The testimony of Johny Lever

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.


Senior Member
Jul 28, 2012
Hi all,

I guess everyone of us (in India) know who Johny Lever is, right? Recently, I read his testimony of coming to Christ in facebook and I found it quite encouraging and uplifting. So, I thought I would share it with you all and be blessed by his testimony as I have been.

[COLOR=#333333 !important]The name Johnny Lever is a name which make’s millions of Indians laugh. His very presence on the film screen brings roars of laughter; his antics and performances have won him awards and admirers. The mention of his name adds to the star quality of the film. Yet very few people know that Johnny’s childhood was a tough one which many would have found hard to survive. Johnny was just

10 years old when he used to dance on the stage and he would also work in a wine shop. He would sell chana(peanuts) in the wine shop & do odd jobs for them. He had to work so that his family could make two ends meet. He would work in the wine shop and give the money at home and the next day morning he would go to school. ‘ At a very young age I was giving money at home and the kitchen fires were burning because of me. Early next morning I used to go to school, how do you think I could concentrate on my studies? I studied till seventh standard. Then from there I did different things to earn my living. I would sell in the trains & do business on the roads. I sold sweet limes & chikkis( peanut cakes) in the trains & did many other odd jobs to survive,’ said Johnny remembering those days of hardship.

Even while he was working odd jobs, Johnny Lever made sure about one thing – that he didn’t miss going to church. But he was still not able to cope up with the many pressures of life. There were many instances when Johnny Lever contemplated ending his life. ‘Once I went to the extent of committing suicide by falling in front of a running train. I was 14 years old then, I had so many burdens on my head then as I was walking on the railway track the train was approaching towards me and suddenly I remembered my three sisters in a flash, the thought just struck me – what will happen to them as I am the eldest? And the thought that I should live for them came into my mind. I still don’t know how I got off the tracks. Just as I moved away, the train sped. Everyone from the train screamed, ‘Hey do you want to die, do you want to die?’’ said Johnny.
Johnny just carried on with his remarkable ability to laugh at life and to make people laugh and soon this saw him transform into Johnny Lever. ‘I was working for Hindustan Levers Company even there I would imitate, as I did in my school days. I would imitate the teachers. In the factory I would imitate the officers there. From there I got the name Lever. Johnny Lever,’ said Johnny.

Johnny Lever’s flair for mimicry and comedy slowly got recognition as he started doing stage shows; this became his springboard to the Hindi film industry. Soon Johnny Lever became a household name ‘When God gives you He gives you beyond your understanding. I am a person who lived in the slums, whatever role I enact in my films its all taken from the characters I have seen in my work place, the language is from the area I had lived. If I were not born in that slum area, if I did not see that atmosphere, I would not have become such a good artist today,’ said Johnny.
Success, fame and money were a heady mixture for Johnny Lever and he was living out his dream. And through out he continued making his audiences laugh but deep inside, his heart gave away. ‘I was achieving success, when a man from humble beginnings achieves and becomes rich he forgets his roots. Success came to me and it got into my head. Slowly, slowly I deviated from the Lord and I went away from Jesus. And I would think this is ok & all right to do, I would compromise on things …its fine… like that. Then I started living according to my own will & I was trying to erase the problems I faced in my childhood by living life on my own terms…according to my own wish,’ Johnny remembered. He was drinking and staying awake the whole night with his friends for such things. He began to act the way successful men did. But soon Johnny Lever’s life was to be shaken… his son Jesse fell ill.

Johnny’s son Jesse became sick and was diagnosed to have a tumor that slowly grew and became big on his neck. This alarmed Johnny and he took his son to the hospital. The doctors said that he would have to be operated. When they operated they saw the tumour and said that the left hand will have to be completely removed. A nerve will have to be cut while operating on the tumor and due to this his hand will not work so he will not have one hand for the rest of his life.

When the doctors asked Johnny what they should do, he told them not to operate on his son. Then he got scared and tried out finding a cure through Homeopathic medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. Johnny’s wife Sujatha too met babas and pandits, who told her that Jesse was not going to make it and that his life span was very short. Fearing that Johnny would become all the more tense learning about this she decided to keep everything to herself and suffer.

When everything they tried failed, Johnny Lever and his family looked up to the one they had forgotten along the way – Jesus Christ. Johnny finally felt that he had come home. ‘I trusted in the Lord completely because I started attending a lot of prayer meetings and I had seen God’s grace, I had seen the power of God. Earlier I was just a namesake Christian but when I experienced Jesus personally & saw the healings & the power of the Holy Spirit I was sure that Jesse will be healed,’ said Johnny.

