There are a few incidents, dreams, visions through which the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to me since my Childhood. I remember the first time I heard the name of Jesus was from the teachings of Kanthamma (Vipparthy) aunty who came to our home in Guntur when I was 4 years old. My mother was pregnant with my younger sister. To do Teacher training practical my aunt came to our home. She used to have turion classes so she used to take me to her teacher who was very fair with shining skin. I used to compare her skin with my inner under lip pulling it out. I was bewitched by her fair skin and I was staring at her all the time when I was with her with my aunty. We used to walk to and forth to her tuition classes and home. On the way she used to tell me so many stories of Jesus Christ, she taught me how to pray as soon as I get up from the bed, “ Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the nights peaceful sleep, and for today you have given to me anew. Bless me this day to live a good girl for your sake.“ In Jesus name amen” She taught me prayer at the food like this, “Dear Lord Jesus thank you for this food you have given to me. Bless this food and redeem this food from all its impurities. Give me strength to use for you-in Jesus name amen”
She taught me the prayer at bedside before going to sleep at night. “Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for keeping me safe all day. Give me peaceful sleep tonight. Thank you _ in Jesus name ament”
I used to be afraid of devils and darkness. My other Kanthaunty, who was the sister of my mother, used to come to stay with us during her summer holidays. We both had an unknown bond between us, we used to play a lot and quarrel a lot. When the quarrel reached climax she used to threaten me that she had a devil agent under the cot which would eat me if I got down the bed. I too used to threaten her that I had a devil agent which would eat her when she went to the terrace to pluck white bowls like flowers from the creeper there.
So I was so afraid of the dark and devils. So Vipparthi Kantham aunty taught me how to get rid of this fear. By uttering these words.” There is victory in the blood of Jesus and the deeds of the devil were nullified in the name of Jesus.” She taught me to say it louder and louder till I get rid of fear.
So I used to utter that slogan aloud when I needed to go to the bathroom in darkness, This I used to say louder even when I was studying BA in Kakinada. Because I used to read English novels a lot where the stories of devils are depicted. Especially I used to read Dracula and was very afraid to sleep. I used to get nightmares where devils come to devour me. Then I used to shout out loud “There is victory in the blood of Jesus and the deeds of the devil are nullified in the name of Jesus.” And those devils which came to torment me ran away and hid themselves in the big mango trees in our compound. Our Laboratories were a bit far away beyond the trees, so whenever I needed to go there I used to pray louder uttering this slogan. Fear disappeared at once.
Back to the stay of Vipparthi Kanthamma aunty in Guntur,
She used to kneel down along with me and we both used to pray one after the another. After her training was over she bought a photo of Jesus Christ to hang in my dad’s room as a gift to our family. She bought a big Bible too for us before her departure. After she left for her town she used to write postcards to me specially. Her writing was so very beautiful. My dad and mom appreciate it so much and used to inspire me to learn alphabets carefully. Mom used to read those letters aloud to me which were a reminder to me to pray to Jesus Christ three times a day. This Vipperthi Kantham aunty had a brother Vipparthi Raju, he too used to come to our house often in Kakinada, Vizianagaram and Guntur he too used to write English letters with beautiful hand writing. So when I was in school daa used to demand me to learn his letters by heart and recite to him when he comes from Office. This uncle came to Vizianagaram when I was doing PUC in Maharaja Women’s college. He took me shopping and bought English text books, and Animal Farm novel written by George Orwell. I was fond of reading novels from 6th class in Telugu Balipeetam of Muppalla Ranganayakamma,and in English right from my 13 years. David Copperfield books , Tom Sway, Don Quixote, Oliver Twist, Gulliver travels, Alice in wonderland, etc etc. Literature has had a tremendous impact on my character. I used not to skim the pages, but read and digest every page carefully.
