It’s always amusing to look back at how things we never expected in our weirdest imagination, have actually happened. And it is more beautiful when God does that for us. This is one such piece of a write-up describing how I ended up in Panvel. Being born and brought up in the South, moving to Maharashtra was the last thing on my mind. I was comfortable with the kind of life I was living – a job close to my hometown, South Indian delicacies, friends, family, church and whatnot. But usually things change when we are too comfortable, isn’t it? I had applied for a course in a university near Panvel but was least interested in joining it. To be sure of it, I had asked God for a miraculous sign, and guess what He gave it!
But things were getting interesting as I prepared to move in, not knowing many but two people in the whole of Mumbai – one was my long-time friend and the other was a reference whom I had never met. Getting ready for the revamp from a working professional in a small town to a student in a land of unknown language, I barely saw what was coming. I was welcomed by the heavy monsoon with water everywhere as I looked down before touching down and little did I know about the awaiting unpleasant surprise. Making my way to my friend’s place I came to know that the flat I was to stay in, wasn’t ready and later discovered it was going to be that way for the next two weeks. In addition, I was down with fever.
The cold monsoon outside and the fever hot inside, I was almost homeless in a place of language and people I knew not. But that’s when our God makes the heroic entry – He literally opened ‘doors’ for me so that I could find shelter nice, warm and cozy. I was taken care of, well fed and motivated by people whom God had put me in fellowship with, now – New Hope Community. Never have I experienced open -home hospitality before, and the people’s selfless service, the sense of belonging and putting others before self overwhelmed me. I was and will always be in wonder of my God’s timing and ways! This is how I landed in Panvel and in New Hope Community.
But all of this was just the beginning to a new chapter of my life. Just to give a background, I had learnt a little of keyboard and used to play at my hometown church six years back. But then I struggled in understanding music and I quit playing music for good, thinking that I can’t do it. This was when my Pastor (whom I initially called ‘bro’ now has truly become one in Christ) challenged the unrelenting me to get my hands back on the keys. Although I agreed and tried, after every Sunday service I thought I should give up. Still even in my disappointments I could see God strengthen and build me and a team of musicians grew in no time. Instruments were added each week to the service.
Initially I refused to lead worship out of fear when my Pastor asked me to. But God and the church was at work in me shaping me, to be used as a vessel for God’s glory. As I mentioned church, I remember once when this budding team was asked to lead worship in a camp, the entire church stayed up with us till 11 pm when we had finished practising. All of this reassured that God has put me in the right place one can be. It is so refreshing to think of the place God has put me in and thank Him. Looking forward to more of fellowship and fun till the time God wants me here!
Sam Melbon is a worship leader @ New Hope Community, a Civil Engineer by profession, currently pursuing MBA in Amity University .