JEMINY AND SAJINI MATHEW
Jeminy & Sajini Mathew
The following testimony came as a result of an interview that I gave this couple on 15th February 2011 in their home in Upton, Wirral, and I have to say that this is one of the most remarkable testimonies that I have ever heard. During the interview that I gave them Jeminy was very keen to identify every experience that they had with scripture so I have made reference to the scriptures that he referred to in brackets. Their testimony has now been reproduced in a booklet form and if anybody would like a copy this is available at no cost.
Their former life
Jeminy and Sajini were born into the Malayalam speaking area of Kerala, South India; Jeminy from a Roman Catholic family and Sajini from a Jacobite Syrian Christian Church family (this church being part of the Syriac Orthodox Church). They came to England in 2001within a month of each other and worked as nurses in the same hospital. Hospitals at that time were widely recruiting staff from abroad, mostly from the Philippines and India. They didn't realise it at the time but they can now see that it was all part of God's plan for their lives. Two years later they went back to India to get married, so as to be with their family members and be married in a traditionally Roman Catholic way. When they came back to England they found a house in Upton, Wirral, where they still live today, and started their family life. With their joint income as qualified nurses they were able to furnish their house, buy a car, and enjoy a standard of living well in excess of that to which they had hitherto been accustomed in India. However, after a few months of enjoying their new lifestyle they became aware of one thing that was very much missing in their life and that was 'peace'. They had lost what peace they had and they started arguing over a number of issues in their life, mainly to do with money issues. With all this extra money coming into their household it began to take control of their life and they became less and less inclined to part with any of it and to give to others. Neither of their families back home were wealthy, in fact both their families had suffered financial hardships during their lives. Sajini's father had been out of work for a long time and she had a brother and elder sister at home, who also were not in work. Although Jeminy was well aware of the financial hardship of Sajini's family he imposed a strict limit on the amount that they would send to her family. He argued that his family was also not wealthy, with his father now being retired. He therefore felt that it was not right to send her family a disproportionate amount of their income, and also felt that they should be saving money for themselves. He argued that he was working hard for what he earned and didn't want to be giving so much money to her family. All this, consequently, caused a lot of friction in their life and with it a complete absence of peace.
Over time the arguments between Jeminy and Sajini increased with Jeminy accusing Sajini of loving her family more than she loved him and that she only wanted to give to them. He therefore began to find fault with everything she wanted to do for her family. As he thinks back now to those days he realises that 'love' as mentioned in scripture, covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) and that it was 'love' that was lacking in their lives at that time.
Their first child, Daniel, was born in May 2004. Even when she was pregnant with Daniel he couldn't stop his arguments, which were now occurring almost on a daily basis and the situation was getting worse. Jeminy said that they were now aware that each of them were being 'scarred' by all that was going on and as their arguments increased those scars were becoming worse within them and were an escalating problem. Even after Daniel was born they continued as they were, one day would be okay, but the next they would be back to normal. In January 2007 their daughter Keziah was born, but nothing changed and they continued in their argumentative ways, seemingly getting worse every day. By this time they were saying to each other that they didn't want to live with each other anymore and there was an expectation that this was going to lead to a separation. Nobody else knew anything of their marriage difficulties; they kept their problems completely to themselves. Jeminy said that sometimes he would pray asking God why all these things were happening in their lives, as he couldn't see that he had done anything wrong. In his prayers he even asked God why he had given him this person as his wife, when there were so many other girls in the world! Reflecting back on it all now he firmly believes that Sajini was the one whom God had specially chosen for him, but at the time he couldn't see this and he felt that the marriage was doomed to failure. Then in October 2007 something happened that would change their lives forever.
Their marriage on the point of collapse
Three days before the life-changing incident in their lives they had a big argument over a mobile Sim Card. When Jeminy came home from work one day he found a Sim Card package on the table which had arrived in the post that morning. He asked Sajini about the Sim Card but she said that she knew nothing about it, and that it had just come through the post. However, he didn't believe her and suspected her of doing things behind his back. It later turned out that it had been sent for marketing purposes, but he didn't know this at the time and it added further pressure to their already fraught marital difficulties. This resulted in them not speaking with each other for three days. Sajini told Jeminy that she didn't want to live with him anymore and he also said that he wished to live elsewhere. When I asked Jeminy how all this was affecting the children, he said that they were not aware of any difficulties, and thought that they were too young to understand. However they didn't try to protect them from what was happening and argued continually in front of the children. Daniel at this time was 3½ years old and Keziah about 8 months old. Jeminy and Sajini shared with me that they can now see that materialism was the root cause of their problems at the time and that this is also a major problem in many parts of the world today, not least in the church. There is a great need, Jeminy said, to reflect on what Jesus said in Mathew 10:37-39 i.e.
