On the 8th of Sept this year I completed 68 years of my pilgrimage here on earth. It was an opportunity to look back to thank God for His ways in my life. How did I get the privilege to know the living God? The more I thought about it, I had no answer and I began to thank God for His grace in my life. He is the propitiation for the whole world (1Jn.2:2). Yet, how few have benefited from this! How wonderful that I am one among those few!!
I had the privilege to be born in a believer family. My mom's grandma was one of the early disciples of the Separatist preacher Poet Laureate K. V. Simon of Kerala. She accepted believer's baptism at the age of 18 and what was waiting for her in her husband's house was terrible persecutions. She was married at the age of 9.
Though persecutions came to an end over a period of time, her husband remained unrepentant for years and years. In answer to her prayers he accepted believer's baptism at the of 84 and I, as a fourth generation member in the family, had the joy of witnessing his baptism when I was a lad. The prayer life of my great grandma made a deep impression upon my tender heart.
I accepted the Lord as my savior when I was 12 and after my first year in college I decided to continue my studies in Bible college rather than continuing my secular studies against the wish of my parents.
After 12 long years of training in different fields, in 1979 I had my M.Th from the Senate of Serampore majoring in Biblical Hebrew and Old Testament and I also had Linguistics and Bible Translation training from the UK.
On my return from UK two lucrative jobs in my field were waiting for me and I was given appointment for both. But because I didnt want to be disobedient to my heavenly call, I went to the Nilgiris of TN to learn the unwritten language of the tribal group called Alu Kurumbas, trusting the lord alone for all our needs along with my three kids who were below 5 then.
What was waiting there was the unseen hands of the almighty and miraculous provision every day which could not go unnoticed. The Lord permitted us to be there for 12 years. I did phonemic analysis of their unwritten language and produced an orthography for the same and wrote a basic grammar for the language. Kurumba folk-lore were written down and stories from the life of Christ was translated from the New Reader Scriptures of the BSI.
But Kurumbas being illiterates, we had to focus on a literacy program for them. Because they lived in deep jungles with bison and leopards and scattered far and wide in the boarders of three S.Indian states, we decided to bring their children to educate them. Long hours of prayer alone in a closest produced unbelievable, tangible, undeniable answers to prayer. Started with no money in hand, ended with no debt, unknown to any man any where in the world in just 52 days 4 cents of land was bought and a 700 sft concrete building was erected for the purpose with a granite inscription "This building stands witnessing the fact God of Elijah lives". I could not believe my eyes. “Is it concrete or is it a dream” I asked myself. I thought that the purpose of my life was achieved and wondered whether I should live any longer. I proved once more that God us a prayer answering God. Even if Lucifer would come in person He could not deny it looking at my life.
But the will of God was otherwise. For long six months my inner heart used to whisper to me that a new chapter is opening in my life on the 7th of July. And the long awaited day came. on the 7th of July, 1991 both of my legs were paralyzed. It happened after one and a half months of night fever during which I consulted several physicians and doctors and none could tell me that I was going to be paralyzed for life. I had to be carried to the bathroom. But I could not believe that I was ill. Those were days of miraculous provision for thirty kids, five of them our own, unknown to any man anywhere in the world.
I was forced by family and friends to go for medical treatment and i had to leave the mission field. The next 12 years we stayed in Coimbatore, treatment after treatment, while allopathic (Modern Medicine) doctors gave a certificate for permanent disability, Ayurvedic (Ancient Indian) treatment began to have effect on me and I was able to use an elbow crutches and walk a few steps.
Our days in Coimbatore were most memorable. Stories abound of Gods wonderful provision with very little ministry involvement. For example, once a brother came home with Rs. 50,000/- saying that God had asked him to give me money to buy a car. In 2010 GLS published my book in English "God Answers Prayer" where several such stories are written. The Malayalam version with a lot more additions are on the way to be published for His glory. Prayers needed.
In 2003 the Lord led us to Chennai and I was teaching at our Bible College there for a few years. Ayurvedic treatment being an often needed thing I had to leave Chennai and decided to live in Kerala teaching at the Bible College at Pathanamthitta. In 2010 my dear wife, who cared for me as a child in my sickness, passed away leaving a big gap in the family.
