraged us to start it. The month-end midnight prayer where a small group of corporates entered the new month in God’s presence was begun here. Evan and I travelled to Singapore for ministry from here. The already-paid-for i10 car came to our parking lot in 2011 and the gifted-to-us Yellow Vespa came in 20212. Joel Jaideep would faithfully come and teach me to drive the Car. Sister Arlene Stubbs, our local church’s Senior pastor visited us when we were in this house and our kids recited Bible verses to her!
Finally this house (number 11) got sold and we had to move to house number 12. This house was just across the road in Ved Vihar – a colony of five hundred flats run by Army Professionals. Our owner Vishal was an absolute gem. He would forget to increase our rent and pay promptly for all the repairs we would do in the flat. He had stocked his house with wardrobes and interiors like we never had in any house we had lived until that point. The Bible Studies continued. The Fasting prayers continued. My travels to India and beyond continued. The tracts outreaches to different locations of Hyderabad continued. We would give Bibles and tracts to those who were willing to receive them. Sunny Karumanchi our video volunteer who works in the Corporate world became associated with our ministry here. We would shoot short videos on hot topics right here and elsewhere. God blessed our home with items from the famous Swedish store that opened an outlet in our city – Ikea.
Arul Johnson and his dad attend the Fountain Prayer in Ved Vihar home!
Evan leads in the online Fountain prayer in Ved Vihar
And then the pandemic of 2020 hit. We continued the work of God online from there. When we thought we would live here for a long, long time and do God’s Work, God ensured we moved from there. We moved to house number 13 in Gundlapochampally Village in the outskirts of Hyderabad. Our grandmother, Miss Edith Mary, the person God used to conduct our wedding lived with us there in a home which was like a Spanish villa. One of our neighbors from the next street saw the WhatsApp status on Evan’s phone and asked her, “Do you pray for people?” Evan replied in the affirmative. Then she said, “Can you please come and pray for my daughter?” We were overjoyed!
Our grandmother returned to her village for a visit and the Lord decided to take her to be with him. The date was May 16, 2021. This event would be a trigger for us to make a big decision. We decided to move out of Hyderabad where we served Jesus among the Google Generation for over 16 long years. We decided to move our base to Chennai in what was a largely online world where one stayed hardly mattered as long as there was good internet. What was more we got to see our parents – both retired missionaries – who stayed in nearby Vellore more often.
House number 14 where we stayed was in Velachery, Chennai. We have memories of going to the terrace and praying under the massive tree that covered that house! We gave the Bubbly and Dhoni Gospel tracts to small groups of people who walked into the Pheonix Mall in Velachery. We drove to Vellore and visited our parents when we got the opportunity. We sold off our AP-registered i10 and Vespa from here. It was an emotional moment. As this house also got sold, we had to move again.
And I write these lines Evan and I have moved to house number 15 in the span twenty years of marriage. We feel blessed to stay close to a compact, cool flat close to the School that Datasha goes to. We are blessed to stay here. Dale leaves home to join St. Stephen’s New Delhi from here.
We thank you Lord. We thank you for the nice owners you sent along the way! We thank you for the kind neighbors you surrounded us with!
On September 10, the World Suicide Prevention Day is observed. We live in a world where we meet a lot of people who show suicidal tendencies. And we also meet a lot of people who are into gaming addiction. What I present below is one way we can bring the good news to those who show suicidal tendencies or those who are gaming addicted:
Blue Whale. We are not talking about the big fish in the sea. The “Blue Whale,” referred to in this piece, is an online game that ultimately dares its players to act out a death-wish – their own! This smartphone game pushes the users of this game to carve an outline of a Blue Whale on their skin and eventually drives them into suicide. That’s one reason this game got the name “whale” – a fish with suicidal tendencies that is known at times to deliberately swim towards beaches only to die. If a player refuses to obey the “dare” for a dangerous task, threats such as, “We will have your parents killed…” rapidly follows. Yes people – including children and teens – World-over are either talking about the Blue Whale challenge or playing it.
The Blue Whale is ultimately indicative of a “true tale” – certain truths about Life – life about living with capital L. Only a person deeply disillusioned with life would take the lead from games such as this and eventually decide to end it. But the Bible, God’s Word in human words, presents Satan as the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. It is quite possible that Satan uses online games such as the Blue Whale, get unsuspecting folks to fall-in-line with his plan of destruction. In the Bible, we read of a demon-influenced man ‘cutting himself with stones’ – attempting suicide (Mark 5:5). Satan does not just sow inside of us thoughts of suicide. The Bible teaches that His primary goal is to lead us towards fleeting-pleasure offering sin – something that separates us from God and robs us of all lasting joy. “Joy” leaving our lives, when “Sin” enters is not just a fact found in the Bible (Lamentations 5:15; Psalm 51:12) but an relatable experience in our day-to-day lives.
