This ministry was started in the year 1989. It is always remarkable to be nostalgic about the past and the foundation of the early church. I lived in Trichy in 1988 and was helping Bro. Nellai Kumar in ministry. It was then I came to know about the Pudukkottai district and its surrounding villages. The gospel team with whom I was working at that time selected some of the villages and asked us to do ministry there.
Four brothers including myself started to a village called Gandarvakottai by bi-cycle and traveled about 64 km from Trichy. After ministering for a few days the brothers with me left the place due to some reason. But the Lord insisted me to stay back, so I did not go with them. As I was a young boy nobody came forward to lend me a room to stay and therefore my life went on traveling on the bicycle for 6 months. In the morning before the school starts, I used to gather small children under a tree and teach them songs, bible stories, and memory verses. In the afternoon I used to eat the mid-day meal provided by the Government in the school.
A fisherman offered me his cycle by which he would sell his fishes, which had a big carrier. I took it from him and tied a carton box to it. All I owned was a sack, a Bible and some gospel tracts. This was my only property. After I finish the children’s ministry I used to rest in the widespread Cashew forest and at night used to sleep in the veranda of the old CSI church. The caretaker of that church always used to share many things with me. One day he told me about Swedish and German Missionaries and their ministries in those areas. Some of his testimonies created a great Zeal within me and when I heard about Rev.Paul Sandegren and his ministry work, it made me understand how important it is for me to serve the Lord in this village. However, big can I achieve being a young boy? Shivering in the cold and sometimes coughing during dry winds, I spent many nights, about 6 months in front of the old Church veranda.
I went in search of rooms with some boys. We found a retired old man from the Railways, who had lost for his wife and was living alone. His children lived elsewhere and it was an advantage for us to approach him. At last, the old grandfather agreed to spare me a room. It was a small house, in it he proposed to divide his hall and shared a portion with me on a condition to pay a rent of Rupees one hundred (100/-) on the 5th of every month. If not paid on 5th then must vacate the room immediately. I accepted all his conditions and stayed in that house. Every day the old man used to get up at 5’O clock and recite all the Hindu slogans. I thought, for a lifeless god if this man seems to be so pious then how much more should I be to worship the creator and living God. The zeal within me woke me by 4 O’clock every morning .and sing praises to our Living God.
On one side the old man used to shout his slogans on the other side I would raise my voice and sing and this will continue from 4 – 6 a.m. every day. When I come out of the house, the neighbors would say “Either you change yourself to his religion or convert him to your religion. Why do you kill us every morning”? But the old man loved me and he used to teach me how to cook and we ate together. This was how I started to spend my youth full days with a great deal of passion for God.
It was an evening and we both sat outside and were having a chat. While the old man said, Jesus is just a man and he is not a God to worship. Immediately I arose with anger because this man has simply judged our living God and not knowing His power he has spoken. With much anger in my mind and spirit, I left to lose my words which gave room to raise a storm in my life.
I answered; let it be to your understanding that whom I worship is a man and not god. But all you worship are devils and none of them are God. Immediately after I told this the old man and started to fume in anger and he rose up and said that he will give me 15 days’ time by then I must vacate this house. He went inside his house and I was totally upset. I went into my room and cried all night to God with a burden and sought his guidance and the Lord comforted me. The next day a brother came in search of me. Those days, I used to drive demon spirits from people in the villages. Many used to come to me for such deliverance’s and this old man used to enjoy watching the way the spirits manifest and get deliverance in the name of Jesus.
This brother was a young boy; I asked him to come inside and prayed for him. As I kept my hands on him I found that he was possessed with a spirit as I kept praying the spirit started to manifest like a snake with a loud show. As I commanded the spirits in the name of Jesus it started to tell its names and they were names of the Hindu Gods. It was a great astonishment to me; the gods whom the old man argued the previous day as his gods were manifested as devils from the young boy.
That night there happened a change in the heart of the old man. The next day he called me into his room. When I went, there was a great surprise waiting for me. All the idol photos were removed from the wall and were tied together. He said,” I accept that Jesus is the only true God. You buy a bible and songbook for me.” From that day, he started to hold Jesus and accepted Him as his personal savior. He owned 67 cents of land in that area and he took me in that place one day. He told me you can take any 2 grounds which you like and said I am giving you my land to build a church. It was the first property for the church and the first church of our mission.