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Upon my first visit to India, one of our pastors introduced me to a book entitled, Sadhu Sundar Singh. I did not know what a “Sadhu” was nor had I heard of Sundar Singh. Since that time, I’ve read three books about the life of Sundar Singh as well as some of his own writings. For the purpose of this publication, I am presenting, based on true accounts, a novel-style series about Sadhu Sundar Singh...
Chapter 1
The distant whistle of the train caused Sundar’s heart to jump and suddenly his mind raced out of control. Life flashed before him with dizzying recollection. Out of this valley would emerge either Life or Death. In just a few moments, Sundar Singh would either know TRUTH or meet Damnation beneath the grinding steel of a speeding Train. No longer would he continue in this uncertainty, hopelessly groping through the dark maze of religion.
At two o’clock in the morning, Sundar rose from his bed and proceeded to take an hour-long bath in cold water. Then he began to meditate. From the depths of despair his cry was, “God, O God, if there is a God, reveal yourself to me. God I will serve you. If there is no God, I will live no longer. I will cast myself beneath the train if I do not receive an answer.” Sundar continued to pray. There was no doubt he would end his life if God did not answer. Then it happened. About 4:30 A.M., as that train of destiny approached, Sundar’s room was filled with a consuming light. Oh no! The room must be on fire. Sundar focused his eyes upon an image emerging from the glowing cloud that now flooded his room and his heart. This glorious figure stood with a crown of thorns, reaching forth with wounded hands to a hurting Sundar Singh. “I am Christ whom you persecute.” Only a few days earlier, Sundar had burned the Bible out of hatred for the preaching of Christ. Now this simply could not be: Christ standing before him with wounded hands and feet, pierced side and crown of thorns. Was this God’s answer? Could this be the revelation he had prayed for?
“Believe on me and you shall live. Reject me and you shall surely die!” The glorious light of Truth flooded the darkness of error from the soul of young Sundar Singh. No Indian holy man had been able to speak these “words of Life.” The Hindu religious books, nor The Granth, nor the Quran held these transforming truths. Yet now, in a moment of time, Sundar met “The Way, the TRUTH and the Life.”
The Death Train blew a lonesome whistle as it past into the distant early dawn.  It claimed no soul on this trip.  The Glory Train had arrived instead with life and hope.  Young Sundar thought he would be crushed beneath the thundering Ludhiana Express.  Hopeless despair had drained all desire to live, yet there is a God in Heaven!  He is not a graven image who cannot see or hear or help.  God is not the delusion of some chanting mystics mind.  Sundar could now testify of the true and living God-Thou art the Christ!
He rose to his feet rushing into his father’s bedroom.  Startled, Sundar’s father, awakening from a deep sleep, tried desperately to sort out his son’s jubilant enthusiasm.  Repeatedly, Sundar told his father how he had met Christ and given his life to Him.
“Oh no, it has come to pass,” thought Sundar’s father.  Some time ago a great sadhu had prophesied that young Sundar would become either a great person or a mad man.  Now it had come true.  Sundar’s father attempted to calm the boy.  “You are confused, something dreadful has happened to your mind.  Go back to sleep and rest.  Possibly you will get better.”  Sundar tried to explain, but his father would not listen.  However, this first encounter with rejection would not in anyway diminish this miraculous event for Sundar Singh.  Power and peace from above had raptured this young man into the newness of life.  He would never ever be the same.
The farther Sundar walked the greater the pain.  A Presbyterian Mission was yet a few miles away.  He must make it to the Mission.  Each step became increasingly difficult, but Sundar knew help was very near.  Pastor and Mrs. Uppal welcomed the very ill young man into their home.  It was so comforting to see smiling faces and hear the reassuring words of these dear people.  Sundar did his best to briefly explain how enraged his father had become.  He had been ordered to leave.  At this point, Sundar began to have violent attacks of pain and bleeding from the nose.  Pastor Uppal sent an urgent request to the hospital for help.  Mrs. Uppal did her best to comfort Sundar.
