“The branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified” Isaiah 60.2l.
I came from a poor Hindu family in the village called Musnoor of Nellore districtof South India. Even though I was an idolworshipper, I had the fear of God in me and was performing many poojas and ceremonies in my own Hindu way. I had the fear of God but no peace of mind and no power to change my sinful life.
As my family was poor and my father was unable to work, I had a desire to secure a job but in spite of many trials I could not secure one and this led me to seek many more gods and their blessings. The only result was I became still more peace less.
About 10 miles from my village there was the town Bitragunta in which there was a big railway workshop wherein about two or three thousand people were employed. I often used to go there to try for a job but returned every time disappointed and dejected.
Finally, knowing that only the sons of railway employees would be entertained in the railway department, I paid a bribe to get myself falsely certified as the son of a railway employee and thus was employed in the railway shed at Bitragunta but soon after was transferred to Gudur. At that time I had no idea whatever of the sin of deception I had played in securing the job which was then to me my god. As I was merrily going along the path of sin without the least fear or remorse for sin, one day I met a band of Christians standing in a street corner, singing songs and preaching something with their megaphones. Attracted by these, I went near and heard them say that Christ Jesus had come into this world to save sinners. The thought that I was a sinner, and that Christ Jesus came into the world to forgive my sins, flashed into my heart, bringing with it a great joy. I began to follow the company of those Christians who later on spoke to me something more about Jesus Christand invited me to a Gospel meeting thesame evening at 6.30p.m. near the railway quarters. I did attend the meeting as I had promised and the Spirit of God then and there convicted me that I was a sinner that the Lord Jesus Christ had come into this world to bear my sins. I went home from the meeting but I cannot describe in human words how I spent that night of agony of mind and unrestrained tears as I remembered my past sinful life and confessed my sins to the Lord Jesus Christ. As I did so, a deep hatred for sin, for self and the world took hold of my heart. After that memorable night, I began to spend almost my every spare hour both during day and night in a nearby jungle in prayer.
Even though an entire change was thus brought into my life, the thought of my having secured a job producing a false evidence that I was the son of a railway employee began to haunt me and I could not bear the thought of dying with that sin stain upon my conscience. I used to feel that eternal hell was awaiting me with open jaws. Thus I was under constant fear and was afraid to be in the company of saved ones. I wanted to give up my job secured by false means, but as my family was very poor, I could not make up my mind to do so.
As I one day went to the neighbouring jungle and prayed very earnestly about this sin, God showed me very clearly that I should be prepared to lose even my job and to suffer for the sake of righteousness. The Lord also revealed to me that if I was prepared to suffer for His sake, I should also be prepared not to ask anyone even for a cup of coffee or for a single
anna and be prepared to go where he would send me. I then went home and told my wife all that the Lord had told me. I had never before told my wife about the false way I secured the job. I also told her that I intended to confess the truth to the railway authorities, take cheerfully whatever punishment they might give me, leave her in her parents’ place at Bangalore until the time something was decided by the railway authorities and then to serve the Lord together.
I then made an open confession in writing to the railway authorities concerned. In that confessional statement I mentioned that I had secured the appointment I was holding by falsification of facts, that I was then a Hindu, that I had subsequently yielded my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and been saved and hence I felt it to be my obligation to make an open
confession of my sin in fraudently securing my job.
I sent the above confessional letter by registered post directly to the name of the District Traffic Superintendent to be sure that it would not fall into any other hands. After I had sent the above mentioned letter a fear that I might be arrested and sent to jail began to haunt me.
The first result of my written confession was that I was sent an official memo asking me to explain why I should not be dismissed from service for securing a job by falsification of facts. When this was known publicly, all those in the railway office and all the officers there, some for what they called myself righteousness and others for what they called my
foolishness, abused me.
In reply to the above abuses, I could boldly but humbly say that I was more concerned about my soul’s welfare than that of my body and that the Lord Jesus Christ under whose
wings I had come to trust would undertake for me.
