Faith and Friends is an Outreach magazine to the Salvation Army. Every Month we feature an article from this publication.
The odds were astronomical, but that one call changed my life.
November 29, 2017 by Sajanth Mohanakanthan
"Are you the astrologer?” my mother asked the voice at the other end of the line.
“No, I’m afraid you have the wrong number,” the woman answered in my mother’s native Tamil. “Why do you want an astrologer?” the woman unexpectedly asked.
Taken aback, my mother answered, “Uh, I want to know what my family’s future is going to be like.”
“I know someone who can do that,” the woman replied, “and who has our future in His hands.” The lady then proceeded to tell my mother about God. And that was the moment that my life changed forever.
Help for a Mother
I was born in Sri Lanka, and my family immigrated to Canada when I was six years old.
We were practising Hindus. We went to temple every Tuesday and Friday, regularly gave offerings and prayed to the hundreds of gods whose statues and photos dotted our apartment, turning to whatever one we thought could help us. We had a god for education, a god for family, a god for wealth, a god for every situation you could think of. We believed in God but we thought of Jesus as just one of the many hundreds of other gods that we worshiped.
Growing up in Canada was difficult for my brother, sister and me. Our father drank and was abusive, and my parents separated when I was 16. My mother did a wonderful job raising us, but we grew up on a rougher side of Toronto, and my brother and I were dealing with school, peer pressure, drugs, gangs and violence. Without a father or any type of father figure, I had no reference points to steer by. It was a very dark time in my life.
At her wits’ end, my mother decided to consult a Hindu astrologer. She’d been turning to the gods we knew but had gotten no answers to her prayers.
My mother had the contact information of an astrologer she’d consulted a number of years before and decided to try him again. But when she called, it was a wrong number.
Back in the days of land lines, when you moved, your telephone number did not move with you, and was eventually given to someone else.
This number had not only been reassigned to a Christian, but this woman was once a Hindu herself who also happened to be Tamil-speaking just like my mom. When you consider the thousands of possibilities in a seven-digit phone number, the odds of the number my mother dialed going to a Bible-believing Tamil speaker are almost impossible to compute.
Normally, the person on the other line says, “Sorry, wrong number,” and hangs up.
Instead, the woman asked whom my mother was looking for.
And then the lady proceeded to share how God had touched her life.
That was the starting point of God’s work in our family.
The woman invited my mother and us children to her church. Mom agreed, thinking that attending church was like going to a Hindu temple. Little did we know!
It was Sunday, July 7, 2002, a weekend I will never forget. The guest speaker was from India. As I listened to the words the man was speaking, they touched me to the core of who I was. I don’t know what came over me, but I wept through the entire service, and I was not a teen to display my emotions openly.
I couldn’t explain to myself what had happened that evening, why I had acted the way I did, but I was determined to find out, so I attended the service the next night. But as with the evening before, from the beginning of the service to its end, I couldn’t stop sobbing.
Seeing my distress, the speaker plucked me out of the congregation and called me up. In front of the assembled congregation, he prayed over me and announced that despite my past life, God was going to use me for good.
All of a sudden, the blinders fell away from my eyes. I knew who God was, I knew that I had a relationship with Him, and I knew that if I talked to God, God would talk back. I could feel God’s presence in the church, I could sense God in my heart. And I knew that this is who I wanted to give my life to.
That night, I became a Christian, and the rest of my family soon followed me on that same path.
A Life Lived Well
After graduating from university as a college admissions counsellor, I became a full-time evangelist in 2015, and I am now pastor at a church in Toronto. Today, Christ is at the centre of my life. I have a beautiful wife who I met through my campus ministry, and we have three wonderful children.
I love to share the gospel, I love to see those who have been away from God come into a relationship with Him, to know God on a personal level and live their life not just for today but for eternity.
I look back at my life and I am grateful, not least because a woman was there to pick up the phone and not hang up on a wrong number.