When the hospital dispenser arrived and saw the desperate situation, he refused to treat Sundar.  “This young man has been poisoned.  He is going to die.”
Had the Death Angel arrived?  Poisoned by his family and thrust out into the cold jungle, Sundar wrestled in his soul—it was more than a battle of physical life and death.  Drifting between the conscious and unconscious, his mind flashed in rapid succession memories of his family--the anger of his father during those final days, the hurt in his mother’s eyes.  Then came the bribes and threats.  It seemed everyone was intent on persuading Sundar to renounce this Christ.  Violent pain and the vomiting of blood coupled with continued flashbacks ravaged the body and mind of the young Sundar Singh.  Repeatedly from amid fits of anguish he would cry out “I will follow Jesus!”  “I will follow Jesus!”
The morning sun gently pushed back nights veil of darkness with its warm rays of dawns new day.  It seemed impossible.  The doctor returned to witness a corps, but rather found Sundar Singh had revived, was even sitting, enjoying the refreshing sunlight penetrating his room window.  Heaven’s spotlight seems to focus the doctor’s eyes upon the miraculous.  Years later, Sundar would learn that this doctor, who would now silently turn and walk away, began to read the Bible which led to his belief in Christ.    Not only did a young convert emerge from the “valley of the shadow of death”, but another was led forth from darkness into light.
 For Sundar Singh this is the way it would be.  From the intense to the miraculous, story after story would unfold confirming the power of the one true and living Savior.  Yes, he would follow Jesus.  Even though Sundar’s earthly father made final attempts to lure the young son from Jesus Christ, there was no turning back.  At age 16, when legally Sundar could accept responsibility for his faith in Christ, he took a dramatic step.  The waters stirred with resounding witness as Sundar Singh was baptized.  Buried in the likeness of His (Christ’s Death) raised in the likeness of His resurrection, Sundar came forth to walk in the spirit and live to the glory of His wonderful Savior and Lord.
Hot tears coursed their way down the cheeks of Sundar Singh.  From his baptism until now, the Lord had revealed His goodness in so many ways.  Surprisingly, many had opened a door of welcome to this shy, young preacher of Christ.  Clothed only in a yellow saffron robe and a thin shawl, Sundar was often mistaken for a Hindu sadhu.  Yet when he began to teach Christ, his audience would respond with mixed reaction. 
As he sat refreshed by the shade of a tree after many grueling miles, his emotions came flooding to the surface.  Even though rejected by his family, he had such peace now.  Yes, it was a peace that passes all understanding.  Looking up through tears of joy, Sundar realized someone was standing over him.  At first he was startled.  “I mean you no harm.  A few days ago I heard you speak of Christ.  Never before have words touched my heart in such a way.  When I heard you speak, a mob had gathered.  They were angry that you dared teach from the Bible in their village.  They had hate in their hearts and wanted to kill you.  But as they approached to do you evil, fear seized them all.  A mighty host stood about you to protect you and your enemies fled away.”
The tears of joy surfaced once again as Sundar Singh now shared the story of truth, love, and grace as a small group of hungry listeners gathered.
This sadhu was different.  His saffron robe was clean.  An attractive, tall, young man with only the clothes on his back and Bible in hand commanded a lot of attention.  Many were amazed at these powerful words that he spoke.  No other sadhu had such words.  As Sundar left this village to carry the message of Christ into another, the people discussed among themselves these Words of Life.
