April 7, 2002
This testimony was first prepared for a Church congregation on the above date, but I thought I should pass it on to my readers.
Before I get into my testimony, let me introduce myself in the following way by answering in advance your unexpressed questions regarding me.
How long have I been in America?
Where did I come from?
Why did I come here?
What did I do here?
1 How long have I been in America?
33½ years! Do you sense any importance to this? I was reading a research book recently which said Jesus was born towards the end of September, 2 BC and his crucifixion was at the beginning of April. The total period of his life was 33½ years! Not only that, I came to USA towards the end of September in 1968, and now this is April of 2002. Wow!
2. Where Did I Come From?
There are several possible answers: one was given by King David, so you have to ask him! I came from a far away place, almost at the opposite end of the world, a land known from antiquity for spices, a land where St. Thomas the apostle is believed to have come for a short while to bring Christianity. This land I come from is called Kerala, a strip of coastal land on the southwestern part of India. My ancestors lived for generations; we are St. Thomas Christians. My name has a Thomas connection: can you guess? Oommen is from Thommen, and Thommen is from Thomas; that is what I have been told. We haven’t kept good genealogies, so I can hardly go back to my great, great, great grand parents.
From the tan color of my skin you could guess that I am from the tropics. My facial features conform to a Caucasian. People in India migrated from different places and intermarried. Our ancestry goes back to ancient Babylon and ancient Turkey from where people migrated many thousands of years ago. Being dark-skinned has some advantages: I don’t have to tan my skin; I don’t get sunburns. Besides, when I get to heaven, I’ll be readily admitted with the warm welcome, ‘Well done, my faithful servant!’ Perhaps I am ‘medium rare’.
Actually I came to USA from Africa, the country of Ghana because I went for a job there in 1966. It was a teaching job; teaching Science. Some famous people in the Bible including Jesus have been in Africa, particularly Egypt. So far I have been only to the airport in Cairo.
3. Why Did I come Here?
I have been asked this question many times. Of course, I came here to do my graduate studies. Next question: why couldn’t you go to school back home?
At that point I quoted Scripture: Jesus said, ‘Go to the ends of the earth!’ I have just obeyed the divine command; I have a divine mission here! I shall speak about that later. But let me go to the next question.
4. What Did I do Here?
Of course, I did my studies here, did my doctorate in a Science subject. Then I got into some research jobs, first at two universities, and then at three industrial locations. That went on till I retired in October 2000. Retired engineers and scientists don’t really retire. They become Consultants, free to work when you want, where you want and how you want. Isn’t that nice? Perhaps you all want to be Consultants. The catch is you should have some expertise to sell. Fortunately I gained some expertise in the field I was working, made myself known internationally through publications and discoveries.
Any other questions? You didn’t ask me about my family. I have a lovely wife for almost 39 years now (wow!), Anna, and three grownup children, a girl and two boys, all married, and we have one grand child, a lovely three year old girl. The boys live and work in this area, and my daughter is in DC. We are expecting two more grand children this year. I have a brother in San Diego with a doctorate in Mathematics. He is my identical twin, another peculiarity with me. We have many relatives in USA including first cousins.
So far I was giving my bio. Now let me turn to my testimony which is what you were promised.
First of all, I am not a Preacher or Pastor or anything like that. I never had a miraculous conversion experience. So if you were expecting such dramatic testimonies, you are in for a disappointment.
I was raised in pious Christian family. My father went to the seminary because that was the only opportunity he had to do anything promising in his life. His mother was a widow, but she was extremely pious. My father and mother were both teachers in Church owned schools.. My father preached on Sundays and taught school on weekdays. Could you have asked for anything better? Financially the family worked hard to make ends meet because there were eight children, and my parents did not earn much money. That enabled us to do chores like raising the cows, tilling the land to make our own produce. But we were also compelled to study hard and make our grades. Such discipline made us excel in classes.
We went to church regularly, heard all the sermons, especially of my father, but I can’t remember a single one of them now! Then we would listen to famous preachers. Sunday school was a must. Saturday evenings were not to be used for frivolous things because the next day was Sunday. But would you believe we were not allowed to do our home work either? I continued that practice for the rest of my educational career. And I never suffered for that. God honors those who honor Him. We have to plan our lives with God.
God had to perform many miracles in my life to bring me where I am now. That involved going to college and graduate studies, as well as getting a good job.. You can read about it on my web site.
A lot of testimonies you have heard are about mismanaged lives and how God came to the rescue. In my case, my testimony is how we can avoid pitfalls by submitting to God early in life. Then, instead of going through defeats and agony, we can go from victory to victory. So my testimony is one of triumph, and not of defeat. I must say that in my research life I succeeded in just about every project I got involved, when my fellow workers failed. My research funds came every year for 24 years and when I was about to retire, the funds stopped coming! That is what we call Providence.
How did I become a strong believer? As a teenager I had a great thirst for knowing God personally. I would spend time alone outside on starry nights and meditate. I read the gospels and the whole Bible; read commentaries. I was particularly struck by what Jesus told his disciples: do not worry about anything, for God the Father cares for you! I found that worry is one weakness of most Christians. And that included my very devout mother who prayed long prayers. Let me tell you frankly: if you pray long agonizing prayers, you may be a worrier! You don’t have to beg again and again to God for favors. You are His child. God wants us to talk to Him, and of course, you can just tell Him what you would like to have, but not what He must give you. You should never dictate to God. You should give God the honor of making the final decision. ‘His will be done’ should be our priority. So I don’t worry. My blood pressure is always normal. Worry raises your blood pressure. I also don’t pray long prayers. If someone dear and close to me is gravely sick, I don’t cry to God to intervene. That will be dishonoring God who cares for all. I just tell that I would like my friend or relative to be whole, but His will be done.