Dreams in my Childhood
1.)Once we went to my grandma’s village, we used to sleep outside the house under the blue star lit sky. I still remember that beautiful dream I got there. I saw the name of Jesus on the remnant of the sky beautifully decorated with the stars and lightly coloured letters. I was beaming with joy while looking up into the sky at those names. Still I do not know whether it was just a dream or really I envisioned it there. So whenever I visit my grandma’s house I wait for the night to sleep outside the house to watch the star lit sky for the name Jesus. But never again I had that chance. At the age of 4 or 5 years old.(Guntur)(Ravulapalem, sub hamlet Ramachandra Puram)
2.) Once I had a dream visiting my dad’s room while I slept after an anguished prayer of mine. It was again at the age of 4 years.( beautiful dream of mine in the book Your Prayer is Heard- A true story)You will read this
3.) Once I was sleeping when I was 10 years years old,(Bandar) then I had a dream, where I was looking up into the sky where I saw a big colourful rainbow stretched out in the sky from one end to the other end. It was broken into its middle where a big ladder came down from the sky to the earth. The ladder was twisted with green leaves and creepers with red flowers big in size. On top of it I saw Jesus standing and smiling at me.Slowly He came down to me and bent down to me opened my right fist and kept a crystal round box into mine. I tightly closed it.
Then I heard my mom shouting and waking me up ‘Leela Leela ”. I woke up at once and cried bitterly searching for my crystal round box shouting “My box, oh my box, oh my box where is it?” my mom did not heed my cries but ushered me to bath room saying “hey Leela, it’s time to go to school, go go to the bathroom and brush your teeth”
Realizing it was only a dream, cherishing its beauty in my heart, I almost spent the rest of the day dreaming the comfort of that dream in my mind.
My uncle BV Raju Postmaster embraced Christianity and was an orthodox Lutheran. He used to invite us to celebrate Christmas in his house. Once we went to his house which had wooden upper rooms. I went into one of the rooms and I found to pamphlets describing the stories of Jesus. I was 9 years old. As soon as I saw those pamphlets I started to read them. One is the story of Jesus distributing 5 loaves of bread and two fish to the 5000 people who came to listen to HIM another story was about how He walked on the waters of the sea. These were the first two stories I ever read about Jesus in my life. Those two stories imprinted in my kind and I determined then there that If God is there, He is none other than Jesus.
My Aunt, my mom’s elder sister, Bhagyavathi, was a sick lady with a weak heart even then she cooked a variety of cookies and asked me to take the plates of sweet semiya payasam to the neighbours. I ran with the plate to 4 or 5 neighbours and returned happily to her. To eat my share. I think she forgot to serve me, I was waiting for her hopefully for the plate of semiya payasam which was never served to me. I was too polite not to ask her for my share. I was a little bit disappointed, but never told anyone The stories I read about Jesus tamed me utterly I assume. This is the first time I am mentioning that incident after 60years of my life..
BV Raju uncle was an orthodox Christian who was an elder in St. Paul’s church and St. Stephen Lutheran Church , Eluru for a number of years, he used to invite us to church also for every Christmas, I used to sit in the St. Stephen church and used to admire the colourful glass windows, especially Jesus standing with a lamb in His arms. The church was very beautiful to look at. And also he used to invite us to Revival meetings and Sunday worship. In one such meeting he pursued my dad to purchase a big Bible, we used to keep it in one corner without looking at it at all. He used to conduct family prayers every morning in his home, ‘Prardhana vinedi Pavanuda’- was his favourite song. He used to pray for each member of the family in which I joined many times when I came to eluru to work as Lecturer.
Once in my school days I was invited to some Revival meetings conducted by an American Br.Sol Braken for which I attended just to please my thickest friend Johanna Mahimardhini, a pastor’s daughter in Guntur.114 years old Guntur)
There I saw the man of God giving God’s message after which he healed blind, deaf, lame people on the stage. I don’t remember the word of God he had given , but the healing of the blind, and lame imprinted in my heart forever. . My friend and I sat nearby the stage and witnessed closely. After the meeting I collected Magazines distributed and brought them home. I did not read them though I kept them carefully in my collection of books. Only after 7 years I retraced them from the bottom of books iron box and read them reverently. My childhood days between 4 to 9 years rotated between Guntur and Eluru and between 9 to in Bandar to Guntur again..