Rs.6500/-

It was in the month of October 2000.  On a Saturday I found that I needed Rs.6500/- urgently on Monday morning to meet our emergency needs.  I knew there was no money in the bank nor was I expecting any cheque to be realized.   I knew the Lord had to perform a miracle to meet our needs on that Monday morning.  All my life, the Lord had never permitted me to put my head in shame not being able to pay a bill in time.  So I knew there would be a way out.

That Sunday I did not go to the assembly as it was raining.  I cannot stand rain at all.  So I was all alone at home when Joyce and children went for worship. 

After the worship when Joyce and children came home, they had three other people come along in another car to visit me.  A brother had come from Mumbai to the assembly.  When he came to Coimbatore, he wanted to meet me.  Since he could not meet me at the meeting, he had come home.  We had a small chat for about 20 minutes and he had to leave as his lunch was arranged elsewhere. 

He then prayed and left out house.  On parting he gave me a cover as from him and another from another brother from Mumbai.  Then the local brother who brought the visiting brother in his car also passed on a cover to me.  After they all left, we had our lunch and we opened the covers to find that there was 6800 rupees in all along with one or two gifts Joyce had received from local friends that day.

We did not know how to thank the Lord for His meticulous care in our lives!

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Van toppled

2005, the 3rd of June is a memorable day in our lives.  During that week all eight children of MEC gathered in Madurai with their spouses, children and grandchildren.  After MEC’s death in l993 it was the first time for all to come together in this fashion.

We decided to go to Kodai Kanal which is a hill station near Madurai.  All of us were there for two days and we had a wonderful time singing, sharing, praying and listening to messages.  On our way back all the five vehicles were coming one after another on the ghat road.  It was just getting dark in the evening. 

Our van was the second in the row.  We were five of us in the van. Rachel our daughter and her husband were at the back seat.  Johnson from Rajasthan also was there at the aback.  Ashley was driving and I was in the front seat. 

As Ashley was trying to negotiate an ‘L’ bend, he lost control of the van though the speed was just average.  The van went out of the road and it ran on to a mud wall on the side and it turned towards the side and fell on to the road.  The wheels were on one side and the car was on the road with the window panels touching the road.

Ashley had his arm fractured.  Rachel and Boaz had minor injuries.  Johnson escaped without any trouble.  But the amazing thing was that I did not fall from my seat though I did not have a seat belt on me! 

Johnson jumped out of the van and lifted me to the safety of the road from the van.  I escaped without even a scratch on the body.

In five minutes there came a Jeep which belonged to the high way department by chance.  They said two weeks back there was a similar accident near where we had ours and that car fell into a ditch which was 300’ below the road killing all eight people in it who were  members  of the same family!

How true is the Scripture   when it says, “He will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways” (Ps.91:ll)

Another 40,000/-

I gave that money to one of our brothers for safe keeping as that amount was not sufficient to buy a good vehicle.  During December that year, I had an invitation from an assembly in Trivandrum for meetings there.  Young people there asked me if I had a new prayer experience.  I told them that a story has reached only half way and I would tell them when it was complete.  They then said the if I told them that much, they would also pray for the completion of the same. 

So during one of the meetings there I told how the Lord provided Rs.50,000/-  and how the brother from Trichur obeyed the voice of God.  That evening after I went to the room where I was staying, a brother came at about 9.30 pm. and knocked at my door.  He was a close friend of mine and he apologized for disturbing me during that time.  He said that he had brought a cheque for Rs.40,000/- to be given to me. 

I said:  “Why, you could have given it to me tomorrow; I am going to be here all day tomorrow.”

The brother said:  “Tomorrow… I do not know whether I would be able to give it to you because if I thought in the night, ‘even its tithe itself is a good amount; why should I not give him only the tithe?’ ; or  I may discuss the matter with my wife and if she expressed disagreement, then I would be found guilty of disobeying God.  So please accept it now.”

Then I took the cheque from him and I put my signature behind it.  I said, “It is mine now.  You will please do me a favor.  Tomorrow take it to the bank and bring me cash.” He agreed and took it back and brought money the following day.

I said, “Now, tell me, how did you decide to give me so much money?”

