Sobana’s Passion

Sobana Raju

Southern India | January 15

Sobana [SO-bah-nah] walked quickly along the street beside her husband. She loved it when he could go with her as she shared God’s love with people in her town. Sobana’s husband, a student at the Adventist seminary, joined her as she visited people door-to-door whenever he didn’t have classes.

This day Sobana, a lay evangelist, was meeting with a small group in the home of Darwin, a man whom she had met during her visits. Darwin was excited about what Sobana was teaching him and often invited friends to join them for Bible studies in his home. Soon a small group was meeting regularly in his home. Sobana was thrilled! She could hardly wait to see what God had planned for these people.

The Temple Priest’s Discovery 

Darwin had invited Kishore to the small group Bible study. Kishore was a respected priest in several temples in the city, so the Bible study group was new to him. His eyes shone with interest and curiosity. 

That day Kishore seemed especially eager to speak. After the group opened the meeting with prayer, Kishore spoke. “I’ve read in our holy books about a holy man who was highly praised. He is referred to as a man who was inflicted with five wounds. Who is this person?” 

Sobana looked at her husband. He opened his Bible and read several verses about the crucifixion. “The man who received five wounds is Jesus,” he said. “He was crucified on a cross to save us from our sins that separate us from God. Nails pierced his hands and feet, and a sword pierced his side. Those were his five wounds. He died on the cross to save us,” he said reverently. 

“Kishore’s eyes lit up. “I read another passage from a holy book. It says: ’Praise God for He who walked on water.’ Is this another reference to Jesus?” he asked eagerly. 

Sobana smiled and told the story of Jesus walking on the water. Kishore’s interest grew stronger as he listened and put pieces of holy writings together to form a picture of this Jesus whom he was getting to know. 

As Sobana talked about the Ten Commandments, Kishore listened intently as she read each one. Although Kishore’s religion included many gods, he nodded as he heard the commandment that forbids worship of any other gods. With each commandment he nodded. He understood. 

A Costly Decision 

The group grew, in part because Kishore invited several others to attend with him. Eventually Kishore took his stand for Christ and asked to become a Christian. Nine others followed his example and accepted Jesus as their Savior. Eventually all 10 were baptized. But it wasn’t an easy decision. When Kishore left the priesthood in the temple, his wife left him and took their daughter with her. The rest of his family disowned him. Old friends no longer speak to him.

Alone in his now-empty home, Kishore battled his emotions. His decision to follow Christ had come with a high price, but Kishore knew the cost was worth it. He wanted to share his new love for Christ with others. 

Sobana has trained the members of this small group to give Bible studies, and Kishore and Darwin now share God’s love with others. Jesus is so precious to them, so much more important than the ancient rituals they once practiced. They’ve learned how to give Bible studies to others and are sharing what they know with those who will listen. A pastor has been assigned to nurture this group. 

Moving On 

Sobana knew it was time to begin work in another area of the region where people hadn’t yet had a chance to hear the story of Jesus. But where should she go? The couple prayed together for God’s direction, and God laid a new location on Sobana’s heart. 

The area God showed her was three miles beyond the city’s bus routes. Sobana must walk from the last bus stop to reach the only Adventist home in the area. But God is blessing, and already 12 people are gathering to study together.

Sobana is passionate about teaching these new believers that Jesus loves them. “I love what I’m doing, fulfilling my mission by teaching people about Christ,” she says. “This is God’s work, and I’m content to do it as long as He needs me.” 

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Luke 10:2, NIV). Our mission offerings help make it possible for Global Mission to send hundreds of lay evangelists such as Sobana wherever Jesus’ name has yet to be proclaimed. Thank you for sharing so that others may hear of God’s love.

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