It is my great joy to write this testimony.
I grew up in a small village in a big Christian home. I am the second son of my family; I have 6 (six) brothers and 2 (two) sisters. I took care of my brothers and sisters from the time I was age 8 until I was 15 years old.
When I was 16 years old, my father got a small job. My Mom and Dad had prayed for this for many years and God, in His grace, answered. My parents always asked God to give their sons and daughters the opportunity to serve Him. My parents were Godly parents.
While in my childhood I wished to go to school but I could not go. How much I wished to go school and learn Christian songs and Bible stories, but I was not able to go school until I was 15 years old. Therefore, I used to stand close by our village school compound while taking care of my younger brothers and sisters during the school day and listen to what the teachers were teaching. I learned Gospel songs and Bible stories from outside the school room.
My Mom taught me Gospel hymns every night after she returned from her work and before we went to bed. I remember that my Mom and Dad prayed and dedicated me and my little brother, L. Shimray, to the cause of the Gospel.
I followed and did every Christian activity and I also read the Bible and prayed to God. One night, I attended a Gospel meeting. That night, the preacher preached from the Gospel of John 3:15-18. That night, June 4th, 1998, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I was baptized on June 20th, 1998.
I entered full-time ministry in 1999 but my ministry was not effective because of my lack of knowledge of God’s Word; therefore, I went to Bible college for 6 years in South India. It would take 6 days to reach the Bible college from my hometown and 6 days to return home by bus and train. I had so many difficulties and problems while I was in Bible college. But by the grace of God, I completed my courses in the year 2005. Thanks to God for His grace and love.
Right after my courses, my little brother, L. Shimray, invited me to work with him in Assam, North East India as a church planter/missionary. I joined him in May 2005 for the cause of the Gospel. I began door-to-door evangelism, family worship, Bible study, inviting people to visit church to hear the Word of God, Gospel tract distribution, open-air Gospel preaching, prison ministries, children’s ministries, planting churches where there are no churches, and training missionaries because this was an unreached area, and many people were perishing. In the beginning of my ministry, no one supported us financially and in prayers, except my parents and my younger brother. He was in the Indian Army and supported us using his salary.
I started a used clothing business in September 2007 in order to support our ministries. My brother was beginning a children’s home and children’s charity Christian school in a village of the Rabha tribe which had never heard the Gospel even one time and was surrounded by Hindus and Muslims. We began with a great vision and burden for the next generation and followed in the footsteps of early missionaries.
We were living in bamboo huts without electricity and no proper drinking water and not enough food to eat. The summer was burning hot and the rainy season brought flooding, cyclones, and many hardships. Every year, our children’s home and school, which were simply bamboo huts, were destroyed by cyclones.
My brother and I were able to plant 15 churches and train up men and women as missionaries and church planters in order to reach different villages, tribes, and languages before he died.
On May 7th, 2010, God took my little brother to His eternal home. Three days later, a cyclone came and destroyed all the bamboo houses we built for the school and the children’s home. The Hindus told me that my brother had come back and taken his properties and asked me when I would be returning to my home since I had lost everything.
After my brother died, all the ministries became my responsibility to carry out by faith alone in Jesus Christ. My heart was very heavy, and the tears seemed to roll down my face unceasingly, but God never left me alone.
On September 9th, 2012, I married my Godly wife, Marvirose Shimray. She never complains of living with so many difficulties. God also gave us a lovely daughter, Yoyo Shimray, on February 10th, 2014. Thank God for what He has given me.
My wife and I have encountered much persecution. Many times, unbelievers have tried to kill me. Three times our houses were burned down. The Hindus totally shut our church fellowship, children’s school, and children’s home from May to August 2013, but by the grace of God, we reopened everything and continued our work. In 2015, five churches were burned down, and two believers were killed. Many new believers were kicked out of villages and their land and property were taken from them by force for following Christ. Still, we never turn from what God has given us to do and, therefore, God has blessed us in many different ways. Also, some of the leaders of these persecutors have believed the Bible and accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord.
My wife and I have run a used car business since 2013 in order to support our ministries. Now our ministries are growing rapidly and winning lost souls in North East India. His love and grace are sufficient in our ministries. It was in God’s purpose and plan to send me here to fulfill Great Commission.
I thank God for choosing my wife and I to serve Him. On behalf of my family, thanks to IGM/Vision2020Asia for allowing us to be member of the family. Thanks to Dr. Jim Starr and all our supporters who support us financially and in prayer. Through your love, support, and prayers, many people are blessed and lost souls in North East India are being saved. Please continue to support us in the days to come. God bless you all.
Pastor Shimray is the pastor of Grace Asian Baptist Church.
In His Service,
Bro. Athing Shimray
North East India