He said:  “Ten years ago I lent this money to one of our close friends.  Then finding that he would not return it in the time he promised, I asked him several times about it.  But he was not in a position to give it back to me.  Five years ago, I wrote it off from my mind as money which was lost.  But yesterday, before I came to the meeting, he brought the money back apologizing for the undue delay.  When I got the money, I thought to myself: ‘why should this money come to me now.  It is money written off’ and came to meeting. There as I listened to your testimony, the Lord said, ‘This money is for Mathew Paul’.  I decided then and there to give you this money.”

I brought the money and gave it to the brother for safe keeping.  I separated tithe from it and spend a little for maintenance of the old van and the amount in safe keeping was 75,000/-  Then in a similar manner from  an unsolicited source came Rs.25.000/- which was again given for safe keeping.  The senior brother who was keeping my money said,  “Why should you run the old vehicle any more keeping so much money in hand?  Let’s get you a vehicle.  I’ll pay the balance now.  You can give it me when you get it.”

At last the van came
There was another brother in the assembly who was selling his OMNI for Rs. 1,30,000/- and we got that vehicle on the 1st of March l997.  It was a 90 model vehicle, single handed and run 40.000 kms. with a memorable number on it.

We have the same van with us now.  We renovated the engine after it had done 2.30.000 kms.  And it still serves us though it is seventeen years old.  It is difficult to use it for long trips now.  We praise God of His kindness in our lives.  I know every servant of God is not running a four wheeler!  If we had done it for the last twenty two years, it is purely by His grace.  To His name be all glory.  Amen.

Maruthy Omni

Instant answer to prayer.  Money offered to purchase car!  Can you believe it?

During 1996 I decided I would go to places where they ask me to take classes on prayer. In the month of October I was asked by Zion assembly in Nellikkunnu to join them for a day of Seminar on Saturday and for Sunday worship. I went there on my old matador which was becoming unworthy of the road. As I was traveling on it, I was much in prayer that there should not be a break down on the road. In our experience we had found that even when there was a break down, the Lord was with us in every situation bringing in the right people to help etc.

We went right in time for meetings on Saturday morning. We parked our van in a garage and used the car of the brother with whom we were staying for going up and down for meetings there. In a prayer seminar, I usually take three classes and there would be a session for question answer. All went on well that day.

But unknown to any one, a prayer slipped out of my heart in between sessions. No one could ever imagine that I was praying as I try to be jovial when in public, especially when taking classes. My prayer that day was, “Lord, if it is your will for me to go to different places to take classes like this, make me provision to buy a good vehicle before I left this place.” This simple prayer would have come out of my heart several times that day.

In a seminar I usually ask people to make definite commitments which many did that day and I was very happy.

After Sunday worship on the following day in the after noon brethren came together for parting prayer and stood in a circle. As I stood there, I asked the Lord, “Lord, I asked you for something yesterday. You did not give me an answer for it.” Then came a brother behind me and tapped on my shoulder. He asked me, Brother, Are you praying for a car?” I said, “Why do you ask me now?” The brother responded, “The Lord is asking me to give you Rs.50,000/- for you to buy a car. I do not have that much money now. I will give it you within a month.” I was shocked to hear that.

By then some brother had started praying. But I could not control myself. I started sobbing like a little child. Prayer was over. No one understood anything. I was still weeping. Without saying any thing to any one, I got into our van and left the place.

Before the end of the month, the brother who promised the money came to my house in Coimbatore. He said, “I could have sent this money by post. But the Lord asked me to go and give it me in person. So I came.”

We had some chat in our house and I asked him, “ What did you think when you found me weeping that day before I left?” He said, “No one understood anything. We all were wondering what happened?”

I said, “You know, I was asking the Lord to make provision to buy a car before I left that place. When you told me that the Lord was asking you to give me money to buy a car, I was like Job when he said, ‘If I called him and he answered me, I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.”(9:16). Really, it was too much for me to take that answer to prayer.

50 became 500!

Then the brother continued, “I have had experience of evangelists come to me and ask me for financial help. But to those who request, I never give. The Lord asked me to give you this money.”

I said, “Tell me how the Lord asked you. Did you guess that I was praying for a car?”

His response surprised me.

He said, “Brother, I have been a business man all my life. From the beginning of my life I had the habit of sending some gift to some evangelist some where. So once I went to the post office and got an M.O. form as I wanted to send Rs.50/- to a brother. As I started filling it, in the place amount was to be written I wrote 500/- by mistake. So I tore that form and took a second one.

