Thank you, one and all, for praying for me. May we continue to pray and praise Him that His name would be glorified through us. May all praises be His and His alone. Amen and Amen.
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.
(Unknown to any man any where, the Lord provided funds to build a two storied concrete building 700sft. in all. Unbelievable, yet absolutely true. Praise be to His Holy Name.)
Needs were met most miraculously, almost day by day. During the months when I planned this construction, I made sure that I mentioned this need to nobody in the world. In the month of April when construction was going on, I decided I would send a reply even to those who sent gifts only after the construction was over.
On an average 10 people were working daily for construction. Of course, they all knew how I was managing things daily. One morning mason told me, “Sir, only half a bag of cement is available. By 11 am we need 2 bags more.” I said, “The Lord will provide our needs. Otherwise I will give your wages whether cement is there or not, as I called you for work this day.” Praise be to God. On searching I found we just had Rs.142/- at home. With the amount a laborer went to the cement shop to see that price of one bag cement in that shop that morning was Rs.7l/- exact.
By mid April, the ground floor was over and I needed steel rods for roof the following day. I had no money in hand. But I still went to Kotagiri to find out whether material was available in a shop known to me. It was available. The man in the shop asked me when I needed the material. I said I needed it for the following day’s work. The man replied, “Tomorrow we are on leave. Please take your material to-day itself.” I said, “I did not bring any money with me.” I could not believe his reply. “Sir, what is there in money? Please don’t stop your work due to lack of materials. I will give it you. You bring me money later on.” That man is never known to give any thing on credit to anyone any time. But that day I can not imagine what made him say what he said, except by the Lord. He gave me steel worth of Rs.1400/- on credit without my asking for it. I paid it on a later occasion. That was the only time I took any material on loan for the building!
If steel rods were not made available that day, construction would have stopped and I would not have been able to complete the work in time for me to place the granite inscription on the building.
Four or five times during that month I had to come to Mettupalayam to get either sand or blocks for work for the following day. I would be with workers till 5 pm and start out on our van which was running on a miracle tyre those days. It was amazing to see how the Lord did everything right in time for the building.
In those days we spent around six thousand rupees a month for our maintenance. We never ever had a bank balance any time. But during that month without any human effort or contact or influence what so ever, we spent more than ten to fifteen times our average monthly expenses!! How can one account for it except to believe that God answers prayers. Today that building stands there in the Nigiris as a prayer monument with the inscription on it. Even if Lucifer we to come in person, he cannot deny God answers prayers. May all glory be to God and to God alone. Amen and amen.
During the construction we saw God’s miraculous provision every day without fail. We had direct, tangible, undeniable, unbelievable answers to prayer every single day. How true is the scripture when it calls God “O you who hear prayers!” Ps.65:2.
(Unknown to any man any where, the Lord provided funds to buy 4 cents of land in just thirty days, simply in answer to prayer!)
During the first week of Jan. 1986, the Lord reminded me of my prayer last February, praying for the land where the crow sat with tumbler. If I did not get that land within the next two months, I would not be able to tell confidently that it was the Lord who gave me the sign by crow. So the Lord asked me to begin praying seriously for that land.
It was 9 cents of land and the owner was demanding Rs.7,000/- per cent. I knew that my mechanic friend had offered Rs.6,000/- per cent but the land was not given to him. So I knew I needed a minimum of Rs. 63,000/- plus registration charges to purchase the same. I wanted to purchase the land without letting any one know about it thus to prove that we have a prayer answering God. I knew nothing was impossible to those who believed.
During the second week of January I began to pray seriously about the land to be bought. I said, “Lord, give me Rs.1000/- this week so that I would know you are answering my prayers for the land.” Once I begin to pray for a particular subject, it is my habit to take it to the Lord every now and then till I know my prayer is answered. So I continued that way even when I was out of my prayer chamber.
During that week I received Rs. 1000/- and it confirmed my decision to continue to pray for the land.
During the following week again I prayed for a second one thousand rupees for the land project. I got the same from some source and I started a new bank account and deposited the money in it. I told Joyce about what I was praying about and how the Lord was answering prayers.
The following week, as I began to pray, I did a small calculation. If I would get one thousand rupees every week, it would take about seventy weeks for the whole amount while I needed the same in the next four weeks to prove my point. So I doubled my target and during the 4th week of January, i.e. the third week of praying for the land, I prayed for Rs.2000/- that week. And amazingly I got the same from three different sources over and above our daily expenses. One source was a convention where I went as speaker that week. Of the gift they gave I separated the amount needed to fill my target.
We were all excited and we knew for sure the Lord was answering our prayers on a regular basis.
During the fourth week of praying for the land came the 1st of February and I spend the whole day, from morning till night in prayer chamber. Usual prayer time in those days was 4 pm – 10 pm. As I waited in the presence of the Lord that day with singing and reading and meditating and praying, my prayer was that the Lord would give me Rs.4,000/- during that week. As I spend the day in the presence of the Lord, staying in the prayer room for hours, the Lord gave me confidence that He was going to supply all the funds needed for the land within the following week. I was overjoyed and I began to praise Him for His grace in our lives.
