During my stay in Mauritius I was invited to a brother’s house for dinner, and I was struck by the deep love that the man of the house had: he wanted to know all about me and he went about it in the most gracious and considerate manner I had ever seen. He also wanted to share his story with me, and by the time he finished I had made a 180-degree turn in my perspective of this quiet, unassuming man. Below, with his permission, I have reproduced his story:
“My name is John Paul Pyndiah and I was born 54 years ago. In 1980 the Lord touched my heart and I got saved and joined a Pentecostal church here in Mauritius. Reading through the Book of Acts, I was moved by the lifestyle that I saw in the early church – the unity, simplicity and love that existed in the Church then. I always desired to live that life. But things did not go like that. In the church I was in I could see each of us making an effort to live that life, but it was not real.
In 1989 I got married to a sister who was a member of the Christian Church (Eglise Chretienne) in Curepipe. At first it was okay, each one going to his/her own church. But for me this soon created a big problem. I expected my wife to follow me to my church, and this expectation brought problems in our marriage. In fact, I was praying constantly and expecting a miracle for my wife to join me in my church, and I stood on the Word of God which says that the husband is the head of the house and the wife ought to submit to him.
But things did not work out as I was praying and expecting, and my heart began to become bitter, broken and desperate, and I did not know what to do. One day, a pastor of Eglise Chretienne came to visit us and while I was sharing with him my hurt feelings, he simply asked me to seek the Lord and ask Him to give me an open heart so that I could see His plan for our lives.
I had never heard that kind of language before and it left me deeply mystified. I did not understand what he was trying to tell me. I was attending a church where they taught on prosperity, blessings, healings and miracles. The word ‘open heart’ was a new vocabulary to me and I did not understand it.
Sometime afterwards, the company I was working for sent me on a mission to the neighboring island of Rodrigues. It was then that a miracle happened. I was looking for a church to worship in and the first church I came across was a Eglise Chretienne church….
I went and met the pastor, who immediately invited me to his home. When I arrived there I was surprised to see the small house he was living in – a small 2-bedroom house. But what really astonished me was to see the great number of people who lived in that house. Altogether, there were 25 people living there – young, old, men and women, people of different backgrounds and all living together in peace and joy, sharing whatever they had together.
At that very moment, the Lord opened my eyes and I understood that He had answered my prayer. I had always prayed that the Lord would show me the kind of life that I read about in the Bible. When I saw what was going on in that pastor’s small house and realized it was real, I knew I had seen the reality of the gospel. It was so clear that I remember feeling as if scales had literally fallen from my eyes. I understood for the first time how the gospel had changed these people’s hearts and brought them together in unity and love just as in the Book of Acts.
At that very moment also, without further thought or deliberation, I made a decision to join my wife in her church, the Eglise Chretienne; and I have been there ever since. It is now 20 years since and I have never regretted the decision I took that day. On the contrary, I came to understand how great God’s love for me was and how He had opened a door through my marriage to bring me to understand the gospel of the Cross, the peculiar revelation that was delivered to the Apostle Paul. I realized that had been His desire for me all along.
Two years after my return from Rodrigues, my wife gave birth to a wonderful son. Today he is a born- again young man who fervently loves the Lord. I am happy he got saved under this gospel because in the world we are living in this gospel is my only assurance for his security. It is the only gospel that has the power to secure his life on a firm foundation which can withstand the pressures of today’s world.
In retrospect, I can see that even before I got the revelation of the Cross, I loved the Lord and my heart was sincere. But I did not have that revelation of what Christ had accomplished for me on the Cross, and how I was required to identify my life with that work of the Cross. I was therefore walking in defeat and I could not overcome the things of my flesh. But I witnessed a different lifestyle from my wife.
I thank God for revealing the Cross of Jesus in my heart. This is the gospel that the Apostle Paul calls the power of God. It is also the gospel that Paul himself submitted himself to, in order to crucify the flesh and walk in spiritual victory over the flesh and all the works of the devil. He says in Galatians 6: 14 ‘But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.’”