“As I was filling the second form, an inner voice told me to write 500/- on it. So this time I wrote 500/- knowingly. When I went to the counter, the inner voice again said, ‘send this as TMO’. So I sent Rs. 500/- that day as Telegraphic MO to that brother instead of sending 50 by ordinary M.O.

“Then when I went back home, I was thoroughly confused. I did not know why I had sent that much amount as TMO to that brother. I was wondering what that brother would think about me as thirty years ago that was a sizable amount.”

The brother continued, “Till I got his reply on the fourth day, I was in confusion. When his reply came, I knew it was the Lord who prompted me to send that TMO.

“In his reply that brother wrote, ‘Thank you for the TMO. Last week I admitted my wife to the hospital. Doctor told me my wife needed an emergency operation and asked me to pay Rs.400/- the next day in the morning. I came home. I shed tears before the Lord for His help. I did not know of any man who could help me. So I spent the night in prayer and on the following morning I got your TMO right in time for my hospital payment’”.

The brother who brought the money to my house continued, “I have two or three experiences like this. Now when the Lord tells me something, I will not hesitate or I will not consult flesh and blood. You know, the Lord asked me to give this money and I am giving it to you in obedience to the Lord. If I do not do it I will be disobeying the Lord. So please accept the money without hesitation.”

I accepted it and thanked him for his obedience. I praised the Lord for His wonderful provision. If that brother had not come home with the money we would not have known his previous experience!

 (Read rest of the story in “Another 40, 000/-” Unforgettable Experiences post.)  NB.  Learn to pray!  Experience the wonder of God’s ways!!  Let the Holy Spirit guide you through the Bible!!!

Miracles in hospitals

During the last 16 years of my illness, I was admitted more than a dozen times for treatment in various hospitals.  On two occasions it was for English treatment and all the rest was for Aurvedic (Traditional Indian)treatment.  Twice the duration was eight days; others for 10, 21,30 or 45 days each.

English doctors declared that there was no cure for my disease.  Aurveda did a lot of good to me as the leanness and chillness of legs disappeared.  Every time some treatment was done, it kept me going for some time.  When weakness reappeared, I would be admitted again.
                                  
Third hospitalization in l991 Nov. in Trivandrum was the only one announced in our magazines for prayer.  All others were done within ourselves.  During these hospitalizations, I know of four who confessed Christ as Lord first time in their lives and accepted the Lord before me in prayer.  To almost every one I met, I tried to share about the love of Christ.  Where ever possible, Bibles and New Testaments were distributed.

I remember at least three miracles in the context of my hospitalizations.  First one took place in the very first hospital in Coimbatore.  Though my legs became paralyzed on the
7th of July, I would not go to hospitals as I could not imagine that I was ill due to the fact that I knew something  new was going to take place in my life from that date.  So on the 11th only, being forced by a neighbor doctor, I decided to go to hospital. 

I was taken to KG first where the doctor said further investigation was needed.  Then I was taken to Ramakrishna where there was one  Dr. Ashokan who was a good Neurophysician.  I was admitted in a general ward for ten days.

Healing on the next bed:
On the third day in the hospital, the 13th of July in the evening after supper, I was preparing to go to bed.  Before that I started reading my Bible.  On the next bed there a patient admitted for the past 20 days for some ailment on his back.  He had terrible pain and he was rolling on his bed in pain that evening.  I was disturbed and I stopped my
reading and asked his twenty year old son who was his aid, whether I could pray for him.  The boy said,  “What ever you do I don’t mind.  His pain must go.”    I found out from the boy that doctors had postponed operation several times as it was a difficult one with little hope of success.  Doctors were trying various medicines on him. 

So with the help of the boy I climbed down from my bed to his bed side and as I could not kneel down, I put my chest on to his bed sitting on a pillow on the floor and made a short prayer.  I climbed on to my bed to see the patient going to sleep immediately as though an anesthetic injection was given.  They stayed in the hospital for another two days and went home healed, without an operation!

Financial Miracle:
Sri Chithira Hospital in Trivandrum was the third hospital where I was admitted in l99l.
I was there for 30 days.  There I was a rather famous patient for various reasons.  One was that I was a friend of Prof. Ommen Philip who was known to doctors there as he trained some of them in hospital administration.  I had many visitors there as well. 