Later on I received an official memo asking me to appear before the D.T.S.P. in his office at Bezwada for personal enquiry. To add to all these troubles and abuses, many began to tell
me to my face that I would never escape unpunished for what I had done. I arrived at Bezwada for personal enquiry but there also many railway servants began to question me about all that had happened but I was able to answer them all prayerfully. I appeared
before the D.T.S.P. but as my custom was, since my conversion, I had my big Telugu Bible in my hand. This officer questioned me if I did not know at the time of my joining the railway service that it was wrong to produce false evidence to secure a job. I answered saying that I even then knew it was wrong, but never knew it was a sin and that eternal hell was punishment for sin. I also requested that I might be pardoned for what I had done in partial ignorance. I was given a railway pass the same evening and asked to go back to Gudur to
In those days I was praying that the Lord would save me from being dismissed during the rainy season but in summer as I could then live with my wife under any tree even though I might have no other shelter.
In October 1953 there was a very heavy rain which was quite unusual, and Cholera broke out in the place in an epidemic form, and my wife who was then in her 8th month of pregnancy, was attacked by the same on 22nd October 1953. All my brothers in the Lord at that place had left for the holy convocation at “Eiim” in Hyderabad and thus I was deprived of all human help. From the 20th there was a very heavy .and continuous rain. On 23rd October 1953 at 3 p.m., driven by this desperate situation, I was kneeling by the bedside of
my wife crying to the Lord, my only Help, for mercy, when I heard someone knocking at my door. When I opened the same, I saw a man in a very sad state and asked him why he was so sad. He told me that orders for my dismissal from service had been received and that I was wanted in the railway office immediately.
The messenger who brought this sad and evil news was: one Mr. Ekambaram who was also working with me in the railway shed. He had been living once in terrible sin and used to mock me while I was telling to others about my Saviour Jesus Christ, but after some time he too was saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and became my brother in Christ and my co-witness for Christ in the railway shed. As soon as I heard the news a sudden fear took hold of me. I had completed 8 years of railway service by that time. Just a few days previously they received orders of my promotion but now the orders of my dismissal. I, with a broken heart, conveyed the sad news of my dismissal to my wife fearing the consequences of the
same on her but most unexpectedly a miracle happened: The vomiting immediately stopped and she began to rest very quietly.
I then went to the office only to receive the order of my dismissal and the pay for the days I had worked during the month. People began to gather in groups all over the railway plat-
form and all the topic was about me. Various people began to talk in various ways. All was about the man who had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, confessed his fault and was dismissed.
I was allowed to remain in my quarters in the railway colony for a few days longer but I was freely subjected to all kinds of abuses and discouraging words by all kinds of people in the colony.
Three or four days after my dismissal my parents, having heard about the same, came to my house and my mother fell on the ground and began to weep, all because they did not
know my Lord properly and were discouraged. Others, seeing the weeping of my mother and the sad state of those that accompanied her, began to heap abuses openly and freely.
But I had a joy and encouragement in the Lord amidst all these things, when I looked away to Him. One night I entrusted some of my belongings to some of my neighbours requesting them to return the same to me at some future date and took the train to Bangalore as three of my wife’s brothers were employed there and her parents were also there.
I left my wife at Bangalore in her parents’ house and returned to Gudur. One day as I was much burdened about my family and the salvation of my parents, I began to spend the night in earnest prayer. That night at about 2 or 3 a.m., I dreamed a dream in which I saw my father lying down beside me and weeping aloud. I asked him the reason for the same
and he thus replied: “My son, you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, confessed the truth and lost your job and how are you going to live now in this world?” I told my father
about the great love of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His cross. For this my father replied, “The Lord Jesus Christ whom you have believed is a holy One and Came into this world to save
sinners and hence I also have believed on Him.” As soon as he said that Christ Jesus was also his Saviour, I embraced my mother and kissed her. The same moment my father breathed his last. All this was revealed to me in a dream on the night of 20th November
