In Singapore recently I met a most fascinating man. His name is Benny Prasad. When I first saw him I thought he was a 1970’s left over with his tie-dyed shirt and long hair. Come to find out, he was only born in the 70’s! I was captivated by what he had to say; His testimony of Jesus saving him, a miracle that he is alive because he only has 40% of his lung capacity functioning and how he has travelled the world. I travel a lot and have been to about 40 countries. I recently had to get a new passport because all of my 125 pages in my current passport were full. The US Embassy wouldn’t add any more pages for me, so I had to get another passport. Benny’s was probably 500 pages and about 4 inches thick!! It was amazing. My wife just looked at me and said, “I guess you don’t travel that much after all!”
Let me tell you about Benny: Born on 6th August 1975, in Bangalore, India, Benny was the first of his generation in the family. His birth was celebrated with the highest of hopes for his future. But his was not a promising start: he suffered severe asthma which required him to take cortisone steroids. Because of the steroids, he developed Rheumatoid Arthritis, had 60% lung damage and his immune system was failing so his life was threatened daily.
His parents believed that these terrible early difficulties would only make his success all the more blessed and honorable. He was expected to excel in his studies, to set an example for his younger brother and sisters. He struggled to live up to such pressures, his father was a highly regarded scientist at the National Aerospace Laboratories, and spent a lot of time trying to drill mathematics and science into Benny, but in vain. Finding no fulfillment in life, Benny became depressed and his behavior continued to worsen. He reached out to what seemed the only way out for him and attempted suicide at the age of 16.
Then Benny Prasad had an encounter with God. He heard God speak to him, saying. “Benny, even though you have been useless all your life, I need you now and I can make you a new creation.” Finally, a fresh start! A new birth! That was all it took to bring about a complete transformation in this lost and hurting young man.
From being the shame of his family, he went on to be their pride. God’s power brought the most powerful change in Benny’s life. Before this transition he had displayed no interest or ability in music. But from that moment to the present, he has performed before presidents and parliaments, before the crowds of the 2007 MILITARY WORLD GAMES, 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP and the 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES. He has traveled to more than 225 countries and is on pace to complete his goal of sharing the gospel in every country on earth in the next year or so. He has won renown by designing two guitars (The word’s first Bongo guitar and 54 string guitar, the “Bentar”). Today, through his music, Benny brings the Hope in God to thousands of people, traveling to 40 to 50 countries every year.
Benny says, “If I could be made useful, anyone in this world can. If my dreams can come true, yours can too. My sin and shame has been exchanged for righteousness and new life by the almighty God who died to set me free. For those with no hope, there is more to life than what today holds. I thank God that I did not end my life but rather chose to live through shame and failure so that today I’m able to be a blessing to the World. Remember, you are never too bad or sinful for God to redeem and transform.”
Benny is an absolutely amazing individual. I was enthralled by him and his message. His music is beautiful and he oozes creativity. He is also an extremely funny guy. He jokes about playing the guitar and sharing the gospel in places such as Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Somalia even though it could have cost him his life.
Benny’s ministry website can be found at: www.bennyprasad.com I hope you get a chance to hear him some day. With all of his travels I am pretty sure he will be near you sometime soon!