Called to be a minister
This testimony is life and facts of Bro. Hubert D’Souza. A humble servant of God called to minister the Word of God, from a very young age. Hailed from a Roman Catholic family and raised as a devout person, found God in truth in a tragic and dynamic way.
My praise to God for his saving grace and to all my pastors, elders and brothers and sisters who were instrumental in guiding and inspiring me to follow and grow in all truth.
I am encouraged to write freely, the facts and events of my life which were already established. God's Word today is an ever living reality. It was the 3rd of November 1960 that I was born to my parents, Joseph and Jane D’Souza, in the heart of the city of Bombay (Bombay Central). I was the first born of four children. As I grew up I was very introvert by nature. My upbringing was in a simple and poor lifestyle. My parents were not educated yet they had great desire to educate all their children. During my school days I was recognized as a talented young artist, and was awarded many times as the best artist in drawing and painting. Later I joined an art college for career in Art & Advertising. During every vacation of those years I would go for some missionary trips with some Jesuit priests whose work fascinated me to a great extent in helping the poor, the lepers, etc. At that time I had decided in my heart to become a catholic priest. My parents were against it and yet I could not be discouraged. I joined the novitiate (the formative period of priestly training). Just after two and half years I had to appear for my final exams. So I took a break from this spiritual vocation. It was during this time that I came across the charismatic movement which was very lively and dynamic. When I shared this experience with my superiors they were very much against it, they literally scolded me for mixing with the charismatics.
Stating that ‘charismatics are crackmatics’ this worked as a reverse psychology in me and made me to mingle with them. I wondered why they had such bias feelings against each other. The things that I learned in the seminary were just meditative and interactive group discussions, never the Scriptures as I see it and understand today. The seminarians were just waiting to receive position and power of office but not of God. Nostalgia was rampant. In the rooms they had pictures of patrons and saints, but behind them would be pictures of nude girls. The lectures of the rectors, I still remember, ‘You boys are all rascals and I am a greater one than you all by which I can understand you all’. Such were the environment prevalent in those days.
In God’s providence I came across a brother from the Brethren assembly, who was a doctor by profession, who led me to the Bible and showed me God’s Plan of Redemption, Justification and Sanctification. I marveled at the Scriptural facts for I had never known any thing like that. This was my turning point towards faith in God. I joyfully started to fellowship with this brother and my ambition to rejoin the seminary started to die out. As I began to learn the ABC’s of Scriptures from this doctor friend, I was surprised to receive a copy of the KJV Bible. He said it was a gift from him as he was leaving for the USA. My fellowship ended within six months.
I realized that God had a plan for me. My search for the truth continued and I happened to get in touch with another fascinating brother who was intelligent and wise but subtle. In those days we were a dynamic group of young people desiring to know the truth, but we did not last long. The brother revealed to me certain messages which he claimed to be his own personal revelations. However, I found out later that the messages I was hearing and learning were the messages of Brother William Branham. The group split after the true author was known. Praise the Lord.
Anyway that brother had then baptized me in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The year was 1982. This baptism brought great faith and confidence in my life. I was totally out of the Roman Catholic system. Then I started to preach the truth to small groups in Bombay, where God called me to minister the Word and the faith. I was then full of zeal for the Lord’s work. Once I met an old Gospel preacher who looked at me and said that I had anguish in my heart and I need to go on a fast to seek God’s will. I opted for the same and along with one brother we go to a forest where we spent four days fasting in a deep valley near a pool of water. On the third night as we were lying down and watching the stars I suddenly noticed pairs of eyes all around, surrounding us. Since it was dark we switched on our commander torches that we had brought along with us, but we could see nothing. We began to pray and sing and rebuke the devils in the Name of Jesus Christ. Nothing happened. Fear started to grow in our hearts. Then all of a sudden there arose a huge fire around six to seven feet high. The moment we saw it we were motionless, everything became still and all those eyes were gone. And within seconds we were asleep.
