Heaven's Family Magazine
December 2010 Issue

Chicken Blood for Breakfast

The Lanterns Fund at Work in India

Elisabeth Walker, National Missionary Ministry, , Orphan's Tear Ministry

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Ayyappen can now take the gospel further with his new lantern from Heaven’s Family

How’s this for a job description: “Bite the head off a chicken and drink its blood”? That’s what Hindu priest Ayyappen Panayil did every day as part of his temple duties in Ponkunnon, India. It was perhaps not the healthiest dietary practice, and after 16 years of performing his daily chicken blood-drinking ritual, Ayyappen found himself suffering from a mysterious illness. Doctors diagnosed him with cancer and gave him only one month to live.

Ayyappen drowned his misery in alcohol. His condition only worsened, and he ended up in a hospital.

It was there that a visiting Christian heard about Ayyappen and his tragic story. So he stopped in Ayyappen’s room and asked if he could pray for him. Ayyappen reluctantly agreed, but when the praying stranger further invited him to his church, Ayyappen replied,

“I don’t need your God; I am a Hindu priest!”

He later yielded to that request, too, realizing that his many Hindu gods had proven to be powerless.

The prayers of the believers at that church prevailed. Within three weeks of attending there, Ayyappen found himself completely healed of cancer. Amazed and grateful, he gave his life to Jesus. He then went back to his temple job and started telling Hindus what Jesus had done for him.

Word spread that a Hindu priest had been miraculously healed and converted to Christ. People started coming from everywhere requesting Ayyappen’s prayers in Jesus’ name. God healed many, and they also gave their lives to Christ. Ayyappen soon found himself unemployed at the Hindu temple, but fully employed by the Head of the Church!

More miracles followed. God used Ayyappen to free a demon-possessed woman, then to heal another who was paralyzed. A farmer asked him to pray for rain during a drought and it rained!

That was about eight years ago. Ayyappen has since been pastoring a church, and he was adopted as a Heaven’s Family-sponsored national missionary last May. He has started two other house churches in nearby villages. People continue to call him from all over to pray for the sick, and God uses him mightily in a healing ministry.

Ayyappen’s ministry has been limited, however, by one thing—the number of hours of daylight. Many of the homes Ayyappen visits have no electricity, and traveling by foot after dark is dangerous. Through gifts to Heaven’s Family’s Lanterns Fund, however, Ayyappen now owns a simple gas-powered lantern, and he has been able to preach to many more people. He is very thankful for this gift—and those who hear the gospel and are healed also appreciate the “light” that Ayyappen has received!

The Bigger Picture:

Although Ayyappen has been receiving $100 per month as a Heaven’s Family-sponsored national missionary, he doesn’t have any sponsors. His monthly support has been coming from a general missionary fund which is limited. You can have a “share” of Ayyappen’s ministry for just $25 per month (or $50, $75 or $100), and share in his fruit and eternal rewards. If you want to help Ayyappen to continue shining the Light in some of the darkest places, go to HF’s National Missionary Fund page and type Ayyappen’s name in the appropriate box.

You can also help Heaven’s Family equip other indigenous evangelists and church planters with lanterns so that they can reach more people with the gospel. $40 provides one lantern.

Provide lanterns for missionaries

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This Month's Articles

Parting Shot: Fast Food Icon Spotted in Pakistan

parting-shot

While Jeff Trotter was documenting Heaven’s Family’s flood relief work in Pakistan, he photographed this man whose beautiful red beard and distinctive face reminded him of Burger King’s mascot

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