1953. A great fear took hold of me and I could not sleep the rest of the night.
The next morning I informed some of my brothers in Christ about my dream and my fears, and took a bus to go to my father’s place which was about 60 miles from where I then was. Having travelled 50 miles by bus I stopped in a village called Kovoorpalla where there were a few believers and spent the night there giving the Gospel to the villagers. The next morning I took a bus again and reached my village at 8 a.m. As my father’s house was very near the bus stop, I could see from the bus stand a crowd of people standing in front of my house. As I approached my house my people fell upon my neck and began to weep and asked me who had informed me about my father’s death so soon. I was informed that my father had expired just half-an-hour before my arrival. I told them that my Lord had revealed the same to me in a dream. I then cried to the Lord in the anguish of my heart, saying “Lord, dost Thou not like that I should see my father before his death?” As if in answer to my prayer I had a thought in my mind that had I arrived at the house before my father’s death, my father, instead of passing away with peace in his heart and prayer upon his lips as he actually did, might have been disturbed at the sight of me his son and the manner of his death might have been different. I was told that my father passed away bidding farewell to those around him and in prayer. This news was a great source of comfort to me and I was indeed filled with joy. After my father’s funeral, I set out to preach the Gospel and did so for 9 days in the villages all along the shore of Bay of Bengal and finally reached Ongole, the Taluk head-quarters and on Sunday the 29th November, 1953, at 10 a.m. I gave the Lord’s message in the Telugu Baptist Church there at the request of Dr.
Boehr who was the medical officer there. I gave the Lord’s message on Monday morning in the hospital church to the nurses, patients and other workers in the hospital and then
proceeded to Gudur where I had been working and dismissed from service.
There I received a letter from my wife at Bangalore that she had given birth to a baby boy on Sunday 29th November 1953. Even though I had a desire to proceed to Bangalore to see
my new-born child I could not do so until January 1954 as I was engaged in the Lord’s work in Gudur itself. As the Lord had made it very plain to me that I should proceed to Banga-
lore, I started for Bangalore by bus on 13th January and reached Madanapalle of Chittoor Dt. I had money on hand to travel only so far.
As I reached Madanapalle at 6 p.m. and had no bus fare to proceed further, I made up my mind to sleep there in the bus-stand itself and proceed by walking to Bangalore, starting early the next morning, the distance between Madanapalle and Bangalore being about 100 miles. As I was standing at the bus stand, a thought suddenly came to me. I heard the saints at Gudur praying often for one Dr. – at Madanpalle. I wanted to go to that doctor’s house and spend the night in fellowship with him. I reached Dr. – house after some enquiries. Even
though I was a perfect stranger to him and his family, I received from the whole household great love and hospitality in the name of the Lord. I had the privilege of giving the Lord’s word in the family prayer that night. As I had expressed my desire to leave for Bangalore the next morning, brother – promised to wake me up early enough to catch the first bus in the morning.
The next morning as brother – accompanied me as far as the road to bid me farewell, he requested me to halt with him for 2 or 3 days on my way back, embraced me and slipped into my pocket Rs. 4/– and left me. I went forward for about 20 yards towards the bus stand and as it was still dark, I knelt down by the road side and praised the Lord for such a
case of His love for me. I took the bus and reached Bangalore.
Soon after my wife reached her parents’ house in Bangalore, both her brothers lost their jobs and the whole family was plunged into a great financial distress. Repeated trials all over Bangalore could not secure for even one of them even a clerk’s job anywhere. To add to their miseries they had an additional burden in looking after the confinement of my wife and supporting her.
Misfortune never comes singly. As if the above sufferings were not enough, my wife’s clothes that had been washed and kept to fence were stolen and the days were cold.
As soon as I reached my wife’s place, she brought the new-born child to me and began to weep aloud. When I asked her the reason for the same, she began to narrate to me all
the above stories. She also said that in addition to all her sorrow, the thought of what had become of me began to haunt her. As my heart was very much troubled I opened my
Bible and the Lord began to sneak to me and comfort me from the whole of the 34th Psalm, specially verses 4 to 10: 15, and 17 to 19 and 22. Oh, the joy that came into my heart and the praise that was upon my lips.
I read the portion to my wife and exhorted and comforted her too. It became my daily routine to go out at 7 in the morning, distribute tracts, visit various Telugu speaking families in the city, giving them the Lord’s word and return home at about 10 a.m.
Often I had to go on serving the Lord during the day without food and even when I returned home late at night, often I had to go to bed with an empty stomach. In those days it was a great thing for me to see two coppers in my possession. As Bangalore was a cold place and my clothing was very scanty, I. began to suffer from cold as well.