As you know by then we had Rs.4,000/- in the land account and I began praying for another Rs.4,000/- during that week, for which the Lord said He was going to provide the whole amount within the following week. Though I could hardly believe that, I came out of the prayer chamber praising God as I knew whatever He tells me always comes true.
On the 2nd of Feb. Joyce and I had made an appointment with St.Jude’s School in Kotagiri that we would go there to distribute copies of the gospel of Luke to students there. We had received a number of pocket size gospel in English from some source. We knew students would love it. Hence the attempt. The school authorities gave me an opportunity to speak to the student body at their morning march past time. It was noon by the time we came out and on the way back we had our lunch packets from hotel which we brought to our van and ate.
On going back home, I found there was no fuel in the van. I asked Joyce for any money on her as I had nil. She gave me some fifteen coins from her purse and we got diesel for the same. The bunk boy asked us why all these coins to which I replied whether currency or coin, money has value.
The devil was whispering in my ears saying such a great man who would pray for buying the land for thousands of rupees. Does not have even a note to buy diesel! But we were rejoicing in the Lord as we had lunch from hotel that day and had at least coins to buy diesel. In other words, none of our needs were unmet. Praise be to His Holy Name.
When we reached home that day we had the greatest surprise. There was a cover which was sent from Kotagiri. There was an open cheque for Rs.6,500/- in it. We knew the one who sent the cheque. But some one else gave the money to be given to us. We do not know who that some one is to this day. Following day I deposited the cheque to the land account. That made a total of Rs.10,500/- within four weeks, from zero. I continued instant in prayer. Every day my prayer time begins at 4 pm and goes up to 10 pm. For months together I did not have supper. If I felt special burden for prayer, I continued till 12 or even 2 in the morning which were rare. But on occasion I did that also.
On the fifth week, by Tuesday itself the Lord provided sufficient funds for the land. There came a letter from a friend of mine with whom I had no contact. But now he had sent me dollars worth Rs.10,000/- to be used for what ever our need was. That made the whole amount!(Read rest of the story in “63,000/- to 14,000/-“,” miracle building”, “miracle every day” in Unforgettable Experiences post.)
This incident took place in 1967 when I was studying in the Bible College. Bro.Isaiah and I were class mates andwe were very good friends. He is a Telegu and from assembly background. He too is short in stature as I am. We both were doing well in our studies. For one subject I will score the first mark; for the next he stands first. So there was a healthy competition between us. Bro. M.M.Mathew, Bro. K.S.Varghese, Bro.C.K.John were all in our company though they were in a junior class. But we joined HBI the same year and I was admitted into the 2nd year there. Bro. Sam Cherian joined us a year later. In my second year one of us did not have money to pay his university fees. Boarding and food was free at HBI but every thing else we had to bear. He shared his financial need and we started praying very earnestly about it. But before too long, the lord asked me to stop praying and start saving money to pay up his fees. In those days I used to get Rs.30/- per month as pocket money and it was a good amount when you know that a cup of tea in Madras those days cost only l0 paise. So I started saving up my pocket money and helped paying his fees. But we ran into financial difficulties as already I was sharing my pocket money with one or two others. During those days some of us used to share the same purse.
Once I came to the end of my tooth paste. I did not know what to do. In the morning I found it was the last bit and there was nothing left for the following I began to be concerned about it. But I did not ask any of our other friends for help. Instead I decided to pray. After all, I had made good use of my pocket money to help one of my friends. I had confidence that the Lord would answer my prayer. In the morning session I was not listening to lessons in the class. I was pouring my heart to God in prayer sitting in the class room. At l0:30 post man came and I was expecting a miracle though I had already received my quota for that month! But nothing happened. I did not have an M.O. that day. Then I became more intense in my prayer while in the third and fourth periods. My problem was how would I be able to go to class the following day without brushing my teeth. Some how the morning sessions were over and I went for lunch and rice would not go down my throat as my concern was about the tooth paste for the following day. After lunch somehow I reached the dormitory rather heavy hearted. I was worried about tooth paste for the following day. I was reclining on bed rather dejected for the Lord did not answer my prayer but still continued trusting Him for a miracle.
A little while later Bro. K.S.Varghese came into my dormitory and he was all blown up. He called on to me and said, “Mathew, I got an M.O. for Rs.10/- from my cousin in Rajasthan.” KS went on to say, “The coupon says, ‘give three rupees to Mathew Paul’”. He had come with the three rupees to be given to me. My joy found no limits. I shouted and praised God for answering my prayer and shared with him the whole situation. This is one of the first experiences I had in prayer and from then on for small matters or for big, I learnt to trust God every day of my life. The person who sent the M.O. was M.A.Thomas of Kota, Rajasthan. It was through his influence that I left SIBI and joined HBI.