“My Father, oh my Father, Abba, my father, you are my Father and the Father of my children, Lord you have taken the father of my children, after he finished his responsibilities of his family, his sisters, now I am alone, and my children are alone , you gave a promise, when I took my both children into my arms , in the church at the body of my husband, when I asked you ‘Look Lord, here I am , me and my children..look Lord..and you told me “Behold I and my children, whom the Lord giveneth me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount zion” Isiah 8:18–You are the father of my children, you are the father of me, Lord is it true if earthly father is not there there wont be a marriage for my child? why they say so, is it because they think that if father is not alive all the material gains may be lost for them? Lord I do not know.. tell me what to do… you are my father and the father of my children, you take care of them…”
Tears were rolling down, I became breathless, with many sighs and tears, and words… suppressed in the mouth… The Spirit of God was moving upon me, and God at once gave me an assurance that He is my Father, and I know at once the Lord heard my prayer. Yes, I just knew it, that The Lord heard my prayer. I got up and the verse from the Bible was striking me …. in my face.. ..
The Lord lead me to post the application of marriage alliance in internet.. matrimonial website.
I posted that”” I do not care the caste, nor I would give a single pie as dowry, we are seeking for a bridegroom who is God fearing , and prayerful. “”
This I did in the month of July,2006. There James came in contact. The first question I asked him was did he has the experience of Born again Christianity. he recounted his experience when he was in Hyderabad, when he used to go to LEF there, later when he was in California how he was lead to God by a room mate who also happened to be having LEF background. I told him that giving dowry is against my principle. and expressed my doubt about his relatives who were idol worshipers at that time. He said he is fatherless like my daughter is, and he was brought up by his brothers.. he took baptism in California, and he never bother about dowry.
His eldest brother tried to play hard game on me and tried to oppress me to squeeze dowry from me. My pastor Vinod Premkumar and his wife came to our house. When I told him that I am against the dowry, he told me to tell about that to the groom relatives. And he stood with me in this issue. I was ready to forgo the match rather than yield to their desires. When he first came to my home in Eluru. He was shocked so much, because he thought he could get at least 25 lakhs from me as dowry. After he went away, there was no letter, or phone from him…allmost one month was passing by.
I was praying, James wanted to talk to my daughter on phone. I told my daughter ” You can talk but one thing you remember ,Don’t loose your heart.” She answered me.. “Mom, what, You know what I am
“( only recently I asked her “Happy, what did you talk to James in those days.. did you ask about his job? or his hobbies? ” The answer she gave me was a shocking news for me, I thought she is well educated girl she must had asked him about the job particulars, and other things, which are needed to have a safe life in usa. But she said,” No mom, I did not ask him any thing about those things, I never knew what type of job he was doing before the marriage” oh my… even I never asked him about those backgrounds, only one thing I was interested, his christian life, and dowry as a flees of Gedeon. But because we trusted in Our Father in Heaven, nothing went wrong. we were invited to come to their home by his eldest brother after many phone calls by James ..
30 elders from their village came to their house when I was invited to finalize the wedding date. One of them stood and asked me what I was going to give to their son. I said ,’ I will not give even a single rupee as dowry. I give my daughter to james, and he has to buy his clothes and we ours, I will take expenses of lunch, by bearing only one lakh. I was shivering in my heart, but firm and strong outside.
We returned home, my dear friend Sathya again asked me about the out come of our visit. When I told her that I agreed to give one lakh for marriage expenses as my share she advised me,
” Leela do not give the whole amount at once, when they come to give wedding card give 50000/- then on the day of engagement give another 50000/- that is all”
When they came to give wedding card I gave 50000/- They went out without taking it, started to talk on phones.. and it was getting darker, but they were not coming inside. Panic took hold of me…so I took the car out and went to the church at once, met the pastor, Vinod Kumar , he and his wife came along.. with me, on the way he said” Amma, they behave like that only, its common, do not be worried, its the way of the world” he assured me so much and gave support to me. At last with the intervenes of the pastor, they came inside the home took the sweets and fruits and the cover with 50000/- and left.
You can understand how feeble I was, how trembling I was, I wish I could be more stronger than then ..!! Tears and tears… but outwardly very firm and strong, The courage was from the Lord, and I need to depend on Him every second.. no one to share my fears, no shoulder to rest my head and shed tears, no arm to give an assurance on my head.. no dad, no brother, no husband, and son was in Navy training far in Chennai…
God and His servant was there with me.
I was sitting alone to design the wedding card, the tears made me not able to see what I was trying to write, I have a friend all ways , within reach, His bosom was all that I needed, and it is very near, I stretched out my hand and took the little Bible there on the bed… and my eyes fell on the verse… Matt 16:17 “Blessed are you….for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my FATHER IN HEAVEN.”—–That relieved the stone in my heart… it became lighter.. and I proceded with the arrangements. Even now I am amazed at the faith of my children, they just trusted the Lord, my daughter or me never asked James about the security of his job, the possiblity of getting visa, I thought as my daughter is well educated she must had asked those things, but it seems she never, they got married in 2006 only in 2012 i asked her casually whether she had any idea of james job before marriage, and did she ask him the details of his job, the security of his job, his life pattern.. she said ‘o I never asked him, did you?’ —grinning as ever.. so her infectious grinning made me to grin as well.
On wedding day I was bringing my daughter along with one uncle and aunty, but in between I could not control my tears, backed up, went inside cried aloud in the bathroom, washed my face and again joined the throng.. bridal march. I gave the hand of my daughter to the groom. The family friends, uncle and aunty were with me.
Though they tried not to yeild to my demands, James was assuring me that everything will be all right, So he came to Hyderbad on 3rd Sept,2006 came to see my daughter first time , Eluru on 6th Sept 2006, The engagement was fixed already for 9th, and the wedding on 10th in Rajole, E G dt. 16th was Visa appointemnt for my daughter in chennai,Getting visa was another ordeal, somebody told us we need to get secular wedding certificate to get visa , and in those days there was some strong objections to the certificate given by the pastors. There was some fraud in that process by some people so a new rule came into exisitence.. the time short, within 5 days I was running up and down to get a wedding certificate uncle was with me, we went to various places as we were told to go, kakinada, Rajuhmandry …. etc.. I did not want to face the shame of leaving my daughter behind, after the wedding. I knew number of cases wherein the bride was left behind for 4 or 5 years by not having visa.. remember we never asked about these things also or get affirmation from james before marriage, neighter me nor by my daughter.. we were innocent, fully depend on God , by faith.
We got a certificate atlast from rajuhmnadry , not authentic one as they said to us once it is chrisitan marriage we wont get secular wedding certificate. We were wrongly informed … about visa.. whatever it was lot of work for me, tiredness and anxiety for me. I almost ran after the train to hand over the certificate when my children were on their way to chennai from Rajuhamndry , in Eluru railway station.
Getting Visa was another ordeal….. 29th they already booked tickets to go to Florida.
When she was leaving in the Airport, I thought she would cry, and when I see her crying I cannot control my tears, so I took three or four handkerchiefs.. with me. But she apt to her name, all in smiles, waved her hand happily and just disappeared saying good bye after a firm hug…. that is all. I got a phone call the next day from her that they safely landed and very happy there.
PRAISE YE THY NAME FATHER, PRAISE THEE… WITH ALL MY SOUL. He is the Father of Fatherless… He performed His children wedding…!! God bless them!!