One day I met bro. Lo Carter and brother M. S. Rajendram at ’21 Cubbon Road. On 27th January 1954, while praying, the Lord revealed to me that I should go to Madras. I asked the Lord, “Lord, I don’t have two coppers even in my possession and train fare to Madras is nearly Rs. 7/-. So how can I go?” When I told my wife about this, she began to wonder how I could ‘walk all the way to Madras a distance of 220 miles. ‘Neither her parents, nor her brothers could extend to me a help had been under partial starvation for many days. Yet I a thought came to us that God who had asked me to go to Madras would also provide for the same. With this thought, I and my wife with our child went into a room and began
to pray. At 3.30 p.m. I went out to the House of worship at 21 Cubbon Road and as I had again a burden for prayer, knelt down there and was praying. Soon after I had finished, brother Rajendram who was living in the house of worship, handed over to me an envelope containing Rs. 8/- As I was proceeding home, another brother in Christ, met me on the ay,
took me to a coffee hotel, gave me coffee and put Rs. 3 into my pocket. I went and purchased a pair of woollen socks and a pair- of tiny shoes for my child and went home. I collected all the members of the family, gave thanks to the Lord for all His mercies and marvellous ways and proceeded to Madras.
On 27th January 1954, the same day the Lord revealed His will about my going to Madras, that same night, I started for the same. I left Bangalore with only one trouser and one shirt
which I was wearing. At Madras I was put up in a room called “Bethel” in “Jehovah Shammah,” a house of worship there. Two days after my arrival there, I developed boils all
over the body and, was suffering from shivering and fever. I used to pray that the Lord would be pleased to give me a piece of cloth to cover myself as I was feeling very cold.
Bro. Dorairaj, the elder there, used to come into my room and pray for me. I received a letter from my wife at Bangalore conveying the sad news of her sister’s sudden death. This
was followed by another letter in which it was stated that both my wife and ‘child were laid up with severe fever.
I showed both the letters to bro. Rajamani, another elder in” Jehovah Shammah” and asked him to pray for all these matters. After the receipt of the sad news of my own own fever increased and I was in a very sad state both mentally and physically.
Satan appeared to be not satisfied by simply wounding me but he sought to attack me again and again and finish me if he could. I had a widowed sister who had a daughter.
Through the kindness of the missionary lady in a neighbouring place, I was able to admit her into the boarding school there and she was exempted from all fees as we were too poor to pay anything. When my father died, I took my niece home for his funeral. When I was taking her back to the boarding school, as we approached the same, my niece began to weep. When I questioned her why, she began to give the following reasons. “My father died and my mother is a poor widow. I do not know where you will go now and if I shall see you at all in my life. May be this is the last time I see you.” I tried my best to comfort her, gave her all the little money I had with me, spoke to her about her soul’s salvation and the way of salvation, made her kneel down with me at the gate of the boarding compound, prayed with her and for her and sent her in.
Strangely enough that was the last time I saw my dear niece. As I was lying down in my bed of sickness, I got the shocking news of the death of my niece in the boarding school, and it
happened in this way. The days were examination days. My niece studied till about 1 a.m. one night and fell asleep with the lighted hurricane lamp by her side. Another girl in her sleep kicked at the lamp and it fell on my sleeping niece, not only soaking her clothes
with kerosene oil but setting fire to the same. As all the girls in the dormitory raised a big alarm, the missionary lady in charge of the school rushed to the spot, put out the fire, and
rushed her in a car to a big mission hospital at Ongole, but in spite of all possible treatment and care, she passed into the presence of the Lord at 10 in the morning. She passed away
as she was telling those around her “I am going to the presence of my Lord. Please pray for me.” You can well imagine my mental condition when I got the news of this tragic death of my niece.