From village to village he traveled.  Sometimes cold and hungry, but never without the peace of God.  Showers of blessings were always welcome, but the liquid kind seemed always to make life a bit tedious.  After a good soaking, Sundar found an abandoned hut and collapsed inside with exhaustion.  The morning sun not only brought warmth to a chilled traveler but horror to his still drowsy eyes.  A cold visitor had joined him during the night to share a little body heat.  There beside him was coiled a huge cobra.  One lightening fast strike would mean certain death!  Sundar’s heart pounded so loudly he knew the cobra would be awakened.  Easing to his feet without arousing his deadly hut-mate, Sundar rushed from the hut as fast as his feet would go.  Once outside, it suddenly occurred to him that his shawl had been left as cobra bedding.  On cold nights that shawl provided his only protection.  “Dear Lord, I must have my shawl.”  Peering back into the hut he saw that huge black cobra curled up on his much needed shawl.  One wrong move would mean death.  Carefully, so carefully, he pulled the shawl from underneath the weight of the deadly creature.  The snake simply rolled over and continued its morning snooze.
The scissors came closer and closer to his head.  Out of the corner of his eye and next to his throat the cut was made.  Sundar gasp for air.  “Are you alright?  Sundar, can you hear me.  How are you?”  Stokes tried to get Sundar to answer him.  Seized with fever and shaking, Sundar had collapsed. 
“I am very happy,” Sundar told his missionary friend.  “I am very happy to suffer for Christ’s sake.”  The Lord had brought Sundar Singh and S.E. Stokes together in Sabathu.  As a wealthy American who left all, coming to India to be a witness, Stokes and Sundar had immediately developed a strong friendship.
Sundar had become very ill and Stokes took his sick young friend to the home of a European family.  There Sundar could get the medical attention needed.  Along with good food and a warm bed, he soon recovered.
“It’s encouraging to see you up and about,” Stokes told Sundar.  “We should be back on the road soon.  There is a hospital for leprosy patients I would like to visit when you feel up to travel.  By the way, while you were ill you kept talking about scissors, cutting with scissors.  What was that all about?”
Sundar proceeded to tell Stokes the story of his conversion and rejection by his family.  How his family tried to poison and kill him.  The final act that brought about Sher Singh’s wrath was when his young son took a pair of scissors and cut off his hair.
The sacred book, the Granth, instructed the devout Sikh never to cut his hair.  The Kev was worn tied in a knob on top of the head.  The long hair was the crowning glory of distinction.  This was the outstanding trait of a Sikh in the Punjab.  His bracelet, shorts, comb and dagger were nothing without the Kev.  The untrimmed beard and long hair were never to be cut.  Sher Singh, Sundar’s father, went into a rage when Sundar took the scissors and cut off his hair.  This was the final act to convince all of his family that he had denounced the Sikh religion and would follow Jesus Christ no matter the cost!  The attempt on his life, as well as intense persecution, came as a result of this single act. 
With each passing day Sundar grew stronger.  The time came for Sundar and Stokes to set out for the leprosy hospital.  They left behind a precious gift.  Salvation had come to their European host.  Again the Lord had turned suffering into salvation.
Together Stokes and Sundar ministered to the sick and dying.  The Lord used them to take the gospel into some very difficult situations.  But the day came that their paths parted.  Sundar had a tremendous burden to carry the gospel into the Himalayas and beyond.  At nineteen years old, he had no idea how many souls without Christ lived beyond that giant wall of ice and rock.  Yet he knew the command had been issued to GO into this snow-bound superstitious land where the Dalai Lama and his priesthood reigned unopposed. 
Each step led Sundar deeper and deeper into hazards that threatened his very life daily.  Yet, each step seemed an exclamation mark on his call to carry the light into a region where no missionary had been successful before.  Repeatedly Sundar Singh had been warned, “Tibet is a closed land, you must not risk going there.”  Yet the cries of those who sat in great darkness could be heard by a young sadhu for Christ.  So it was in the summer of 1910 Sundar Singh set out on his first missionary journey to Tibet.