The next morning I immediately rushed to the spot where the fire was and to my surprise there was no ash or any sign that a fire was burning there the previous night. I realized that it was a sign from the Lord. We knelt and prayed and thanked God not knowing what it all meant. We were feeling very weak and exhausted. I was sorrowful. A strange voice spoke to me, ‘Fear not, I have called you and I would teach you my Word’. I was young and I never really understood many things. We decided to go home on that fourth day at noon. As we made our way back, on the steep mountain, just then a friend of mine, from Bombay, came with two "tiffin" of food. When asked as to his action, he simply said that he felt led to bring the food to us. We realized it was God, our father, who cared for us. It brought joy and goodness to our heart.
From that time on I began receiving invitations from distant places to minister the Word. And these were people whom I had not known nor heard about. Five years later a minister just looked at me and asked me whether I had any strange experience. I remembered the experience and told it to him. He said that the eyes were the hungry souls who would look towards my ministry and the fire is the presence of God that would manifest to bring spiritual life unto the people. This was amazing and I realized that God had already begun his good work in me. We used to read the Faith Contenders of Bro. Raymond Jackson, and in those times it also happened that we came across the Prophetic Revelation books of Bro. Richard Gan, whom we met in person for the first time in 1985 in Bombay.
Brother M. R. Samuel of South India called me over to his place, and he said to me, ‘My time is short and the Lord has called you to serve him’. He advised me and cautioned me to be wise on something I could not exactly follow. He then took me to the porch of his church building and prayed a special prayer for me by laying his hands on me. I could see there was some burden in his eyes. The Lord has put burden in my heart for so many Indian churches that have received the message of the prophet and yet stay in darkness due to tradition and lack of clarity on the revealed Word.
In the year 1986 I met my wife Flossy in a unique way, who was a zealous woman for the truth, faced boldly all opposition from her family, friends and neighbours to marry me. It was a beautiful Christian wedding. The Lord blessed us with a son after five years of marriage, that too is a miracle of the Lord. My wife was hailed from the Roman Catholic background, she had joined the cloistered Carmel Nuns, a very stringent order of the Catholics. But the good Lord wonderfully brought her out and planted her in the body of Christ. The Lord has blessed her with some gifts of discernment whereby the Lord has edified the present church in many ways. Over the years we have grown spiritually and also in strength, so we always have problems for worship place. Our fellowship started in our home and after some years we had to move to a school building. Being that it was a Roman Catholic premise, the R.C. people did not condone our activities -- people turning to the Lord and coming out of Catholicism. We wondered from place to place, yet the Lord showed through my wife where He had prepared a place for us. The Lord used her to reach out to many of her known people and relatives who were wonderfully led to the Lord. In many ways the good Lord has revealed wonderful things through her.
As per the leading of the Lord in my heart, in the year 1990 I started an independent ministry in Borivli (North Bombay). Many churches in India have recognized my ministry and invited me for Bible studies and convention meetings. In the year 1994 we organized a convention at Nasrapur, where Bro. Richard Gan of Singapore preached the message ‘From Eternity to Eternity’. It was a great blessing for all those who attended it.
There were periods of trials of which I was caught totally unawares. In one case, a believer, who stayed with us, cheated us very badly. He sold our new house and absconded with the whole amount of money. It was such a shock to us that it took a long time for us to overcome the pain and the loss.
The experience and trial made me to learn many difficult and practical lessons in the Lord. It came in a time when I was in much distress in my financial situation as I had to support my family. There were much scorning from all people saying, ‘Where is your God?’ This was a terrible dilemma to me. It seems that a force was acting that we should go to the Gulf and make a living. My wife and myself spent time in prayer and fasting and the Lord revealed to us that we should continue in the ministry, and He revived my financial position by bringing certain jobs to my door step. The ministry continued and the Lord blessed the fruit of our labour. Praise His lovely Name.
Today having nothing yet I possess all things. Just as Paul states: "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing as poor yet making many rich; as having nothing and yet possessing all things" - 2Cor.6:10. The Lord has raised many wonderful testimonies in the life of my church members. Every fellowship now is a delightful innovation in the Lord. The Lord has laid charge unto me wonderful and simple believers in this message. I thank my Heavenly Father for all that led me through to shape and mold me in His wondrous grace.
God bless you abundantly…
Pastor Hubert D’Souza.
FAITH ASSEMBLY (BOMBAY)
3. Anita Apts., I.C. Colony,
Borivli (w), Bombay-400103,
5 June, 2003