Fire Walker Discovers his Penance was Paid (Telugu)
The Following is the story of Perumal Venkat Naidu submitted by his family to this site.
Introduction by His family:
Peter Naidu born in 1929 as Perumal Venkat Naidu, was born and raised in the Fiji Islands. His father went from Tamil Nadu, India, as an indentured laborer to work in Fiji, under the British government. Peter grew up enjoying many different activities, one of his greatest being soccer, representing the national team of Fiji. He later went on to further his studies at the Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, to be an accountant. While in New Zealand he also played soccer for their national team. When he returned to Fiji , he married. The same year he began his employment with the Fiji Government in the Inland Revenue Service. In 1969, with his wife and children, he migrated to Australia. Later in 1977, he and his family immigrated to the United States where he lived and worked in California. Everywhere he lived, it was his desire to serve and honor the Lord. He was very active in evangelism, Bible teaching and preaching. In 1989, he was called home to heaven by his Lord and Savior whom he loved and served.
The following was written by Peter Naidu and published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in the Decision magazine, 1978.
I was a fire-walker, a religious person, born of strict Hindu parents in Fiji Islands. In our home we set aside a room solely for prayer and worship. This room was always kept spotlessly clean. At one end was a shrine filled with exotic and fascinating portraits, idols and images of various deities. To name just a few, there were Krishna, Ganesh, Brahma, Vishnu and Subramaniyam. The whole area was decorated and decked with flowers to inspire awe.
We burned incense and lit a holy lamp before starting the prayers and chanting. On special occasions we used skewers to pierce our cheeks and other parts of our bodies.
Once every year in the month of August we celebrated the fire-walking ceremony to appease and worship the goddesses Kali and Mariamman. Even in those days, despite my background, I realized I was not able to placate and please a truly holy and righteous God. There was no question of my sincerity or honesty in what I did. Still, I felt my sins were on me. It was a burden I was carrying, I knew I had done things wrong and there was no way in which I could put them right again. Consequently, I knew that some day when I would meet God, I would have to pay the penalty for my deeds. This thought of "my sins" was ever with me.
I often found religious teachers saying that God is a just God and that he will weigh our good deeds against any evil that we may have done and if we are found wanting in the balance, then naturally we will have to pay for the consequences. But if the reverse is the case, then we will receive a reward. This sort of teaching did not appeal to me because, even on a human level, I knew that no amount of good I may have done would be enough to pardon my sins.
In April, 1959, in my last year at the University in Wellington, New Zealand, I was in the lecture room when the lecturer was commenting on the depleted attendance of students that night because of the magnetism of a preacher named Billy Graham.
After a few days I found myself, along with other students of similar ethnic background, in one of Mr. Graham's meetings. I was quite surprised to see a large crowd, some sixty thousand people gathered at the Athletic Park. I must confess, prior to this time, I had no knowledge of the teachings of the Christian faith, but to me one thing was certain- there was something unusual happening within me. There was someone saying to me, " You already know that you are a sinner and that you are not good enough to enter heaven and meet God, then why don't you accept God's way? He has provided you a way himself; you have a Mediator, a Go-between who died for your sins." At first I resisted this voice. But then I submitted myself and responded to the preacher's invitation.
One thing I want to emphasize and be clear about is that I was not tricked into believing through enticing words of the preacher nor even by the thought of pleasing the people present. I was proud of my religious background as a Hindu. Religion was not what I needed, but rather I had a personal need to meet the demands of a holy and righteous God. I had a desire to get right with God. I took the step "in faith." I did not take up a new religion but a Person. I received Jesus Christ and believed in his finished work on the cross. I believed that here was my Substitute. The penalty of my sin was paid by him- the Son of God. I no more had my own load of sin to carry.
Since I received the Lord Jesus Christ in my life, on the authority of God's Word, my position is "eternally secured in the Savior."