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Major Suresh S Pawar (India Western Territory)

Major Suresh S Pawar
India Western Territory

No more an Orphan

I was orphaned at one year old. My mother went in search of work but never returned. An unmarried mother, she left me at the Army and they took me in. I stayed at a Salvation Army children’s home in Mumbai until I was nine years old then transferred to a Salvation Army school at Ahmednagar. I stayed there until high school, then moved out on my own. I found part-time work to help get me through college.

I was a very different kind of person. I was an angry man. And was unpleasant. I didn’t like to have friends, but liked loneliness. I would do what felt like doing with no regard for others. Although I grew up in Salvation Army children’s home, I had no respect for the Army or its workers.

But at age 18, while still at college, I attended a Christian meeting. Onlookers were stunned and waited for the disruption I always caused. They talked about “Jesus, the answer.” At the end of the meeting I was the first to make his way to the front. But this time, instead of trouble, I prayed and asked Jesus into his life.

One day in the early hours of the morning I left home and walked to the mountains, to reach Monkey Hill, 95 kilometers away from Pune. I prayed for many hours and God revealed a message “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14). I knew then that I was to live as a light for God.

Weak, with no money and still fasting, I began my trek down the mountain. As I tumbled through a town, beneath my long hair and scruffiness, a friend recognized me. He took me home, fed, cleaned, and gave shelter. After three months I returned to college.

I still had my terrible reputation to face. Also a major bridge to mend. I had to seek forgiveness from a lady officer who became very ill as a result of threats I made to her: she listened and forgave.

In time I offered myself as an officer. At that time the Salvation Army Training College was closed because there were no candidates for the training. I, along with my friend from college were the first persons to be accepted for training in 1979.

Now I am married to an orphan girl Martha, who was also brought up by the Salvation Army, and she had experienced her own calling for officership. God has blessed us with three children and now we are no more orphans. The aim of our lives is to be a candle in the darkness, and it is God who is keeping it burning by His grace and leading us by His Holy Spirit.

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