|Gideon with Duncan Watkinson, Turbocam India Managing Director (left) and Marian Noronha, Turbocam Int'l President and Founder|
Gideon was formerly known as Krishna Gautam and was born in Nepal in 1986. While still very little, he was put into an orphanage. His caretaker in the orphanage, Gita Gautam, gave him the surname Gautam. As a small boy, he and other little boys were sent by Gita in groups of two to rob in the fields at night time. And during the day, she would send them to beg for donations for the orphanage.
One day when he was cutting grass in a field for the cattle, a farmer caught him, beat him up and took the sickle from him. Gita was very upset with Gideon for losing the sickle. She said to him, "You do not work properly. Go and bring the sickle, and till then don't enter in the house." Krishna went to ask the farmer for the sickle but he didn't get it back. Being constantly beaten and threatened by Gita, he ran away from the orphanage.
Having no where to go, he was walking aimlessly on the road, feeling alone and hungry. A passerby took him to his home and gave him food. The next morning the man put him on a bus going to another town. Gideon got off the bus at the last stop. Being very frightened, he sat down by the side of the road and cried. A passerby asked him why he was crying, and Gideon related to him his story. The man took him to his home and gave him the name Arjun and asked him to take care of his cattle. Gideon was not happy to stay in their house because they were Brahmans (upper caste Hindus) and would not allow Gideon to enter their rooms or touch them. In some parts of India and Nepal, this practice is still quite prevalent.
Gideon would often complain to people about this man and made plans to run away. The man learned of Gideon's plans and notified the Gita Bal orphanage, from where he had run away, to take him back. When he was taken back to the orphanage, he was beaten up because he had run away. After a few weeks, they sent him to the market with another boy to buy vegetables. He told the boy that he would be back in a while and that he should wait for him at a certain place. However, instead of going back, he got into a bus and hid under a bus seat. The bus took him to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
When he got down from the bus he met a man who gave him some food. The man also gave him a job in a school. Gideon's job was to cook for the principal of the school. Gideon was happy with the job.
One day the principal asked him if he would be interested to work in the house of a doctor who would take good care of him, and who would also put him in a school to get some education.
Gideon agreed, but the doctor didn't put him in any school. Neither did he take good care of him. So he decided to run away from there. One night he got out of the house and caught a bus, which took him to a place called Chanakput.
There he boarded another bus, which took him to the state of Bihar in India. From there he took a train, which took him to Calcutta. In the train he was feeling very hungry, so he made signs to people to give him food, as he didn't know any of the Indian languages. One passenger asked him where he was going. Gideon told him about himself by making signs. The man felt sorry for him, took him home, and gave him a job in his hotel. His responsibilities were to clean the hotel in the morning and to play with his son in the evening. The man told him that he would put him in a school. He learned to speak Hindi and Bengali. Gideon became very upset when he realized the man would not put him in any school. So he ran away from there, too.
Gideon took a bus to the railway station and boarded a train going to Delhi without a proper ticket. Some people in the train gave him food. The ticket collector asked him for his train ticket, and finding he did not have one, gave him a sound beating and put him in a jail in Bengal.
On the same day the police gave him a big packet of bread and released him from the jail and told him not to travel by train without a ticket in the future. Very soon, he took a train to Delhi, again without a ticket.
As he was walking in Delhi, he saw a beautiful car. The owner of the car was talking to someone on a mobile phone. The mobile phone was something new for Gideon. So he asked a man sitting on the roadside whether the man talking over the phone was mad, as he thought he was talking to himself. Later he went up to this man and asked him for a job. The owner of the car called a man and told Gideon to go with him. They took him to work in a doctor's house. Gideon had to work very hard. The doctor's wife was very rude towards Gideon. One night she gave him four tablets saying that they are vitamins. On taking them, he became unconscious for three days. When he got better, he ran away from their home.
He caught a train, which took him to Mumbai. Not getting a good job, he took a train back to Delhi. He met a man in Delhi who took him to work in his factory. He worked for three months. One day, Gideon saw a letter that had come from Goa. He asked his boss about Goa, who mentioned to him that Goa, was a good place. Gideon then decided to go to Goa. Gideon asked for payment from his boss, who gave him an additional 500 rupees not knowing he would run away.
From Delhi he went to Mumbai by train and then to the railway station to take a train to Goa. As he was waiting for the train, he met a young man and started talking to him. During the conversation the man asked him if he had a ticket to Goa, which Gideon didn't. The man asked Gideon to give him the money he had saying he would buy him a ticket. The man, however, disappeared with the money.
Finally, he got into a train to Goa without a ticket. On reaching Goa he was very hungry and asked people for food, but no one gave him any food. He asked people the directions to an orphanage, but no one gave him any directions.
Then he met a young man who gave him food to eat and then took him to his flat. The man gave him some basic training to do sales of some cheap consumer items.
One day as Gideon was doing door-to-door sales, he knocked on Melvin and Ligia's door where they welcomed him with love and expressed concern for him. Having seen their love for him, he decided to go to their house again. This time they invited him to join them for a meal. Ligia gave him their church address and invited him to visit their church. When Gideon showed the card to one of his colleagues, he was upset. His colleague asked him to stop visiting Melvin and Ligia saying they were changing people's religion. So Gideon stopped visiting them.
During his sales job, he visited Gerson, a pastor of a church in Vasco. Gerson prayed for him and suggested he visit Rajesh, the pastor of a Hindi church in Margao. Rajesh invited him to church and during the church service he felt God touch him. He became a Christian and got baptized as Gideon Gautam in 2001.
|Gideon (center) at the opening of the Macbrout building, with many of his co-workers from TURBOCAM India.|
He wanted to leave the sales job because, although he was earning good money, his boss would not give it to him when he asked for it. Also, his colleagues would steal his personal items like soap, toothbrush, etc. Quite fed up with the situation, he planned to leave, but was afraid he would not be paid. Someone in the church prayed for him, and amazingly, his boss gave him a cheque for the Rs. 10,000 that was owed to him. Having no job, he worked for a few months washing cars. He also worked for a carpenter, but left the job because he was not getting paid on time.
In August of 2003, TURBOCAM India employed him and he has been with them ever since. He is a bright energetic young man, who is a keen learner and wants to do well both in TURBOCAM and in his personal life. He is also an asset to the Hindi church where he attends. He has picked up some guitar playing skills and now plays in the church at their Sunday meeting.