Grace Ida Rajan was on her way home from work on a Summer day in 1992 when everything changed.
As a college student in the 1980s, at a time when few women in India were pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), Grace wanted to be a trailblazer. She received her degree in electronics and communication engineering and pursued a career in the public sector. She had yet to realize that God had called her to be a trailblazer, but in a completely different way.
“One day in August 1992, when I was returning from my job, the bus in which I was travelling from Salem to Mettur Dam got into an accident. The bus caught fire when the diesel tank exploded, and I was sitting in the middle of the bus, close to the fire. Desperately I started to scream, ‘JESUS, save me!’ The more I screamed, the more I inhaled smoke and started to choke. Then, something which I would call a miracle, happened. I have no memory of extricating myself, but suddenly I was standing out in a safe place, gazing at the fully scorched bus. About thirty people died in that accident, some of them close friends. I realized that God, by showing His grace to me, had given me a fresh lease on life.”
Grace and Suresh Rajan
Grace began sharing her testimony at every opportunity. One person who heard her testimony was a young missionary named Suresh, who sought to meet the woman with the miraculous story. Within a week’s time they were engaged, and together they sought to fulfill God’s calling on their lives.
“The accident changed the entire course of my life. My marriage and ministry have been a package deal for the past 28 years.”
Grace and Suresh soon embarked on a life of ministry in Kolkata. Along with Suresh, Grace returned to school, this time receiving a Masters in Christian Studies and a Doctor of Christian Ministry. She and Suresh were ordained as ministers in the Methodist church, and Grace also works for Wycliffe Associates across South Asia.
The couple has experienced firsthand the difficulty of life in ministry as India grows increasingly hostile toward the teachings of Christianity.
“The government is constantly poisoning people of the Hindu faith by telling them that the Christian faith is alien. Anti-conversion laws which we have never heard of before are now the norm. I lost one of my Hindu friends after he accused me of being an anti-national involved in proselytizing.”
Nearly two decades into her pastoral career, the new era of Hindu nationalism left Grace discouraged. She credits attending the Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) in 2010 with re-energizing her pursuit of an end to Gospel poverty.
“I came to Maui when there was a crisis in our ministry path. We were at a crossroads. The future looked bleak with doors closed. I realized that the whole world was open for me to minister to, always! I opened my blog before leaving Maui. It has been a huge blessing for me from then on.”
Grace and Suresh have pursued new ministry opportunities among the most marginalized communities in their region.
In the decade since she attended the HLE, Grace has started an international blog where she regularly reaches more than 60,000 readers across the globe. Additionally, she and Suresh have pursued new ministry opportunities among the most marginalized communities in their region.
“We have been reaching out to impoverished communities like Narikuravar in Vellore and the Gonds in Coimbatore with preaching and compassion ministry. We have been catalysts for Bible translation in languages across South Asia. In and through all of these efforts, our desire to share the Good News is being satisfied every day.”