“My brother was getting married…. And as part of Hindu wedding ceremony, we have this holy fire where they offer something, like worshiping God. So me and my brother, we were expected to be there. And I did explain to my mom, ‘Okay, I can be part of it. But you know, you need to remember … this is just [us] doing this for your sake, but we don’t believe in this thing, okay? We don’t believe in worshipping statues or anything that you do.’ … So that was hard to actually deny. But since this is a culture, we looked at it as a culture, or something that we need to do just for a small period of time. And then we’re back in. It wasn’t like we changed our belief….

I would say, my mom and my dad, they both understood. They said, ‘Okay, we understand that this is for the family’s sake, because we have to be there as a family. So you have to be there.’ [I said,] ‘So okay, we can be there to just complete the family weekend, but you need to understand we don’t really believe in this.’ And they understood that. They did respect our faith and belief, and we respect their faith and belief. So we never had any contradiction in between what we believe in and what we don’t believe in. So when we come together in one home, of course, we have these two things—my dad worships statues; he worships what he has been doing. And now I do what I do, which is reading the scriptures, praying, just the church things.”

Read or listen to Chandra’s full oral history.

Chandra's baptism day
Chandra’s baptism day

Chandra's parents and home
Chandra’s parents and home

Chandra as a missionary
Chandra as a missionary