About the Parents
Vedapothagam, the father of Gnanamani Ammal hailed from an orthodox Hindu family, and her grand father was a Hindu priest. Her father was saved when an evangelist stood in the street and preached the gospel. God used him mightily with signs and wonders. Evil spirits used to fee on seeing him. People in Thiruneveli District, Tamil Nadu, South India, used to call him Pothagar which means teacher in Tamil language.
He was an evangelist used by God mightily with signs and wonders. God endowed him with the gifts of healing. One day, he was praying for the healing of some sick people. God was healing the sick through his hands when he took water and prayed for them, saying, This is the Blood of Jesus Christ. Some Hindu people created a furor in the meeting and accused him of cheating them through ordinary water. Vedapothagam took water in a vessel, said, This is the Blood of Jesus Christ, and then sprinkled water in front of them. As the water dropped on the floor, it turned into blood and dried. On seeing this miracle, many people accepted Jesus Christ.
On one occasion, a magician, skilled in the art of witchcraft, instigated three demons to attack Vedapothagam. These demons arrived in the premises. On seeing the servant of God, these demons started fleeing from there. As they rushed towards the compound wall of the house, they faltered and dashed against the wooden gate of the compound wall. The gate was broken to pieces. The enraged demons returned to the magician and killed him.
Due to his prayers, two dead people were restored to life.
The elder sister of Ammal died and was laid on the bed for burial ceremony. When the father prayed for her, she was restored to life and asked for water to drink, to the great astonishment of the people gathered there for the burial ceremony. Like this, the brother of Ammal also died and arrangements were under way for his burial when the father arrived there and prayed for him. The dead son rose from the dead.
The father led the whole family to the wholehearted devotion to God. He did not allow the children to celebrate Christian festivals but taught them the significance of these festivals from the Word. The entire family lived a holy life. The father lived for 115 years. When he died, his face radiated the glory of God.
The mother of Gnanamani Ammal was Packiam Ammal. She was devoted to Christ and learnt the Bible thoroughly from Genesis to Revelation. People used to say that even if the Tamil Bible was destroyed, the same Bible could be restored through the memory of Packiam Ammal.
SALVATION EXPERIENCE AND MARRIAGE
The members of the whole family used to pray by turn during the family worship time. When her turn came, she prayed. A light from the Heaven descended and shore there and, it appeared to have engulfed her. As per Matt.5: eight, she saw the vision of Christ. At that time, she was only 9 years old. After this divine encounter, transformation of her life took place as follows:
(i) She always sang new songs through her mouth.
(ii) She always talked to Jesus and meditated on His love.
(iii) She had unquenchable thirst and desire to see Jesus.
(iv) Though she talked to others, her was in communion with Jesus.
(v) While praying, prayer emanated from her mouth instantaneously. While reading the Bible, she had the feeling of Some One explaining the verses to her like a person.
(vi) The Word was like honey in her mouth.
(vii) While uttering the name of Jesus, she had experienced like tasking honey. She could not describe this experience in words.
(viii) She could not enjoy any otherworldly pleasure than the divine pleasure she had from Jesus.
(ix) Whenever she looked at others not saved, she took long breath and shed tears because of the burn on her heart as these people were bound for hell.
(x) When she talked to others, she would talk only about Jesus, and could not talk about any other subject.
(xi) If anybody abused her, she had the urge to tell that person about Jesus.
(xii) She could not read any other book than Bible.
(xiii) She used to gather the children of her age group for a prayer meeting and preached the gospel.
As a 9-year-old girl, she had the above experiences. The Lord provided her all she needed and helped her in the studies.
When she was 17 years old, her parents took necessary steps prayerfully for her marriage with a man of God. The Lord spoke to her about the family of her fiancé, "This family, though Christian, do not know Me. They live like any otherworldly people. Whatever trouble they would give you, you have to bear with them and show Christ to them through your life. You have to win them over with My love". The marriage was held in 1925.
VISION OF THORNS
After the marriage, she was subjected to indescribable persecutions and sufferings. She poured out her heart to Jesus alone as she was under unbearable burden on her heart.
One day, she wept in an uncontrollable manner when Christ gave her the following vision:
"There was a bridge as tall as a palm tree. The path of the bridge was made of spikes. A barbed wire fence was on both the sides of the walls. I cannot walk over it because of the spikes. If I fall down while walking with a great difficulty, the barbed wire fence will injure me. I passed through this strange bridge with a very great difficulty and very slowly, enduring great pains. I cried out, Why should I walk over this bridge? At that time, I heard a preacher say, "You have to witness this to many people". Then I was comforted through the verses in 2 Cor.1: 4. At that time, Jesus spoke to me like this":
"I, Jesus, was doing good to all, during My earthly ministry. But the people hated Me. None of them, who had tasted the good things from Me, came forward to speak on My behalf. One of My disciples who was with Me betrayed Me. Another disciple denied Me. You are living in such a world. You have to simply follow My footsteps with all the longsuffering".
Chapter - 2: Persecution and sufferings