Today, with much thanksgiving to God, we publish the testimonies of the first batch of three students who are completing their course in GBI, Vizag. We praise the Lord for the enabling grace upon Pr Sujith Samuel who has laboured assiduously for the past 5 years to set up churches and GBI in Visakhapatnam (Vizag) and its vicinities. Let us pray earnestly for open doors for those who are trained to preach.
Pastor Murthy James
Greetings in the name our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I’m Pastor Murthy James, a student who is completing the course in Gethsemane Bible Institute.
Firstly, I thank God for the opportunity to study in GBI. I feel very blessed to complete the course in this institute. During the course, I have learnt a lot of spiritual truths that help me a lot in my biblical thinking. As I attended the lectures on many doctrinal subjects during the course, they gave me a clear-cut understanding of the Scriptures. Really, this period of study in GBI has been a very wonderful period in my life that enhanced me spiritually to serve the LORD.
I was very motivated to learn about TULIP (5 points of Calvinism), and I am still very excited about the truths it imparted to me. Oh, how essential are those doctrines! It taught so clearly God’s election, depravity of man, salvation by faith alone, the eternal security of believers, etc. In addition, I greatly benefited from the course on Systematic Theology taught by Rev. Dr Prabhudas Koshy, who explained theological topics in a very efficient and devotional manner. While learning the doctrine of Ecclesiology, I learned biblical truths concerning the church and its government, which would certainly help me in my pastoral ministry to organise and guide the church. The classes on the doctrines of Pneumatology, Eschatology and all the other topics were interesting, and helped to mould my Scriptural understanding on those topics.
Likewise, learning Westminster standards, taught by Pr Sujith Samuel, a faithful servant of God, was also a great experience in His Word. Every subject (including the online courses from FEBC) of each semester was very profitable. The topics taught were essential, which deepened my understanding of the Holy Scriptures and also increased my spiritual devotion. Learning from God’s revelation in His Word filled me with fear towards God and excitement to serve Him.
As I graduate, I thank God for His help and guidance through the entire course. I am also thankful to each faculty member who has taught me with utmost efforts and with God’s love. May God bless the organisers of GBI, and use the ministry of GBI to expand His kingdom on earth. Please pray for me and my ministry work.
Kattu Praveen Kumar
My name is Kattu Praveen Kumar. I was born in a Christian family and I lived in K. Kotapadu village for 34 years. After receiving Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, I was later baptised on 8th April 2007. In 2008, while I was fasting and praying, I was overwhelmed by the reading of the Word of God from Psalm 45:4 – “And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.” It excited and strengthened me, filling me with a great desire to be in God’s ministry, and I began to consider God’s work and the church ministry.
In those days, my idea of ministry was to do whatever I can in the church, like cleaning the church and preparing everything for the worship, helping the poor and needy who are within and outside of the church, preparing and encouraging the believers for outdoor evangelistic meetings, etc. I would also do my best to help the families of those who went to be with the Lord, and those who are getting married with necessary arrangements. However, I was not spending much time in reading and studying the Bible on my own. In 2015, I attended a 6-day seminar conducted by Haggai International. In that seminar, I have learned about integrity, leadership and evangelism. Then I experienced great struggle in my heart to choose between my job and the ministry. There was a lot of pressure from my family, but my desire was to be in the ministry. In that same year, my elder brother Vinod sent me to a Bible college run by the Church of Christ in Visakhapatnam. However, I could not agree with their doctrinal stand, and I stopped going to the college.
Then in 2017, when Pr Sujith Samuel came to Kotapadu, my native village, I heard his message. When we conversed, he encouraged me and asked me to spend some time with him in fellowship. This was also the time that I was studying the books of Ezra and Nehemiah with my church youths. Through that study, my desire to serve the LORD in the ministry started increasing. When Rev. Prabhudas Koshy came to Visakhapatnam in June 2018, he asked me, “Are you ready to serve God?” I replied him that I was ready. Then Pr Sujith encouraged me to study in the Bible Institute, which he started in the city. With his encouragement, I enrolled in GBI, and I was the first student there. Although I had to stop (after only one week) due to some severe problems, God gave another opportunity a year later (July 2019) to return to GBI and continued with my studies. By the grace of God, I studied for the past three years in GBI.
It was, firstly, an opportunity to correct myself in many areas of my life according to His Word. Through GBI, I came to understand what the ministry of the church is all about, and the importance of the Word of God in the ministry of the church. I learned how to study the Word of God, how I should apply its truths in my life, and how I should preach it in the church. I am also thankful to learn how to preach the Gospel to the unbelievers. All these encourage me a lot to look forward to the ministry.
I thank God for the following who have been used by the Lord: our local pastor, Rev. G. E. Stephenson, my family who encouraged me to undergo training, and especially Rev. Prabhudas Koshy and Pr Sujith Samuel for giving me the privilege to study at GBI (even though my study was disrupted for a year).
Joyson Kumar Chinchani
My name is Joyson Kumar Chinchani. I am from the state of Odisha. Though I was born and brought up in a Christian family, I was lost in the world, living a worldly life. By the grace of God, on 22nd November 2010, I was led to attend a prayer meeting and listened to the Word of God. I was convicted of my sins there and then, acknowledging that I am a sinner. I sought God for the forgiveness of my sins that I have done in my past, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.
Then I wanted to know more about Jesus Christ. I started to desire to attend a Bible college to learn more of His Word. By the grace of God, through my elder brother, in 2011, I had an opportunity to study in a Bible college in Secunderabad. While I was studying there, I got baptised. I studied there for two years. After completion of my studies, I did not join any ministry, but took a job in a company because of the severe financial crisis my family encountered.
However, I was sure about my calling to serve the Lord in the ministry. In the year 2017, through my elder brother, I came to know Pr Sujith Samuel and Rev. Prabhudas Koshy. My brother and Pr Sujith conducted a pastoral training in my hometown. The teacher was Rev. Koshy. When I had an opportunity to talk with Rev. Koshy, he asked me to come to GBI, which was being organised in Visakhapatnam, and study His Word. I was happy that such an opportunity was available, and immediately I said “yes” to it.
Subsequently, on 6th August 2018, I joined GBI. I am thankful to God for learning His Word in GBI. By His grace, I am about to complete my course, and I wish to serve God according to His will, seeking His guidance upon me and my family.