04/02/2014, 00.00
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The conversion of Dharmesh and Asha: Christ freed our family

by Dharmesh Rami
Dharmesh is 40 years old, an ethnic Gujarati and a Hindu for whom money and security counted above all else. When his wife left him and took away their child, he felt "a loser, a nobody, an absolute nothing." He did not find the answers and the peace he was looking for in holy men, but "in Jesus, His love, and [in the fact] that Christ came to give us life and heal our wounds through his blood.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Jesus freed my family. Christ saved us, freeing us from our confusion, our misery and our love of money," said Dharmesh Rami, a 40-year-old Hindu native of Gujarat, who spoke to AsiaNews about his story and about why he decided - together with his wife Asha - to become a Christian.

For a long time, he devoted his life to easy money until he found himself "a slave of money obtained by any means available," and with a marriage shaken "by daily discussions, bitterness, accusations and suspicions."

Then, thanks to a retreat, he felt "for the first time at peace". He brought Asha to his discovery, and they began their journey of conversion, and on 19 April, Easter Vigil, they will be baptised.

I am 40 years old, a Hindu and an ethnic Gujarati. As a child, I lived in a Mumbai neighbourhood inhabited mostly by Catholics. My neighbour was a Catholic and treated me like a younger brother. Often he took me with him to church.

As a boy and then as an adult, my only goal was to make money and have financial security. I was ready to do everything it took to "make money", even by unethical means. In a few years, I was financially sound, but without "ethics." I was a slave to money, and the only concern in my life was doing more and more with every means available.

My parents arranged my marriage to Asha, and within a year, we were blessed by the arrival of a son. However, our union was rocked by daily discussions, bitterness, accusations and suspicions.

For 13 years, our married life was only unhappiness, dissatisfaction and quarrels. Sometimes it also fell into "black magic". And then the wedding was over: Asha took our son and returned to her mother's house.

I felt like a loser, a nobody, an absolute nothing. I started looking for peace and answers for my life, and I approached many babas (holy men) and other men of God. My life was empty and without any meaning; even my money could not satisfy the deep unhappiness and sadness I felt.

I was desperate and I shared my unhappiness with my childhood friend. She advised me to attend a five-day retreat, led by a Pentecostal evangelist. For the first time since my marriage, I felt at peace - it was a moment of extraordinary grace.

I felt hopeful. I wanted my wife Asha, whose name means "hope", to feel that peace. Those five days were the happiest in the past 13 years of my life.

I went to Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and I brought my wife and son home. I shared my joy with her, and she said that my face was beaming with happiness.

On my friend's advice, on 2 February 2013, my family and I went at the retreat in Tabor Ashram.

The preacher spoke of Jesus and His love, and that Christ came to give us life and heal our wounds through his blood.

Asha was shaken to tears; she felt the healing work of Jesus: her pain, her loneliness, her despair and her anxiety vanished, and she felt pervaded by peace.

Asha felt called to accept Jesus as God who saves, loves, cares and gives life. I felt the same.

In June 2013, we enrolled in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and started our journey of faith.

My son now attends a Sunday course in Malad, and together we are all waiting with joy and hope for the eve of Easter, when we shall live by His grace and love.

I sorted out my affairs and now I earn an honest living.

When my mother found out that I was preparing to be baptised she tried to dissuade me, telling me that she would cut me out of her will.

However, Jesus freed my family. Christ saved us, freeing us from our confusion, our misery and our love for money.

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