“My God” who changed me
Saved me, elected me to do his glorious ministry and how he blessed me, my family and the ministry. He lifted me up from the miry clay and adorned me with salvation. He enabled me to stand firm on the rock, which is the word of God. He filled this clay vessel with his glorious anointing and made me to minister unto his people. I was born to a pastor. In my youth itself I became an atheist, saying that there was no God. The Lord heard the prayer of my parents; he rebuked me, punished me, broke me, loved me and brought me back into his arms. The Lord fulfilled his wondrous plans and will that he had had in my life. I would like to put forth before you all, the wondrous things the Lord did in my life. He attracted me towards himself, anointed me with his spirit, gave me the burden for the souls and appointed me for this ministry. I tasted and saw that the Lord is good. I trusted in the God of our forefathers and was never ashamed. I made the God of our forefathers as my God and claimed the promises that he gave them. The Lord blessed me step by step and helped me to grow. My desire is that, through my testimony many should be strengthened in the spirit. Many woman should shine and be used for the Lord. Those who are in sin must repent and attain salvation.
The LORD said to me “I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I selected you to be a prophet to the nations.” I answered, “Sovereign LORD, I don’t know how to speak; I am too young.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say that you are too young, but go to the people I send you to, and tell them everything I command you to say. Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you. I, the LORD, have spoken!” Then the LORD reached out, touched my lips, and said to me, “Listen, I am giving you the words you must speak. Today I give you authority over nations and kingdoms to uproot and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”Jeremiah 1:4-10
Childhood: In the year 1943, my father Rev. A. N. Mathew, obeyed the calling of the Lord, left his family and relatives who were in Kerala and came to Andhra Pradesh at a young age with my mother. They stepped in faith as they arrived in a new state to do God’s ministry with nothing more than their Bibles. As they took time to understand the new place, they begin to experience many problems because of their faith. They did not know the Telugu language, nor did they know anyone here who could support them or help. They did not have anyone to support them financially. They looked unto the Lord with faith to fulfill every need by depending only on him for everything and served the Lord with great faithfulness. Those children of God were my parents. I recall the difficulties that they faced in their ministry, they came across hunger, lack of clothes & shelter, poverty, disease, beatings, imprisonment and death. They lost their daughter ‘Dena’ who fainted and died because of malnourishment. When asked for food they did not even have the capacity to provide proper food to their children. Five years after Dena died, I was born. My parents believed that the Lord took away one daughter and gave them another daughter, so my parents named me ‘Joy’! My parents used to tell me that after I was born, the Lord started blessing them more. Praise the Lord! They raised me very fondly and I was in fact showered with more love than the others. My mother gave me special care and treatment. My parents had six children including Dena. The eldest was my sister, two elder brothers and one younger brother.
Every one of my siblings studied in government schools, but I was put into a convent school. My parents had great expectations from me. They desired that I must obtain good education and hold a high position. According to their desire, I always used to stand 1st in the class. The Lord blessed me with knowledge, memory power and understanding. Many classmates used to compete against me to get the first rank. I would study hard and make sure that there would always be a good difference between the 1st and 2nd ranks. My teachers, who taught me in school, come to this church even today. Praise the Lord!
In my childhood I never used to talk to anybody. Whenever servants of God visited my home and ask me my name, I would ask them why do they need my name! One day, a child of God assuming I was dumb, placed his hand on my head and prayed – ‘Lord touch the mouth of this child; enable her tongue to speak clearly’. Maybe the Lord sealed the prayer of that saint, today I can preach for hours together. Praise the Lord!
As a youngster, I used to be very arrogant. My mother observed this and tried to teach me a lesson through an example she quoted… she took a ball and bounced it onto the ground. She asked me to observe the action and explained – ‘The lower the ball goes, the higher it will raise. Likewise, the more you humble yourself, the more you will be exalted.” In this way, my mother spent time teaching my the values of life through examples that I can never forget. My mother is the greatest influence in my life and she is forever my role model. While in school, I lived in the fear of the Lord. I diligently attended family prayers twice in a day. But as soon as I entered college, slowly I started getting away from the Lord.
