I recently helped Tapan Saha write his testimony about finding Christ. Tap is a soldier (member) of The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville. Here’s his story:
I was born to a Hindu family in East Pakistan. I first learned about Christians when I went to the Southern District where my parents were the owners and landlords of a large rice plantation.
There were three religious groups that were share croppers for my parents: Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. From my parents conversations I learned that Christian share croppers were the most honest of the three. I was impressed with how neat the Christians kept their yards, gardens, and homes. The Christians would even bring eggs, chickens, and fruits to my parents to show their appreciation for allowing them to be sharecroppers.
As a child I went by the local Christian church many times and Christians often invited us to their church and to visit their homes. We went a few times.
During the civil war between West and East Pakistan we migrated to India as refugees. Then my brother, who lived in Albany, New York, decided to bring me to the United States. I was sixteen.
In New York my best friend was a Christian and I often went with him to the Greek Orthodox Church, but they never asked me to become a Christian.
During college I took a summer job selling Bibles for The Southwestern Company in Nashville for two summers: 1976 and 1977. I learned how to explain the Bible very well through a memorized sales talk and was in the Top 100 salesmen.
After college I moved to Nashville and met Mr. M.A. Henderson who was the chairman of the board for The Gideons International. He explained to me about John 3:16 and gave me a Bible in the Bengali language (my mother tongue). He frequently took me to his Presbyterian church. He kept telling me I wouldn’t know God until I converted to Christianity, but I told him that something similar to that is also said in Hinduism.
I joined the US Navy and would go to chapel every Sunday to catch up on my sleep. However, gradually I began to understand the importance of Christianity.
In 2009 I became a bell ringer for the Berry Street Corps with The Salvation Army. Steve and Ernie Simms invited me to visit their church. I fell in love with Steve and Ernie and their sincerity, love, and zeal for Christianity. I kept on coming every Sunday even after the bell ringing season ended and I have continued to attend since that first Christmas and to also go to Bible study and prayer meeting.
After attending Berry Street for a while I started changing. I felt the Holy Spirit coming into me and convicting me to become a Christian. I kept watching how Steve and Ernie treat people with love, respect, and dignity. I even began to study the Bible at home.
Now I am a Christian and I want to follow Jesus Christ the rest of my life. I became a soldier in July of 2011. I feel like God is calling me to be an officer in The Salvation Army and I am ready to pursue His plans for me.
(Come and experience the power of Christ working in our participatory worship gatherings at: 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207 at 10:45 on Sunday mornings.)