SHE was born in a Hindu family but went to a Catholic school. Heaven and hell were words that she was familiar with at a very young age. “Through a Catholic nun, I heard of this wonderful place called heaven. Though I didn’t quite know what it was, I wanted to get there somehow,” Sister Padma Mudaliar says. Despite her friends, who dismissed it as an old wives’ tale, she kept thinking about the beautiful place called heaven. When she was 13, her father died of cardiac arrest. “I rushed to the nun and asked her where my dad would go to. Her answer shocked me. She said my dad was in hell. ‘But, he was a good man,’ I argued with her. But the sister told me there was no salvation without Christ and that He was the only way to heaven. Some time later, a friend invited me to a special movie. Little did I know that the movie that depicted the life of Jesus Christ on the earth would change my life for ever. After the movie, Pastor Augustine Peter gave the altar call and I accepted Jesus Christ as my saviour at the meeting. After I completed school, I got into Holy Cross College. There though they taught me Zoology, God taught me theology,” she says. When she heard the voice of God, she committed her life to Christ. Founder of Oasis Ministries, Padma Mudaliar shared her experiences of her life and ministry with Elsy Robin in an interview with The Christian Messenger. Excerpts:
Tell us something about your husband, Nataraja Mudaliar.
He was born into a rich Hindu family in South Africa. He was so devout in his faith that he walked on fire, carried kavadi and pierced his tongue with needle to appease the Hindu gods. He did all these pujas and rituals to save his ailing mother. But his mother died and he became an atheist. Soon, he lost all his money and was on the verge of ending his life when he heard some good music from a church. He went in gnashing his teeth in anger at the pastor. But when the altar call was given, my husband was shaking like a leaf. He gave his life to the Lord. Persecution at his home began soon after his conversion. They threw him out of the house. But, the Lord was kind to him. He regrouped his resources and became a rich man again. One day, he felt God’s call to him asking him to go to India and preach the Gospel. He didn’t want to go because he didn’t know the language. But he finally obeyed God’s call. He left everything that he had and came to Bombay with his accordion.
How did you meet him?
He came one day to Nagercoil one day for a crusade. I went to attend the meeting. There, I accepted his call to get into fulltime ministry. I never thought I’d be his wife one day. But God had planned it that way. A few pastors who knew both of us thought we’d make a good pair. But my mother was against the alliance. She had two reasons to oppose: one, she couldn’t accept the fact that I wouldn’t be wearing jewellery and finery for my wedding, secondly my husband was a foreigner after all and a missionary. But God worked out everything and we got married in 1969.
How was life with him?
We lived and traveled around in a vehicle for preaching. Later, we settled in Nagercoil and started an orphanage. Then suddenly, in 1982 God took him home. He called me to this bedside and said: “Look, I have nothing to give you. I leave behind two children and two Bibles.” He told me ‘Never give up, just go on.’ Three days after my husband’s death, God challenged me asking whether I’d continue to mourn or work for Him. I said: The cross is before me and the world is behind me. There was no turning back. Until then, I was only a translator for my husband and not a preacher. I made a deal with God. I said, in my first independent meeting I want a thousand souls. When I reached the pulpit to preach, I started to cry. But within a few minutes, God gave me a tremendous anointing and I started my preaching. On the first day, I saw 1,000 people in the crusade giving themselves up to God. And since then on, I have given myself to the Lord’s ministry. We do at least two crusades a month besides running a children’s home, Bible college, literature ministry and a centre for widows.
What were some of the good things that you leant from your husband?
The value of hard work. He’d never give up on anything. And he was 100 percent faithful in money matters. He owned nothing, had no house or land in his name.
Where do you see greater harvest happening, in India or abroad?
It all depends on the population. If you ask me about the harvest I would say it’s India for me. If you want money it is America, electronic goods – Japan, good food – China, more prayer – South Korea. But if you want souls for Christ, it is definitely India because it is the second most populous country.
Of late, we see a lot of crusades happening in cities. Why are ministries not concentrating in villages?
I don’t know about others but my vision is for our villages. Though I live in the city, villages are my target.
What are the advantages of being a woman in the ministry?
In the whole world, the power next to God is the love of a mother. People yearn for their mothers’ love. God has a mother’s heart. When you go out and show motherly love and compassion, your deeds will touch any heart. That is the need of the hour. Drug addicts, HIV positive patients, murderers – they all need motherly love. A mother will console instead of condemning. One more thing: If you look around, you will see women dominating the advertising world in endorsing products and services. Why can’t holy women endorse God?
What is your vision for India?
To proclaim the Gospel to all the people in the world at least once. Since I can’t do it all by my self, I call you all to partner with us.
In there anything you would like to tell women who are entering ministry?
Women have greater potential in them. In the Bible, we read about Esther – how this woman changed the situation of a country. If she could do it then, we could do the same thing now in India. God is not respecter of persons. His power is still available if we are ready. God is ready but we need unquestionable faith. If you have the vision there is His provision.
Your last word.
Find the will (of God) and fulfill it. Everybody has a special calling and a special ministry and special area to work in. If we don’t do what is expected of us according to His will, we are wasting our time and missing out on our reward.
Oasis Ministries can be contacted at: 91-44-26180109, 26182995. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2007 The Christian Messenger. All rights reserved.
Source: taken from the Exclusive Interview, Why can’t holy women ‘endorse’ God?, Padma Mudaliar, September 15, 2007, section of the website:http://www.christianmessenger.in/ accessed from the link:http://www.christianmessenger.in/interviews/padma_mudaliar_150907/39.php on 18th May 2009.