As a youngster: My desire was to gain worldly knowledge. My heart was filled with revolutionary thoughts. ‘So what if my father is a servant of God, does that mean I should also be a Christian? Is God there? What is truth? I wanted to research and know the truth. Just because my father is a Saint, is it just to say that I should also become one? I have brains. I have the power to think. Why should I believe blindly? Where did I come from? Where am I going to?’ I tried ways and means to understand the meaning of life. When I pursuing my degree, I used to go to the library and read books related to philosophy. I also read Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Quran translated in English. I also read the great works of Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. I tried to tresearch as to what they were telling about life. Even after all this reading, their preachings did not provide any satisfaction. Within the three years of my graduation life, I came to a conclusion that there was no God and I became an atheist. Many people in my college liked me and I also had a group of friends who shared my beliefs. We used to gather around and I being a good speaker, lead them and preached to them different philosophies and explain the non-existence of a God. One day, my mother came to know about my behaviour and my beliefs.
Since our childhood, it has been a habit in my house, to wake up at 4 O’ Clock in the morning and study. As usual, we woke up in the morning and started studying. But I was reading a book related to atheism which were hidden in my college book. My mother came from behind and caught me without my knowledge. I was frightened when she questioned me about the book I was reading. She did not take this situation lightly, instead she woke up my father, called my brothers, showed them the book I was reading and created a big fuss about it. She was troubled a lot. “Why are you doing such things? Don’t you know that your father is a servant of God? We gave up everything for the sake of the Lord’s ministry and are sacrificing our selves for the Lord. Being born to such saints, why are you bringing dishonor to us?” She scolded me like this. Seeing my mother’s anger, I thought that they might send me away from the house. She burnt such books, so that I do not read it nor bring it home again. My mother arranged for a rickshaw to take me and bring me back from college. I must board the rickshaw in front of my house, reach my college and after my classes in college, the rickshaw would be readily waiting for me. Her fear was that I might go away. She feared that her daughter has moved far from the Lord and with her revolutionary thoughts may go the wrong way and end up destroying herself.
Each night, my mother used to weep and pray for me day and night. She gets up early in the morning at 3 O’ clock, kneel down near my bed, place her hand on my head and pray with tears in her eyes. “Lord, save my child. We are your servants, if this daughter gets lost like this, it would be a dishonor to your name. It would be left like a black mark in our ministry. Our ministry will crash. Lord remember us in your grace and save this daughter”.
Dear children of God, it is because of the prayers of that mother, I am standing before you all as a child of God. A house that has a praying mother will never be destroyed. By my testimony, I can guarantee that every child in that that house will be saved and blessed.
My mother brought me up in such a pampered way that, even while I was studying my degree, she used to feed me food. She used to comb and plait my hair and even used to iron my clothes. While I was travelling to college, she prayed that the Lord might bind the dark forces. When I returned home, she praised the Lord. She made me sleep beside her. Till I was 22 years old, I used to sleep beside my mother and experience her care. But even then I hardly changed in the way she desired me to. In college, I secretly read the books that she did not want me to read. Finally, my brothers and my parents took a decision to send me away to Kerala. I had completed my B.A degree. I was a rank holder in Economics in Osmania University. The University granted me merit scholarship to pursue my post graduation as I had secured the highest marks in the whole of the university. But, still my parents did not permit me to do my Post Graduation in Hyderabad. They decided to send me to Kerala. They wanted me to complete my higher studies and get married there. They did not listen to me when I pleaded that I could not live without my mother. They thought that if I stayed here, my life would be ruined. So they sent me far away to stay with my elder sister. They felt that I might bring a bad name to their ministry.
My sister stays at Trivandrum in Kerala. My sister and my brother in law hold good positions in their respective jobs and they feared the Lord. When my sister asked me to pray, I asked weird questions like – ‘Did God actually ask us to kneel down, close the eyes and pray?’ I absolutely had no prayer life and never read the word. I had an unknown sorrow and burden in my heart. I used to feel sad as to why my parents sent me to such a far off place. But for the sake of the trouble they have been through, I decided to study well and earn a good job and wanted to succeed so that I can live life without anybody’s help. I wrote an tough entrance exam to got a seat in Economics at Karyavattam University. I needed money for my personal needs. I felt ashamed to ask my sister for money whenever I needed. Be it then or even now, I do not like to ask anyone for money. I used to adjust with whatever I had, but never asked anybody. But in my heart I used to wish I had a job. One day I was walking in a lane near Trivandrum, to buy some books. Beside the road I saw a big beautiful board which read “Bank of Travancore”. I stood near that bank and was thinking, how nice would it be if I get a job in this bank, then I would be able to fend for myself. But, how is this possible? I was born and raised in Andhra Pradesh. Will they employ me in Kerala? I made a note of the bank address and came home. I filled in the application form and posted it.
