In my home, JESUS was just another word. It really carried no significant meaning. Since I was born a Hindu and raised on the grounds of a Hindu temple, Christianity was never mentioned or accepted. My parents’ arranged marriage failed three months after I was conceived, and I was raised by wonderful grandparents who loved me dearly. Mom was fourteen and my Dad fifteen. Arranged marriages were and are a part of our custom.
My loving grandmother was a very religious, devoted and wonderful human being. Her day started at 3 AM every morning in our temple. The first thing she would do was to make sure she plucked the best flowers from the beautiful flower garden she kept. Some mornings the rain was in torrents; yet, that did not deter her from gathering the flowers so that she could offer them up in her worship. My grandmother was truly a Hindu devotee – so devoted that she bathed the Hindu idols with cow's milk. Nothing but the best for what she believed in.
It was her plan that after she passed on, my Uncle Sone would take over the duties of the temple.
Even though I was loved and treated special by my twelve aunts and uncles, I still somehow felt empty. Deep in my being something was missing. I felt lonely and alone. At the age of twelve, I had a dream in which I saw myself kneeling at the back of a small church and weeping profusely. In the dream, I had just been reprimanded by my grandmother and had ran out of the house. I dashed across the street and ran into this church. While kneeling there, I sensed Someone else was in the room. As I slowly lifted my head, I could see Someone gracefully walking towards me. As soon as my eyes saw Him, I was made to understand, in my heart, that this Person was Jesus. It seemed somehow, that this thought was “injected” in my heart and mind.
As I continued to look at Him, this beautiful Person came and knelt next to me. He put one of His arms around my shoulder and wiped my teary eyes with His other hand. Then, He said these words to me: “Do not weep, My child. Whatsoever you shall ask the Father for in My Name, you shall receive.” (John 16:23). I don’t remember what happened after that, except to say that when I woke up the next morning, I announced that I “dreamt Jesus.” It meant nothing to me. No one responded. I guess it meant nothing to them, either.
I was past fifteen when I saw my Dad for the first time. I was nine years old when I found out that my “elder sister” was in fact my Mom.
By the age of eighteen and fresh out of high school, I, too, was married. It was a total tragedy. I suffered rejection, violence, rape, unfaithfulness, pain, pain and more pain. Alcohol was also a factor. Because I had led a very sheltered life, I was in total shock. I was devastated. Due to shame, I kept my heartaches to myself. I smiled and pretended everything was all right. But, in my heart, I was dying. I did not want to burden anyone with my problems. Soon after, the marriage ended.
I was so empty. Surely, there must be something more to life than this! But, I reminded myself that I was most likely paying for some past deed in my last life. Because I was raised to believe in reincarnation, thinking this way was so natural. Yet, there was this gnawing in my very being. I thought of suicide. After all, I will come back again – or so I thought.
By the time I was thirty-one years old, I had had three arranged, violent, short, and failed marriages. I was a total basket case. During this period, I went to the mountains of the Himalayas in India, searching for Peace and Truth, looking for God. After two days of driving by car, and five hours of riding by horse, up the mountain, I stood in very cold mountain water, knee-deep, waiting my turn to fall before a stone idol, one of my gods. My turn came and nothing in me changed. After another five hours down the Himalayas, we had to drive through a sand storm during the two days journey back to my relatives’ home. I also took the “holy” bath in the great Ganges river. Yet, I was a total wreck. Nothing seemed to work for me. I was so lonely. I looked for love and acceptance. One day I pointed my fist towards the sky and said, “If You are God, I dare You strike me dead! I am a good person and is this what You are doing to me?” I was totally out of my mind. Pain and anger were my focus. I was angry with the world. My only glimmer of joy was in my young son.
I was born in Trinidad, moved to the United States, came to Canada, went to India, returned to Canada, moved back to the United States, living in Florida, Georgia and then New York. By this time, my son was six years old. What pain is caused to our children when homes are broken! It is unthinkable! I thank God for the day He looked down from His Holy Heaven and saved me from the very pits of a burning Hell!!!
This is how it happened: I was suffering from deep, manic depression. I refused to comb my hair, brush my teeth, take a shower, talk to anyone; most often, I just stayed in bed. I was angry with the world, and angry with everyone else. My aunt, at whose place my son and I were staying, did not know what to do to help me. She and I were just two years apart, and we had grown up together in Trinidad. She helped me in every way she could have, but nothing seemed to work. She cared for my son, as her own. She had a family of her own, so my son had a lot of company.
One Saturday morning, I got out from my bed, dressed and went out, not knowing where I was going. I walked the streets of New York City aimlessly, ending up in Manhattan. I wandered for a while and on my way back home picked up a newspaper. I got home, headed to the bedroom and sat on the bed. Angrily opening the newspaper and flipping it from page to page, I came across the Church section. Suddenly, I felt as if I was “arrested”.
Something within my being seemed to “boom” and echoed three times, “Call the Church. Call the Church. Call the Church.” I reached my hand for the telephone. As it rang, I felt I should slam it down. But, God had other plans! The voice on the other end said, “Hello.” It was the Pastor who answered the phone. This dear man turned out to be a former Hindu! While he was still in India, during their family devotions, his mother had been killed as she worshipped the cobra. Soon after that, some missionaries had told him about the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I was crying uncontrollably, actually bawling. As I sobbed, I told him that I so needed help. He spoke gently, saying that he knew someone who could help me. He promised me that I would be helped and that I should meet with him and his wife the next day, Sunday. Before he hung the phone, he prayed for me.
