Healing and Revival


"Divine Healing In India"

Lam Jeevaratnam was born in 1892 and was raised as a Lutheran in India. He understood basic Christian beliefs but had never personally committed his life to Christ. He had an artistic gift and taught drawing and painting at missionary schools. Jeevaratnam developed some unusual drawing styles and drew with his eyes, ears, nose, and toes while blindfolded. Several people suggested he move to England where he could earn a lot more money as an entertainer. Although he was married he left his wife and children in India and went to England in the 1920s. He soon took up with a rough crowd and began to drink, smoke, and gamble. While in England he became involved with a local girl named Florence Day. Believing him to be single, the girl married Jeevaratnam in 1924 and they had two children together. He gave a false name in marrying, changing his first name to Lamb then shortening his last name to Jeevar. He was doing very well financially. Then some people suggested that he go to the United States, where he could make even more money.

Jeevaratnam decided that he would go to the US, but a couple of weeks before that happened he was in Leeds, England. He heard some singing and made his way to a small group of Pentecostal evangelists. His heart was struck by the question "Where will you spend eternity?" He came under intense conviction, but went home to struggle with God. For three days and three nights he cried out to God for mercy. On the third night he heard a voice speak to him and say "Go preach the Gospel" first in English and then in his native language. Not knowing what else to do he put on his native garb and headed for the local fish market. He gave his testimony and began calling people to Christ. He eventually gave all his money away and lived extremely frugally. He decided to attend Howard Carter's Pentecostal Bible school, where he supported himself doing janitorial work. In 1925 he went to see Smith Wigglesworth at Kinsway Hall and in 1926 he saw George Jeffreys at Royal Albert Hall, both in London. He saw the blind receive their sight, cripples leave their chairs, people drop their crutches, and many other instantaneous healings. He began to search the Bible and pray for the gift of healing.

Unfortunately things were not going well with his English family. Jeevaratname began traveling as an evangelist beginning in 1925. He suggested that the family move to India together, but Florence did not agree. It is hard to know why he made the choices he did but his left his wife and children, withut support, to move on in his new life. The couple separated in 1928 or 1929 and Florence received a divorce in 1932. She struggled to support her children. Her children struggled with strong local prejudice, due to their Indian skin color. Jeevaratnam never contacted them again and never provided any financial support.

Jeevaratnam returned to India and emulated another Indian Christian named Sadhu Sundar Singh. He became a traveling missionary. He traveled wherever God opened the door for the preaching of the Gospel. He wore the saffron robes of a sadu, or holy man, so that it would provide an opening for his preaching. In several places the local churches would not accept him, so he held large tent meetings. Thousands would come to hear him preach as well as to receive prayer for healing. His first work was around the city of Madras. When he got a small group interested within a town, he would establish a church and ask a Pentecostal missionary to come and take it over. Jeevaratnam believed the Lord's commands were clear in Mark 6:12-13 "And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them." and in Luke 9:1-2 "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. " As soon as he began to tell people that Jesus was a Heavenly Physician and could heal all diseases, they responded. They would come to him for prayer. He began to see both instantaneous and gradual healings. Jeevaratnam would constantly receive letters of testimony and requests for prayer. He regularly saw people healed of tuberculosis, insanity, paralysis and leperosy through the mighty power of the Lord Jesus.

Wherever he was he always ministered in traditional Indian clothing. The majority of his time, however, was spent in India. He would travel from village to village preaching the good news of the Gospel. Those he ministered to were poor and he was unpretentious. He would walk for miles or be carried in a donkey cart with an interpreter. It was often a dangerous life because Hindu officials would disapprove of his preaching. He would pray for all that came, whatever their religion, becuase he believed they would respond to the good news if they saw it. He eventually opened a healing home in Gudivada where people could come for prayer.

Jeevaratnam often dealt with demonic entities in India. Lester Sumrall in his book "Pioneers of Faith" said "Jeevaratnam had an unusual discernment of the presence of demon power and the knowledge of how to deal with it. In India, he was often called "Lam, the devil chaser," because he stayed with his calling, which was a mighty deliverance message that Christ is the answer to human needs. He dominated demons in a very strong manner until anyone could tell there was no fear in him, because demons ran from him." Jeevaratnam was faithful to his calling as one who preached the gospel and saw the sick healed.

He wrote two books that were published in English. "Divine Healing, Questions and Answers" and "Concerning Demons, Questions and Answers". Jeevaratnam died on March 27, 1960.

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