Within a week’s time I got the call letter from the bank. It was because I completed my B.A in merit. They had me write a aptitude test where I secured the third rank amongst those 1000 other candidates. I prepared well for the interview. The board of interviewers looked upon me with grace. At that time I was only 21 years old. The bank’s general manager asked me why I needed a job so early in life. He said “You are now doing your M.A, if you get a job, then your studies will come to a halt. You are intelligent. You can complete your higher studies and get a better job than this.” Then I replied “I need money at this point of time. I will work and complete my studies through part time.” I was eventually selected and while I was employed at SBT, I got myself two other post graduate degrees in M.A (English Literature) and M.A (Public Administration).
Today, if I remember all those things, I feel that the Lord chose me in my mother’s womb, that was the reason why the Lord’s grace always followed me. Though I abandoned him, he did not forsake me. ‘Though your mother or father leaves you, I will never leave you’. I experienced this promise in my life. When my parents and brothers came to know that I got a job in a bank, they were surprised. My mother wrote a letter saying – ‘Daughter, it was the Lord who gave you that job. Gold will shine wherever it is. You must shine like gold for the Lord.’ When I read the letter I got angry. I thought – ‘When I worked hard and got a job, she is telling me it is because of the Lord. These people really do not have any sense.’
My mother loved my very much. Just because she could not bear our separation, she became bedridden. At that time she was 53 years old. When she was young, she was very healthy and active. She was a woman of great capability. She used to do the complete work very quickly. A mother like that was bed ridden. She was in such a situation where she could not get up and walk. When I got a job my parents were not happy about it. They thought – ‘So long she at least listened to our words, but now she is earning handful, will she now listen to what we say?’ Immediately they started looking out for proposals for me. They thought that I would improve if I get married and have a family. My father struggled a lot to look for a proposal for me. I turned as a headache to my parents. I got 28 proposals and I rejected all of them. My brother wrote a letter saying that in this case how I would get married. I replied that I do not wish to get married and would like to remain as a spinster. Finally my mother wrote a letter – ‘Daughter, we are tired looking for proposals for you. This is the last proposal. My situation is such that anything can happen at anytime. If you do not agree to this proposal then I might have to close my eyes without seeing you married. If you love and respect us, please accept this proposal.’ When I read the letter I was moved. Anyways I do not like to get married, but at least for the sake of my mother I will. They called me up and told that the proposal is from Hyderabad and hence I have to come down to meet the groom. I questioned that, usually it is the boy who comes to meet the girl and not the other way round. They were troubled when they heard these words. They kept on calling me to come to Hyderabad till I agreed. I did not like it at all to sit through the marriage discussion. I got dressed up for the sake of my mother and sat before them. According to the will of God, I got married to Mr. Cherian in the year 1980.
Family Life: He works in Indian Airlines. He cannot get transferred, so I got transferred to Hyderabad branch and came down. The will of the Lord will anyways be done in the lives of his children no matter what may come. Though my parents sent me to Kerala, which is 2000 KM’s away from Hyderabad, but still the Lord brought me back. In this way I and Mr. Cherian started our family life over here. The Lord blessed us and granted us a beautiful daughter in the year 1982. The child was so pretty that I used to keep on looking at her 24 hours and enjoyed it. I named her Tara. We pampered her and brought her up very lovingly. The child was my life. I dress her up prettily and took her along with me. I used to feel proud of her and buy her many things. My mother scolded me saying – ‘If you love anything more than the Lord, he will take it away from you. The thing that is attractive in your eyes will be taken away in one shot by the Lord. You love your daughter more than the Lord. Beware! The Lord will punish you’. I did not pay any heed to her words.
When she was three and a half years old, I enrolled her in the school. I bought her a school dress, bag and books. I arranged her rickshaw to take her to school. I also arranged for a maid. Within two days she would be going to school. By then, the child fell ill and died suddenly.
The daughter whom I brought up so fondly dies before my eyes. I could not bear it and went it in to shock. Everything looked like vacuum to me. The thought of suicide kept on following me. First of all I thought that there was no God, moreover I did not have any knowledge on the word of God. I did not have the strength to bear the pain of this wound. At that time, a child of God, Sister Eunice Richards used to visit my house everyday. Though I asked her not to come, but still she kept on coming everyday. She was always along with me and kept on comforting me with the word of God. She said prophetically – “The Lord has caused this wound for your good. The Lord is going to use you mightily for his ministry”. I scolded her for saying so. First of all I was troubled on losing my daughter and she was saying that the Lord would use me for his ministry. I told her that I do not like such things and asked her not to talk like that again. I also told her that I would be happy if she stopped coming to my house. But she had the love of God in her. Though I said no, she still kept coming everyday and prayed for me.