Along the narrow, slippery mountain trails, Sundar gained a vantage point where he could see vast areas where the name of Jesus had never been heard.  With his Bible in hand, this son of India, clothed in the saffron robe of the sadhu, focused himself on the towering gray mass that seemed to bar the way of the gospel.  Rising above the clouds in dazzling whiteness, the Himalayan range appeared as a transformed angel of light just daring anyone fool enough to come.  “Come to the hearts of those frozen in the stone cold tombs of darkness.  Tread upon these lofty heights, and I will strike you down.”  This is the domain of the devil and demons.  For centuries, attempts were made to penetrate a land that had remained isolated from the world.  The teeming millions of India were held back by the mighty Himalayan range while hordes of humanity in China’s huge cities were cut off by the hundred of miles of bleak windswept plateau.  Some who had attempted and failed to bring the gospel to this formidable land referred to this place as “the seat of Satan himself.”  The lamas continued to chant their prayers and beat their gongs.  From the lamaseries,  religious enslavement revolved with the priesthood maintaining its control of both nomad and villager alike.  It seemed nothing nor no one could break the reign of Dalai Lama, their god and king.
Sundar Singh had met some of these secluded and superstitious people.  When the snows would melt and trade routes would briefly open, many of the vigorous, inquisitive and very dirty mountain folk would descend to barter their wares.  As they moved along the mountain pass, they would chant through rosaries in hope to gain a better life in their next reincarnation.   Periodically, they would twirl their prayer-wheels producing prayers for added spiritual bonus points.  Moving up and down the trails, they occupied  travel time with these repetitive rituals.  Then as the snows returned, Tibetan traders would ascend to their mountain fortress.
A pleasant surprise awaited the nineteen-year-old Sundar Singh at the border to Tibet.  Two Moravian missionaries were living there with hopes of taking the gospel to the Tibetan people.  Sundar spent a brief period with them to learn some of the language and customs of Tibet.  A young believer from the area became Sundar’s traveling companion when he set out across the border.  This proved to be an invaluable contact.
Opposition to the presence of two Christian missionaries was surprisingly minimal.  Initially, the challenge came in an unanticipated fashion.  The odors were almost unbearable.  Evidently, the Tibetans never washed!  The body odors, dirty hands, just simply dirty people, were almost more than Sundar could handle.  The Tibetans would rub rancid butter on their skin for protection against the cold.  The odor from their bodies would literally overpower and engage the gag mechanism.  It was almost impossible to get close enough for conversation.  At times, it was unbelievably torturous to simply breathe.  Then to complicate the situation, there was the food!  The tea was terrible and was prepared with salt in it.  The food was almost indigestible.  Even though Sundar and his missionary friend only stayed a few weeks, physically the experience was quite traumatic!
Incredibly, the head lama of one lamasery allowed them to witness and listened attentively to their message.  It was, however, apparent that the resistance was intentional.  All had been warned that a foreign power was coming to destroy their religion.  Instruction and plans had been given to resist with all their might.
Sadhu Sundar Singh would journey from village to village and into the towns of India preaching the message of Jesus Christ to all who would hear.  Yet, in his heart, he waited for the melting snow when once again he would trek the passes to bring deliverance from the seat of Satan.
Quietly along the borders of Tibet, Moravian missionaries labored faithfully winning souls to Christ. They had even translated the Bible into Tibetan. The assistance given to Sundar Singh by his Moravian brothers was invaluable.
These pioneer giants had given their all to take the gospel to this forbidden land. They were a great encouragement to the young Sadhu as he journeyed even deeper into this mysterious land.
Having survived the steep treacherous ascent, Sundar sensed something unlike anything experienced on his first visit just across the border. Now deeper into the heart of this strange world, the mountain people became very hostile. It seems as if demonic voices whisper from the prayer flags that flap and flutter in the steady wind. A chill is in the air as the eerie chanting, chanting, chanting, goes round and round with the incessant whirl of prayer wheels. Stopping periodically, Sundar attempted to engage passing villagers. Suddenly, out of the comer of his eye, there they were. As a lion from the jungle they pounced, and with vicious hate beat the young preacher unconscious.
