“I want to create and renew hope in Christianity among the student community.”
In India, Haggai leader Annette Beatrice Dhanaraj is equipping a new generation of believers through her work as a college professor and registrar of the Christian Education Council. Tasked with teaching students from other religions, Annette has unique opportunities to share the Gospel with groups she would not encounter in traditional church settings. This desire to minister to the next generation was born from her own experience encountering Christ as a teen.
Annette started her ministry with children through her involvement in Sunday school and summer Bible school. After completing her higher education at Women’s Christian College, she was appointed as an assistant professor at the same institution. In addition to teaching, Annette was given a role as faculty coordinator for the Student Christian Movement (SCM).
The SCM’s weekly meetings consisted of students praying and sharing testimonies and guest speakers bringing God’s Word. Students of other religions attended these meetings and were touched by Annette’s leadership and God’s love. Annette says this was a fulfilling experience for the students and herself. Every session concluded with an altar call, and many gave their lives to Christ.
“My ministry is mostly among the students and adolescents. Due to the pandemic situation, we had classes online last year, where I taught six courses. By the end of each course, I spend time with the students, telling them about Christ. I start with an interactive session on their beliefs about God and then talk about my personal relationship with Him.
“Many students were facing financial problems, were emotionally weak, and were very anxious about their family situations during this pandemic period. I made use of this opportunity and spent time listening and telling them how God loves them and can meet their needs. Students used to call me over the phone or we would meet through a virtual platform. I sowed the seed with all the students in the class.”
In an academic year, Annette meets at least 250 to 300 under- and postgraduate students in her classes as well as alumni and research assistants. At the end of her conversations, she always finds a way to talk about Christ, whether that may be through sharing her testimony or other inspiring stories.
Annette attended the Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) in July 2018. Though already committed to sharing the Gospel and discipling young people, the HLE enhanced her prayer life and enabled her to better incorporate her faith into her work as an educator in secular settings.
“The HLE was a great blessing in my personal life and ministry. I really feel privileged to be one of the leaders. I can learn from others the strategy they adopt for spreading the Gospel. The journey motivates me to do more and I want to touch the lives of many more students. It sharpened my vision and continues to shape my life.”
She credits the opportunity to meet leaders and learn from those in other countries with building her skills and equipping her to share the Gospel with those from other faiths.
“God is working and using me for His glory. I believe that God has given me this position at the college to touch the lives of many students: those who are Christians, those who are not saved, and also those who belong to other religions. My desire is, every student who enters the portal of the college should never leave without knowing who Jesus is.”