Chandra is a SOON reader from Andhra Pradesh State, India. He runs an orphanage where he looks after many people who need help – orphans, widows and handicapped people. He works hard to care for them, but he was not always a caring person. Here is his story:
A man died because I hated God and all Christians. The aim of my life was to beat up any Christians I saw in the street, if they were speaking about God and his love. Sometimes I burnt their Bibles (the Christians' holy book) and tore their booklets, throwing them onto dust-heaps. My friends and I burnt their bags and clothes too. I wanted to kill all the Christians I saw. At that time I had a jewellery shop with ten people working for me. I wasted the income of the shop, spending the money in ways that gave me pleasure but no real peace or happiness.
Three pastors used to come to my shop to pray for me, but one day I closed the doors and beat them up. I took off their clothes and burned them. All they could do was watch me. Because of the beating, one of the pastors died.
The police arrested me for murder and I was given life imprisonment. I prayed to all my gods to save me from the prison, but nothing happened. I was still in prison.
My behaviour changed in prison
One day a pastor came to the prison. He told all the prisoners about God – and how he sent Jesus Christ into the world to die so that our wrong-doing could be forgiven. The pastor gave us booklets which I read. My life started to change. I began to study the Bible – the book I hated and burned before. I learned to talk to God.
My behaviour began to change. Because I now behaved well, the head of the prison gave my name to the authorities to release me. At last I was free – free from prison and free from the hate which had taken over my life. I began to tell people about all that God did for me and all he can do for them. My hate has changed into love. Now I want to help people in need."