A few days later, I, along with’ some other brothers in Jehovah Shammah went out for open air preaching to Purasawalkam, a part of the city of Madras. When we were preaching in a
little street there, a few men who were atheists poured water upon us and as I was left a little behind the others took away my song book, tore it apart and began to tear away my
Bible. As it was very precious to me I hid it below my shirt and held on to it with all my strength. In the struggle the only shirt I had was badly torn. In that state I returned to
Jehovah Shammah and began to wash my shirt. As it was very old, it began to tear more and more and I had no other shirt in my possession. Suddenly a great many thoughts entered my mind and I began to weep aloud. A great discouragement came over my heart suddenly. I then began to pray like this: “Lord, when I lost my job, Thou didst strictly tell me that I should not ask any one man for a cup of coffee. Now I would be bringing Thee disgrace by asking an old shirt from anyone.” As I was thus praying and weeping my old life came
to my memory and Satan my adversary began to whisper within me how I lost my job, how those working there with me were now drawing Rs. 140/- a month, how miserable was the state of my wife, my parents, etc. All these thoughts and many more were crowding into my
mind as I was still in the bath-room.
I immediately went into my mom, opened my Bible and heard the Lord speaking to me from the 54th chapter of Isaiah and verses 4 and 6. “Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt
forget the shame of thy youth and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more . . . For the Lord has called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.”
As I read these verses, my sorrow turned into joy unbearable and my sighing disappeared then and there. I spent some time that night before the Lord confessing my sin of unbelief
and despair and recollecting before Him how some of His children were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; were destitute, afflicted and tormented.
As I entered my room the next morning, one believer, who had come the same day to Madras from Proddatur of Cuddapah Dt. handed me over a little packet containing 8 yards
of shirting cloth saying that he was burdened of the Lord to give me that gift. Just as this brother left the room and went out, I prayed to my Lord thus “Lord, Thou hast given me
a piece of shirting cloth but where is the money for the stitching charges ?”
Within about ten minutes the same brother came back into my room saying “Brother, you may not have money to get the shirt stitched and so I will myself get it done.” So he took the cloth and got first one shirt stitched. The same noon the post peon came to Jehovah Shammah and handed over to me Rs. 15/-, the amount of a money order received from
a brother living in Gudur where I had been working in the railway. When I was told about the receipt of this money order, I said who was there to send me money and yet it was true.
The same day in the evening, another brother in Madras, sent me Rs. 10/6. Just the previous day I was quite willing to be satisfied with an old shirt even though I could not ask any one for the same as it was contrary to my Lord’s wishes that I should ask any gift from anyone, even a cup of coffee, but the very next day I had in my hand Rs. 36/-. The next
day I gave to bro. Rajamani, the elder in the assembly, my tithe from the amount received and went and purchased two saries and a few other clothes and sent them to my wife in Bangalore by a registered postal parcel. In the same week I received Rs. 22/8 by money order from a brother in Pathapalli village out of which I took Rs. 9/8 and gave to the Lord’s work Rs. 13. The next day I again received Rs. 14 from the last mentioned believer by money order. I was so full of joy and love for my Lord that I gave the whole amount of Rs. 14 to my Lord for His work. Many believers in many assemblies were travailing in
prayer for me in those days.
One day, brother Rajamani, one of the elders in Jehovah Shammah, asked ‘for my railway file and took me in a car to the Head office of the Southern Railway. This brother Rajamani is a retired accounts officer of the same railway. This brother explained to the railway authorities there concerned all about my case and in addition gave them the word of God.
Both the Chief Mechanical Engineer and the Regional Mechanical Engineer promised to give me back my job. The same day I received a letter from my wife at Bangalore conveying the good news of one of my brothers-in-law securing a job as a clerk in the post office at Anantapur and another one having been taken as an apprentice in the railway coach department at Madras. Shortly after this, I met my brother-in-law who had joined as an apprentice in Madras, and we prayed together and there was a great joy in my heart.
A few days later I went back to Bangalore, found my wife and child in good health and began to do the Gospel work among the Telugu knowing people both in the army and the
city. One night we had nothing at home for supper. My wife told we that she was very hungry and the child was also crying for milk (how could the baby have milk when the mother had no food) and requested me to purchase for her a quarter plate of Biriyani (a
savoury preparation of meat and rice) for 6 annas. I told her that I had with me only half an anna and that would not fetch even half a cup of tea, let alone a quarter plate of Biriyani.
