We want to hear how people are sharing their faith on their frontlines, whether that’s at work, home, school or the gym. This week we spoke with Anita Kapila who teaches science in a secondary school.
Anita, how did you become a Christian?
I come from a Hindu background and am the only person in my family who is a Christian. Growing up I used to pray to idols and never really got any answers to prayer. Then at university I met some Christians; at first I thought they were crazy, but as I found out more over time I decided to let Jesus into my life.
This was an amazing experience but it came at a cost. My family stopped talking to me, they threw me out of the house. They are much better with me now but they still find it hard that I’m a Christian. Some people do say to me it doesn’t matter who you pray too but I have to say it does make a difference because of the cost I’ve experienced in choosing to follow Jesus.
Tell us briefly about the places you’ve work
I’m currently in a Church of England school now but I’ve also worked in secular places all my life. Even though I’ve worked in places where you’d think it would be difficult to talk about faith, I’ve actually been able to set up Christian prayer groups in four of the places that I’ve worked in. I’ve found this is an easy way to open opportunities for sharing your faith at work. In one of my previous work places there had never been a prayer group before but I decided to ask the leadership for permission to set up a group. They agreed to my proposal and allowed me to send an email to all my colleagues asking if they wanted to come to the prayer meetings. This shows how open secular places can be.
That’s very encouraging to hear, how else have you seen God at work in your workplace?
Just recently I received a lovely email from a lady who I’ve been praying for for 18 years. I’d lost touch with her but then out of the blue she emailed me to say she’s been going to church and finding it really comforting, that she’s going to get confirmed, baptise her child and that her husband is warming up to faith too. It was such an encouragement after all those years of prayer.
In my first job as a teacher I witnessed to a colleague called Sarah who told me that she couldn’t sleep and so I said I’d pray for her to sleep well. She came back to me and said she was sleeping much better and we started praying together for her husband, seeing God answer our prayers. Over a period of eight years of me witnessing to Sarah she got into the habit of praying to Jesus herself. Then tragically 12 weeks after giving birth to two children, Sarah died suddenly.
This was incredibly hard for everyone but also made me more on fire to witness to people. Sarah died praying to Jesus and I was assured by God that she is with Him now, but I learnt the importance of keeping going and the urgency of it all.
Finally Anita, what tips would you give to someone who is wondering how to start sharing their faith with their colleagues and friends at work?
The best place to start is simply to show an interest in another person. A few years ago there was a terrorist attack in a country where one of my colleague’s was from. When I asked her if her family were ok she told me I was the only person to ask her. So first and foremost, show an interest in other people.
Ask people what they did at the weekend, this is a good opportunity to show an interest but also gives you an opportunity to share about your weekend.
If people have been off sick, ask how they are but also offer to pray for them. My experience is that people often say yes to prayer – it is such a great way to begin sharing your faith with people.
And I’ve found that when you stand on the line for God, He will honour you and answer that prayer. Little by little these things add up to a good feeling towards you in the other person. My whole outlook at work is about being different and standing out as someone who cares.
Never let Easter or Christmas slip away without doing something, they’re such good opportunities. One Christmas I bought each of my colleagues a candle and attached a note that said Jesus is the light of the world, do you have this light? One year at Easter I gave everyone an Easter card with my testimony inside it. Be creative and make the most of the festivals we celebrate.
In general, I’d say try and stand out for God and remember each person is someone who is important to God. If you stand on the line for Him, He will bring the opportunities.