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Founding of Mukti Mission - Home of Salvation
Nineteen years ago in this month of July, I started from the city of Philadelphia and went to San Francisco, in response to the kind invitation sent by some good friends, who took a deep interest in the well-being of the women of India. I lived in the latter city for more than four months; and sailed from the Golden Gate for Bombay, via Japan and China.
God in His great goodness gave me faithful and true friends in America, who promised to help me in my work. My work, in the beginning, was a purely educational one, and religious liberty was to be given to the inmates of my school, and all plans were made to start the Home for Widows as soon as I should land in Bombay.
The day for sailing from San Francisco arrived. I felt as if I were going to a strange country and to a strange people. Everything seemed quite dark before me. I fell on my knees, committed myself to the care of our loving Heavenly Father, and sailed.
My religious belief was so vague at the time that I was not certain whether I would go to heaven or hell after my death. I was not prepared to meet my God then. How can I describe my feelings when I heard of the disaster at San Francisco by the terrible earthquake, and of the great destruction of human life in the harbour of Hong Kong not long ago. How I thanked God for letting me live all these years, and not sending the terrible earthquake and the dreadful storms, when I was not prepared to meet Him. I deeply sympathise with the people living in both of these places in their afflictions and pray to God that He may save each and all of the surviving inhabitants of San Francisco and Hong Kong.
When starting from San Francisco, and on landing in Bombay, I had resolved in my mind, that although no direct religious instruction was to be given to the inmates of my home, yet I would daily read the Bible aloud and pray to the only True God in the name of Christ; that my countrywomen, seeing and hearing what was going on, might be led to enquire about the true religion, and the way of salvation.
There were only two day-pupils in my school, when it was started a little more than eighteen years ago. No one was urged to become a Christian, nor was any one compelled to study the Bible. But the Book was placed in the library along with other religious books. The daily testimony to the goodness of the True God awakened new thoughts in many a heart.
After the first ten years of our existence as a school, our constitution was changed slightly. Since then, every pupil admitted in the school has been receiving religious instruction, retaining perfect liberty of conscience.
Many hundreds of the girls and young women who have come to my Home ever since its doors were opened for them have found Christ as I have. They are capable of thinking for themselves. They have had their eyes opened by reading the Word of God, and many of them have been truly converted and saved to the praise and glory of God. I thank God for letting me see several hundred of my sisters, the children of my love and prayer, gloriously saved. All this was done by God in answer to the prayers of faith of thousands of His faithful servants in all lands, who are constantly praying for us all.
I was led by the Lord to start a special prayer-circle at the beginning of 1905. There were about 70 of us who met together each morning, and prayed for the true conversion of all the Indian Christians including ourselves, and for a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all Christians of every land. In six months from the time we began to pray in this manner the Lord graciously sent a glorious Holy Ghost revival among us, and also in many schools and Churches in this country. The results of this have been most satisfactory. Many hundreds of our girls and some of our boys have been gloriously saved, and many of them are serving God, and witnessing for Christ at home, and in other places.
I have responded to the Lord's challenge, "Prove Me now," Malachi 3:10, and have found Him faithful and true. I know He is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. His promise, "My people shall never be ashamed," Joel 2:16, and all the thousands of His promises are true. I entreat you, my readers, to prove the Lord as I have proved Him.
"O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. O fear the Lord, ye His saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." Psalm 34:8-10.
"O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy: And gathered them out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." Psalm 107:1-9.
Glorious New Hope
This has been literally fulfilled in me and mine. I praise the Lord Who has done great things for us. Hallelujah, Amen.
The most precious truth which I have learnt since my conversion is the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I firmly believe, as taught in the Bible, that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon. He will most certainly come and will not tarry. The signs of the times in the last decade have taught me to be waiting for Him. I was totally ignorant of this particular subject. It is not generally taught in this country. The missionaries connected with some denominations do not believe in it at all. They believe that Christ will come to judge the quick and the dead at the time of the last judgement but they do not think He will come for His servants before the time of the resurrection of the dead, and before the final judgement.
The hope of the appearing of our Saviour to take His redeemed ones to be with Him has been a great help to me in my Christian life. I praise the Lord for the great promise of His coming, and His counsel to watch and pray.
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." Matthew 24:24.
"Take ye heed, watch and pray; for ye know not when the time is." Mark 13:33.
Unexpected Visit From The Governor
One day, during this month, as I was getting ready for my afternoon work, one of my fellow-workers came to the door of the office, followed by the Collector of Poona. Both told me that His Excellency the Governor of Bombay had come to visit Mukti. I was taken by surprise, for I never thought that the Governor would ever come to such an out-of-the-way place and visit an unpretending institution, which had not earned popularity by great achievements, and by courting the favour of the great men of the country. In a few moments my surprise vanished, giving way to perfect pleasure, at finding the Governor so simple and natural in his manner, though he was very dignified and grand.
