“I was a single lieutenant serving in Kearny, New Jersey and had some difficulties with dating based on fear since I had not dated anyone,” said Asit. “I had friends in India who had dated and several of them experienced heartaches, which did not enamor me to the process. My father, like many parents, felt a burden that it was his role to get me married. My divisional commander in New Jersey, Lt. Colonel William Bamford II, suggested I try the Indian way of an arranged marriage. Lt. Colonel Pawar, my corps officer in India, recommended Sunetra, who was a cadet.”
“Lt. Colonel Pawar was my training principle,” said Sunetra. “I happened to be his only single cadet.” According to Asit, God did not give him many choices knowing that he might mess up. As always, God knew what He was doing. “Our families made plans to meet,” Asit said. “Her father and sister-in-law arrived with Sunetra, who looked beautiful.” After a brief conversation with the adults, they moved to an adjoining room and conversed for a few hours about their calling to God and their families. They met again the next day and conversed more about ministry and life in the United States.
“I had applied to work for a branch of the government that my uncle also worked for,” Sunetra said. “I was struggling with my calling and questioning if the Army officership was the right fit for me. Every day, I prayed to God about my plans, at the same time asking for His will to take place in my life. It was in this period of uncertainty that I heard about Asit’s proposal. I was quite an independent person and was not sure if Asit was the future spouse for my lifestyle.”
Sunetra was a Salvationist, living a holy life to which she had been called. “I was doing the same,” Asit said, “striving to live a holy life and obeying God in my call to be an officer.” Sunetra prayed to God that if He thought Asit was the right person for her, she would not get accepted for the job. If she was accepted, that would mean Asit was not the right person for her. “I received a letter from my uncle a month later saying that the job had not materialized,” Sunetra said. “Immediately, I knelt by my bed in my small room and re-surrendered my life to God. I thanked Him for confirming His will for me.”
Asit made a deliberate decision to enter into a covenant relationship and to love Sunetra. There was not love at first sight or after they met, but they both arrived at their decisions from different experiences and thought processes. “Along with a new marriage, I also had to learn about the United States, new people and a new culture,” Sunetra said.
One allows grace to permeate relationships. Asit and Sunetra adjusted to each other’s needs, and over time, it dawned on them that they loved each other. They learned how to communicate, how to resolve problems, pursue ambition, know God and relate with others. Moments with their two children, Abigail and Caleb, always invoke joy and laughter. Both children have very different personalities and have enriched their lives immensely. Asit and Sunetra are constantly learning a great deal as parents and as a couple.
“The deeper that I understand my marriage the more I understand of my relationship with God who treats me and the church as his future bride,” Sunetra said. “A perfect marriage does not exist. If two individuals who are married are living holy lives and making the best decisions they can, then it is a good marriage,” added Asit. Asit and Sunetra’s marriage to each other is going on 24 years, their marriage to God will last for eternity. For information on becoming a Salvation Army officer, visit tsacfotny.salvationarmy.org.
The Manchester Citadel, located east of Hartford, CT, is an established church for Salvation Army worship and service. The Manchester Citadel also offers prayer meetings, Sunday school, meal ministry, youth group and open gym, bible study, senior songsters and band and The Rock, which includes supper and a fun-filled night for children K-5. To support the Manchester Citadel, text “MANCHESTER” to 71777.