Salvation belongs to the Lord. It is not Lord’s will or wish for any man to go astray. The Lord is the one who calls each one to do HIS ministry. The ONE who call is always truthful.
Having had the training in the Vocational Education, I had gone to work at the age of 20. In an industry, we can always see the big gap between the employer and the employee and due to this difference there was always strife between the management and the Trade Unions regarding the issues like, salary, bonus, etc. This led to strike, stopping of work, and confrontations, which occurred often. All these would be like a chain reaction. In those days, there were a lot of political parties and Trade Unions. Some Trade Unions went along with the management.
When there are such strikes, many political, leaders conduct small meetings and gave speeches. I would attend those meetings to listen to them. I was drawn towards these speeches given by these political leaders. As a result, I became a communist in my thought, words, and even in my deeds. It could be said that communism ran in my blood. As the days went by, I started to have cordial relationships with many politicians. I would not talk much. Still they were attracted towards my limited speech and my youthful valour. I spent all my time and days to learn more about the communist doctrines. This drove me to fight for the labourer’s rights.
I went out of my way to support the labourers in other factories when they had strike in their factories. I would join them in their meetings and encourage them to fight for their rights and I would also join in their fight. Most of the days, I would not be able to go for work because of my involvement in these industrial meetings, processions, and the general meetings. There was no fund to conduct the Trade Unions. So, some of us would join together and would go around (in the bus stations, markets, shops, wherever people gather, and to all who we meet on the way) with a party’s flag in one hand and a box in the other hand to collect money. We would use the money collected thus to conduct our meetings. My only ambition was to become the leader of the Trade Union – Communist Party of Marxist.
In the year 1977, I got married. My wife knew about evangelism and Christ. She was also involved with the Lord’s work. In the year 1978, my first son, Stanley Christopher, was born. At that point of time, I did not go to work properly because of my involvement with the Trade Unions and its activities and moreover, there were shutdown at the factory so my family had to face poverty. It was when the poverty was at its peak that my wife introduced me to an evangelist known to her. Well, till that day I was not willing to meet such people, but then it had come to a point where I could not avoid this meeting. That very first meeting became the turning point in my life.
The reason for that is when the evangelist started to pray for me I experienced the Holy Spirit come over me and fill me. The Lord made the Holy Spirit to speak through my mouth and he started to reveal what my call was to HIS ministry, in what direction I should go from there in my life, and the things that HE was going to do through me. There was a complete change happening within me. The people around me were amazed and awed when they saw that I was filled with the Holy Spirit and that I was prophesying and revealing a lot of things. Is it me?! Is it for me? Could it be for me too? …… I was also awed by my experience.
I was not able to believe what I was feeling because though I was born to a Christian family, I had not heard or knew or had I seen anything about the Holy Spirit or that of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, nor about prophesying. Till that day I have not gone to such meetings. This was the truth. But the Lord’s promise, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb,” is the true love of My Lord who called me out to do HIS work in this world.
From that very minute I started to read the Holy Bible without any pause, day and night. Within few days, I had received the Holy Baptism by immersion. The Lord started to use me step by step. Many churches that came to know about my New Life with the Holy Spirit were eager to give me a job. They promised to give me a salary and that they would look after my children’s education and invited me to their congregation. The Lord was clear on two grounds.
- The first one was that my full time ministry should start only after the death of my parents, until then I was to continue with my present job. My mother passed away in the month of May of 1980. My father passed away in the month of February of 1981. After that for almost two years I continued with my job. Those are days that I cannot forget! It is because until then I was a person who was full of communism, I talked, thought, and even did what was communism, but now, I have become a person who was full of Christian doctrines! In these days, I had to extricate myself from my activities with the Trade Union and the Trade Union itself. At the same time, I had the duty upon me to proclaim the witness of the Lord Almighty. I had to confront a lot of ridicule and opposition because of my witness. The Lord showered his grace on me so that I might live as a witness for HIM for the glory of Christ.
- The second thing the Lord spoke clearly to me was according to Romans 15: 20, 21. According to this I was not called to proclaim the Gospel in a church or in a place where someone had already laid a foundation for the proclamation of the Gospel. I also realized that the Lord was having a plan to send me to a place where the Gospel had not reached until then. So I refused to accept the call from the churches to join them.
My second son, Samuel Felix, was born in April, 1982. It was a time when the Lord was showering his blessings on us. We came to know about a land that was for sale at Srirangam through the people who were among our Prayer Fellowship. We had this great craving to buy that land. There was no money with us then. My wife had some jewels. I sold some of it and bought this land which was 60’X30’. Since this was the Lords plan we were able to buy this land easily with HIS help. Then we desired to build a house on that land. There was no monetary fund for that. It was my wife who advised to sell the rest of her jewels and build a house there. Accordingly, we sold the jewels and built a house of the size 20’X10’. After that we came and settled at Srirangam itself.
I started to go to my job from Srirangam. Just as the Lord had specifically stated I resigned my job in the middle of the year 1983. It was in the same year that the Lord had blessed us with a girl child, Esther Joy, in October. When I resigned my job, my wife was full term pregnant. My relatives and others started to berate me saying I was stupid, I did not know how to survive, and that I have gone mad. My state was in such a way that it was easy for them to talk such things. When my daughter was born, I had in my hand only one five rupee coin. There was no known soul in Srirangam to turn for help. There was no one to help us. I had no means to take my wife even to the Charity Hospital. The reason was even there we had to pay about Rs. 50. The Lord’s grace was with us. Just as he had helped Hebrew women when they were in Egypt to give birth without any pain, he was with my wife who gave birth to our third child without any pain in our home itself. All praise is to the Lord. He taught us that he was a wonderful and a marvelous God.
More than ten years had passed since our arrival at Srirangam. There was no sign of progress in the ministry. I have been handing out a lot of tracts. I have been sharing the Gospel with so many. Demons had been chased, sickness was cured but still people were reluctant to accept Christ as their personal savior. In the end, they would say that these miracles were performed by their own god. Once their problems had been solved they will just ignore me.
As for me and my family, there were a lot trials and tribulations to be faced, which were simply increasing day after day. We had to live even without the basic needs for life. We managed for several years without electricity. This did not dishearten me in anyway. I proceeded with street preaching and giving out tracts as much as possible. I had to face a lot of opposition. There was no progress in my ministry for the Lord. It appeared as if the devil was mocking at us. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalms 23:5) with such words The Lord comforted me. There was no place to have a prayer with those who had accepted the Lord as their savior. My house was only 20’X10’, a very small place to have a prayer meeting. Even if people did come to my place, after having seen my condition, my living area, and my shortcomings, they never came back. Days just went by, thirteen years had passed. The Lord is a Lord who cares for us; HE started to show his compassion on us.
During this period we came to know about a Christian family, who had built their house on the outskirts of Srirangam. They started to help us with our needs. We came to know them in the year 1987 but they had been watching and following our 13year life there at Srirangam. They have been noting about the condition of our family, that we did not have any kind of help from anywhere, that there were no basic needs for any kind of evangelistic work. Moreover, they had also seen that there was no monetary fund for our children’s education. The Lord had spoken in their heart about all these things that they came forward of their own account and built a small Prayer Hall to conduct our prayers, and three rooms for our personal use. All praise and glory be to the Lord. After that the Lord blessed us, to conduct regular Sunday prayer and HE also was the instrument for the growth of our church. There were many people who had turned away from idol worship, had received baptism and became a regular member of our church. With the grace of the Lord, as of today we have been able to convert the whole of the ground floor into a Prayer Hall and for our personal use we have built a house on the first floor.