One day my father came to visit me. He felt sad when he saw my condition. He quoted a verse from Isaiah 53:10 “The Lord says – It was my will that he should suffer” and prayed for me. At that time I did not understand those words. I didn’t even know that those words were from the Holy Bible. After gaining the knowledge of the word, I came to know the depth of that verse.
In the year 1985, after my daughter’s death I turned towards the Lord though I said there was no God. From 1985 to 1992, for those 7 years I came very close to the Lord. The Lord lifted me up and made me sit in his presence. I used to get up early in the morning at 4 ‘O clock and meditate on the word of God for hours together. I spent my time in prayer. I developed a very close relationship with the Lord. When I was in trouble, the comforting seeds that the sister sowed started bearing fruits now. When I saw all those verses in the Bible, I was surprised. Previously I had read many books, but never came across a wonderful book like the Bible. Day by day, my interest for the Lord’s word kept on increasing. By spending more time in the presence of the Lord, experiencing the Lord’s presence made me change gradually. On June 19th 1992, I got a vision. On June 20th, he enabled me to conduct my first meeting. The power of the Lord came down on me so strongly that in one day I visited hundreds of houses and invited them for the meeting. Previously I was very reserved, not even talking to my neighbors. Till then my husband, my children, my job and my home was my world. My behavior was such that I never used to talk to anybody at least for namesake. It was a very surprising thing to me that, in a single day I visited hundreds of houses. Even when I think of the way the Spirit of the Lord changed me. During the initial days of my ministries, I was not good in Telugu. I did not have the capability to speak, though I had learnt Telugu in my school. I could not talk without stammering as I was not habituated to speak in that language. I speak in English at office and Malayalam at home. Reading the Bible in English did not give me a good hold in Telugu. Neither did I have a good knowledge of the language nor the knowledge of the word. Neither did I have the gift of singing, nor the gift of praying for the sick for healing. Whenever I see a large crowd my heart used to beat fast. The Lord anointed a weak person like me with his Holy Spirit and is now using me mightily for his glory.
During the initial 3 years of my ministry, which is from 1992 to 1995, I used to invite choir to sing songs, preachers to deliver the word of God, workers with the healing gift to pray for the sick. I used to spend a lot for this. I never asked anyone for money. I had faith that the Lord who called me for his ministry will provide for all my needs. Women’s meeting was held on the second Saturday of every month from 2 PM to 6 PM, only one meeting for the month. At that time my work was to struggle to find the address of the pastors and organize for the speakers. I did not know how to preach, so I invited speakers. I also invited singers and those who pray. Inviting people for this work involves much cost. I started feeling it as a burden. Is this a ministry that I am doing? Did the Lord really call me for his ministry? If at all he called me then why I’m depending on others? I went to my mother with these doubts in my mind and shared them with her with a burden. “Mother, I cannot continue this ministry anymore. Till now I have taken a loan of Rs.10, 000.” My mother scolded me when I said that I could not go on like this. She said that no man who places his hand on the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of heaven. I questioned my mother like this – “If the Lord really called me for this ministry, then why is he not filling me with his Sprit and using me? Why am I depending on others?” My mother said – “The Lord who trusted you and gave you this ministry, will he not give you the required tools? Will he not give you the ability to speak in Telugu? There is nothing impossible to the Lord”. She placed her hand on my head and prayed for me like this – “Lord, for few years I had been praying for the salvation of this daughter. You are a God who can do great things than what we can ask or imagine. You have saved my daughter and called her to do your ministry. Touch her mouth and grant her the ability to speak. Kindly grant her the ability to speak in Telugu fluently and anoint her with your Holy Spirit.” I experience an unknown boldness. I was filled with a new power. My mother was satisfied when she saw me being used in the ministry mightily and slept in the Lord in the year 1993.
The same day I went to the Bible Society and asked for a Telugu Bible. When they saw me they thought that I was a Malayalee, but were surprised to see me asking for a Telugu Bible. I wanted a Telugu Bible so I bought it. From that day till this day I have the Telugu Bible in my hand. I meditate on the word of God in Telugu. In the year 1996 I decided to fast and pray for 50 days in the presence of the Lord by applying loss of pay leave in the bank, so that the Lord might anoint me and use me for his ministry. My husband and my relatives did not like it when I applied leave in the bank for the sake of the ministry. They came to me and said – ‘Joy, you have gone mad. The Lord gave you a good job in the bank. He gave you a good husband and children. You have all the requirements to live like a queen. But why are you still saying ministry. If a woman does ministry, the family will fall down. Your children will get spoilt.” They discouraged me like this. But I was not worried at all. The Lord who called me is faithful and I developed a faith that my family would not get destroyed. In the year 1996 I spent 50 days in fasting prayer and meditating on the word of God, just by consuming liquids like coconut water and fruit juices. “But those who trust in the LORD for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” Isaiah 40:31. He fulfilled this promise in my life. I received a new power and new strength. Through experience I came to know that man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. When I sat in the presence of the Lord, he granted me many visions. In my visions he showed me many idolaters, bribers, drunkards and the wicked people getting changes. I also saw the Lord touching my tongue and I was speaking mightily.
