JOE

"God, break my heart with those things that break yours."

Place of Origin:  Madurai, India

I was brought up in a loving Christian family, and I loved reading. Though I had read the entire Bible twice before turning 15, I hadn't quite understood the God that the Bible talks about. When I left home for college, I slowly started knowing aspects of faith that I had not experienced before. I attended Bible studies for the first time and attended a Christian retreat where I accepted Jesus as my Savior. During my final year of college and during grad school in Pennsylvania, my faith had drifted off. A question from one of my friends - "If you don't understand the science of evolution that I see every day in my research as a molecular biologist, how can I listen to your faith in God." This question set me on a journey to work through my intellectual doubts. That journey helped me realize that my faith was based on the question of "who" created this universe. God gave us the freedom to study the “how” questions through science and learn that “The heavens declare the glory of God”. That freed me to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and live according to His will.

Transformative Story:  I was in a church retreat in Lake Tahoe in January of 2004, where I heard a message from the book of Mark in the Bible about the "the rich young man" who missed several opportunities to serve by refusing to follow Jesus once and abandoning Apostle Paul another time. I could identify with the story very well, having ignored opportunities that required me to leave my comfort zone. After the message, the speaker told me about his recent mission trip to India with Josh, an acquaintance of mine who had invited me to the same trip. I was distressed to learn that Josh, who had been suffering from cancer, was about to die in a few days. After some days, when I heard that Josh had passed away, I knew that I had made up my mind to take part in a summer mission trip to Peru.  Before the trip my pastor taught me to pray this prayer - "God, break my heart with those things that break yours".  At the end of 2004 I could say that God had answered my prayers, and I had the passion to serve God and tell others about Him, and I really wanted to love God more every day of my life and live for Him. God had brought me a long way from a self-centered 18 year old kid who didn't care about God or much about anyone else. Throughout this journey I recognized that God would not let me stray too far away from Him and held on to me. I am so thankful for that unmerited grace and love of God.