New Delhi New Delhi India
Amit Malik has left his middle-class life to serve the poor in northern India. And the In-Touch Messenger has become an integral part of his Multifaceted ministry.
Messaging the torn red flesh of this toes, chewed by the rate as he slept. His bed was the earth; his ceiling, a ragged trap stretched up to a tin siding. Gingerly. He stood, lifting the curled edges of his trap to squint out of his new life in the Peeragarhi slum north of New Delhi. Laundry lines hugged the sides of ramshackle structure, dipping low with the colors of the neighbors’ wash. Murky standing water filled the community’s dirt lanes where hundreds of families traversed mounds of filth and garbage to go anywhere.
It wasn’t the life his middle- class parents would have expected for him, so malik kept his whereabouts a secret. “Whenever they said, ‘We’d like to see you. Where are you staying?’ I made so many excuses,” he says. “I didn’t allow them to come to the slum, because they would have [been] the biggest distraction my ministry.”
As a teenager Malik showed musical promise. His proficiency with the harmonium – an Indian piano with some similarities to an accordion – allowed him to earn money as a performer at Hindu worship rallies. He would often play three or four nights a week, accompanying the many voices lifting their praises to silent and innumerable gods.
One day, a Christian evangelist names Nazir Masih visited Malik’s home in Punjab, inviting the family toa series of tent meetings in their village. He noticed the young man practicing his harmonium and sat with him, beginning to Share about Jesus. Malik brushed it off. “I told him; I know Jesus very well.’” Butt Masih Persisted, explaining that a person can’t be a Christian in name only but be born again. “You must give your life to Jesus.” Seeing a way to reach the young man, Masih invited him to play his harmonium at Christian meetings. He told the evangelist he was very busy, that he was going many places and singing for other gods and goddesses. “They pay me,” he added.
But Masih persisted, and Malik finally relented, joining him at arrival meeting on the promise that he’d be paid for his talents. That first night, as the two began to perform together, something didn’t feel right. “I felt [as if] I should not be in this place, and suddenly, I got…. Angry and ran, shouting to everyone.” Malik raced out of the rent and into the night. But he wasn’t alone. Volunteers kept pace with him, bringing him to a preacher who laid hands on him, rebuking the spirits. Malik fell to the ground, unconscious.
When he awoke, Malik visited with the pastor, who anointed with oil and told him, “God wants to use you mightily. Give your life to Him”. He could hardly do otherwise – he already felt changed. So, he prayed, surrendering his life to Jesus. But that night, he went home and slept fitfully, consumed by a disturbing dream – many thousands of people burning in a fire. “But they were calling me and saying,” Please save us.’”