One day, the speaker whom I arranged did not turn up. The room was filled with people. What to do now? While I was getting worried the Lord told me – “From now on, there is no need for anybody else to share the word. You stand up and preach the word. I will be with you and help you.” I was frightened. At that time my father also came to that meeting. I did not have the braveness to preach before him. Immediately I went inside and made phone calls to 4 pastors. They refused to come saying that it would not be possible as I let them know at the last moment. The spirit of the Lord is saying – ‘everything is happening according to my will. You stand up and preach my word to the people.’ Immediately I obeyed to the Lord’s word and preached for one and a half hour continuously in Telugu. After the meeting, people came to me and said – “From now on we do not need any other preachers to come and preach. You must only share the word.” The Lord filled me with his spirit and used me wonderfully on that day. Praise the Lord. The Lord supplied all my needs according to his riches in glory. From that day onwards I started meditating on the word of God for hours together and preached to the people.
In the year 1997, the Lord gave me a vision about the cross, and asked me to conduct meditations on it. In that year we held the meditations on the cross for 3 days, by conducting 2 sessions on each day, one speaker in the morning and the other in the afternoon. In this way 6 speakers were arranged for 3 days, for the fasting prayers and the meditations on the cross. In 1998, we had 40 days meditation on the cross. For 10 days we meditated on the history of martyrs. By the power of the Lord, I solely preached the word for all the days. It is madness for the people who are perishing, but it is the Lord’s power for the children of God who are saved. The Lord used me to do this great work. For 50 days I shared the word of God to the people as a lone speaker. In the year 2006, I was able to arrange for 100 days, everyday from 4 to 7 in the morning. This is a mighty work by the Lord. Not by might, nor by power, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit it was possible. Thousands of people were blessed.
Vision: The ministry was started for women, but slowly men also started coming. During the initial days of my ministry, when I preached and slept, I had a vision in which I saw a pair of slippers. The slippers were very big, similar to the ones which men wear. It had very thick and big stitches. Usually shepherds wear such slippers. The Lord was speaking to me very clearly. “My daughter, get up and wear these slippers.” I did not agree to it. “Lord, I am a woman. I must wear very delicate slippers. A shepherd must wear such rough slippers. Why are you asking me to wear? Father, I will not wear them.” The Lord said – “If you get up and listen to my word, you will be blessed”. In my vision it self, I said “yes Lord, according to your will I will wear it.” I got up and wore it. People who see it might find it very funny. That is what is happening now. People are surprised seeing a woman wearing the slippers of a shepherd. I submitted myself to the Lord’s word. Truly the Lord has now made me to lead a church.
Another day, I saw a vision in which there was a sword in the sky. It was very big. I saw it and asked – “Lord, how this blunt sword can become sharp?” I heard two words – “Prayer” and “Word of God”. Since then I started the prayer ministry in our church. Fasting prayers, chain prayers, early morning prayers, all night prayers and prayer cell were started. Dear children of God, since when the Lord called me to do his ministry till this day, I never started a work without the permission of the Lord. I am saying this boldly with a clear conscience and a true heart standing in the presence of the Lord. Never did I do any work for name or fame, or expecting honor or for selfish motives or for the sake of money. I had written down every word and vision that the Lord spoke to me. I keep praying, so that it can be fulfilled at the right time.
The Lord told me one day – “Every word that you speak are not the words spoken by a woman, but by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not have gender difference. I have anointed you. From now on men will start coming to this fellowship to listen to the word of God. They will repent and accept the Lord.” Those words were fulfilled in the year 1998. In 1998, terrible drunkards along with their family members of about 21 members got saved and took baptism. They abandoned the idols they worshiped and turned towards the true God.
