Joshua and Ranjana Immanuel
Children's Home Directors
Joshua and Ranjana Immanuel serve as staff directors of the Sons of Thunder Children's Home and managed its construction. They have worked with orphan children for a number of years and pastor a local church in the greater Mumbai area of India. Thanks to your support, Sons of Thunder has been able to cover facility costs for Joshua Generation Church, in addition to building the home.
As house parents, Joshua and Ranjana oversee the day-to-day care of the children, while also cultivating a heart for the harvest. Joshua conducts open-air crusades and speaks at churches and conferences around the nation.
Testimony of Pastor Joshua (Nisar) Immanuel
I was born in a muslim family in October, 1978. It was a very hard time in our house, as my father did not have a job in India and tried to get a job abroad in Saudi Arabia. After my brother Naushad’s birth, he had the opportunity to get a nice job outside of India as a mechanical engineer, where he earned nicely. So, all was going well. In 1988, my father met with an accident while coming from there to India. It was a great shock for us, and suddenly, the whole of our family collapsed. Our financial stability crashed. My mother did not want to leave us in our grandfather’s house, because they would not allow us to get an education and would also have an early marriage of my sister, Reshma, because they were very orthodox. They would ask us to do all the farming work as well.
At last, my mother decided to look after us herself. From that time onward, I was always angry with Allah, asking, “Why did Allah do this to us?” And I was not interested in going to our regular prayers. My mother started working in a small company and helped us to get our education done. In this very crucial time, when we needed someone to stand with us, every one left us.
In this period of time, when we had no one, I used to feel that there was no God in this earth who cared about us. When I was 12 years old, one of my Hindu friends accepted Jesus into his life, and he would always be behind me, telling me that I should come to church – that God will hear you and answer all of your prayers, giving you peace. I used to say what God could do, and that He could not give any peace to me – that He had stolen my future. I was so discouraged, but this boy was persistently telling me about Christ. So, I decided to go with him to the church in a healing meeting. As I entered the grounds, I was wondering how people were dancing and laughing and praising God. I was thinking, “How can they praise God like that?” I thought we should not do it like this, that it was a shameful thing – because we could not do that in our culture. Since God is “holy,” we could not approach him like this.
I was sitting and listening and watching this thing. At last, the pastor came and started to preach about Jesus Christ. When he started to preach, there was something going on in my heart. I started to feel something funny, which I cannot explain. But one thing I know is that day, God touched my life. As the pastor gave the altar call, I started to pray along with him. And as
soon as I finished my prayer, suddenly peace
came into my heart. And that peace made me believe that there really is some power in Jesus. After that, I started reading the Bible and attending church. I got filled with the Holy Spirit – that was a mind-blowing experience. This was all making my faith strong in the Lord.
I started to witness to my family members. I preached to my brother, sister, cousins and the like, and everyone understood that I was going to church. All my family members came against me. But even so, I continued to witness Jesus to them. Slowly, my family members tried to make me understand by counseling, but when I didn’t hear them after counseling, they started threatening to beat me and throw me out of the house. This made me frightened. I wondered how to face my family members, and I started to go to church secretly. But they were spying on me every time. They gave me a final warning, that if I was found in the church, then that day would be the last day of my life!
One day, the pastor was preaching about the blessedness o
f being persecuted. So, while the church service was coming to an end, the last song was going on and I was in the gate of the church, clapping my hands and rejoicing. Suddenly, someone came from behind and grabbed my neck. I saw behind me that it was my uncle, who was six feet tall, and I was only 14 years old at the time. He told me that he would remove all my “praise the Lord and Hallelujah” and he brought me home and tried to find a knife to kill me. But by the grace of God, my aunts hid it. So, he started hitting me with the belt (i.e. with the buckle!). It was so fearful at the time; I wondered how I could survive with these hits. But let me share to you, for the Glory of God, that although he was beating me with all of his strength, inside I was praying in the Spirit and rejoicing, asking God to forgive him. At the time he was hitting me, not a single blow was hurting me! It was so glorious, that my faith toward Jesus Christ was not getting reduced, but was growing.
They didn’t stop with that. My uncle put me in Masjid (the mosque) and all the priests of the mosque were coming and telling me not to go to the Christians. Muslims believe Christians are very low caste, because they eat and drink anything. They took me to a small room, advising me that Mohammed is our prophet and that Jesus is also a prophet, but not the Son of God. So, while they were speaking, suddenly God gave me wisdom to ask them how Jesus was born. And I started explaining to them about the first Adam and Jesus as the Last Adam that came to save mankind. They got so annoyed that they said I was possessed by demons, and left me alone. I don’t know what God did to them that they stopped confronting me, and from that day, I was free to go to church. God had closed their mouths.
In 1997, I got and opportunity to go to Bible school. It was not possible for me to go to Bible school for four months, so I told my family I was doing something else. While I was doing the Bible school, they came to know it, and after finishing the four-month course, I thought it would be impossible for me to return to my family. But by the grace of God, I was again allowed to come home. So I stayed with them again, trying to share my Bible school experiences. I now had a calling to serve God, and would not do a secular job. This decision made them angrier. At this ti
me, my mother was working as a babysitter in Bahrain, and my sister was a software engineer. My brother was doing computer engineering. It was his first year in college, but the whole year, my brother did not go to school. He did not have a good circle of friends. He started taking drugs, and one night, my brother didn’t come home because he got the hall ticket for an examination. That day, my uncle tried to blame me for the condition of our house becoming like this. And in the night, he planned to kill me. But I ran from the house at 2 a.m. and came to a believer’s home. After two or three days, I went back home with prayer, and my uncle said I would now have to go abroad for a secular job.
