Was blind, but now I see
This article was written by Joanne Liaw and is reproduced with kind permission from St Mary's Cathedral, Kuala Lumpar.
"I still miss the days when I could see," reminisces Rohan Sanghani who lost his vision about two and a half years ago.
Rohan, born in the UK but bred in Nairobi, struggles with glaucoma (a group of diseases that damage the eye's optic nerve).
"In Nairobi, I got expelled from high school and was sent to another school where a friend first introduced Jesus Christ to me although I was a Hindu," says Rohan.
A few years later, Rohan went to India for major surgery to fix a retinal detachment. That was when he decided to read the Bible.
"I realised I was a sinner who needed a Saviour. But I first accepted the Gospel because my friend, who believed the prosperity gospel, told me that Christians don't suffer. However, it was tough being a Christian as I had oppositions from my family," says Rohan.
Learning to read the Bible
The first time Rohan attended a church in Nairobi, he was not accepted because he was not rich, and the church expected Christians to be wealthy.
The next year after that, a friend brought Rohan to St Mary’s and that was where he first heard the Gospel being preached faithfully. Unlike the prosperity gospel, Christians do suffer, but have the hope of eternal life in Christ. Hence, Rohan began his own investigation of the Christian faith, and he learnt how to read the Bible in context.
“The prosperity gospel is big in Nairobi and now that I have come to hear the Gospel being preached faithfully at SMACC, it hurts me to see how many people are being led astray by the prosperity gospel. I seek to bring the actual Gospel to Nairobi,” says Rohan.
This has inspired Rohan to do one-to-one Bible study, using the Gospel of Mark and Christianity Explored, with people in The University of Nottingham Malaysia (the university he is studying in) on a weekly basis.
Leading the blind
“How I get people to do one-to-one Bible study with me is by first building a relationship with them. If they are going through struggles, that’s when I can use my own struggles with my vision to draw them in and tell them how I continue trusting in Christ despite my struggles.
"I genuinely love them with God’s love and that is something that moves them and motivates them to find out more about Christianity. Once I know them better, I will ask them upfront if they want to read the Bible one-to-one with me,” says Rohan.
Rohan usually meets the person he does one-to-one Bible study with for a meal to bond with him (because Malaysians usually bond over food) before looking at the Bible passage. Then Rohan will read the Bible passage with the person using his iPad. Rohan will then ask the person if there are any words he cannot understand before moving on with the Christianity Explored questions.
“Sometimes if it’s helpful, I will use my own questions. I don’t use the videos but only the book. The study can be done without the video. I also prepare ahead by familiarising myself with the passage,” says Rohan.
Rohan wants people to know that the troubles that they face in this life are temporary, but faith in Christ is for eternity.
"Spiritual sight is more important than physical sight which is temporal because spiritual sight is for eternity. I was blind, but now I see," says Rohan.
Christianity Explored is a seven-session series in Mark’s Gospel, where guests are introduced to the person at the heart of the Christian faith – Jesus Christ. It's as flexible as you are, and can be used in large groups, small groups and one-to-ones.
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