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He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4)
As a teenager, Corrie ten Boom wanted to hear Sundar Singh, the Indian evangelist, so badly that she took with her a blanket, intending to sleep outdoors, to assure her of a place in the hall where he spoke. Corrie listened intently to her hero as he told of the vision of Christ he had, much like the experience of the Apostle Paul when Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus.
Disappointed that Christ had never appeared to her, she confronted Singh, who replied merely that she--not he--was the real miracle because he had believed only after he had seen Christ, but she not seeing Him had believed.

Who was this Singh who was called a Sadhu or holy man? Born to wealthy Hindu parents in North India, Singh’s mother, who died when he was only 14, sent him to a Christian school run by missionaries. Angry over her death, Singh turned on the missionaries and their God with vehemence. Buying a Bible, he ripped it apart burning it page by page. Within days his unhappiness was so great that he determined that if God didn't reveal himself to him that night, he would throw himself into the path of the oncoming train which passed by the family home at 5:00 A.M the next morning. He prayed, "O God, if there is a God, reveal thyself to me tonight."

And what happened? Inexplicably, a glow filled the room, and a man appeared before his eyes. A voice said, "How long will you deny me? I died for you; I have given my life for you." Sundar Singh knew it was Jesus Christ. From that day forward there was no turning back.

When his Hindu family became convinced that their stubborn son had converted to Christianity, they threatened him, bribed him, enticed him, poisoned him, and beat him. His father succeeded in destroying the mission school he had attended, forcing the staff to flee. In India when a parent orders a son to do something, that's the law; but willing to face death, the youthful Sundar left home, donning the yellow garb of a Sadhu or wandering holy man. Going shoeless he began years of trekking that not only took him across India and into Tibet but ultimately to most of the world.

At times he was warmly welcomed by those who heard, but more often than not he was pelted with filth, accused of being a heretic and stoned or imprisoned–where he cheerfully preached the Gospel, thanking God he was counted worthy to suffer.

On one occasion, in Tibet, he was thrown into a well on top of the putrid remains of corpses who had suffered the same fate, the lid locked and sealed. In the night, the heavy, locked lid was removed and a rope was lowered allowing him to escape. Angry that he had been released, the magistrate who ordered him to be thrown into the well, ranted and raved about the traitor who did this, only to discover that the only key to the lock was still fastened to his girdle and no duplicate key to that lock existed.

In 1929, at the age of 40, Singh determined to make one last trip into Tibet to once more preach the Gospel. He was never again seen or heard from, an almost fitting exodus to a man whose life more nearly characterized an Elijah than anyone since his day. Individuals who have so loved and served the Almighty are seldom treated with great love or appreciation on earth. Through his suffering, the gold of his life was refined and purified, and by his life he demonstrated what a holy man really is. "A Christian is one who has fallen in love with Christ," he used to say. Indeed!

Resource reading: Acts 9
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