I grew up in Canada in a household where my dad is East Indian and Hindu and my mom is a Christian. I was baptized when I was an infant, but we never went to church. I met my wife, Kristina, when we were both living and working in Shanghai. Kristina was raised Lutheran and her faith was very important to her. When we started dating, she asked me if I went to church, and I told her no. I knew that it was a big deal to her, so I told her that I was open to attending church and learning more about God.
We eventually married and returned to the States in 2012. We have a son, Bodhi, and we knew we wanted to raise our son in the faith. So, we church shopped for a while trying to find the right fit for our family. Kristina ended up joining Mom’s Morning here at CPC and connected with that ministry. She said, “I love it there, it’s so welcoming. We should just go and check out a service.”
The first time we visited, we heard John Crosby speak. And I thought, Who is this guy? It was like he was in my head. At the time, I didn’t know what I believed about faith. I didn’t understand Christianity or really anything to do with the church. I was coming just to support Kristina. But when he spoke I felt like he connected God to what was going on in my life, and it made sense to me. So, we kept coming back and never looked anywhere else.
Kristina suggested we join a Sunday small group. And my response was, “I don’t know about this. They’re gonna make me talk, and I don’t know enough to be able to share.” The first time we attended, people were talking about all these things that I didn’t understand. I left there saying, “Kristina, it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to join a small group.” She asked why, and my response was that they just knew so much about God and Christianity, and I couldn’t even pronounce the names of any people in the Bible. It was really overwhelming. But Kristina encouraged me to come back, and after a few times, I realized that everyone is going through their own stuff, and the point of it was the community, the support system. Same thing with prayers. I didn’t feel like I knew how to pray. What do you mean? How do I pray? But now I’m understanding that it’s not about asking for things, it’s about building a relationship with God. That’s it. It’s a relationship.
Not growing up in the faith, it seemed that it was us and them [the church]. You’re not welcome in this church if you don’t believe this, this, and this. But here at CPC, it felt more welcoming. More open. It doesn’t matter where you came from, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. If you want to learn, this is the church for you.
I think the most important thing I’m discovering is that Jesus loved everybody who wasn’t like Him. That’s pretty profound, especially today, with how much divide there is in our country and the world. I can also see God working in my life. I see Him in my marriage, family, and the community we are building here. I am attending a Friday morning men’s Bible study and am learning so much more about God. I recently read Letters From a Skeptic for our study, and it really triggered my mind to explore my questions and seek God’s truth. I’m seeing God uniquely direct things—placing them in front of me and then seeing how I will respond. I have learned that I don’t need to have all the answers. Everyone is on their own journey to finding and growing their faith.