There came a patient from Calicut after I was there for more than 20 days.  He was staying in the next room.  He had a big problem.  He was a regular patient there for several years now.  Every six months he had to come for check up and take further medicines. 

This time when he came, the hospital asked him to pay Rs.l500/- for his test instead of the regular Rs.500/- which he had brought.  He had no money and to go back without the test would be difficult as he came from such a long distance.  In the night he was staying in his room and murmuring and complaining about the hospital for not informing him about the hike in charges before coming.  Then one of the nurses asked him to come and meet me in the other room where I would pray for him.

He came to me and said, “Sir, I am an atheist.  Don’t tell me about god.  If you can help me in any other way, please help me.  This is my problem” When he narrated the problem I listened very patiently.  When he finished his story, I said, “Is that your problem?  OK.  Now listen to me for some time.”  Then I began to share with him some of my prayer experiences.  I began with my three rupee experience and went on to share one or two others.  He was listening very intently.  Then I said, “Will you permit me to pray for you?”  He said OK. 

When I began to pray, he began to recite the prayer after me.  I had not expected it.  So I slowed down.  After prayer was over, I said, “I will continue to pray for you.  You please go and sleep comfortably.  God will do a miracle for you.”  He said good night and went to his room.

I continued to pray for him asking God to show Himself almighty to the patient by being gracious to him.

On the following day in the after noon he came to me with great joy on his face.  I asked him what had happened.  He said that day in the morning his problem was reported to the director and the director asked him to give a letter saying that the rest of rupees thousand would be paid when he would come next time for the test.  Then testing was done on the basis of that letter. But the surprising thing was when the result came in the after noon, the hospital gave him one thousand rupees back along with the result.  He could not understand why.  So he asked the concerned clerk why that much money was returned to him.  The clerk said that there was an instruction on the sheet saying so much should be paid to the patient.   

The patient not only got his test done freely; but 500 rupees came to him extra from the hospital.  Was it a clerical mistake? We don’t know what happened exactly.   But that day it came to us as answer to our prayer.

Another Financial Miracle:
It happened in Dec. 2005 when I was admitted in KAPL in Chennai.  I was treated in
Trivandrum during the summer that year and the doctor had asked me to get admitted again within six months if there was improvement.  There was marked improvement and I wanted to be admitted.  But I did not want to go back to Trivandrum during the Christmas break which was only for a month. 

So I went and met the doctor at KAPL where they were doing the same kind of treatment.  I had to do the booking of the room in advance as there was always a queue there.  This time I was to admitted for eight days.  But they asked me to pay Rs.10,000/- as advance.
But I had only half of that amount with me at the time of admission.

The doctor told me that he would admit me with that advance if I would be able to pay the complete amount on discharge.  I had no other money and I was not expecting any cheque to be cleared.  Trusting in the Lord alone I got admitted to the hospital.  The treatment was excellent. 
                                                                 
I told the two doctors and all the staff there, I believed in Atharva Veda as Ayurvedic treatment is a part of it.  I know if I followed the instructions in it, my body would benefit from it.  I went on to say that I got admitted in to this hospital trusting in the God of the Bible that He would hear and answer my prayers for my hospital bill.  The message of the Bible is basically about eternal salvation for human soul, but it has promises about this life also. 

Only brethren at Kilpauk knew that I was in hospital.  I promised the Lord that I would not accept a gift from them for that hospitalization.  They were very generous to us when Joyce was in the hospital the previous year for her heart problem.  So I did not want to accept any money from any one for my treatment lest some would think of us as a burden.
                                                                  
I was admitted on Saturday and on Tuesday two of the youth of the assembly visited me in the hospital.  I told them my financial situation and my decision not to accept money from Kilpauk for the present treatment.    I knew I would need a good amount on Friday when I would be discharged.  I said I needed their sincere prayers only.

While I was talking to them in the hospital, Joyce had a call from an evangelist friend of ours.    He told Joyce that he had deposited some money into our account from his home town.  Immediately Joyce took an auto and went to the ATM nearby collected the money and came to hospital.  The amount was Rs.20,000/- and the total bill for that hospitalization with medicines etc. was Rs.14,000/- only.

This brother who gave us the money had come to Chennai the previous week.  Then he came visiting us.  Thus he knew of my hospitalization.  But we never imagined that it was through him that the Lord was going to answer our prayer!  I do not know what made him donate such a big amount except it was of the Lord.

