From Killer to Preacher
A Story of Redemption
by Amit Mondal, Hyderabad, India
Many of you are well acquainted with Global Action and GLOMOS. Over the years, you have received various newsletters and ministry updates about miracles of healing and changed lives. Every time I receive these emails from my colleagues around the world, I am reminded that the Lord is still active and to say that I feel ‘overwhelmed’ would be an understatement. I can’t describe my emotions and my feelings of gratitude, appreciation, and inspiration! I feel excited and challenged, as if going down a fast moving water slide in a water-park!
The story you are about to read challenges the argument that the “Book of Acts Era ended in the first century.” In the life stories of the pastors we work with on a regular basis here in India, God’s hand is present and active today as much as it was in the book of Acts chapter three!
Born to Kill
You could easily say that Depankar was a born criminal. By the time he was twenty years old, he had committed more than forty murders. A sharp shooter with both of his hands, a black-belt martial arts holder, no one in his village could do any business without his permission. If you would try to oppose him, you were sentencing yourself to a short-lived life.
In 1984 he was arrested by the Indian Special Force and put in prison for life. All of his family members cut their ties with him and the only person who was still “waiting” for him was the girl he loved. Every time she would visit him, she would ask him to kneel and ask God for forgiveness.
After twenty long years in prison, he really wanted to be a free person, to get married to his faithful lady, and to settle down in life. One day, a missionary visited him in prison and told him to pray to Jesus with a sincere heart and that Jesus would set him free. When Depankar heard this, he smiled and said, “This is what my girlfriend tells me all the time, but I don’t believe in any gods.” That night, however, he casually prayed to Jesus and said, “I don’t know about you. People say that you are the true and only god. If this is right, then take me out of prison because I want to get married & live my life in peace.”
Released by Jesus
When he finished praying, he heard a voice tell him that he would be released soon. He asked many people around him if they heard the voice telling him about his release, but everyone said that they didn't hear anything. Then he started thinking that maybe it was Jesus spoke to him. When the warden found out about all of this, he asked Depankar if he was planning an escape. Depankar told him, “No, I am not going to escape from your prison, but I know that I will be released soon. Jesus told me so.” Needless to say, the warden called in a psychiatrist for evaluations. A week later there was a special visitor from the governor’s office, and within a month, Depankar was released as per the special order of the governor!
After he was released from prison, the governor called Depankar to his office and told him something which turned the criminal Depankar into a believer. The governor told him that one fine morning, when he came to his office, not knowing how and why, he asked for File #341, which was Depankar’s file. The governor didn't know Depankar or whose file was File #341, but he asked his inspector to reopen the case and to bring him a report. The inspector who was supposed to visit Depankar called in sick, and instead another inspector visited Depankar. This inspector happened to be a Christian, so when he heard Depankar saying that Jesus told him that he will be released soon, the inspector understood that Depankar was a changed person and God had a better plan for him.
Born to Preach
Depankar was released from prison in 2004 and married his girlfriend, Sulekha. He went back to his village, but he was not welcomed by his family. On Sulekha’s side, she was also rejected by her family because of her marriage to Depankar. Depankar started farming and telling people how Jesus had released him from prison. He also began sharing the Gospel and telling people that Jesus is the only true God. In 2005, Depankar completed the GLOMOS pastor’s training and was baptized in water. In 2010, he also completed GLOMOS II.
Depankar has never stopped preaching and sharing the Word of God. Today he leads two churches with 150 people in each, and in one of his churches, more than 70 people were baptized recently. His wife teaches the children to dance and through her dance school, she shares the Word of God.
“God saved my life and through GLOMOS, God gives me the ability to preach so I can see more lost people get saved,” Depankar told us recently when we met with him.