In the year 1998 we invited Dr. G Samuel for the U.W.F (United Women’s Fellowship) anniversary. He preached on the verse Habakkuk 3:2 “O LORD, I have heard of what you have done, and I am filled with awe. Now do again in our times the great deeds you used to do. Be merciful, even when you are angry.” The pastor mentioned a word that day – “So long this ministry has been called U.W.F, but going forward it will become U.P.F (United Peoples Fellowship)”. I considered the words of that saint as a prophecy and made a note of it in my diary. The Lord will fulfill the words spoken by his servant. According to the word spoken by the child of God, U.W.F was changed to U.P.F. We started Sunday evening worship. By the grace of the Lord we were able to start many great things. The ministry started spreading gradually. On one hand I had my job in the bank and on the other hand I had my family, my husband, 3 children, my father who was in his old age and the burden to do the ministry. For a woman to do so many things, it is possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit. I had opposition at home as well as outside. “Why is a woman leading a church?” many people asked such questions. My husband said “Do you want me or this ministry? Choose and tell me”. I said I wanted my family as well as the ministry. In spite of the opposition I did not disobey the calling of the Lord. By the help of the Lord I could withstand the hurdle and proceed further. In everything the Lord’s hand was with me and led me.
Gradually I lost interest in the job that I had in the Bank. For the sake of the ministry, I applied much Loss of pay leaves. One day the Lord said – “Leave your job in the bank and do full time ministry”. Then I said – “Lord, if I quit my job, then what about the finances? Who will feed me?” He promised me that – “If you listen to my words, I will bless you and increase you like the stars in the sky.” For 2 years I did not obey the voice of the Lord. I experienced illness in my body. I again kept the job in my prayers. When I go to the bank, I use the stairs to climb. While I am climbing I keep praying. Many prayed for me. In the year 2001, first time in the history of the bank, a golden handshake scheme was introduced. That means an employee can take voluntary retirement without incurring any losses but only benefits. I immediately applied for voluntary retirement, thinking that the Lord has introduced this only for me. According to the great plan I got released from the bank. Since 2001, I have been doing full time ministry. Many discouraged me by saying that, how would I manage if I leave my job. I was also afraid. The Lord has been so faithful and blessed us so much that we now have an office staff to take care of the ministry. Now I am paying their salary. Praise the Lord! He is a great God!!
I started this ministry alone, but I always prayed that I and my family should serve the Lord. The Lord heard my prayers. Now both of my sons, Akhil and Nikhil are supporting me a lot in this ministry. My daughter Cheryl takes care of the household work by giving instructions to the workers. The Lord has specially blessed them. Once upon a time Mr. Cherian said – “I do not want this ministry. If you do this ministry I will leave you.” But now he attends the worship service regularly. My brother Pastor A.N. Abraham is also supporting me. The Lord has granted office staff and volunteers for the ministry. The Lord had fulfilled the promise – ‘The lonely one among them will be converted to hundreds’. The Lord has been spreading this ministry day by day. The ministry is spreading in all the four directions. Even I do not show any difference in denominations, but I go there and share the word of God. Not only in the twin cities, but also in various parts of Andhra Pradesh, the Lord has given me his grace to preach the word. As our Lord was with our forefathers, so also the Lord is with me and helping me.
In the year 2003, my father Pastor A.N. Mathew, who served for 65 years, slept in the Lord at the age of 85. To continue this great ministry that he has left, the Lord has been using me, my brother Pastor A.M. Abraham and Pastor V.T Mathew (My sister’s son). The Lord has also been using some of my family members in various places.
I would like to share with you all, as to how the Lord of our forefathers had fulfilled the promises that he had given to them in my life as well.
God of Abraham: In Genesis 22nd chapter, we see that Abraham did not go back to sacrifice his only son. So also, I never stepped in doing what the Lord commanded me. Whatever I loved most, I gave it up for the Lord. The Lord asked me to leave my job in the bank and do full time ministry. I obeyed the Lord and left the worldly desires. I resigned my job in the bank and submitted myself completely to the Lords ministry. So the Lord fulfilled the promise that he gave to Abraham. The Lord Promised Abraham that – “You did not go back in sacrificing your only son, so I will bless your family like the stars in the heavens and like the sand in the sea.” The same promise was fulfilled in my life. The Lord has blessed me abundantly. I am waiting for the complete fulfillment of the promise.
