When I was yet an unconverted boy of 13 and 14, I was jolted by the fact that amazing things were happening around me. This brought home to me the fact that I was still lingering in my sins and rebellion against God. After my conversion at the age of fifteen, I began to realize that the stupendous events which were taking place, signified that God Himself was working in the lives of many individuals and transforming them. Yes, revival was in full swing in some of the centres where my dad and mother were invited to preach.
The subject of our story was a very ordinary elementary school teacher who was normally posted to remote villages. Her husband too was a teacher and theirs was no ideal relationship. There were frequent upheavals and disagreements, which resulted in considerable violence and severe bashing which the wife received at the hands of her husband.
The school received a notice from the school management, that several teachers from each school were required to attend certain special revival meetings addressed by one Bro. N. Daniel. The schools run in the district (administrative region) by the widely respected Canadian Baptist Mission, were ordered closed for the duration of the meetings. Hence it was quite a large gathering comprising teachers, superintendents of schools, pastors and their bosses, the missionaries, which assembled in the big Church of the Mission, at Vuyyuru.
My dad, who was the preacher, was hardly known to them. Many in the audience thought that needless fuss was being made over the meetings as a whole. But when the Word of the Lord rang out, it seemed to most of them that the speaker was singling them out and speaking directly to them. There was simmering unrest among the pastors and leaders and there were murmurs and revolt in the air. But they saw that my dad and mother prayed much even after a long day of intense work. Indeed their detractors found them praying even beyond the midnight hour.
Suddenly a mighty moving of Gods Spirit took place. The whole congregation was melted down into tears of true contrition and they began to cry out to the Saviour, inconsolably. Not even the most sceptical could escape the spirit of repentance which swept over the crowd. This teacher, whose name was Yesudas, who had come in from a rural village, also came under the Hand of God and began to repent.
After four days, the meetings gave over and most people returned to their own places. But Mr. Yesudas decided that he would not return home until the Lord had spoken to him and forgiven him. Hence his return home was delayed beyond the appointed time, much to the annoyance of his high spirited wife. Now Mr. Yesudas perseverance paid off and though his return home was deferred by a day or two, the Lord spoke to Him and he became a transformed, converted man.
His wife however was quite furious by his tardy return and decided to give him a hard time. She stubbornly refused to give him any dinner and even taunted him about his suddenly turning over-religious. She was however quite taken aback, that he did not fly into his usual rage and met all her scurrilous attacks with an amazing composure and longsuffering. He just gave himself to prayer and began to prevail in prayer for the conversion of his wife.
Now Sunday soon came around. Her appointed duty on Sundays was to go down to the houses of some of their local church members and to make sure that they were at the worship. Now this stubborn woman who refused to change her ways one whit, set out on her usual rounds and as she walked down the street, in broad daylight, it happened without warningshe was thrown down. The same Almighty God who had thrown down Saul on the road to Damascus, threw her down. Suddenly a deep sense of her great sinfulness overwhelmed her. She however managed to pick herself up and weeping most bitterly she returned home.
Now as to how long she was in her paroxysms of grief and sorrow for her sins is not known but as she confessed her sins, a stranger in white drew near. She paid little attention to this stranger who was walking towards her but when he drew really close, she looked up. He showed her His Hands and she beheld them. They bore the wounds which the nails had inflicted in the Hands of Christ. She immediately recognized the Lord Jesus Christ and fell at His Feet weeping and asking His forgiveness. The Lord forgave all her sins and she became a new person.
From this point God began to use her marvellously. Wherever she was posted, souls began to be converted and transformed. In one place bitter opposition began from the wealthy landlords of the place. They were enraged that she was changing the very character of the women of the place. Now those poor village women who had been intimidated by these powerful men hitherto, no longer fell a prey to their loose and immoral ways and demands. These proud men who were unaccustomed to being refused and spurned were beside themselves with anger. They knew that the teacher who had come to their village, was the cause of this extraordinary change of behaviour in the women of the place and wanted to beat her up. Now the Lord Himself guarded her so that they could not do any injury to her person.
Another significant event which comes to mind is this. In one place, when the mighty works which were being done in Jesus Name, began to draw many people to the place of Christian worship, in a diversionary move to distract and turn away souls from Jesus, some fanatic Hindus brought an expensive idol and installed it opposite the very place where this woman was preaching and praying. The noise and immense din generated by this rival place of worship, made things really difficult for the Christian meetings conducted so close by.
Now the converted people cried unto God. Suddenly the idol disappeared. Now to this day no one knows who effected this very essential evacuation of the deity and where it was disposed off. Now this was a most startling and unusual event which angered many in that village. It was generally believed that the sudden and unaccountable disappearance, of their god or goddess, was surely due to this woman and her prayers. She too never did know who had done the deed.
On one occasion, the Lord told her that a mighty cyclone would hit the region and that an accompanying tidal wave would cause much loss of life. So she went ahead and warned the villagers to flee to higher, safer ground. By the time she warned the people to flee, the storm intensified and she found herself to be surrounded by the savage fury of the elements. The youngest of her children, a baby, she had laid on the bed and covered the baby girl fully by a thick rug to save it from the cold and rain which was beating through the flimsy roof. The waters were rising and she turned around to gather her babe in her hands. Now what did she see? The babe was dead. The rain dripping through the roof, had soaked the rug and the babe under it was suffocated. Those around her said, Leave the dead baby and save yourself. But she absolutely refused to do so. Instead she began to call on God to restore her babe to life. She held on to God in spite of the raging tempestand life returned and the babe lived.
Now these were the kind of happenings which were being reported from various quarters, as the revival progressed. We should not settle for less today. The last verse of Marks Gospel, And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the LORD WORKING WITH THEM, AND CONFIRMING THE WORD WITH SIGNS FOLLOWING. AMEN; should be continually before us.
From time to time, I continue to hear of these wonderful works of God, from our various fields. Yes, we have to prove our Risen Christ to the dying world around us.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon