AMAVASIKAN Perumals story of transformation would sound like an incredible tale if one did not approach it from the realm of faith.
Born into a family of peasants to illiterate parents in Salavedu, a small hamlet near Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu, Perumal studied up to 8th standard and dropped out of school due to poverty at home.
A single child, he did not want to burden his mother who had been at his birth abandoned by her husband. In abject poverty, the mother and son eked out a living and hoped for a better future.
Ponnammal, a Catholic by birth, came into Perumals life like a breath of fresh air. They soon got married against the wishes of the brides family. Three girl children were born to them.
Neither fatherhood nor his new set of responsibilities seemed to have the desired effect on Perumal, who was living a reckless life given to country liquor, gambling, stealing and rowdyism in the village.
It was then Gods first clarion call to Perumal came. He was afflicted with a swelling of his private organ. No amount of treatment or medicines could cure him of the ailment. His misery grew day by by until a travelling Christian missionary from Chennai prayed over him and God healed him of the illness.
Gracey Ponnammal, by now a convert to the faith, could not persuade her husband to turn to God. Perumals belief in the true, living God was short-lived. He continued to be a tyrant at home and hooligan in the village.
One day, a drowsy and drunk Perumal kicked Ponnammal for praying aloud when he was asleep at home. Hours passed before Perumal was down with a severe bout of diarrhea.
Unable to even lift his head or move from his sleeping position, Perumal was touched by Gods amazing grace that saved his life that day and his wifes relentless prayers to God for his healing.
Neighbours were quick to notice the difference in Perumals household – in place of Ponnammals wails and the childrens plaintive cries they now heard loud prayers by Perumal and his family.
Perumal kicked all his vices and turned a new leaf. In 1997 after he had a vision from God in the same manner that the Lord called Samuel (1 Samuel 3:10), Perumal (now baptised as S A Peter) started an independent church in his village.
The familys faith in the almighty God grew manifold when the Lord saved Peters eldest daughter Getzial after she was bitten by a venomous snake during a Sunday worship. While almost all elders in the village and the congregation stood around a dying girl and urged Peter to take her to the nearest hospital 15 km away from the church, he stood his ground and knelt down in prayer. The God who saved Daniel from the lions den heard the fathers prayer and spared Getzials life. Getzial is in her second year of theology studies in a seminary in Rajapalayam now.
Pastor Peter, who says his life and family run on faith, is a fulltime evangelist who ministers in and around Salavedu. His mission is to reach the unreached in the surrounding villages of Reddypalayam, Ottakoil and Singapalli and plant churches for new believers. He may be reached at Shepherd Christ Church, Zion Street, Salavedu Village Post, Vandavasi Taluk, Thiruvannamalai District, Tamil Nadu 604403.
Source: Saved by grace, walking by faith,Abhilash Pulichanickal The Christian Messenger, India’s Evangelical Newspaper, taken from the link
Taken on: October 04, 2008