“What is that?” “Where are those moanings, and growls, and strange sounds coming from?” Then he realized! Rousing out of unconsciousness, he lay bloody—covered with leeches just outside the village. From the darkness of the jungle came those horrid growls, and the moaning was his own body crying out and the pain inflicted by his attackers. He just knew shortly it would all be over. The next time he opens his eyes, it will be in the presence of Jesus!
It was like a cool refreshing bath. The pain was gone and Sundar momentarily forgot the savagery of those intent on taking his life God always provides! Incredibly, two believers had come to the rescue of the lone, wounded missionary. Even in this land of spiritual darkness and superstition, God had His own. These secret disciples plucked the battered brother from the jaws of death and nursed him to full recovery. Days had past as Sundar lie unconscious, cared for by the fervent prayers and healing hands of these dear brothers. Incredibly, the morning Sundar roused from his deep repair, recovery was complete.
Villagers pointed and whispered, “Holy man, Holy man” as the Sadhu walked through the village heading ever deeper into this hostile place. They could not believe Sundar was alive. “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” The need was desperate, and he was compelled to go on further with the message of deliverance. Some would listen to this
strange traveler out of curiosity. Sometime later he met a man on the trail who decided to accompany him more for physical safety than any other reason.
The weather suddenly turned bad. Howling winds swept down, and the two were battered by blizzard conditions. Struggling for their very lives, they came upon a man lying in the snow close to death. “Help me carry this man down the mountain,” Sundar said to his traveling companion. “We can’t leave him here!”
“You are crazy! We barely have strength to save ourselves. Stay and help this fool if you want.” At that, Sundar Singh was abandoned to the snow and a half frozen stranger, both changing to life on a steep mountain path.
“I cannot leave this fellow to perish alone in this storm.” Plodding step by step with this heavy burden upon his shoulders, Sundar began the long slippery decent. Falling several times, the man remained unconscious as yet the young Samaritan stumbles beneath this almost lifeless stranger’s body. Although the temperature was now brutally cold, Sundar was sweating profusely with heart pounding as he was barely able to take another step. There he was—dead in the snow! The traveling companion who had forsaken the poor missionary to selfishly save his own life became the one to the alone. He left Sundar and the stranger to die. Thinking of himself only, he now lay frozen in the drifting snow.
Staggering into the village, amazingly both Sundar and the heavy stranger he carried on his back had survived. The very exertion of his selfless act had not only kept the Sadhu from freezing, but generated life-giving heat into the half frozen body he carried on his back. His willingness to risk his own life saved not only his but that of another.
“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Sundar’s head slammed against the rock hard wall as he plunged to the bottom of the well. With a bone-crushing jolt, he landed in a tangled heap. Excruciating pain—his entire body convulsed heaving to regain breath and life.
For a moment, the pitiful preacher could not move arm or leg. Then through the dim light that faintly shimmered down from above, Sundar saw a mangled bone lying across his chest. Involuntarily a scream erupted from his gasping lungs, a silent scream, for there was not enough wind in him to produce much of a sound. Sundar thought momentarily that his leg had been severed in the fail. “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” He tried desperately but to no avail.
Was it only minutes or hours? It was so dark Sundar Singh was not sure whether his eyes were open or shut. He was certain of the pain and AIR he needed. AIR, he just could not get enough air! As his level of consciousness rose, Sundar became aware of the horrible stench. He gagged violently and vomited, which sent knife-piercing pain throughout his chest. “Oh dear God, what is this? Where am I? Oh God, oh dear Lord, help me!”
How anyone could subject another to such agony is incomprehensible. Sundar Singh had enraged the lamas so with the preaching of Jesus that they had seized the gospel preaching Sadhu and condemned him to death. Even though the Buddhist lamas vowed off violence, they had their way of tortuous execution that appeased their twisted minds. It was known as “THE WELL.”
