Life of K. Samuel Paul. Coimbatore to Baripada

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

Mark Batterson

It’s my privilege and joy to have the opportunity to narrate what the Lord has done in my life. I write this for His glory and to challenge the younger generation.

Who am I?

I’m K. Samuel Paul, from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. I was born and brought up in a Christian family. My parents named me Samuel, as I was a fruit of my mom’s prayer to the Lord like Samuel was to Hannah. Thirteen years ago, on a Christmas Day, in the year 2007, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Personal Savior, through a gospel message. I testified my salvation experience to our Local Church (Christian Brethren Assembly, Thudiyalur). After 7 months of observation, on 26 July, 2008 I was baptized in the Thudiyalur Assembly. From then on, I was in fellowship with the Assembly, actively participating in all its ministries and leading a witness-full life by the grace of God.

Education:

I was not very good in my studies; I was always an average student. Initially I had an interest to pursue Catering Technology, but after my SSLC (10th Board Exam) I was guided by my Father to pursue a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering as there was a good scope for the course in those days (and even now), and by God’s grace, I completed my Diploma in Mechanical Engineering in 2011.

Profession:

After my Diploma, I got placed in a CNC company and worked there for 6 months. Then, I switched to a well-known automobile company (Ashok Leyland – OEM & Dealership) in India, and worked there for 2.5 years. For better prospects, I resigned my job and moved to another globally known automobile company (Audi dealership at Coimbatore) and worked there for 1.2 years.

Call from the Master:

In November 2008, God laid on me the burden to do His work after a mission trip to Orissa. I shared my burden with my mother and she immediately said, “Praise be to God, for I’ve asked you from the Lord to do His work, and now I praise Him for He has laid the burden in your heart to serve Him”.

However, I didn’t take efforts to begin the Lord’s work, for I thought that it could have been an emotional decision. Later I realized that it was the first time the Lord had kindled the fire (burden) in me to do His work fulltime. Again, in February 2014, God laid on me the burden to do His work. I felt God’s calling in my heart. My family and I kept the matter in prayers not wanting to jump to actions instantly. During those days, I faced a lot of challenges in my job and had no peace of mind to continue the job. All I had in my heart and mind was to do the Lord’s work fulltime. On 01 Jan 2015 (in the New Year service) I testified to the Church about God calling me to do His work. We all prayed, and on 02 April 2015, “I obeyed the call from heaven”. The Lord spoke to me during my personal quiet time from Jeremiah.1:4-8,

4 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
 5"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
 6 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth."
 7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD." (Jer. 1:4-8 ESV)

In obedience to the call, I resigned my job on 09 May 2015. I wanted to do a proper bible study to have a base to build my ministry path. Of the few bible colleges in India, by divine leading, I decided to pursue my Bible Study in RTI (Rehoboth Theological Institute, Thrissur), and graduated in 2018.

The Lord’s Protective Hands:

There were several instances where I had experienced the protective hands of the Lord; I would like to share a few of them. Firstly, it is indeed the grace of God that you are reading this testimony, for I would have died while I was in my Mother’s womb itself. My mom used to wash clothes outside the house.  But, on a particular day she planned to wash them inside the house and while she was washing the clothes, a big branch of a tree rolled down from the tiled-roof of our house and fell on the place where she used to wash (outside). The next life-saving incident happened when I was doing my 6th grade. On a busy morning, while I was crossing the road to board the bus, I was hit by a tempo traveler and was thrown away to a distance of 10 meters. Yet, the protective hands of the Lord saved my life. Thirdly, when I was working in the Ashok Leyland Company, I was in the quality control team, and my one of the duties was to do the Road Test. One day, while I was accompanying my colleague for a Road Test, unusually, I forgot to wear the seat belt. When we were about to reach the destination, despite the vehicle not over-speeding, the road being slippery, and my colleague having the full control of the vehicle, our vehicle rolled over 3 times on a particular curve. Yet, we didn’t suffer any major injury, except for a small hurt on the back of my head. However, the left side of the vehicle’s cabin (where I was seated) was damaged and our company’s higher authorities informed us that the cabin cannot be used again, and that it had to be scrapped.

And finally, on 2nd May 2015, while I was in a youth retreat, I was sent to drop a servant of God. After dropping him, I went to fill the fuel, and at that time, in an “S” bend, a speeding Tempo was about to hit me face-to-face. But I escaped in a hairline-gap with a slight collision on my rear-view mirror and the tempo upset. As always, His protective hands protected me.