When Johnny and his wife met their son after the operation, he was saying ‘Hi!’ with the same hand which they were told would never move. The incident brought the family closer together and once again, Johnny’s life took a turn for the better. ‘I am very good on the outside. People think, Johnny Lever is a nice person, he is good-natured, and very good. How good Johnny Lever really is only I know & my wife knows. What is inside of me only I know… How am I deep inside only I know. Jesus washed away the dirt that was within me. And whatever bad habits I had like playing cards, drinking etc. all those have now gone. And I have completely become clean & pure’.

And Johnny finally found something he had been missing all his life. ‘The biggest blessing that I have found is peace. Today I am a very successful person; there is no dearth for money. There are so many films on hand some of them I do not even accept. Now I am very relaxed even while working. I can now discern what I should and what I shouldn’t do. I have found peace. Earlier I was restless, even in my house. I never felt like going home, because there is no peace. You have everything fame, money, you have got friends, everything but you don’t have peace. What life is this? Because you don’t have Jesus in your life, you don’t have peace. When Jesus enters your life peace enters,’ said Johnny with conviction.
Today Johnny Lever takes every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ. As Johnny Lever laughs his way into people’s hearts, He knows it’s the joy that comes from knowing Jesus.

Johnny Lever | CBN India



Senior Member
Jul 28, 2012
Another version of his testimony (lifted directly from facebook)-

"I am originally from South India. My father used to work for Hindustan Lever Ltd so we got settled in Mumbai.My actual name was John Rao and I've done my schooling from Andhra Educational Society. Though I was nota very bright student I used to manage to get through my exams.

Ours was a Christian family but as far as I am concerned I was just a nominal one. I was a Christian mainly on Christmas and Easter days. Jesus was just a friend for me, remembered only in times of trouble. Right from my childhood I was a very free and friendly person. I never took life seriously. I was more a social person and I used take every God as my God and every festival as my festival.

Freaking out with friends was one of my favorite pass times and as a result my father found that I was slowly loosing track in life. So he put me in a job at Hindustan Lever Ltd as an employee. Even at my work place I wasalways making fun, cracking jokes andalso used to do some plays for my co- workers at lunch breaks and other freetimes. Many used to watch me doing those plays and at the end they would all come and congratulate me.

Most of them said 'Johnny you are extremely talented why don't you try your luck infilms' this statement started to ring inmy mind very often. I signed my first movie in 1975 and in the year 1981, I left Hindustan Lever Ltd. I changed my name from John Rao to Johnny Lever and from then I never looked back.

Success after success followed and finally it became my surname. I made a lot of money and network. I have a status in the society. I along with my family live a costly life, enjoying every thing on earth. I had so much of network that once I did a play on National Anthem, which was actually against the law, and as a result I was arrested and put to prison, but believe me that I had a royal treatment. Many of my fans stepped in; the police received many phone calls from film and political celebrities asking them not to touch me. I personally received many wishes and flowers asking me not to worry. On the third day I got the bail and I was out. After such incidents I always felt that my money, my status and my network of friends can help me at every situation of life. Every day we had a party irrespective of the reason. It came to such an extent that if I was out of work I was with a bottle.

Life went on just the same with success and party but every thing got toiled on one node i.e. when my son Jesse was diagnosed tumor on his neck. I took him to every Famous Specialist but they all said if we operate we can't guarantee his right part of the body functioning. I was ready to spend every penny on my child but was of no use. My wife Sujatha
went to different temples but they all said 'if you get your son operated he will die'. We tried every source but nothing was in our favor.

The only that was left was to come on to our knees and pray to the Living God. We sent prayer requests to every church we know and every one started to prayfor my child and at last the operation was successful.

Today, my son doesn't have even a trace of tumor in him. From then I slowly started to read the Bible, and every word I felt so strong and true that I repeatedly read it. Every word from the Bible seems to be talking to me. Slowly I started to examine myself in accordance to the Bible and slowly asked God to help me in changing my life style. God gave me grace and today I left my drinking habit. I had a big bar at my home, but today at the same place I conduct prayer meetings twice a week. During my travel I see that I carry the Bible and read it.

Today we as a family have regular family prayer meetings. I justwant to thank God for his goodness in our lives. We have a perfect peace in our family". "All that I would like to tell to every one is that the peace you find in Jesus you can never get in anything in the world – TRY JESUS!" Today, Johnny tries to reach out to every individual with the Gospel through the talent he has.