No, we do not read of anyone in the Bible narrative playing the Blue Whale game. But we do read of some folk who ended up committing suicide. The circumstances in which they committed suicide gives us key-perspectives about why people think of taking their own life. Abimelech (See Judges 9:54 in the Bible) did not want to be killed by a woman, and so he asked a young man to kill him instead. We see here PRIDE (the first ever sin of the universe, according to the Bible) cannot give us purpose and meaning in life. But, tragically can be instrumental in the finishing of our life. King Saul feared torture by enemy forces as a prisoner of war and he decided to fall onto his sword while on a battle field to finish his life (See I Samuel 31:4 in the Bible). In his case, PANIC (the result of sin according to the Bible), robbed him of his desire to live and he chose to put a full-stop to his own life. Ahithophel, a professional Counsellor to the king, upon discovering that his advice was not followed, decided to hang till he died. He chose to hang, instead of a life of having to hang his head in shame. However awesome a PROFESSION is, it cannot bring that person’s meaning, purpose, lasting joy in life. The fifth person as per the records of the Bible, who committed suicide was Judas. The hole in his heart became bigger after receiving a PAY for leading an arresting party to the place the only God-in-flesh Jesus often met with his disciples. We have talked about a number of Ps in the above paragraph in connection with suicide. However there is another P who enables us to overcome suicidal tendencies. That is the Prince of Peace.
When he knew for sure the prisoners entrusted by the Government under his care – including the preachers of Jesus, namely, Paul and Silas – has escaped the prison he was incharge of, following a massive earthquake, this jailor we read about in the Bible, drew his sword and was about to end his life (Acts 16:25-27). That’s when Paul shouted, ‘Do not harm yourself’ and introduced Jesus, the Prince of Peace to this Jailor who immediately abandoned his suicide plans (Acts 16:28-31). When Jesus really comes into your life every thought of suicide will fly away! And life will become meaningful! Instead of choosing the suicide rope, choose hope that is only available in Christ Jesus!
This leads me to a well-known statement that Jesus made that is found recorded in the Bible: “I have come to give Life – Life to the full”(in John 10:10). This implies, apart from the “alone and apart from everyone” Jesus (Jesus said he was the ONLY WAY in John 14:6 of the Bible) no one can find that paramount peace, that supreme serenity, that maximum meaning, that Himalayan happiness. Apostle Paul, a Jesus-follower, wrote about the “purpose in each step” (I Corinthians 9:26, NLT, The Bible) that Jesus gave him, when he followed Jesus through the smooth and stormy phases of his life.
One of Jesus’ names in the Bible is this: “Author of Life” (Acts 3:15). He is also the maker of life – this the Bible teaches (John 1:3). Human Life was made “for” Jesus Christ, the Bible notes (Colossians 1:16-17). When we wade though “the book of life’s journey” with a living “for” Jesus, life will become meaningful and purposeful!
The same Jesus who said, “I have come to give you life,” also mentioned that he came to die as a ransom for the sins of the World. This, the Bible records (Mark 10:45). That was how he could offer us a meaningful life – through his cruel death on the Cross. When Jesus shed his precious, sinless blood for us, he opened the door for each one of us to escape from living an “empty” life on this earth, the Bible declares (I Peter 1:18).
Jesus rose from the Dead. Jesus promised to return again to judge the World. Those who firmly and finally reject Jesus, the name of the only person who qualifies to save humankind by the virtue of his absolute sinlessness, will live a life of “living” hell here and now and go to a “literal” hell. This the Bible, a book which has never gone wrong when it comes to predictions, predicts.
What should we do now? Turn from sin (Luke 13:1-5, The Bible). Come to Christ in faith (Matthew 11:28 & John 1:12, The Bible). Come now (2 Corinthians 6:2, The Bible).
(This article was published in Aim Magazine, Sept 2021 issue. Aim is published by Evangelical Fellowship of India, the umbrella organization for all major churches and Christian organisations in India. Duke Jeyaraj 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. Watch Duke’s messages at http://www.youtube.com/visitduke).