“I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2
“I promise that I will give you as many descendants as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the seashore. Your descendants will conquer their enemies.” Genesis 22:17
God of Isaac: The lord blessed Isaac step by step. When he sowed the seeds, he reaped the harvest in hundreds; similarly the Lord blessed me, my family and my ministry gradually. He gave us victory in each and everything that we started. Initially we started our ministry U.W.F only for women, but later on it changed to U.P.F. We have started United Youths Fellowship for the youngsters. Now we are conducting Young Women’s Fellowship and Young Men’s Fellowship. For those who are above sixty years, we have United Elders Fellowship. Every Sunday we have the ministry for children. When we started, we had only one worship service. But now we have early morning worship from 5:00 to 8:30 and evening worship from 5:30 to 5:30. Every moth we have about 4 to 5 all night prayers and fasting prayers every Friday. We are also conducting early morning prayers, Bible study and many other programs. We are also ministering to the widows.
This ministry which was started only for women has now been blessed abundantly by our faithful Lord. He promised that if we are faithful in small things, he would make us ruler over many things. The words of the Lord will never pass away. If the lord has commanded, he will definitely fulfill it. I had shared the word in every church without showing any difference. The Lord has been using me for his glory in CSI, Baptist, Methodist, Mennonite, Hebron and Catholic churches. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah!! This work is only by the Lord. It is amazing to our eyes.
God of Jacob: Jacob was a deceiver. He deceived his father and stole the blessings of his brother Esau. He was afraid of this brother, so he ran to a far place from his father’s house. After many years, he again returned to his father’s house. When I was young I did not obey my parents. So they sent me to a very far place Kerala. I returned to Hyderabad for my marriage after many years. According to our country’s customs, after marriage, the girl separates from her parents and stays at her husbands place. The thoughts and plans that the Lord has towards those who fear him are very great, similar to the greatness of the heaven from the earth. Traditions and customs were beaten down in the name of Jesus. The Lord has chosen me to continue this great ministry that my father started. Praise the Lord. The Lord enabled me to return to my father’s house and continue the ministry of my father. The Lord of Jacob has been with me.
God of Elijah: It happened many times such that I had taken many loans for the ministry. I cried and prayed to the Lord. Immediately the Lord heard my prayers and many came forward to help me financially. In this way I was able to repay my loans. The Lord commanded the ravens to feed the prophet Elijah. He used a poor widow. Similarly the Lord fulfilled all our needs by encouraging others to help. Not only that, the ministry increased so much that there was no place to sit inside and many had to sit outside to listen to the word of God. When we prayed, the Lord made the weather comfortable, so that it was not a hindrance to the worship service. Even though there were dark clouds and great winds were blowing, it stopped that moment itself. This is the Lord’s doing. In the city of Hyderabad, when there was lack of drinking water, we started the Elijah prayer cell in our church. The same year we had good rains and all the water reservoirs were filled. In the similar way the Lord of Elijah had been my Lord in my life. Elijah did many wonders and miracles. Similarly the Lord gave me the gift of doing wonders wherever I stepped.
God of Daniel: When Daniel was put in the lion’s den, he was calm. Likewise, even I was in the midst of people who were like lion. They hurt me with their harsh words. But still I did not lose my calmness. I overcame it through prayers and the Lord helped me. That day the Lord shut the mouth of the lion; the same Lord was with me and gave me victory.
God of Joseph: The Lord lifted me up from the pit of sin and adorned me with salvation. I should have been partaker of hell, but the lord lifted me up with his love and compassion. He saved me and gave me his grace to do his ministry. He made me to sit with kings and officers. That is why the God of Joseph is my God.
God of David: The Lord showed me his eternal grace like he did to David. When I had many weaknesses he gave me the promise – “Though the mountains be removed and the hills depart, but my kindness shall not depart from you”. When the daughter whom I loved so much passed away before my eyes, I was filled with suicidal thoughts. But the Lord granted me eternal life and used me for this wonderful ministry. Many times I suffered due to illness. There were circumstances when the doctors scared me. When I prayed, the Lord wonderfully held out his hand and healed me. I was healed by his stripes. I was delivered from many problems through the blood that he shed. The eternal grace that was showered on David was also experienced by me.
God of Moses: I did not have the fluency in Telugu language. The Lord touched my tongue and anointed me to preach in Telugu continuously. He gave me the word like springs of water. He who believes in me, from his stomach the rivers of living waters shall flow. He gave me the leadership skills to lead the people like Moses. When I knelt and prayer – “Lord, How should I lead these people you have given me?” The Lord immediately granted me good thoughts, power and ability to lead. He who is in me is mightier than the one who is in the world. I experienced much opposition. I cannot share everything with you. Even in those circumstances, the word of the Lord has been a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I corrected myself in the light of the Lord’s word and kept on moving forward. Many questioned me – “Can a woman be a leader? Can a woman lead a church?” I looked deeply into the word of God. I waited in the presence of the Lord for hours together. I researched why Paul the Apostle asked women to be quiet. When we look into the word of God, many women supported Paul in his ministry. When we look at Romans 16th chapter, Paul was thanking many women who supported him in his Gospel ministry. The portion of word which strengthened me is Galatians 3:26-28 “It is through faith that all of you are God’s children in union with Christ Jesus. You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, so to speak, with the life of Christ himself. So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.” In this way, the Lord gave me the leadership as he gave to Moses.
