In 1980, a woman gave birth in the middle of a road in a small village in South Asia and left the baby in the street with the umbilical cord still attached. A local UK aid organisation was notified about the baby boy, who was miraculously still alive but needed a home. One of the organisation’s doctors gave the baby to a maid who worked in his house to be raised and put through school. “That young baby was me,” Nadir*, an OM worker, explains.
Nadir describes his early life as a roller coaster, trapped at the mercy of the ups and downs that tossed him from one life path to the next. Pain and depression from being called an orphan as a child, not having family ties or traditions to lean on and bitterness from those hurts led Nadir to journey away from his home in South Asia. Arriving in the Middle East with the help of a fake passport, he tried to start a new life, first working at a construction site and then at a local shop. Nadir felt a deep sense of isolation and controlled his loneliness by drowning it in alcohol. Never would he have imagined that just a few years later, he would be part of a family that stretches across the globe and that God was leading him to a different kind of new life: an eternal hope in Him.
While working a routine day as a shopkeeper, Nadir sold a cleaning product to a Scottish woman who worked nearby. She returned to the shop the next day, the day after, and the day after that, and soon, Nadir was crossing the street after work to visit his new friend at her book kiosk. Nadir noticed God was working on his heart and wanted to learn more about Him. The woman began to bring up Jesus, teaching Nadir more about who God is.
Nadir still smiles as he recalls his friendship with the Scottish woman and says that to this day, his own tactic for sharing about Jesus is to build relationships first. He has found that a relationship works against the fear of rejection from family and community that many Hindus face. “We can use farming or friendship; we can do anything to build trust. But we have to be creative with which way is suitable to reach people,” Nadir explains. He knows it was not just a coincidence he met a friend all the way in the Middle East but that this relationship was part of God’s love and plan for his life.
Even though all Nadir knew of his earthly father was the question mark beside ‘Father’s name’ on his birth certificate, he learnt God who had chosen him and knew him by name. “After encountering Jesus Christ, the pain, the burden was all gone. I felt very proud because God had chosen me, and He says that I am His son,” Nadir shares. For a year, Nadir studied the Bible secretly with a small group before being baptised. Soon after, he returned to his home country to share what he had learnt with his fellow countrymen.
Sharing the gospel
Nadir first shared his new faith with his wife, who was from a Hindu family and whom he had married before he went to work in the Middle East. His passion for telling others about Jesus continued to grow, and he joined OM for a year-long agricultural internship, where he was further inspired by the vision to share Jesus in some of the hardest-to-reach parts of the country. After leaving to study at a Bible college, he committed to serve with OM again in 2021.
His current primary role is to pack Christian literature into smaller bundles that are then distributed in large bags to OM teams and churches across the country. Work that might seem trivial to some has not lessened Nadir’s passion. Instead, he faithfully packs hundreds of thousands of books each year, confident that his work contributes to God’s Word ending up in the hands of men, women and children who otherwise have very little access to Jesus. “The greatest thing is working with God… He is our source, and if anyone can work with their source, obviously that person is going to be energetic,” he explains. “As Jesus followers, our focus is to spread the gospel, the Word of God, to the people. Our main focus is missions.”
This conviction that everyone deserves a chance to know they are loved by Jesus springs from Nadir’s confidence that he is part of God’s family. The pain and rejection he used to shrink from daily have been replaced with joy and peace in Jesus. “If I had not encountered Jesus Christ in the Middle East, I would be a different person at the moment,” he shared. From his first encounters with God’s Word through the Bible study in the Middle East to his Bible studies to his role as a book packer who makes it possible for others to receive Christian literature, Nadir has discovered more about his heavenly Father – and this perfect love has transformed his life for good.