The condemned was cast into this deep well to die a torturous death. The fall itself often inflicted injuries that produced a slow agonizing demise. The well reeked with the putrid flesh of former victims. Bodies covered the bottom of this damp, dark pit. The air, what little there was, hung thick with the stench of rot and death. By the way, the lama accepts no responsibility for this wretched death. The pitiful soul was thrown into the deep, dark pit, an iron lid locking in place over the well, and they had nothing else to do with the matter. It was all now “THE WELL.” They were innocent.
Death was near. Possibly two days had passed and Sundar could barely remain conscious for more than a few minutes. He could not breathe; the odor was so overpowering. He saw light faintly once again around one side of the iron lid. It must be the third day. One arm may be broken, but he could move his legs. He managed to stand several times; but immediately became violently sick, thus collapsing!
Regaining consciousness once again, Sundar could hear movement from above. The iron lid was opening! Again, faint light slithered down the deep shaft. Then a voice said, “I will help you,” and with that a rope was lowered with a loop firmly tied in the end.
Fresh air, fresh air—I can breathe! The next thing Sundar knew was he could breathe. The iron cover was back on the well, locking in place and his rescuers were gone.
Word soon reached the head lama that Sadhu Sundar Singh was alive and again preaching. The lama was furious. “How can this be? There is only one key to “THE WELL’S” lock, and I still have it in my possession.” The lama raged on about this Sadhu. “There must be a superior power at work. How can this be?”
Chapter 7
Every breath, every step of life’s journey confirmed for Sundar Singh the Almighty hand of God in his efforts to carry the gospel light to those who are in great darkness. A passerby stared at the Sadhu as he chuckled out loud. Sundar sat alone in the cool shade musing over his memory of the head lama’s rage. “That poor blind man,” Sundar thought to himself. The lama was furious when he found the key to the well hanging in its customary place. Yes, that poor lama was certain someone had stolen the key and helped Sundar escape “The Well.” Then to his consternation, there it was, hanging on his own belt. The lama was embarrassed, outraged, totally confused. When Sundar realized he had a spectator, he laughed the more. The onlooker darted off down the dusty path, thinking surely this Sadhu had suffered heat stroke.
It became a common occurrence to see someone running from the presence of this strange preacher. Some stayed to listen and some ran away. The power of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ often had that kind of effect. Deadly anger could also result. That thought once again was made so real as Sundar stood before a large crowd telling of Jesus who saves. His attention fell on a man standing in the back weeping. Later, Sundar had opportunity to speak to this man privately. With deep brokenness, the weeping man trusted Christ as his Saviour. “I pray to the one true living God — Lord Jesus Christ, forgive this wretched sinner and save my soul!” Sundar learned that this man’s son had become a Christian many years ago. He had banished his son, never to see the boy again. Much like Sundar Singh, the young believer traveled preaching of his faith in Jesus Christ. Sundar came to learn that this man’s son had been arrested by the head lama and sentenced to a horrible death. The executioners sewed the young man in a wet yak skin and left him in the hot sun to be crushed to death by the slowly shrinking material. Witnesses reported him singing and praying until the breath of life was literally squeezed out of his body. The lama’s chief secretary trusted Christ after reading the martyred preacher’s New Testament. Sundar Singh once again wept tears of joy as this father told the story of a son’s lasting witness. Once again, a new convert’s testimony of great grace and mercy proved the love of an almighty God. The head lama could not win this war. Even if he murdered the preachers that came with the gospel, their blood would perpetually water the Word of Life planted in the hearts of Tibet and the entire world. Now this father sprang forth in faith along with many others through his son’s sacrifice.
Sundar Singh had given all on the altar — “I die daily.” He knew full well that at any moment he, too, could SOW in blood!
Satan is the deceiver and so subtle that each and every believer must rely fully upon the whole armor of God in order to stand against the wiles of the devil. Sundar knew this well. He had come under demonic attack on numerous occasions. Often these testings were in the midst of great spiritual victory. It seemed the mind and emotions became the primary front. Spiritual ecstasy, a distinct elevation above all that is worldly, resulted during several periods of fasting and prayer.
