"The One who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world." John 1:9 NLT
John the Baptist was God's messenger to an oppressed people, the Jews, in a spiritually destitute world, announcing that His indescribable Gift, the long-awaited Messiah, was at hand. Over 2,000 years later, after a long struggle, the Light of the World reached a desperately needy Sharon Ganesh.
Her last name is that of a Hindu god known as the elephant deity. Her paternal grandfather was raised in a Hindu home. He was a young boy when his father died, at which time he rejected their religion because the caste system was abhorrent to him. He adopted Roman Catholicism. Sharon's parents followed Islam, although very minimally. When she was five, her father encouraged her to pray to God. "How do I do that?" she asked. "Just kneel down and talk to Him." From that day forward, Sharon heeded her dad's instructions.
She recalled, "Throughout my life I developed a relationship with God as my one true trusted Friend. That's how I saw Him. The God of the universe, way out there somewhere was my Friend, my Confidant. However, I still went through some very lonely and dark times in my life… broken relationships, rejection, and lots of fear. My experience with the dark side was primarily through the music I listened to. I did not consider myself a Satanist, but I did listen to a lot of hard rock, heavy metal."
The increasing oppression Sharon experienced was very real, physical and terrifying as a result of what she had opened herself to. "However, even through the darkness, I knew that God was always with me. There was an innate conviction in my heart, that if I did something bad, there would be consequences. At that time I didn't even know about the forgiveness of God."
The freedom of forgiveness is a unique treasure of the Christian faith, purchased by Jesus' sacrificial death on our behalf.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
Working in the entertainment industry since her late 20's, Sharon felt as if she was in a black tunnel battling depression, health issues, fear of the dark, and demonic harassment. Like a beacon in the midst of a storm, words came from within…
"God please guide me down Your path and lead me to Your light."
Sharon prayed that simple prayer daily for five years! While vacationing in Los Angeles, she felt God tugging at her heart to "find out more about Jesus."
A stunning confirmation was waiting when Sharon came home to Toronto. Both her parents had given their lives to Jesus Christ! In June 2003, the pastor of the church they were attending told Sharon to start reading the Bible in the book of John. She came to John 8:12 where Jesus said,
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
"Wow! What a revelation for me! Jesus is the light! All along I was praying a prayer that I never heard from anyone, to be guided to God's light…and eventually found out that Jesus is God's light! And if I follow Jesus, the Light, I won't be in that dark tunnel anymore. I just remember looking up and saying, "God, God, you did it…You guided me to Your light… Your Light is Jesus!"
It was a stirring irony that Sharon appeared on 100 Huntley Street on December 23rd, 2013, the morning after "the nightmare before Christmas" — an ice storm that left hundreds of thousands without power in Toronto, and damaged trees all over southern Ontario. We prayed for those in the dark and cold, wondering what to do about turkeys and Christmas dinner plans, many scrambling to unplanned huddles with friends or neighbours, and in some cases disconnected loved ones. "Comfort and joy" no doubt was found in unexpected scenarios.
Sharon's parents didn't know the dramatic darkness-to-light theme of their daughter's spiritual journey when they named the Scarborough church her mom pastors — "The Light of the World." Dad also loves to teach the Word of God there.
It was prophesied that Sharon would be involved in missions. For eight years she has served on staff with MissionFest Toronto, the largest missions conference in Central Canada, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015! For the past four years she has been Executive Director of an event that helps many men, women, and children find God's path of service for them. "Let Your Light Shine" (Matthew 5: 14-16) was the theme of MissionFest Toronto, April 4-5, 2014.
Sharon says, "Jesus is the Light of my life. I hope to be a light for others too."