My dear friends: Greetings to all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I wish to share some of my experience with you as a Pentecostal believer, a journey I have begun close to
seven decades ago, hoping that it will brighten your path and strengthen you as you face difficulties and
problems in your walk with the Lord fully pleasing to Him.
I am a second generation Pentecostal. I was brought up in a poor, but very strict Catholic family in a
village called Narakkal (Vypeen Island) near Cochin in the State of Kerala, where the only Christian
denomination was Catholics. My father had a small business in the local market place. As a teenager of
fourteen years, I remember seeing my father coming home every night completely inebriated under the
influence of alcohol and my mother used to throw water over his head so that he will come back to his
senses. However he cared for the family and met our needs from his meager income. At that time we were
living in a little cottage made out of bamboo sheets with no electricity or plumbing. However, some time
later my father was able to build a nice house with 5 rooms with a big veranda. My father used to help .
We have opened our house to receive many evangelists and preachers who used to come to our village to
preach the gospel and conduct open air meetings.
In the community where we lived, in those days, the only Christians were all Catholics. The preachers
from other Christian denominations were not welcome in our community. Those who dare to come very
often were mistreated even suffer persecution from Catholics with the support of the priests of the local
church. They always tried to make trouble in the meetings by throwing sand and stones, and would not
allow them to speak. But my father had a soft corner for them and he tried to protect them. The Holy
Spirit was working in his heart and in a short time he was converted to the Pentecostal faith. My mother
also joined him and opened our house for them to hold meetings in our house. In fact the first church in
our area was started in our house. Being a teenager at that time, I was completely out of sorts with this
new found faith of my parents. I did not like them making loud noise and speaking in tongues and all that.
I was studying in the 8 th grade at this time. My friends in the school were mostly Catholics and some
Hindus and they started to tease and ridicule me by calling me names. It was only because my parents
have accepted Christ as their Savior and they have severed all their connections with the Catholic Church.
Because of these problems I have decided in my heart that I cannot accept this faith and live with my
parents any more. I have decided to run away from home.
With this idea in my mind, I prepared myself to leave home during one night when everyone is sleeping.
I kept a pair of clothes on the window sill, so that I could take them with me when I get out. I also had a
gold chain and a ring. Although I did not know where to go, I have made up my mind to run away from
the house that night. But I praise God, that night was a turning point in my life. I had a vision of the Lord
Jesus revealing Himself to me in His Glory and stretching His hands towards me. It was about the time of
the midnight, my parents heard me crying loudly and when they came to my room they saw me on my
knees weeping and crying. They asked me why I was crying. I told them about my decision to run away
from home that night because of their accepting the Pentecostal Faith and about my vision of Jesus and
stretching His hands towards me. At that very moment I also accepted Christ as my personal savior and
decided to follow the same faith of my parents. I am now 81 years old and all I can say that the Lord is
everything to me. In all these years, I have found Him to be faithful supplying every one of my needs and
that of my family. He has been good to my children and to my grand children in all the situations of their
life. I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, 2 of them are married and I have great grand daughter. All of
them follow the paths chosen by their fathers and grand fathers. They are all very active in the church,
serving the Lord as Sunday school teachers, praise and worship leaders and in playing the musical
My parent’s decision to follow the Pentecostal faith did not go unnoticed by the Catholic priests and the
members of the Catholic community. They wanted not only to ex-communicate us from the church but
they have also made plans to evict us from our own house, which my father built with his own money.
They have made our life very difficult. They created false documents and filed law suits in the court to
evict us from the property. They claimed that the house was the property of the Catholic Church and with
the help of some smart lawyers the court ruled against us. One fine morning the court officials came to
our house and showed us the court order that our house has been awarded to them and we should get out
of the house. But they gave us a choice that if we reject our Pentecostal faith and accept Catholicism we
could have our house back and will reimburse our legal expenses. My father was a very strong man; he
was determined to follow the Lord what ever might be the consequences because he believed that is the
right course for him to follow. That day we were ready to accept the state of homelessness for the sake of
the faith and for the Lord. At that time, there were 13 members living in our house, including my 3
brothers, 2 sisters my aged grand parents, our aunt and her sons. Without any hesitation, we left our house
singing a song: “Let us follow Jesus who came into the world being born in a manger and had no place to
live and died on the cross of Calvary to be a sacrifice for the sin of this whole world.”