I was able to give a copy of the New Testament to all staff in the hospital including doctors asking them to trust the God of the Bible for the salvation of their souls.
One of the doctors from Brahmin background was deeply impressed about the Christian message while a staff member almost became a believer.  But I did not have the joy of seeing him commit his life to Christ.

Hours alone with God

Biographies of great men of prayer had always challenged me.  Even during the first year of my studies I had heard about Praying Hyde of Sialkot mission.  I wanted to follow his example.   A dear old sister in our home assembly always used to talk about George Mueller.  My great grand mother’s experiences too challenged me to a life of prayer.

Even when I spent one hour in meditation and prayer I found God working mightily for me.  Now when situation in the field forced me to be on my knees, I did it gladly knowing that there was going to be great reward for it.

I began to read as many books on prayer as possible.  I was greatly helped by  Dick Eastman who gave many practical tips.  His book The Hour That Changes The
World has so many practical tips.  For instance he divides one hour into 12  five minute slots.  Thus time is best spent.  Within five minutes no one looses concentration.

Bible, hymn books and a note book are essential as you go into the prayer chamber.
I usually have two hour packs when I have eight hour program.    Each two hour is divided into four or five slots.  First half hour I praise God by singing, reading and then vocally.  The next forty five minutes would be time for Bible reading, meditation and interaction with God about His will on a given situation and looking for promises for the situation.  Next forty five minutes would be time for intercession and prayer based on the knowledge received from the previous slot.  Last half hour again would be singing and praising and thanks giving.

In order not to loose concentration, singing and scripture reading is introduced every now and then while praying.  Audible prayers also help in concentration.  Secret of success in prayer is to let our mind stay upon the Lord without wandering.

After two hours I get up and go out for a wash or a drink and come back as quickly as possible for the next session.  Then the whole thing is repeated as before.

When we have special projects to pray about we will have focused prayer.  When we are convinced that something is the will of God, we need to pray till that takes place.  Dan.10 is our model for such situations.   There will be Satanic hindrance as we pray for spiritual matters.   The Spirit of God who leads us in prayer will teach us what to do when we give ourselves at His disposal.  It is He who will teach us.  No man can do it.  No man ever becomes perfect in the art of prayer.  So every time our prayer should be “Lord, teach me to pray”.  When we make that a sincere prayer and give ourselves to His will, He will do the best most wonderfully.  So it is just a matter of our committing ourselves to the Spirit of God by our will surrendered to Him. He will give us the desire.  But decision to spend time in prayer must come from us.   He is looking for many such to day to carry out His mighty intercession for our great nations.  May we give ourselves to Him.

Pose in prayer is very important.  Sitting rather relaxed on a bed or a chair is against prayer as our mind wanders easily then.  We need to gird up the loins of our mind (l Pet,l:l3) as we begin to pray.  The best pose is to kneel on the floor on a mat.    You may kneel beside your bed or near a chair keeping the Bible and note book in front of you.  Standing on knees several hours is very difficult.  So you may change your pause every two hours.  Sitting on the floor, lying flat on the floor with face down, standing against a wall in the room, walking to and fro in the room  are advisable. 

Kudos to Joyce

Reader might wonder how one was able to spend so many hours in the prayer chamber when we had a large family of give children who at that time were all below 12 years of age.  I might tell you that it might not have been totally impossible if Joyce did not show 100 per cent co-operation.

My help in the school and in kitchen was very minimal thosedays.  Some times Joyce had one person to help her either for kitchen or at the school.  Most of the times she was left on her own.  After working in the school from 9 to 3.30 Joyce never insisted that I should stay home with her to help with children or do house work with her.    She was more than willing to let me go to the prayer chamber from 4 pm without a grudge.  I came out of it only at 10 pm.  Some times even later.  I would come out for five minutes in between either for washing face or for drinking a cup of water.  Other wise I was in the room always.  She cooked food for children and fed all of them and sent to bed all by herself.  Our children too were very co-operative.  They were all well trained.  None had any obstinate nature.   By God’s grace all children were healthy as well.  I thank the Lord for Joyce and children without whose full co-operation I would never have been able to be in the presence of the Lord every day for  so many hours.

Joyce has her reward form the Lord for this.