Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tribute by Pastor J.E.Appathurai - M.P.A Church Kelleys

I was born and brought up in a Christian home where we went to CSI Church in the district of Kanyakumari. Still I never knew anything about Jesus or His word. I had lot of friends. All of us were atheists who never believed in life after death.

All of a sudden I became very sick and the doctors gave up hope on me. One fine day, as I was lying on my bed, my eyes were closing and I knew for sure I was going to die. That time I had this feeling of going somewhere else. I was quite sure that, that was not the end of my life. Immediately, I waved out to one of my friends and told him, “our life does not end here. I feel that my spirit is going to go to some other place. So there is definitely a God there. You all find Him.”

That moment my mother knelt beside my bed and cried unto God saying, “He is not my son. Whether he lives or dies, he belongs to You. I commit him into your hands.” At the utterance of those words, I who was bed ridden for three months got up and walked. Jesus Christ miraculously healed me. After this incident, my mom kept telling me that I was not her son but Jesus’ and insisted that I should join a Bible College. In August 1960 I joined a Bible College run by Madras Pentecostal Assembly situated at Royapettah, Chennai. Pastor John Vasu was the Principal of the Bible College and Superintending Pastor of M.P.A. Mission.

In that Bible College, the qualification for a student was that he should be saved, baptised, called for the ministry. Whereas I used to watch cinema, smoke cigarettes and mock at other godly students. The way they prayed and worshipped the Lord was very funny to me. One day I went and told Pastor Vasu, “I don’t understand anything, that’s happening here. So I want to get back home”. He immediately answered and said, “The Lord is with you. You are His child. Just wait patiently.

Anyway, I determined to get back home. I didn’t attend the Sunday Morning Service. I went to Marina Beach that evening and decided to leave the next day to my native place. Suddenly I lost the peace and slowly strolled into the church and sat at the last row for the evening service.

Pastor Vasu was preaching where there were only four women and I was the only man sitting in that place. He gave an altar call for those who wanted to commit their life to Jesus. As I was sitting there, I felt a man next to me who kept telling me to go. Unable to resist, I walked to the front and knelt before Pastor John Vasu. He laid his hands on me and made a special prayer asking God to keep me till the end. It was after that incident I started feeling how great a sinner I was. I realised that all the sins I had committed did not leave me. It was in me only.

On the 4th February 1961, at around 7.45 p.m. I repented of all my sins. I called out for the first time, “Lord” in my life and I was filled with a great peace. And I heard a voice saying, “My son, Do not fear; your sins are forgiven”. I heard this statement twice and asked Him, “Who are you?” He answered and said, “I am Jesus of Nazareth who died for for you on the cross.”

My life got totally transformed. I stopped smoking, cinemas that used to amuse me became a dislike to me. Instead of eating in the college mess, I used to eat in hotels. I stopped that too. I wrote letters asking for forgiveness to all the people I have hurt and done things against.

The next morning I told Pastor Vasu all that happened to me. He explained to me that it was nothing but the experience of Salvation and that I am God’s own son. He also taught me lot of truth from the word of God. Then the Lord spoke to me again. He asked me, “Who will go for me? Whom shall I send?” I spoke about this also to Pastor John Vasu. He helped me to commit my life for ministry and prayed for me.

Ever since God started to use me mightily. I have conducted crusades where the Spirit of God used to fall on the people. Thousands of people have been healed and have committed their lives to Christ. Till date, I am doing His work being a Pastor in one of the branches of M.P.A. Mission.

I am what I am by the grace of God. I will continue to serve the one who picked me up from the miry clay till my last breath and spread the good news.

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