The next morning, New York City was blanketed with a terrible snowstorm. The buses were getting stuck all over the place. My well-meaning aunt tried to discourage me from leaving home to “go out in that weather.” I remember replying to her, “I need help. I am going.” I got lost all over New York City. Though I had lived there years before, my mind was so disoriented. Anyhow, slowly, I found my way back. Someone was waiting to pick me up at the subway station.
That day in February of 1984, without really understanding what I was doing, I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus really did come into my heart through His Holy Spirit. He washed me and cleansed me by His precious Blood, cleaned up my life, baptized me with His Holy Ghost and Fire, and showed me in His Word, the Holy Bible, what He spoke to me when I was just a twelve-year old child! Yes, Jesus is real. Because of that faithful Pastor, the Lord saved my soul and completely turned my life around. After FIVE years of paid newspaper advertisement, I was his only convert. Thank God for His faithful Pastors and faithful people! God is so faithful! If the Lord can take my very broken and shattered life and fix it, believe me, my friend, He can do the same for you.
In the first few weeks after my conversion, the Lord graciously sent me a wonderful set of God-fearing people to help and encourage me in my newfound faith. These dear ones – Pastor and Sister Samraj, the Thangavelus, their Mom whom everyone calls “Amma”, Sister Lily and others – loved, prayed and comforted me. Also Mrs. Margaret Curtis, her husband, and their daughter Anne extended such hospitality and help to me when I was a hurting stranger in their city. These people were a “life-line” for me, and I am indebted to each one for the rest of my life. I simply would not be where I am today were it not for the grace that the Lord showed me through them.
For many years I was ashamed to share this testimony due to the stigma divorce carries among certain groups of people. But by God’s grace, no longer. My past does not dictate my future. I am FREE IN CHRIST!! God took my broken life and is using it for His purposes and glory. God forgave the woman at the well who had five husbands, plus. (St. John, chapter 4.) He forgave me, too!! Praise the Lord! After my conversion, I returned to Canada with my son. The Lord restored my family life. This time He arranged my marriage. Today, to the glory of our wonderful God, my husband and I are ordained ministers. JESUS IS LORD!
In 1995, I was assessed with a Bachelor of Theology degree when I was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by Dr. Harold Vick, President of the Jacksonville Theological Seminary, Jacksonville, Florida, USA. In 1996, I graduated as a Certified Pastoral Counsellor from The Evangelical Order of Certified Pastoral Counsellors of America.
On Tuesday November 21, 1995 at 1:03 A.M. two days after the first service of Rivers Of Living Water Church, a ministry my husband and I pastored in Toronto for eighteen years, I had a divine encounter with the Spirit Of the Living God. During this visitation, the Holy Spirit imparted to me the gift of a Healing Anointing. Since that time, many have received healing from our Lord Jesus Christ as He uses this vessel to pray for the sick. To God be all the glory! To read more about my experience with the Holy Spirit, please click on Holy Spirit Visitation.
What Has Happened To My Family Since...
Needless to say, after my conversion my family thought I had gone crazy! Their choice of words revealed what they thought of me and how they felt. They angrily informed me I had brought shame upon them and upon my race of people. They were very hurt and upset with me. I was termed a traitor and felt like an outcast. To me that was quite painful. I didn't want them to feel hurt but I had made my choice and there was no turning back. Praise God Almighty, by His grace, I chose to honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is The Good, Faithful, Covenant-Keeping God.
– My very religious, devoted, beloved Grandmother received Christ on her deathbed. She went to be with our Lord Jesus Christ.
– One early Sunday morning in December 1996, a few hours before the service, my dear Mother walked into the Church. She ran towards me, repeatedly weeping. “I want what you have,” she said. God, Whose I am and Whom I serve, faithfully gave me the awesome privilege of leading my Mother to Him. As I led her in the prayer of repentance, I wept with her. Words cannot express what I felt. Five months later, my dear Mother was suddenly called Home to be with our Lord.
– Upon informing my Stepmother of my Mom's decease, I mentioned to her that Mom is with Christ. Before we hung up the telephone, my dear Stepmother was a new creation in Christ – Saved. Long distance from Trinidad! Thank God there is no distance with God! Praise God!
– Since I received Christ as my Lord and Saviour, four of my uncles have also received Jesus as Lord. Among them is my precious Uncle Sone who was next in line to the temple.
As for the temple? My Uncle Sone demolished it. As he explained to me, “Since I am now going to Church, I will not be going to the temple.”
I continue to pray for household salvation. God is Faithful.
May the Father, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit be glorified.
If, as I was, you, too, are hurting and searching, Christ, the Son of God, wants to heal you and set you free. You are not a mistake. You were created by God for a special purpose. True peace and love can be found only in Him! The devil is a liar and a thief, but the Lord Jesus Christ came to give you LIFE! He shed His Blood for you on the Cross. Pray this prayer sincerely from your heart to receive Jesus Christ into your life:
“Heavenly Father, I ask You to forgive me for all my sins. I thank You for loving me and for sending Your Son Jesus to die for me on the Cross. Lord Jesus, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Please come into my heart and change my life by Your Holy Spirit. Wash my sins away by Your Precious Blood and help me to live to glorify You. I pray this prayer in faith and I thank You for doing it. I ask this, Heavenly Father, In Jesus' Name. Amen.”
If you have prayed this prayer, your next step is to get into a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching Church. This is how you will grow in your faith. We would be glad to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us. God bless you richly!
Sister Prema Pelletier