It was delightful to see the greatest man of this presidency taking kindly notice of every one who happened to come in his way, enquiring with interest of every little detail concerning the work. He seemed to be well acquainted with what was going on here. After inspecting all parts of the Mission, he bade us goodbye and went away. It was a very pleasant surprise, and we shall never forget his visit and kindness to us all.
As we did not know about his visit, we had not made any preparations to receive him; so he saw us as we were; some walking about, some idly sitting where they were, some doing their work properly, some sweeping the ground and doing other housework, some dressed well and tidily, others in rags with unkempt hair, some giving themselves to their lessons and industry with diligence, and some just looking into the air doing nothing and thinking about nothing in particular.
It does one good to be taken by surprise in this way. The one great thought that filled my heart while the Governor was here, and after he went away, leaving a very pleasant impression on our mind, was that our Lord Jesus Christ is coming some day just in this manner, and those of us who are prepared to meet Him will have the joy of being caught up in the air to be with Him. How blessed it will be, not to have anything to be afraid of, or anything that belongs to the enemy. How nice to be able to say with our Blessed Saviour, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me."
"The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:11-14.
A Loving Invitation
"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray alway, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." Luke 21:34-36.
If I were to write all that the Lord has done for me, even as much as it lies in my power to do so, the book would be too large for a person to read: so I have made the account of my spiritual experience as short as possible. I am very glad and very thankful to the Lord for making it possible for me to give this testimony of the Lord's goodness to me. My readers will scarcely realise the great spiritual needs of all my countrywomen and of my countrymen too. The people of this land are steeped in sin and are sitting in a terrible darkness. May the Father of Light send them light and life by His chosen ones. We need witnesses for Christ and His great salvation freely offered to all men.
Dear brother and sister, whoever may happen to read this testimony, may you realise your responsibility to give the gospel of Jesus Christ to my people in this land, and pray for them, that they may each and all be cleansed from their filthiness, and from all their idols, that they may find the true way of salvation.
My prayer for those readers who have not yet been saved is that they may seek and find Christ Jesus, our Blessed Redeemer, for the salvation of their souls.
"Our citizenship is in heaven, from whence also we wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." Philippians 3:20.
"Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Revelation 1:5-6.
Date: March, 1907
Pandita Ramabai Commemorative Stamp
In appreciation of the work of Pandita Ramabai for the advancement of Indian women, the government of India approved the issuance of a commemorative stamp of Pandita Ramabai in 1989.
The following is taken from the official brochure for the stamp from the Department of Post, India.
Pandita Ramabai, the youngest daughter of Anant Shastri, was a social reformer, a champion for the emancipation of women, a pioneer in education. Left totally alone by the time she was 23, Ramabai acquired a great reputation as a Sanskrit scholar.
Deeply impressed by her prowess, the Sanskrit scholars of Calcutta University conferred on her the titles of "Sarawati" and "Pandita". She rebelled against the caste system and married a shudra advocate, but was widowed at 23, having a baby girl In 1882, she established the Arya Mahila Samaj for the cause of women's education in Pune and different parts of Western India. This led to the formation of the Sharada Sadan in 1889 - which school completes a hundred years this year - a school which blossomed into an umbrella organization called Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission, 40 miles outside Pune.
In 1896, during a sever famine Ramabai toured the villages of Maharashtra with a caravan of bullock carts and rescued thousands of outcast children, child widows, orphans, and other destitute women and brought them to the shelter of Mukti and Sharada Sadan. A learned woman knowing seven languages, she also translated the Bible into her mother tongue - Marathi - from the original Hebrew and Greek. Her work continues today, a memorial to her life and path
How do we enter into the relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ about which Pandita Ramabai has told us? We need to understand that God truly loves us, and desires that everyone come to know Him, the only true and holy God. But man is prevented from knowing God because of sin.
The Bible says that everyone has sinned, and that there is no one who is perfectly holy. God, however, requires holy and sinless people. Because of man's sin and God's holiness and love for us, Jesus Christ came to earth to die for our sins. Romans 5:8 says that because of our sin and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, that Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin. Jesus also said,"...I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
You can receive Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." A way of expressing your faith is by praying a prayer such as the following:
"Lord Jesus, I need you. I know that I have done wrong in your sight. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I now place my faith and trust in you as my Savior and my Lord, and for the forgiveness of my sins. Thank you for forgiving my sins and for giving me eternal life... make me what you want me to be. Amen."
You can pray that prayer right now to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord.
If you did pray that prayer and want more information, ask the one who gave you this booklet, or write:
Ramabai Mukti Mission
P.O. Box 4912
Clinton, NJ 08809
Contents of her Book
An Honorable Heritage
An Unique Education
Famine, Death and Doubts
Introduction to Christianity
Calcutta: Deeper Hindu Studies and Skepticism
Marriage and Life in Bengal
Widowhood and Poona
England: Being Drawn to Religion of Christ
Bombay: Founding of Mukti Mission - Home of Salvation
Glorious New Hope
Unexpected Visit from the Governor
A Loving Invitation
Pandita Ramabai Commemorative Stamp