God of Paul: Previously, Paul was a torturer, blasphemer and dangerous. The Lord trusted his and gave him the ministry. I also have similar experiences. I never searched the Lord. I turned into an atheist saying that there is no God. But the Lord got me near to himself with love. He corrected and punished me, comforted me with his love, filled me with the holy spirit and gave me this wonderful ministry. Saul who tortured the church was changed to Paul the apostle by the Lord. Even I was an atheist who preached that there was no God. But now by the Love of the Lord, he has made me a saint to do his ministry. I said that there was no God through my mouth, now I am spreading the love of the Lord 24 hours a day. In this way the Lord changed my life.
My God: In this way the God of my forefathers has been my God and fulfilled the promises in my life. He has been my God and leading me every moment. Everyday I am praying, listening to the voice of the Lord, doing his will and experiencing his grace. I am ready to do anything which the Lord commands me to do. I am able to say “My God” so boldly because I have developed such a close relationship with the Lord. Whatever I pray in the presence of the Lord, I am receiving the answer quickly. When I pray for the sick, he is healing them.
When I bless someone, it is turning in to a blessing to them. The lord is sealing every word that I say. When I am preaching the word, thieves, evildoers, murderers, drunkards, adulterers and bribers have been changed. They are turning towards the Lord. When I pray for the barren women, the Lord is opening their womb. Those who did not have job got a good job. When I prayed for those who were in financial problems and wanted to commit suicide, when I prayed for them, they started receiving blessings. Shattered families were being built again. This is a proof that the Lord is with me. This church has been changed in a miraculous way. The Lord has kept his eye upon this church and has been listening to the prayers that are being done here. If God be for us, who can be against us?
Every day, I pray many times for the filling of the Holy Spirit and the help of the Lord. He has anointed me with his gifts. When the car runs out of petrol, we take it to the filling station to get it refilled; similarly even I get filled in the Holy Spirit, so that I can be complete. Through prayers I can receive from the springs of the Lord abundantly. My desire is that I and my household should serve the Lord. I am doing the Lord’s work faithfully so the Lord is also doing my personal work. I never doubt the power of the Lord. I am doing great things for the Lord and I am moving forward with his help. The Lord has chosen me in my mother’s womb and has been along with me throughout. I tasted and saw that the Lord is good. When I came across circumstances where I did not have any direction, he showed me the direction. He is my councilor. When I did not have peace, the Lord of peace was with me and gave me his great peace, which is above all. He promised that he will give the entire human race as a property.
I trusted in the Lord of our forefathers and was never ashamed. After reading my testimony, do you get the feeling to serve the Lord? Do you want to accept Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior? This is the right time. This is the day of salvation, so turn towards the Lord. He is the Lord of all. He is sufficient for us. In our weakness, he is our strength. He was tempted and he is a helper to those who are being tempted. He will do the great miracles that he has done in my life, even in your life. He will fill you with his Holy Sprit. He will use you for his glorious ministry. He will be your shepherd. Throughout the days of your life, goodness and mercy shall follow you. He will forgive your shortcomings, fill you with his sprit and make you a blessing to many for the glory of God. By my testimony, I can say that, it is not a common thing to minister unto the Lord. He can do anything for you. I count it a blessing to do his glorious ministry. I need your prayers. In 2001, I resigned my job from the bank and got into fulltime ministry. “You have done many things for us, O LORD our God; there is no one like you! You have made many wonderful plans for us. I could never speak of them all— their number is so great!” Psalms 40:5
My happiness lies in fulfilling the Lord’s will. I give the first place to the Lord. After the separation from my eldest daughter, whom I loved very much, I understood the Lord’s plans and its greatness. I gave up the precious things in this world and chose to do the precious Lord’s ministry. By the Lords grace and vision, I started my teaching on the 1000 titles of God, 1000 promises of God, 1000 commands from God and power of prayer series for the past 2 years, during the worship service every Sunday. The Lord has been leading me with the Holy Spirit to preach and sow the word abundantly. Praise the Lord!.