Searching for meaning in all the wrong places

Searching for Meaning
I was born in the Fiji Islands in 1972 and raised in the Hindu and Sikh religions. After the death of my mother when I was 10, my life was miserable. I was confused. I searched for the meaning of life and pursued God.

Pleasing the gods

Growing up, I wanted to live together forever with my family. I always wondered if there wasn’t a way to be alive forever — because I had been taught that after I died, God would decide which category I would fall into, depending on what I had done in my life.

If I had done good works in this life, in the next life I would be a rich person, living in a good place. But if I had been a bad person, then God would make me a lizard or cow or chicken. So it was always a matter of pleasing God — or rather the gods.

Hindus have 300 million gods, and Sikhs have 10 prophets. So I had to try to make things happen on my own — which I was hardly able to do. It was a real struggle.

Later, I decided to just keep living any way I liked, and let whatever would happen after death be figured out when the time came.

In 1991, I immigrated to Canada. I was happy enough to be given a chance to worship Jesus, although in the form of an idol, because back home it would have been seen as a disgrace to leave your gods and worship some foreign God.

My husband Mahendra and I went through many challenges after being married. Demonic oppression, poverty and sickness were among the things that we were battling through.

We knocked on every door for help. For my peace of mind, I frequently phoned psychic hot lines for answers about what would be in the future for us. I was always interested in knowing what tomorrow would hold.

My husband was suffering from severe pain in his leg and an addiction to smoking. He sat under a Hindu priest, training to became a priest, thinking he might be useful in serving God in some way. We knocked on a lot of doors looking for our breakthrough — a Catholic church, a mosque, a Sikh temple, a Hindu temple. All we found were more conflicts. The psychics took most of our money.

In the midst of all this, we moved from Burnaby to Maple Ridge in 1994. One day in 1997, some of our family members told us about a revival service they were going to in Vancouver, for healing reasons. My husband has a big family, nine brothers and sisters. We were the last ones they told.

We went to check this service out. We made sure that no one would be able to take any more money from us, because we were fed up with all religions. A Christian church was our last stop.

Peace and boldness

The evangelist was singing confidently about someone who would never let go of his hand. This was the first time I had heard someone so confident. It was all so peaceful, and the preacher sang with such boldness. I didn’t know what it was all about, but it didn’t look fake.

At the end of the service, the preacher said that if we kept coming for three Sundays, God would do a miracle in our lives. We thought: why not? It wouldn’t cost us anything. We had already been there one Sunday, and there were only two more to go. We had nothing to lose.

By the second Sunday, my husband’s leg pain, which he had suffered from for years, had left. We couldn’t explain the tremendous peace that we were filled with.

My husband’s craving for cigarettes was also instantly taken away. We wanted to know more about Jesus, because we had never received any miracle like this before.

Later, our family were furious because we wouldn’t turn back from this new path. Within weeks, we had fallen in love with Jesus, because when he touches you, it is like no other touch. The peace we had been seeking for, none could give us except him. He had revealed himself in a mighty way.

We told our family we had found Jesus and couldn’t let him go, because he really was the truth. All my questions about life had been answered. We learned about abundant life, salvation by grace and the works of the Lord.

We realized we couldn’t do anything to gain everlasting life; it was ours simply by believing in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. I cried out, “Thank you, Lord, that I don’t have to do a thing.” God had revealed to us how loving a Father he is.

One day, God spoke to us in our living room about our calling. It was not through psychics or any other human being.

The amazing thing about God is that he is always available and approachable, right where we are, and we don’t have to be afraid. It is because Jesus’ blood sacrifice gives us access to the Father. No matter where we have been, he invites all of us to come to him.

We had already found the purpose of life. Now we began to seek his will for what to do with our lives.

The Bible says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We began to consecrate our lives to God, setting apart our home and ourselves for him and his purposes.

Personal Jerusalem

I ministered to everyone in my personal ‘Jerusalem’ — that is, my work place, the Royal Bank.

My father, sister and brother gave their lives to Jesus. Then we ministered to my mother’s side of the family. They all repented and received the Lord. Some are now pastors, evangelists and counsellors. They also began to seek the Lord for their lives.

In 1998, I left my job at the bank and enrolled at Western Pentecostal Bible College in Abbotsford. I graduated with a BA, with a major in pastoral theology.

We helped with a church plant (Global Harvest Centre) in Abbotsford, and the Lord later gave us our own ministry, called Harvest Time Ministry. Mahendra, a successful businessman, is now devoting his time to this evangelistic ministry, to which God has called us.

The Lord has taken us to many different parts of the world for his glory. We have led crusades in the United States, Fiji, England, Mexico, Bolivia and Korea. We have seen the lame walk, the deaf hear, the demonized set free and cancers healed – all in the name of Jesus (Matthew 10:7-8).

We are forever thankful to Jesus for getting us out of the road to hell and onto the road to heaven. Our prayer is that this testimony will bring glory to Jesus alone.

Prakash and Mahendra Singh reside in Maple Ridge and have two children, Michelle and Joshua. Info: harvesttime.ca.