From: Francis Harper
Conversion of Sundar Singh - Message for 11/10/17
The Sadhu [Holy Man] Sundar Singh told the story of his conversion in his own words:
“I was sent for my secular education to a small primary school that had been opened by the American Presbyterian Mission in our village of Rampur. At that time I had so many prejudices about Christianity that I refused to read the Bible in the daily Bible lessons. My teacher insisted that I attend; but I was so opposed to this that the next year I left that school and went to a Government school at Sanewal, three miles away, and there I studied for some months. To some extent I felt that the teachings of the Gospel on the love of God attracted me, but I still thought it was false and opposed it. So firmly was I set in my opinions and so great was my unrest, that one day, in the presence of my father and mother, I tore up a Gospel and burned it.
“Though, according to my ideas at the time, I thought I had done a good deed in burning the Gospel, yet my unrest of heart increased, and for two days after that I was very miserable. On the third day, when I felt I could bear it no longer, I got up at three in the morning, and after bathing, prayed that if there was a God at all He would reveal himself to me and show me the way of salvation, and end this unrest of my soul. I firmly made up my mind that, if this prayer was not answered, I would before daylight go down to the railway, and place my head on the line before the incoming train.
“I remained till about half past four praying and waiting, expecting to see Krishna or Buddha, or some other Avatar of the Hindu religion; they appeared not, but a light was shining in the room. I opened the door to where it came from, but all was dark outside. I returned inside, and the light increased in intensity and took the form of a globe of light above the ground, and in this light there appeared, not the form I expected, but the living Christ whom I had counted as dead. To all eternity I shall never forget his glorious and loving face, nor the few words which he spoke: ‘Why do you persecute me? See, I have died on the cross for you and for the whole world.’ These words were burned into my heart as if by lightning, and I fell on the ground before Him. My heart was filled with inexpressible joy and peace, and my whole life was entirely changed.”
“Then the old Sundar Singh died and a new Sundar Singh, to serve the living Christ was born.” (See A.P. Apassamy, Sundar Singh, pp 20-21).
On his sixteenth birthday [in 1905], Sundar was baptized at the parish church in Simla, a town high in the Himalayan foothills. Then in October, 1906, he began walking on the roads, wearing a yellow robe and turban. The yellow robe was the “uniform” of a Hindu Sadhu [holy man]. The young Sundar Singh had chosen the Sadhu’s way, but he would be a Sadhu of a different way; the way of the cross. He became known as “the apostle with bleeding feet.”
In 1914 Sundar Singh was in Darjeeling District and entered Nepal by the village of Simana. He preached to the people along the way until he reached Ilam. [Now, 100 years later, a Restoration Branch is located in Ilam!]. The day was special, with the bazaar filled with people. Sundar stood and preached Christ to the crowds of people. When an officer arrived, he arrested the preacher, and after a discussion, had him escorted back over the border. But Sundar returned and continued preaching. This time they put him in prison, fastened his hands and feet in stocks, stripped off his clothes and left leeches to suck on his body. They threw filth and abused him. At first he felt his sufferings very much, but then the presence of the Lord filled him, and turned the prison into a paradise. He sang songs, praising God, with people listening, and he preached to them again. When he was released, although he was very weak, he made his way back to India.
My love to all,