The Sadhu entered into a 40 day fast. Jesus had begun His ministry in this fashion. Perhaps Sundar could obtain an even greater level of surrender and death to self if he, like his Master, prayed and fasted. Sundar Singh must decrease — Christ must increase. Day by day his journey from hunger to intense pain to extreme weakness carried the young preacher ever deeper — far beyond self. From the acutely physical, he emerged into an intense spiritual awareness. Great joy and peace flowed from the very presence of the Savior. At this point, the body was so weak he could not even move his arms and legs. Yet, the spirit soared among the glorious, “Am I dying Lord? I must be stepping from time into the eternal.” Standing on the heavenly, all was beyond description. All doubt and fear fled away with the revelation that the Lord had even greater things in store for this tender life.
Sundar Singh believed it to be 40 days. The bamboo cutters who found the Sadhu near death in the jungle said it was 20 days. Some would use this discrepancy in attempt to discredit the preacher’s testimony. Whether 20 or 40, it was without question the Lord’s plan and provision that Sundar survive. For over a week, his rescuers could only give him small amounts of liquids until he gained enough strength to handle food. In time, he fully recovered but was never the same. The story traveled quickly among the villagers. Next to his conversion, no single event had such spiritual significance. Power with God means power among men. No one disputed the amazing influence Sadhu Sundar Singh had had thus far, yet his witness now elevated to new heights.
Beware, lest ye be deceived. The believer is not of the world but is indeed in the world. Take up the cross, die to self and be assured hell will spare not in its attempt to defeat. Sundar knew this well. Verbal and physical attacks, as well as imprisonments, escalated. Yet the most challenging theatre of conflict was in the mind and on the emotions. Satan would whisper fiery darts, subtly perverting truth, trying to plant doubt and fear. Sometimes he appeared as an Angel of Light, blinding light, but not divine light. This light stirred the flesh. The experience, the experience, the experience. Lights, voices, music and a tantalizing surge of emotion. So clever the attack, but the Holy from within bears witness and heads in all truth. “Lo, I am with you alway ... I will never leave you or forsake you ... Here is the way of escape.” The Sadhu now saw the real battle, not of flesh and blood, but spiritual. Most believers never move beyond this world, the temporal and earthly. Prayers and ministry remain tied and bound to a walk of sight with rare glimpses of the heavenly. The Sadhu had stepped beyond into the true light to WALK IN THE SPIRIT. So obvious was this to all who met Sundar Singh. Still there was a distinct humility and simplicity to this strange disciple.
The miracles continued. Sundar’s father came to know the Christ his son so faithfully preached. “You are no longer my son; I reject you as if you had never been born, leave my house and dare never to return?” Sundar had never seen such rage in his father as when those words were spoken. Now the Lord Jesus had taken the rage away and placed love in the heart of Sundar’s father.
The amazing story of Sadhu Sundar Singh moved beyond India, Tibet, and Nepal circling the globe to Europe, England and even America. Sher Singh paid Sundar’s passage to carry the gospel to the West.
A young teenage lady wanted to hear Singh preach when he visited Europe. The opportunity came for Corrie Ten Boon to not only hear but meet the Sadhu. Corrie questioned Sundar Singh about her personal relationship with Christ. “I’ve never performed a miracle nor had a vision of any kind, but you’ve seen the Lord do all these wonderful things. Why have I not experienced these things?”
“Corrie, you have heard and believed. You are the miracle. God has a plan for your life and a plan for mine.”
Sundar Singh was deeply upset by the western materialism and much of what he saw in the churches. Even Tibet would be a welcomed sight after his burdensome visit West.