Now another 12 years elapsed and in the beginning of this year the Lord opened an amazing way by which we were able to construct a simple residential accommodation in the new place where we live now with my unmarried daughter, who had cancer when she was a three month baby, and her foster son studying in the 9th std. Half an acre land was donated to a trust by a sister and we are trying to develop a prayer center here. My daughter who is with me is a registered acupuncturist healer now. She is the one who drives me around. I too have a license to drive my hand-controlled car. Our eldest son and the fourth daughter are serving the Lord full time.
Quarter of a century has passed since I was disabled. But these were the most exciting days in my life. As soon as I was able to get a computer for myself I sought ways by which I would use it for the propagation of the gospel. Today I am a volunteer with two international outreach groups, Global Media Outreach and Gotquestions.org/ More than 36,000 seekers were given God's word and I have the joy of seeing a few of them worshiping the Lord in different places in the world.
Two years back in November, a brilliant but a miserable Hindu girl from N.India. met me through GMO. She is doing her Ph.D. in Commerce, with a second PG degree with distinction in Economics as well. For thirteen years before she met me a demon used to rape her several times a week. Her papa, being a gold merchant, took her from temple to temple and from god-men to magicians. They even went to Mosques also trying to get over the problem, but none was able to help her. Imagine a 25 year old girl sleeping between parents with sleeping pills and pain killers! Even there demon raped her!!
She was told by a Hindu friend that Jesus would deliver her from her problem. She came asking me. “can your Jesus help me?”. For four days I did email exchanges with her trying to get her understand who Jesus is and what salvation is all about. Praise God. On the fourth day Neha accepted Christ as her Lord and savior and her demon problem came to an end.
Her parents could not believe that a simple believing prayer would put an end to a problem for which they had spent nearly a million rupees over ten years! Now the whole family left idol worship and are committed to Christ.
But the amazing thing is, Neha read the NT 25 times within the last two years and the Bible two times. And she learned to pray as well. Today she spends three to four hours every day praying and several people in and around her town come to her for prayer and see miracles take place in their lives. Now her house is becoming a prayer center where 15 to 20 people gather on Sundays to worship the Lord just singing praises to Him and praying. Neha and a few others in the family and outside are getting ready for baptism.
We need to pray for Neha Agarwal and for her prayer ministry. Even as I type this she is out in a nearby house praying for a patient. She told me, "Dad, I am very weak today, but I must go as they need prayer". Neha needs a lot of prayers. Long time use of pain killers and sleeping pills have left her almost completely worn out physically. She has a tumor in uterus, stones in kidneys, BP and heart complaint, liver problem and lately she is found to have hernia as well. English medicines have no effect on her body. Yet she has composed 25 songs of praise to Jesus our Lord, praising Him for His ways in our lives.
Last November a more exciting thing took place. A Hindu leader, who belonged to a militant group, came to me as a seeker. He was their secretary in one of their district offices. I presented Him Christ and His blood that was shed on the cross which alone would cleanse our human heart by which we could get in touch with the holy God.
Sunil Kumar, sitting in front of me, accepted Christ as His Lord and savior. I told Sunil not to get out of his house till he was filled with the word of God and learned the power of prayer and gave him a NT. Sunil took it as God’s word and he completed the NT 35 times in the last few months and spent an equal amount of time praying on his knees alone in his house.
His life has become a true miracle now. One week before meeting me he had resigned his former job where their organization paid his house rent directly from their central office. Now Sunil has decided to spend his life preaching Christ who saved him and gave him an eternal hope. We need to pray for Sunil. He was baptized by Konni assembly and accepted into fellowship one week before I came to the new place. His wife and only son studying BSc 2nd year are yet to be in assembly fellowship.
Let us strive in prayer and devote ourselves to prayer these days when the coming of the Lord is so imminent so that many more Sunils and Nehas will be brought into the eternal fold before it is too late. May the good Lord give us grace and may His name be glorified. Mathew Paul. Our Vision Centre, Nellimolam (BPO), Ernakulam Dt., Kerala. 683545, S. India. Mob. 91-8129198544.