My name is Deepak Idnani and I am a Sindhi Christian. I am 40 years old, single and live in South London, England where I work as a Chartered Accountant. I am actively involved in a local Pentecostal Church and in Prayer Fellowship for South Asia. My interests include reading widely, walking in the countryside, theatre, classical music and board games.
I was born in India to Hindu parents, and at 9 months of age immigrated to England with my family. As a small child, I knew God existed. I believed the blowing of the wind through the trees and the movement of white fluffy clouds across the sky to be the actions of Guru Baba.
When I was five, and my brother four, Christian neighbours started taking us to Sunday School. When the teacher first mentioned Jesus’ name, something stirred deep within my spirit and I felt drawn to this person.
So, from an early age we learnt about Christianity at Sunday School, and Hindu gods at home, where we participated in pujas and other rituals. Both faiths had many morals and principles in common, but also significant differences which confused me, but my heart was deepening in love for Jesus and I spent a lot of time praying to Him and reading my Bible.
I was almost ten when I believed strongly that I had to commit my life to the one living God and His Son, Jesus, who had died to pay the penalty for my sins. One Sunday night, I knelt by my bed and asked the Lord Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my life. From that moment, I knew I was accepted by God and would be with Him forever when I died.
Concerned about my parents’ reaction, I decided not to tell them but continue going to Sunday School for as long as they would allow me. At 14 my parents felt I was getting too interested in Christianity and asked me to stop going to church (my brother had already stopped, having decided he didn’t want to become a Christian).
I still didn’t have the courage to tell them I was following Jesus and decided instead to respect their decision and stop going to church until I was an adult. I hid my Bible under my bed and read through it in the middle of weekend nights. I kept praying that I would have the courage to be honest with my parents about my faith.
In February 1985, during my first year at university, I gained the boldness to write a letter to my parents informing them that I was a Christian and explaining my reasons for that choice. Their reply expressed shock and concern and asked to discuss the matter during Easter vacation.
After a long discussion, also involving my brother, they agreed to let me follow my faith and get baptised, though they chose not to attend the service that May. After some time, my parents came to terms with my decision, even attending a few Christian events themselves.
Over the years, I have found I can talk to the Lord Jesus about anything and trust Him to guide me and provide for all my needs. He has given me a deep love for God and people and given me an inner strength, most notably demonstrated in 1998, when I was diagnosed as having the rare disease Pemphigus Vulgaris. It causes the body to start destroying its own skin by raising large blisters over it, mistaking it for a foreign body.
It’s incurable but can be controlled by high doses of strong steroids and immunosuppressants, which were quite debilitating and I had to be away from work for a long time. During this time I took comfort from the experiences of Job, whose body was also covered with painful sores, and I was strengthened by the prayers and love of family, relatives and friends from all faiths. I sensed the Lord’s presence near me and found that I could accept His will even though it was hard. I opened myself up to receive His joy and peace.
Over the next two years God brought an almost complete healing, and I now have only rare and isolated skin lesions and have been able to work again normally since 2001.
In February 2004, I sadly lost my father. He had read some of the Bible, attended church with me and listened to a few Bible teaching tapes. My pastor was at the hospital bedside when he passed away and we both felt a sense that he had come to know the Lord Jesus in his spirit and was now at home with Him. As a family we have known tremendous peace and comfort from God since the bereavement.
I am thankful to the Lord Jesus for giving me eternal life and being my closest friend, with me through good times and bad.