The razor sharp ice propelled by the gusting Himalayan winds pelted the lone Sadhu mercilessly. Sudden storms like this often caught travelers unprepared. Sundar had started early hoping to reach the village where he would rest and recover from his travels for a few days before returning to Tibet’s high plateau on another missionary tour. At this 7,000 feet elevation, the weather had turned deadly. The narrow path left him vulnerable to the blinding ice and snow hurled at the poor preacher by the passing storm. Buffeted by an unexpected blast of wind, Sundar Singh lost his footing, falling, slipping, and sliding over a snow-covered ledge. Everything seemed slow motion until with a bone jarring jolt he landed with a tremendous thud. How long he was unconscious no one knows.
Opening his eyes, he beheld a fearful sight. At first, man or beast, he was not certain. Lifting the shivering Sundar from the snow, this creature-man carried the bruised traveler to a secluded cave hidden deep in the mountainside. The next few days were beyond belief, even for the Sadhu. From the time he was rescued from the icy snows until his departure from this secret hiding place beneath the Himalayas, Sundar’s ears were filled with the most beautiful, heart-stirring prayers imaginable. From the lips and outof the soul of this unknown man came words of intercession and prayer even the Sadhu had never heard. During his sojourn here, Sundar Singh would learn how this Maharishi came to India as a missionary to preach Christ to the lost masses of the great subcontinent. The seemingly impossible task and tremendous burden to reach so many perishing souls had driven this aged warrior of the cross to a sequestered ministry of prayer. Day and night this man of God lived in intercession for the lost souls of India, as well as other nations around the world. It appeared the Lord sustained this amazing individual with an unusual variety of herbs and berries that grew along the mountainside of his lofty retreat. In God’s design, this diet provided the exact nourishment needed to survive at this cold, hostile elevation.
So this would be how Sadhu Sundar Singh would learn of this holy man of God, called to a life of intercession. Yes, every call of God upon an individual’s life is unique. We cannot always explain it in terms of this world nor should we try to put it into a formula for others to replicate. Christ calls and we are to follow. The Maharishi had a life and ministry that many would term supernatural. In his isolated existence, he knew of events and people that could only be known through the Lord. Sundar Singh was clearly reminded that our lives have purpose and it is the individual’s duty, by God’s grace, to faithfully carry out the Father’s will. Sundar Singh left the holy man and his cave-home burning to “know Jesus more intimately and make Him known.”
Spring was returning to the mountains as Tibet waited for the preacher to again climb the passes to carry the light of Jesus Christ. A chilling breeze gently reminded Sundar of the brutal cold that awaited trekkers at 16,000, even 19,000 feet elevation. The Himalayas were fraught with dangers of all sorts. Yet, the cry of lost souls descended across the plateau into his heart.
It was now late July 1929. Newspapers reported everything imaginable. Some said robbers had murdered the Sadhu on a mountain pass. Many of his friends thought Sundar died in a cholera epidemic that hit the Ganges Valley. His body would have been thrown in the river with no record of his death. Others even speculated that he had retreated to a secret cave like the Maharisbi to spend the remainder of his days in prayer.
One thing was certain. Several months before his disappearance, Sundar Singh had visited friends and written letters in preparation for a return missions trip to Tibet. The merchant trader had contacted Sundar indicating the time of departure for their trip back into the mountains. His last personal contact before returning to Tibet was with the superintendent of the leprosy work. Indications were projected for a return home to India in June. A search party spent a month looking for the missing Sadhu. No one along the trade route had seen him. The tall, bearded preacher dressed in his saffron robe had simply vanished. Sundar Singh would not have wanted his death to distract
from the life in Christ he had so fervently preached. His Lord had taken him through the final valley and given Sadhu Sundar Singh the mountain. His final letter quoted Acts 20:24 “. . . none of these move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
Rudyard Kipling told of the old lama, thirsting, searching across the burning plains of India asking one everlasting question: “Where is the river of which I have heard? Where is the river whose waters can cleanse from sin and satisfy the thirst of my soul?” Sundar Singh had drank deeply, freely of the Water of Life and gave all to carry the Water of Life to the thirsting multitudes of India, Tibet and yea the world.