POPULAR actress Nagma opened up about her faith and mission in her life for the first time to the media in an exclusive interview with The Christian Messenger.Christian Messenger, an online Christian newspaper founding Editor Robin Sam interviewed her early this year. The followings are excerpts from the interview: founding editor Robin Sam spoke to her for close to five hours in an exhaustive interview concerning her faith, the recent issue over her testimony at Nalumavadi in Tamil Nadu, the rising violence against Christians, her personal life and plans for the future. Excerpts:When did you come to realize the saving power of Jesus Christ?I was born on Christmas to a Muslim mother and a Hindu father. I went to a convent school from childhood. I was exposed to Christianity from a young age. I went to Mount Mary Convent School in Bandra, Mumbai. There, Mass was a routine feature. I always thought I am very special to God because I was born on Dec 25th - perhaps because the world celebrated the day.Even though I was not a believer then, I still enjoyed a constant companionship and relationship with Jesus Christ but never really mentioned this as it would have seemed odd then. A bit later in life, I came across a book called ‘Conversations with God.’ That confirmed to me that the power that was speaking to me all along was God Himself. Now when I look back, I feel that God’s hand was strongly upon me all along even though I hadn’t realized it then.
Someone in the BJP had threatened to send you a lawyer’s notice over your testimony at Bro. Mohan C Lazarus’ meeting in Nalumavadi, Tamil Nadu. How do you react to these criticisms?Persecution is part and parcel of a Christian’s life. And it is said if there’s no persecution then you need to check your walk. So, I think I am on the right track. Didn’t Jesus say “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you”? (John 15:18-27). No matter what, God’s Word says I have to continue doing what He asks me to. So, shall I. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
How did you get invited at Bro.Mohan C Lazarus’ meeting?I get invitations to share my testimony from various places. I was in Kochi for the Reinhard Bonnke meeting. Bro. Lazarus happened to see me there. Thereafter, on one occasion he mentioned to me about people in his ministry praying for me and that they would like to hear my testimony. That’s how Nalumavadi happened.
How do you decide on accepting invitations to share your testimony?When I get an invitation from someone, I pray about it. Then, I reflect on how I feel about it within me. If there’s peace about that it, then I definitely accept the invitation.
What was Jyothika’s reaction to your accepting Christ?All of them including my sisters think it’s a phase I am going through and I will get out of it soon. They think I am on my own trip (laughs). In due time, they will come to realize that this is the Way, the Truth and Life.
Have you started sharing your testimony with your close family members? And, are you interceding for anyone’s salvation?I don’t need to share my testimony with them as they are a part of me and they understand what’s happening in my life. Nevertheless, I pray for them that they will be touched by God as I had been. I appreciate them for their support in letting me do what I am doing and allowing me to share my testimony around the world. I believe the whole family can be saved through a single person’s salvation. ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ (Hebrews 11:1) Therefore, I consider them to be saved and thank God for it.‘No political or religious agenda here’Several Christian leaders in Chennai and all over the country are praying for you. Do you have any specific prayer requests that should be made known to them through our media?I would ask them to continually pray for the spirit of boldness to come on me as it came upon the apostles on the day of the Pentecost so that I can continue to be able to testify among nations for His glory.
These are perilous times to be a Christian. Aren’t you afraid to be a witness of Jesus Christ in India considering the persecution happening here?If we think in the flesh, then, of course, we will be very afraid. But if we think in the Spirit, then God will give us the strength. I believe in the verse that the One who is in us is greater than the one in the world. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). The Bible also says God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able. (1 Corinthians 10:13) The agenda here is neither political nor religious. It’s about the love of the Father for His children and what He has in store for them – His promises as in the Bible. It’s about His agape (unconditional) love. Christianity is not a religion it is a walk with God. It’s Christ-likeness showing you the way to battle evils and enter victoriously into God’s kingdom. In this hour of need, we need to remember that every hair on our head is numbered and nothing will happen to us without the Lord’s knowledge. (Mathew 10:30)
How do you balance cinema with Christian living?God is kind and His mercies are new with each passing day. I pray that He gives me the wisdom and understanding to handle both the responsibilities in the best possible way pleasing in His own eyes. Even Jesus had to obey His parents to grow in stature and wisdom. (Luke 2:52) I believe that when God is with you, He empowers you with much more strength and power than what you can do. (Acts 10:38). If we are His followers, we have to grow each day in wisdom and understanding as well just as the way Jesus grew up and God enriched Him.'Future? I am praying and waiting on the Lord'Going forward, do you have any plans of setting up your own ministry?As of now, I am praying and waiting upon the Lord. I think that’s entirely the calling of God. Setting up a ministry is a position of authority. It all depends on God’s leading. I am not sure but it could be anything like producing value-based films, a new business venture or simply sharing my testimony and good news. People have been touched and encouraged through my sharing. I pray for the supernatural as far as all these things are concerned and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead me into God’s plan for my life.
What are the other qualities that you look for in your man?I’d want him to have the love of God in his heart first and foremost. I would want him to be a family guy – totally in love with his one wife and proper in his walk with God. (Ephesians 5:28-29)