But finally my faith revived and I began to walk along the Mahatma Gandhi Road, though aimlessly. As I walked I began to talk to my Lord thus, “Lord, Thou couldst feed 5000 hungry ones with five loaves of bread and as Thou art the same yesterday, today and forever, Thou canst multiply this half an anna to any amount.” Thus wandering, I passed
by the prayer house at 21 Cubbon Read and instinctively I entered the same to spend some time alone in prayer there. As I was entering the compound, brother Rajendram who
was in charge of the assembly there, called me into his room, gave me tea and said: “Brother, as I was praying last night, the Lord has laid on my heart a burden to give you Rs.25/-” So saying he handed over to me an envelope containing the same amount. I immediately praised the Lord for having multiplied half anna into Rs. 25/- in two hours.
I went to a nearbv hotel and spent Rs. 2 for my own food as I was myself very hungry and took with me some food for my wife also.
One day I went out into the city for preaching the Gospel along with some other believers. It was nearly 11 p.m. when I returned home that night very hungry and tired. As I asked my wife for some food, I was told that there was no supper for anyone in the family that night and that all had to go to bed with an empty stomach. I lay down for -a little while, and then got up and prayed thus with a sorrowful heart: “Lord, till 11 p.m, I had been out preaching the Gospel, walking for miles, but I have nothing to eat and my bones are aching and are growing weak.” Having thus prayed, I went to sleep. At about 1 a.m. my wife woke me up’ and handed over to me a letter which she had received for me from Bro. Rajendram the previous morning. This letter was from the Scripture Gift Mission at 13 Cubbon Road, Bangalore, and in it I was asked to meet some missionary lady there the next morning.
The next morning I went to 21 Cubbon Road, prayed with Bro. Rajendram and from there proceeded to the Scripture GIft Mission compound. There I was told that they had received from England a gift of Rs. 270/- for the Lord’s service and that I could do the Lord’s work and be paid from the same for some time. I took with me some tracts and booklets like ‘The Way of SaIvation’ in various languages, went about preachmg the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ and reached Guntur via Guntakkal.
From there I returned to Bangalore. From that time onward, I and my family were kept in the House of Worship, 21 Cubbon Road. I ‘was daily visiting areas in the Bangalore city where Telugu people were predominant and doing the Lord’s work among them. I was then very happy in the Lord’s service and forgot all about my job and about the appeal I had made to the Railway authorities to reconsider my case.
One day I went out to preach the Gospel in Johnson Town, a part of the city, along with some other brothers in the Lord. When I returned I found a letter from the General Manager, Southern Railway, waiting for me and in that I was asked to join duty in the
railway department in the same place, Gudur, where I had been dismissed for confessing the truth.
Reluctantly I left the House of Worship which I loved so dearly and my fellow labourers in the Lord and reached Gudur. At the railway station there some were happy to see me again and some were unhappy to hear that I had come to rejoin my duty. Various people began to talk and comment in various ways. At the very beginning again there was a test awaiting me. To rejoin duty I had to produce a medical fitness certificate from the railway Medical
Officer at Bezwada. It is common knowledge that everyone should pay a certain amount of bribe for obtaining a medical fitness certificate but I was determined not to give any bribe. My Lord again came to my rescue and obtained my certificate and rejoined duty at Gudur on 9th December 1954, about 14 months after the date of
As all my previous service in the Railway had been cut away, I had to start again on a smaller salary. I was later on transferred from Gudur to Bitragunta where I took up
a house as the place of worship for all true ‘believers and began to serve the Lord by conducting meetings there.
After some time I was promoted as a fireman in a railway engine and thus my pay was raised from Rs. 70 to Rs. 130. I worked in my new post for one week but found the work of the Lord was suffering as I had to be constantly out of my station. Knowing that a smaller pay with a better chance to serve my Lord was a greater blessing, I went to the foreman and requested him to de-promote me to my old job, giving my reason for the same.
The foreman being a Christian could understand my view point and accordingly permitted me to accept my old job with much lower pay but with better prospects of serving
my God in the house of worship.
Even though I meet with greater trials and tribulations in serving the Lord as one with the main care of a small assembly, the strength of the Lord and the joy of serving Him have been sustaining me and I am happy in His service, sustained also by the prayers of many saints on my behalf.
– From Balance of Truth, Sept. 1957