To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance…
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
When Manohar’s father, a Bible instructor in his home-state of Bihar, learned that there was a maintenance position open at the G.O.D. offices in the NCR, he immediately recommended one of his students, Niraj. In addition to being his teacher, he was Niraj’s closest confidant. He knew that Niraj was one of seven children who had grown up in humble surroundings, in a home without a father, and yet was someone who was identifiably faithful and trustworthy. Manohar’s father recognized the fear of the Lord in Niraj, and knew he could use guidance. He urged Manohar to consider Niraj for the position. It has now been eight months since Manohar has been Niraj’s new mentor and friend. He has grown so much. This article is our attempt to share some of the precious work that has happened in Niraj’s life since then.
When NIraj arrived to work at the offices in G.O.D. India, he arrived with his teacher’s recommendation and a desire to learn the Bible, but little in the way of job experience or training. Manohar and Niraj talked together about the first few months of working together. Manohar commented that Niraj was quick to do whatever he was asked, but lacked the ability to assess the best way to do certain jobs. Manohar knew that he had to help him with management and organization, but also could see Niraj’s desire to improve.
Pretty quickly, Manohar observed that Niraj was not spending adequate time in the Bible and prayer. Niraj was experiencing loneliness, in part because of his move to a new location, but Manohar also knew that it was related to his spiritual development. Manohar challenged him to grow from being simply sweet and trustworthy, to someone who could access the Lord for guidance and understanding.
On the other side of these eight months, both Manohar and Niraj agree that Niraj’s work has improved and he has become more thoughtful, careful, and organized in his work. Additionally, he is now hungering for the Lord.
Niraj recognizes that Manohar is a mentor that loves him enough to correct him, and also value him as a brother in Christ. When reflecting back on his journey, Niraj said, “When I had come here, I didn’t have any purpose. When I met Manohar Bhaiya (“brother” in Hindi) and developed a friendship with him, I started having [a purpose]. I wanted to do something new and different. He taught me things well and to be organized. The one outstanding moment is when he corrected when I was doing something wrong and taught me how to do it correctly, with patience and love.”
Believing that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, we share Manohar’s hopes for his mentee, “that he would develop into a God-fearing person, who would love to walk with him and grow in his love and knowledge, learning God’s word and being able to teach it.”
Niraj himself can recognize the powerful change, “I have learned that the Lord will never leave me no matter where I am and that He is a provider. I also learned to worship Him differently since I thought that I can worship Him only in a church, but actually He is teaching me that He is everywhere. It has deepened my relationship with Him.”
This is everything we hope for anyone that joins us in the good work that the Lord is doing through G.O.D. India. People make decisions in their life based on perceived consequences. They entertain, “If I make this decision, what will be the result?” “If I move from Bihar to the NCR, what will come next?” “If I go down this path, which benefits will be added to my life, or taken away?”
For Nirajan, he made the decision to follow Jesus in his youth, and the consequences that have followed have profoundly altered his life. As an impressionable Indian youth, his life could have gone in one of many ways. Manohar’s father was able to identify in Niraj that he had found a young man hungry for instruction, ready to be invested into, ripe for empowerment. Niraj is becoming a person of utility for his society. He is growing into a spiritually developed person. We are thankful to walk alongside Nirajan as he grows in his fear of the Lord, instructing him in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity. We are here to help him take a seat in the presence of the Lord, learning to recognize that God’s way is right and his presence is, well, it’s everything.