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Issue 15 – Lent 2023



On a family's faith.


I grew up in India, where the air itself is religious, perfumed with the incense of millions and millions of prayers, predominantly of Hindus and Muslims, but also of Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists, and Jains. My patrimony is Anglican, given that my great-grandfather the Reverend Appaji Trimbak Ramchandran Pathak converted from Hinduism to Christianity. Though he was a Brahmin priest, he became convinced of the truth of Jesus Christ and the one true God, so much so that he gave up his multitude of Hindu gods. I do not know the trials he faced on his way to his priesthood in Christ, but I am grateful for his courage to convert in a largely Hindu nation.

When I was two months old, my parents brought me to be baptized at a Methodist church in Khandwa, the small village in central India where I was born, most likely because the pastor there, Reverend Sham Rao, was a family friend. On the Feast of Saint Patrick, I began my new life in Christ. My earliest memories are of my mother reading to us from the family Bible—in Marathi—and me falling in love with our Lord Jesus, conversing with Him about everything. I belonged to Him, and He was mine, all mine. I’d sit on half a chair, reserving the other half for Jesus, causing me to fall off the chair. I’d fall whether I was sitting on the swing or the steps. I was also very much aware of my guardian angel and had complete confidence in his protection. I lived without any sort of fear. My mother worried greatly because of this foolhardiness and tried to tell me cautionary tales, but to no avail. I also had no fear of death because I knew that then I’d get to be with Jesus forever, with my older brother, who’d died before I was born.

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About the author

Vijaya Bodach

Vijaya Bodach is the author of more than seventy books for children, including Ten Easter Eggs for the youngest and Bound, a novel for young adults.