Startup of a Life of Faith:

After obeying the call, as stated above, I planned to do my theological studies. After joining Rehoboth Theological Institute, initially, I found it literally difficult to go forward. When I was working, I had money with me all the time, but now the situation was totally different. Yet, in the initial days, I depended on my family for about four months. But at a particular point of time, I said to the Lord, “Lord if it were You who had called me, why do I need to be hooked onto my family?”, and from then on, I began to cling onto the Lord for each & every necessity of my life. I always remember my Sunday school song which goes like this “It is not to look at the raven, but you should look at the Lord who sent the raven; it is not to look at the wind which brought Manna, but the Lord who sent the wind”. Since then, the Lord has been gracious in feeding us in miraculous ways till date.

When we came to Baripada in the month of March 2020, my wife was expecting, and it was her 4th month. It was at a challenging time that we planned her delivery at Odisha, but things didn’t work as planned, as COVID-19 was at its peak. With much faith in Him, we moved back to south India and reached there safely by His grace and on 17 August 2020, the Lord added another person into our family. Yes, it was a baby girl! We named her Hadassah Ann Samuel, and now she’s 1 year and 2 months old.

The Guidance of the Lord:

When I was doing my Theological studies, in the year 2015, the Lord placed the burden in my heart on 23.06.2015 & 07.08.2015 to serve Him among Prisoners and among the people who are affected by leprosy. After several instances of confirmation from Above, I prayerfully waited for His further guidance. Later, He led me in the right direction and opened doors for the burden He had placed in me.

Before and after the graduation, I had a few mission trips to North India, to see how mission work is carried out in the North, as God had placed a burden in my heart for North India. I also got trained to treat people who are affected by leprosy.  In the late 2018, the Lord led me towards Odisha to serve Him. In this regard, I took a survey trip to Odisha in early 2019 and visited five districts of Odisha to see where the leprosy affected people are, and after the trip, went back to south India and waited for further guidance from the Lord.

Meanwhile, we were praying for life’s most important event, my wedding! Through one of the elders of our assembly, a proposal was brought forward and we were praying about the same. The Lord directed her as the perfect partner and I got married to Kumutha on 9 September 2019.

Even before the wedding, in the middle of 2019, the Lord had placed a burden towards Baripada, the Northern region of Odisha, and we were praying for a contact to move further. And, in July 2019 the Lord gave a contact from that place and surprisingly they too were praying for committed person to reach them. When I shared my burden, they praised God for their answered prayer and for the way the Lord had led me towards them. On March 2020, we, as a family, moved to Baripada where the Lord directed us.

Our Ministry in Baripada:

As I stated above, we moved to Baripada on March 2020 to serve the Lord, along with Mayurbhanj Leprosy Home, among those who are affected by leprosy. Right after we reached Baripada, a national lockdown was implemented in India to contain the spread of Covid-19. On those days, the Lord taught us a lot of things and after the relaxation of lockdown, we got opportunities to know about the people and about the culture of the land.

As I mentioned earlier, for my wife’s delivery we had gone to the south, and after the delivery we came back to Baripada on February 2021. Since then, we are in progress of learning the language of the land. Here, we are helping the inmates (leprosy affected people) in their spiritual lives, sharing the love of Christ to them, and we also assist the organization in technical documentation. As the Lord has given me some technical knowledge in handling computer software, I’m helping the organization on those technical aspects. Along with these, I’m also taking care of the local assembly and its ministries.

Let me conclude by saying a few words. You have read how the Lord called me and how He has been to me thus far. As mentioned in the heading, God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. The ultimatum of our life is submission. Even if you don’t recognize the call of the Lord or give excuses to the call, He’ll make you listen. Remember Moses! Instead of going to such extents, listen to Him with a submissive heart. “Don’t expect the Lord to speak to you always in a loud audible voice. He also speaks in a still, small voice. Remember Elijah!” It doesn’t mean that only the Evangelists, Missionaries need to share His love. The great commission is given to all. We all have that responsibility to share His love. How can we do it? It’s only through the “intimate relationship with the Master.”

Now, we, as a family, are serving the Lord at Baripada, Mayurbhanj District, Odisha, India. Serving Him among the people who are affected by leprosy, along with those in Mayurbhanj Leprosy Home.

Thanks a ton for your valuable time in reading this article, continue to pray for the ministries here and for us (Samuel, Kumutha, Haddy and all the fellow brethren).