Didn’t I have struggles and defeats like all humans? I would be lying if I said, No. The Bible speaks of three fold temptation: the world, the flesh and the devil. I must say that I am no different from the rest of you in these areas. Yet, I was able to focus on my goals and succeed. I did not allow myself to be distracted and defeated by the temptations and trials I faced. I found outlets that did not lead me to slippery depths. I had to live a bachelor life for years, and even after marriage I had a three year single life when I was in America for my studies. The rooming house I lived had Saturday night parties and dances, but I never joined them in spite of being invited. I have one record album they used to play, ‘Those Were the Days’ by Mary Hopkin, one of my beloved artists who also sang ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ based on Eccl. 3, ‘There is a time for everything..’ I am certain my studies would have been derailed if I had chosen that route of partying. Fortunately, there was a wonderful church nearby where I met several young couples whom I joined weekly for home Bible studies.
God did test my Faith during a period of unemployment for over an year when I had to support a family with three children. We came to our last penny of savings, and then God did a miracle to get me a good job. There were also waiting periods such as for immigration visa which ran into trouble to the point that I could have been deported! We had family emergencies to face – some of them life threatening – but we have been spared by God’s grace.
Other than my personal life, what did I do for God’s kingdom? That is the question each one of us must answer. All the money we make, all the good life we have, must end some day, and we must give an account of our lives.
Early in my life I was asked about going into ministry. But since I did not feel convinced of a Call, I did not go. There are a lot of people in the Church leadership who became such because it was prestigious to do so.
So what do I have to show? I studied Science and earned the highest degree I could get. But God put it in my heart to use my Science and my Bible knowledge to accomplish His mission for me. I had puzzled over Creation, and how the Creation story agrees with scientific findings. Then I discovered that the theory of Evolution is trying to discredit the Bible and its Creation accounts. Unfortunately many well meaning Christians could not answer the evolutionists. That is what happened in Tennessee in 1925 at the Monkey Trial as we call it. The interesting thing is that even today most Christians cannot answer satisfactorily the question the defense lawyer Clarence Darrow asked William Jennings Brian, the prosecution lawyer. For example, where did the light come from for the first three days of Creation? The devout Christian would say, ‘from God’. If God could give the light for the first three days, why did He have to create the sun and the moon and the stars? No answer.
I studied the Bible and found that I could answer every single question asked at that trial. I organized some lectures while at the university, and held weekly classes inviting anyone who wanted to listen. Graduate students in Zoology also came. I not only answered all their questions, but exposed the fallacy of evolution.
I have studied the Bible for its history, its prophecy and so on, and have taught advanced courses on them in some Churches.
My desire to visit the Holy Land was fulfilled in 1993, and a broader trip to Israel, Jordan and Sinai was undertaken in 1998. This particular trip was led by the man who had made many important Bible discoveries. My wife and I visited the hills of eastern Turkey in October 2000 and stepped on the remains of Noah’s Ark.
I have been inside the Tomb where Jesus was laid, and from where he rose; I stood right where He was crucified, though at present ground level. Amazingly, I have stood 35 ft directly above where the Holy Ark of the Covenant is hidden in a cave in Jerusalem. You will be awestruck if I tell you what happened at the Crucifixion: His blood went down through a crack 20 feet deep in the bedrock as a result of the earthquake, and it landed directly on top of the Mercy Seat of the Ark which was in the cave directly below, thereby literally fulfilling the Atonement. God had planned this event 620 years before when the Ark was hidden in this cave during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. But you and I cannot go to that cave because it is sealed. I also saw the very linen shroud that had been wrapped around the body of our Lord, with his full body image supernaturally impressed on it. Only the resurrection event could have created that image, which, by the way, is a negative, and the image has three dimensional information of the body.
When God brought the right people and the right tour and so on for me to learn all these, I had a mission to do. In May 1999 I started a web site, www.biblediscoveries.com It has the most fascinating discovery articles. I get mail from all over the world and I reply to questions. In a sense I have reached the ends of the earth from the ends of the earth. I could not have possibly done all these if I were in my home land.
Many of you are content with a great Worship services and great testimonies. But God has revealed many wonderful things of the Bible to strengthen our faith and to enlighten us.
I happen to have a videotape, ‘Blessings and Curses’. The speaker, a Christian Preacher, talks about blessings and curses that run in each family. One of the reasons why we can’t always figure out why we go through life with blessings or curses is because of what the Bible says about God’s blessings and curses to the succeeding generations depending on the godliness or ungodliness of the parents. My father was called into ministry from among four males in his family; he was the youngest. Now, years later, we find that his children have been blessed much more that the children of his other brothers with an awareness of God. Materially speaking some of the cousins have done very well, but I wonder about the next generations. Most of us want our children to prosper, so we give them the best education, marry them to successful people and so on. But do we know that when our children really prosper, they are more vulnerable to being alienated from God? In a sense, we have may have opened a path of curse for them. So let us be careful about where our priorities go!
I give glory and praise to God for His wonderful grace to me and for His guidance and Providence.
Let me close with two motto plaques I have on my home walls.