by Rev. Joseph T. John
I had dreams, my father fed me with dreams of my future. To send me overseas for further studies. I am the eldest in a family of five children and was dreaming of my future would be achievements. When I was thirteen my dreams were shattered with the sudden death of my father. I missed my father who played games and even made kites for me and played together with me in the field. Although he had his weaknesses I missed my father’s love and care. After his death there was no income and my mother was a housewife we were in poverty even without food for days. Sometimes when my family had food I was not able to eat because of sadness and being malnourished I developed Rheumatic Fever which damaged the heart valve. As a result I could not play games and was not able walk a short distance and climb a flight of steps. I will be gasping for breath with the palpitation of my heart.
When I was 16 years old one by one many other sicknesses came upon me such as malaria, pneumonia, tonsillitis, appendix and fits. This affected my studies and I thought that I wouldn’t succeed in my exams, but somehow I passed with the poorest results. I still did not seek God or think about God. I was not angry with God. He is a good God who is far away in Heaven.
At the age of seventeen I went to work but still missing my dad. A doctor advised me to take up a hobby. I went into playing music but still there was an emptiness in my life.
One day my brother, Solomon called me to follow him to church. I warned him not to talk to me about church. He gently asked me whether his group could pray for me. I felt that prayer would have no affect on me but I gladly agreed.
A few days later I was having dreams, strange dreams. God was calling me and speaking to me. I was kneeling on my bed, trembling, sobbing and talking to God. I was shown the bible with the pages turning by themselves to the book of Revelation. Jesus was speaking to me about the end times. The dreams were coming many nights till I left all the things of the world and attended church.
I stopped watching television and gave my time to reading the Word of God and praying. The emptiness of my father’s presence was gradually replaced by Jesus through HIS Word and the presence of God the Holy Spirit.
I was a born again Christian and my mother wanted me to get married. I thought, if I fall in love and get married she may not give me happiness. If my mother seeks a girl and gets me married, she may not give me happiness. So this led me to say my first serious prayer.
” Heavenly Father, only You know who is my wife.
A relative whom I did not know came to my house for this very reason to tell me about a girl who is to be my wife, and so it happened that the relative sent the girl and her family to my house. We got married in 1976.
In 1981 I started having dreams again, God was calling me to serve Him as a pastor. I will go to work in the morning with tears flowing down my cheeks. I liked to serve Him but I was afraid of pastors low income. I did not say “yes” to God, therefore I was crying. The desire to serve God increased from within my heart. My wife was happy to serve God and with the blessings of both our families we prayed and told God that we want to serve Him. In 1982 I went into the Seminary Theology Malaysia and in 1986 I was posted to the Lutheran Good Shepherd Church in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
A few years later God brought the Good Shepherd church under The Assemblies of God and he has been faithful to His promises with miracles, signs and wonders. I realised that without sacrificing the things of the world there are limitations in ministry. It is a choice to be taken in serving God and it is the choice which gives us the joy to serve God.
To view Sis. Vanitha Joseph’s story and testimony, click here