My name is Pastor Gandham Buli Veerraju, and this is the story of how the Lord Jesus changed my life and started the ministry of Our Father’s Home Ministry that is dedicated to planting churches and caring for widows and orphans in a village called Nayakampalli in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, India.
I was born into a Hindu family. We worshipped and served many idols. In secret, my mother was a follower of Jesus. She used to pray privately for the salvation of my whole family. My mother wanted all of us to experience the transforming love of Jesus that she experienced.
My father was like many men in our area of the world. He pursued worldly things, drank too much and encouraged others to serve the Hindu gods that he served. It is tradition in our area of the world to celebrate many traditions that celebrated our Hindu gods. My father made sure my family was present at all of the celebrations for his gods.
One day, a Christian pastor came to our home to share Jesus with us. My father became very angry. He threatened to kill the pastor with a knife. He told the pastor to leave the village and not attempt to convert the people to Christianity.
My mother was heartbroken and begged the pastor to leave and not return for fear that my father would kill the pastor. The pastor left and my mother lost the potential friendship she could have developed with the pastor and other people who could help her grow in her relationship with Jesus and learn to understand the Word of God.
My mother wanted more than anything for my father and for us kids to give our hearts to Jesus like she did. She wanted our family to worship the only true God as followers of Jesus.
My mother began to pray for the salvation of my father and family. She prayed relentlessly and did not give up. After praying for several years, God who is faithful answered her prayers. It happened like this.
One day, my father became very sick. Because of his illness, my father could not work. He lost hope in his ability to take care of his family. My father lost all hope along with his will to live.
I am my father’s only son, so in our tradition, if my father were to die, it would be my responsibility to take care of my mother and my sisters. So, one day, when my father was at the end of his will to live, he pulled me to himself. He said, son, if I die, will you take care of your mother and your sisters?
I didn’t really understand the gravity of what my father was saying and what he was asking me to do. My mother heard what my father was saying, and she knew he was giving up on life. My mother began to cry painfilled tears. My sisters and I also began to cry.
Knowing that my father was without hope, my mother asked him if it would be ok if she prayed to her God, the one true God, for my father’s physical and spiritual healing. My father allowed my mother to pray for him. You could tell my father did not believe that my mother’s God was real or that he would heal my father.
My mother knew better. She knew her God was the one true God. My mother said to my father, “if my God heals you, will you accept that He is the one true God and accept Him as your Savior and Lord? Will you worship Him and only Him?”
My father agreed to my mother’s requests. She prayed for my father and asked us to pray along with her. My mother’s faith was genuine, and God answered her prayers. My father made a miraculous physical and spiritual recovery. He was healed from the inside out.
When my father saw the power of the true God, he accepted the Lord Jesus as his Savior and Lord. Because God healed my father, my father dedicated me, his only son, to God’s service.
A few days later, my father had a dream. In his dream, God spoke to my father and told him he would have a visit from a servant of God. The next day, the pastor who my father attempted to kill, came to our home. My father knew this pastor was the servant God showed him in his dreams. My father asked the pastor for forgiveness. He also asked the pastor to baptize him.
My father was a new man dedicated to God through Jesus. My father welcomed the pastor. In time, my whole family, all our friends, relatives and members of our village became followers of Jesus and dedicated ourselves to the God of the bible. The only true God is welcomed and worshipped in our village.
The next part of the story is how my life was changed.
I grew up and got good grades in school. I wanted to go to higher levels of school and get a job so I could make good money and take care of my parents and my sisters. Even though I was a follower of Jesus, I did not have an interest in dedicating my whole life to serving God in ministry which was not profitable. That was my father’s dream. My dream was to join the police force where I would make good money and where I would be respected.
My parents remained faithful to their dream of me dedicating my life to serving God in full time ministry. They reminded me over and over that they dedicated their only son to the service of God in ministry. I was stubborn and I use to tell them that God had to call me directly. He has to make it clear to me if He wants me to be a full time minister.
After I finished my B.com degree, I was selected into the police academy. I was happy to be selected and told my parents the news. They were sad by the news and reminded me again that I was dedicated for God’s service as a fulltime minister.
In our culture, we respect our parents. When our parents firmly demand that we do something, we do it. My parents firmly demanded that I go to a theological college and see if God reveals His plan to me there before I join the police force. So, I did. I started learning to teach the Word of God and to seek His will. I fasted for three days and asked God to reveal His plan for my life.
God was faithful to my seeking. He revealed to me that I was to be His servant in full time ministry, and He would use me in mighty ways to bring many people to the cross and to eternal life in Christ Jesus.
I’ve been in full time ministry for over 10 years now. Over the years, God sent many servants of God to strengthen me and encourage me. God also revealed His direction to me through scripture. He spoke to me through the book of Isaiah saying,
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor (Isaiah 61:1-3).”
It was the words God spoke to me through the book of Isaiah that showed me I was to plant churches in an area that is predominantly Hindu and Muslim. It was the life of Isaiah that showed me God would protect me in my journey and that God would draw many people to His kingdom through the work He does through me.
God also had a special message for me through the book of James. In James, God says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).”
I didn’t know at the time that while I was planting churches and teaching the good news of the love of Jesus that God would introduce me to the hardships of homeless widows and orphans. When He did, my heart could not leave them abandoned. So, through God’s provisions, we started Our Father’s Home Ministry. We are first a church planting ministry and second we provide housing and food for 25 widows and over 50 orphans.
God blessed me with the greatest gift of all when he opened my heart to accept Jesus as my Savior and Lord. And, He changed the course of my life. The next best gift I received from God was my wife Priyanka and our two sons. Priyanka and I were married May 26th, 2005. Priyanka and I have two sons named Joy Lazarus and Vinod who are precious gifts from God.
Together as a family, we are serving God through the ministry he created through us called Our Father’s Home Ministry in a village called Nayakampalli in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is a very poor area but rich in opportunity to introduce people to the love of God.
We know God is all knowing and knows our needs. When God says we have not because we ask not, we believe He is telling us to pray for our needs and ask others to join us in prayer. We also believe prayer influences the heart of God toward the areas where His people need Him. Because of this, we would like to ask you to pray for God’s providence and protection so that our work will be done for the glory of God. And, if you are led by the Lord to do more than pray, we would welcome your financial support. You can learn more about our ministry at OFHM.in.
In joyful service to the Lord Jesus,
Pastor Gandham Buli Veerraju