I had no options, so I agreed. He prepared my passport, and when the visa was on its way, I started praying to God, “Lord what shall I do?” I heard the clear voice from the Lord that everyone is running for their own house, but who is going to work for Me? I was broken. It was hard for me to decide to leave home. Ultimately, I made the decision to leave my home for the Lord’s service. I took my passport and ran away from my house.
I started my ministry with nothing. I was working with Pastor Francis Lazarus in Hallelujah Evangelical Ministries. I left my home without anything, and I was staying in a house without any roof but the grace of God. God lifted me up and started using me in the ministry. I was doing ministry independently; we started a church with two people and it grew to 200 people. We established three churches and about 24 cell groups, and we started a Bible school for young people for a period of one month. Almost 190 students have graduated from that school. From 1997, God was especially using me in the field of music and worship, and it was my vision to have a good praise and worship team with a place where 24-hour worship would go on. I had a passionate desire to see revival among believers and to see India saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In June 2003, I started Praise Yahweh Ministries. I have a vision for music programs and worship seminars, village ministry, cell churches, concerts and an orphanage program – also a daycare center and kindergarten for slum children – and many more things. God has now blessed me with a wonderful wife, Ranjana, and two children: Enoch and Hephzibah. My wife is from Panditha Ramabai Mukthi Mission, the oldest orphanage in India. She grew up there and accepted Jesus at the age of 14. She did her disciple training school with Youth With a Mission, and we now have a heart to serve the Lord among the poor community, especially among children. There are so many testimonies and so many miracles which cannot be written, but these are the things God has put in my heart to share sincerely. Thank you for reading my testimony. Please pray for me and my family and ministry. Amen!
Testimony of Ranjana Immanuel
I am very glad to let you know what the Lord has done in my life. My name is Ranjana, which means “giving joy to others,” and I was born in a Hindu family, along with my brother. We were a happy family. But when I was three and half years old, I remember one day that my mother got burned. I saw her rolling on the ground from our house. She was all black. I don’t remember her face anymore – none of them. And that was the last sight I had of her in my memory. The next thing I remember in my life was getting down from a bus, along with my father, in front of a big gate. And that place became a home for me for the rest of my life. That was the orphanage where I grew up, Panditha Ramabai Mukthi Mission. Since then, I never saw my brother or father again.
I always thank God for giving my father wisdom to bring me to this orphan home, where I was loved, taken care of and was provided with everything that I needed. I can say today that I had the best childhood, and all the children like me should have this opportunity. As I was growing up, I heard about Jesus and what He did on the cross for me and for the whole world. I loved memorizing the scriptures from Bible. I actively took part in vacation Bible schools, Sunday schools and youth camps, but never had a real peace in my life. I always felt unw
anted and always used to wonder why my father left me in the orphanage and not my brother. But as I was reading the Bible, I understood God had a plan for me, and he has chosen me even before I was formed in my mother’s womb. As I was growing up, I started understanding what this all means.
At the age of 14, I gave my life to Jesus and took water baptism. When I finished my high school and it was time to go to college, I had more freedom and was not able to make good decisions in my life. I went through a lot of hardship, and I tried to do things with my own strength. I finally decided to end my life. I ate a lot of sleeping pills to end my life, but I ended up in a hospital. As I was struggling to recover in the hospital, my godmother came to see me, and she talked with me from John 10:10 and John 3:16. She explained to me how the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, and how Jesus came to give life and life in abundance. From that time, I told the Lord, “You have given me new life, and I will give it back to you by serving you.”
When I finished my studies and started work, I had no peace. I had a lot of money to enjoy, but no happiness – because I knew this was not what the Lord wanted me to do. So prayerfully, I left my job and asked the Lord to show me what I needed to do. I asked Him to provide for me.
In 1996, I told my elders in the orphanage that I wanted to serve the Lord, so they told me to go ahead – but not to expect them to pay me anything. I took a big step of faith. I joined Youth With a Mission in India in January, 1997. The Lord helped me to fulfill my commitment to YWAM for two and a half years. God always provided for me to pay my fees and other expenses. I never lacked anything. I had plenty, and I was able to help others too. Amen!
After YWAM, I was working as a promotional secretary for my orphanage where I grew up, and there I met my husband, Joshua (Nisar), as he came there to find a girl to marry. We found each other, as he also had the passion for the lost and orphans. Even though we never met before, we found out that we had the same vision – and with the blessings of my orphanage elders, we were married on Feb. 26, 2000. Today we are a happy family, and God has blessed us with one son, Enoch, and a daughter, Hephzibah.
I am always thankful to God for all the people who faithfully prayed for me and provided me everything that I needed. Today, when I see needy children, my heart cries, and I want to see them live a happy life, enjoy their childhood and learn about God’s love, so when they grow up, they have something better to do.
Today, we have six children, but there are hundreds of children who need love, care and shelter. So let us come together to give these loved ones a brighter tomorrow …. Amen!
Your donation helps us continue to support the work of Joshua & Ranjana on a monthly basis. Thank you for your support!
Sons of Thunder is a registered 501(c)3 charitable non-profit ministry. All donations are tax deductible.