Even though we had many close relatives living close by, no one invited us to spend the night in their
homes as they were afraid of repercussions from the Catholic priests. For three and a half years we lived
the life of homeless people as the same as you see people in this country also, who are homeless spending
their nights on the roadside or parks. During the first year, my mother gave birth to one of my brothers
under the cover of the night. Again when my grandfather died, my father had to bury his father’s body on
no-man-land by the sea shore, digging the pit by himself. During the time of our living on the road side 9
of us were affected with chicken pox. I do not want to take the time to describe the many difficult
situations we had to go through during those years.
I have gone through many other difficult situations in life and I wanted to mention a few of them In 1958,
I was involved in a fatal bus accident on my way to my office and I had to undergo several surgeries and
my left foot was amputated due to the injuries and I had to stay in the hospital for seven and half moths.
My first son Shaji was born when I was still in the hospital. While I was working in Hyderabad I had two
heart attacks. In 1996, I had to undergo a triple bypass surgery and had many other health problems
Our Lord is faithful and He is a promise keeping God. When the Lord called Father Abraham, in the land
of Ur to leave everything and to go to a land He will show him, he left everything trusting that the Lord is
able to fulfill what He has promised. Later on in his journey God promised Abraham that He will bless his
children and his descendants and all the generations after him. I believe these promises are also for every
child of God and He has fulfilled all of them in my life also. God has not only blessed me but he has also
blessed my family, my children and their families and their children. In Matthew’s gospel Peter asked
Lord Jesus while his disciples were with Him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will
there be for us?” Jesus replied: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or
mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much as will inherit eternal life”.
Just as the Lord provided everything for the children of Israel in their journey through the wilderness,
giving them manna for food, by the pillar of cloud during the day for shade and the pillar of fire by the
night, His blessings follow us all the days of our lives. Whatever we lose for the sake of the Gospel, He is
faithful to return to us 100 folds, with many other blessings. He is good to me and all of us ALL THE
It was God’s plan to start the IPC Hebron church at Valanjambalam, Ernakulam in early part of 1960s,
through the efforts of Pastor M.V. Thomas, myself and late P.T Xavier, while we were living in Fort
Cochin. God gave me the opportunity to serve the church as its secretary continuously from its start until
we moved to Coimbatore in 1973. From a very humble start, it has become a big church with 3 floors of
building now with greater membership. While we were in Hyderabad for 14 years from 1976 to 1990
also, God enabled my family to start and support many IPC churches at Kukatpally, IDA Jeedimetla,
Ramachandrapuram, Pattamcheru, Langar House, etc. in the Greater Hyderabad area, before we moved to
the United States in 1990. These churches are now being taken care of by Rev. Valsan Abraham with
many more number of churches.
What I want to stress is this: We must not forget that our fathers had to pay a great price in the early days
by way of persecutions from relatives, and friends, loss of houses, properties and many other things. The
present generation may not be aware of these things so I wanted to share with you in the love of our Lord.
It is because of what they have suffered for the cause of the Gospel, you are blessed and enjoying all these
comforts, good education, good homes, nice cars, and all the material blessings. God fulfils His promises
He made to our fathers and if you are faithful in serving the Lord your future and the generations after you
will surely be blessed. In “Deut. 6:4 we read: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the LORD is one. Love
the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These
commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts, Impress them on your children. Talk
about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you
get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the
doorframes of your houses and on your gates” The Lord commanded the children of Israel to tell to their
children and their children how God has delivered them from the pitiful conditions of Egypt and their
bondage and brought them to the Promised Land which flows with milk and honey.
Therefore let us not forget the past and be grateful to the God of our fathers who brought you to this great
nation. While God has blessed you in a very special way by providing all the material blessings we must
be conscious of our great responsibilities. Be grateful to the Lord and pass on the baton of this great faith
to the coming generation. May God bless you abundantly.
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