Kiran Kumar Boddu
కిరణ్ కుమార్ బొడ్డు
I was born and brought up in a Christian family. The last several generations all of our forefathers were Christians, which is very unusual in India. Not only were they Christians, but in the last five or six generations, at least one person continued the pastoral ministry– including my father.
I grew up on a Seminary campus where my parents were students. After my father finished seminary, he began church planting. When I was to start high school, I had to leave my family as there was not a school available near the place where my father was ministering. For the first time, after I began school, I read Hindu literature and sang Hindu songs. In my dormitory I had opportunities to meet a variety of students
It was exciting to learn about other religions and cultures. I began to think that my parents were too narrow minded because they were always saying Christianity was the only religion and Christ is the only way. At this time, my faith in Christianity began to wavier, and even though I was friends with many kinds of people, I still had respect for my religion for the good works they do. But, there was no real faith, and trust in Christ, in my heart. Later, when I looked back, I realized I walked away from Christianity for six or seven years. It was not until my final year of engineering studies that one of my old friends (who had converted from Hinduism to Christianity), got in touch with me. Through his fellowship, I very slowly began to understand the Gospel better, and I came back to Lord. After my studies, I started working in a computer business, where I had free internet access. I used to post some Christian literature on my blog, and talk to people all over the world through “Yahoo Chat”. A person from Texas, named by Dan Harris, saw my blog and contacted me. We became good friends. After some time he introduced me to the “Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), at first I rejected it because 1) I could not understand the old English, 2) my father and I didn’t like infant baptism, 3) there was no scriptural evidence to the chapters, and 4) there was not a chapter on Holy Spirit. We thought the Westminster Confession of Faith to be something like heresy, so I stopped communicating with this man from Texas. But, even though I stopped communicating with him, he continued to talk with me and sent me the modern English version of WCF, which contained all the above missing points
Once I began to read it, I started understanding the WCF, which answered many questions I had from childhood, and my faith became stronger. I wanted this book to be available to our people in India, so with the help of another brother, we translated it into our native language and had it published. During the translation process, I also read the Presbyterian Church government and I discovered liked it. I wanted to see churches being planted/established with these doctrines. Providentially, some of the people who studied the translated WCF came back to us and asked to learn more about this faith. I was not capable to train those men.
I was introduced to MTW through my Texas friend and with the help of MTW; we were able to train some people. Later that group of people became a Presbytery; and still later that presbytery became a denomination called “Presbyterian Church in South India.” Later that training program became a Bible school, “Presbyterian Theological Institute”. Currently, we have about 60 pastors with 70 church planting efforts in our denomination. About 100 students are being trained every year through the Bible school.
When I started this work, my vision was to see 300 churches planted in 10 years. I worked as General Secretary for five years, and after all the hard work, recently I decided to go to seminary. I needed a break from my work, but I also wanted to see second level leadership be developed in the denomination and to equip myself for the future needs of the denomination.
As a founding General Secretary of this small denomination, I praise God, it didn’t stop with 300 churches because there are two other different parts of India adopting the same vision and also wanted to do the similar kind of church planting of 300 each So, In the coming years, it would 900 to 1,000 churches.
I am married to Praveena. As we are learning more and more about God, we are realizing that how minute and sinful we are, which makes us to turn to him with greater high view of Him, which makes us to live a humble, grateful life and a life which brings glory to His name.