The year was 1987. I was a freshman at Mar Ivanios college, in Trivandrum, Kerala. My father was an employee at a private financial company, where people had the opportunity to invest their money for a higher interest. A month before my finals, we received a call from a friend who informed us that the owner of the financial company where my father worked had taken all the money the people had invested and disappeared. We were distraught, not only for the employees and people that had invested their money, but also for several of my father’s friends and acquaintances who had invested their hard earned money into the company. My father was a trustworthy and dependable man, but my father had trusted a man who was not.
That evening, a large crowd gathered outside our house with weapons in their hands. They were angry and wanted to beat my father. The mob swelled quickly so we closed the front door and barred the windows. My father and a couple of our close friends were sitting in the living room, in deep distress. My mom, sister and brother were with me praying inside the house. We could hear the noise getting louder and louder outside. All we could do was fall on our knees and pray for protection. We were very scared and afraid as we sat there praying and crying out to God for His intervention. An hour later, my dad was escorted out the back door & over the wall with a mask on his face by one of our relatives. He was taken to a safe place while the crowd continued to get more demanding and violent outside our house. As we kept waiting in prayer, we gradually fell asleep for just a little while. The crowd dispersed as the night wore on but planned on coming back with greater numbers early in the morning. We were awakened in the early hours of the morning by the relative who took dad to safety. He asked us to gather college books and a couple of pairs of clothes and leave immediately before sunrise so that we would avoid the crowd that would be coming soon. That was the last time I saw that house and everything else we had in it.
We went to our grandparents home which was 3 hours away from the city. We were three siblings, and because we had to take our final exams, we had to prepare for our exams and also find a place for each of us to stay. I stayed with one of our relatives who had a big family and lived in a small thatched hut with one room. it was very difficult to focus and study for the finals because the TV was constantly on with cricket, which is the most famous game in India. Especially when India and Pakistan played against each other, the entire nation seemed to come to a halt. Without any private space to study and the TV constantly running it was, extremely difficult to study. I tried studying at a friends house for a while, but that did not work out either.
Because there was no earning member in our family, my parents were planning on taking us out of college and moving to our village. But I reasoned that if I was able to go to a big city and find a job, I would be able to help the rest of my family financially. My sister found a place to stay at her friends house so she continued her education. Unfortunately my younger brother had to dropout of school for a season so that he could find a job to support himself and our family.
I was invited by to live in Delhi with an uncle and his family who was the manager of a popular five star hotel in Delhi. This uncle opened his home to me, which were two suites in the hotel, and I started living with them. He had a wife and two children. The older boy was my age and the uncle was just a few years younger to my dad.
My uncle was good to me for the first few days of my living with them. He usually left at 6:00am to the lobby of the hotel and came back when Aunty was home. After a few days, he would come back after his wife left and started to gradually groom me for his sexual advances. When I opposed him, he threatened me. He forced me to watch porn and threatened me when I resisted. He assaulted me everyday and I had nowhere to go. After a couple of months he found a job for me and I moved to his girlfriends house, relieved to not be in his house any longer. But my relief was short lived. One evening he came to his girlfriends house and forcefully took me to his suite. On reaching his suite, I discovered that he had sent his wife and children to a holiday resort for the night. He locked the suite up from the inside, told me his intentions and threatened me if I were to resist. I was terrified and began to tremble with fear. He told me that he needed to get a drink and take some pills to help him get an erection. He told me to sit on the bed and wait for him. I curled up into a fetal position and begged God to deliver me from this evil. I believed in Jesus at this point in my life but was upset at this God who let evil things happen to innocent children. I suppressed my anger at God and started praying, “Please, save me. This man can devastate and rip me apart in the next couple hours if You do not intervene. If you do not help me, it will be me accusing you at the end. Please save me from this vulture.” I mumbled my prayer, trembling, fearful and shaking. My body was tense as I embraced my folded legs as tight as I could.
As I sat there for several minutes, I watched him consume his drink, and it was not a lot of alcohol. He then got up from the chair and walked towards where I was. My heart started pounding what felt like a million miles per hour, I thought it would come out of my chest. My scream stuck in my throat and no sound came. I was frozen in terror. All of a sudden he fell at the doorway and started crawling. I watched him crawl towards me. He was not able to move very much. He drug himself up by the bedpost and fell heavily onto the bed. He dug his fingers into my wrist. “If you move from here, it will not be good,” he warned. His body went still and all I could hear were the sounds of his breathing. I didn’t know what was happening to him. I kept looking for movement, but there was none. It seemed like he was fast asleep. I moved as far away from him as I could without disturbing his hand and my wrist as not to inadvertently wake him. I just sat there. He slept through the whole night until a phone call woke him up. His wife was coming home and he panicked. He was very upset that his strategy for his perfectly planned night was not fulfilled. With great frustration and anger he said that his driver would drop me back to my place immediately, as he did not want his wife to see me. I immediately moved out of his girlfriends house to another relatives house.
The trauma of that night did not leave me for a very long time. I prayed to Jesus and He saved me that night. What were the chances for a man to lose his consciousness for an entire night while he had a woman right next to him to be devoured like meat? What were the chances that he slept all night until the phone rang? What were the chances that his wife would cut short her fabulous resort holiday with the children and come home early in the morning? It had to be God.
Although that was the last time I saw him, he continued to call me at my workplace and harass me. He started spreading rumors about me to my family, calling them with his stories of my immoral behavior. I was working at a company that belonged to his friend. I soon left and found another job.
There are people who have asked why God did not stop my uncle from his abuse at the very beginning if God were so powerful. If God were to stop every single person from doing every evil that is in their heart, then we would be like robots, unable to choose and have free will. God made mankind in His image which in its very essence, means that we have free will just like God has. He can not violate his own creation. He protects us, yes, just like He did for me that terrible night so many years ago, but He has also given humans the gift of choice – for evil or for good. He will not violate man’s free will, but He will, one day, hold every human being accountable for every word, action and deed. He will hold everyone responsible and judge them accordingly. Vengeance is His, but if we try and take it ourselves, we will be consumed with bitter hatred and not allow God to have His vengeance.
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19