"He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it."
This, he said, is the mark of a true disciple of Jesus. Family life is important, he said, but God must always be first in our life.
During the three days in which they didn't speak in October 2007 Jeminy was working each day in Chester, and on the third day, which was a Saturday, Sajini was at home with the children and Jeminy was at work. Sajini had been praying every day, as both of them had been, about their problems and both of them were very upset at the imminent collapse of their marriage. In the afternoon on Saturday the doorbell rang and Sajini went to see who it was. What happened next was to be a major turning point in their lives.
The special visitors
At the front door were two white people, a man and woman, their ages she thought being around the 60's. The man was wearing a long shirt hanging loose, with a bag at his side and a book in his hand. Although it was October it was not a cold day, in fact it was quite a pleasant day. At first she thought that they were Jehovah Witnesses, who she normally did speak to but would never invite them into the house. Normally the Jehovah Witnesses would give her a leaflet to read, which she would later read in the house, but this couple didn't do so, and just spoke about Jesus. She said that they spoke of a lot of lovely things to her, saying that if she had any problems in her life that it was Him whom she needed to pray to and that as she read the Gospels that He would talk to her. They also said that she needed to understand the Word of God and that He would guide her and help her through it. After about half an hour the man gave her the book which was in his hand for her to read. It was a very old book with faded pages within it, but she didn't actually read it because they had been speaking to her for a long time. She then thought to herself that they had been standing there for such a long time and because they were not young she thought that she should invite them into the house. So she invited them in and asked them if they would like a cup of tea. As they went through the Dining Room towards the Lounge they passed the two children who were playing there and the lady looked at the children and asked Sajini why the children were looking so sad. This really surprised her because they were laughing and smiling as they played and as far as she could see there was no indication of anything wrong with them. They went into the Lounge and continued talking about Jesus and the Word of God. The lady continued to ask her why the children were so upset and what was going on in the house and if they had any problems. (This has made them realise that when you argue in front of the children, although it may not show, it is having an effect upon them). She replied telling them that they didn't have any problems, as she didn't want to share with anybody else what was happening in their marriage, as she was ashamed to admit to anyone that anything was wrong. (Sajini shared with me that they never shared their problems with anyone, whether it was their family, those at the church, the workplace or their neighbours, so she certainly wasn't going to share them with strangers). So she told the visitors that everything was fine and that there were no problems in the house.
During this time the man wasn't saying very much but at one stage she did look at him and she was struck by his eyes. They were blue, very bright and penetrating, so much so that she couldn't continue looking at him (Rev. 1:14). The lady then went on to tell her about Jeminy's family, that his father was still alive in India, and that he had a brother who lived with him and also that he had a sister in the USA who had three children. She then went on to tell her about Sajini's own family in India, how both her father and mother were still alive and that she had a brother and sister. It was evident that she knew all about their family situations. She then went on to speak about what had been going on in their house with all their arguing and fighting for a long time and also what had happened during the previous three days and that this was why they had no peace in their lives and why the children were so sad. She realised that they must have supernatural powers, and she started to tremble and cry over all she had said to her, because she had been bottling all this up within her for some time, telling nobody about it. The lady then said to her that she should not worry because everything was going to go, and that peace would return to her. At this point Sajini asked them again if they would like a cup of tea and they said that they would. The telephone then rang and so she answered it. The call was from Age UK who asked her if she would like to support the work in some way, but she told them that her husband wasn't at home and that she would need to discuss it with him first, so she finished the call. The lady asked here whom the call was from and what they wanted so she told them. She then said to Sajini that what she had said to them was the right answer to give and that it was right to discuss it first with her husband and discuss it together (Genesis 2:24). The lady spoke to her from the Bible and showed her how she needed to live their family life, and also how she needed to submit to her husband (Eph.5: 24, Titus 2: 4,5).
The man at this stage said to Sajini that they had been talking to her a lot from the Bible, God's Word, and that before they left he would like to pray for her. He got up and noticed a Malayalam Bible on the Mantelpiece and started to read from it. She asked him if he knew the Malayalam language and he replied that he knew all the languages in the world. He then spoke in a very clear and pure way in the Malayalam language from Mathew 19:3-6, about how the Pharisees had tried to trap him in his talk over the subject of divorce and of the answer that Jesus gave. He laid stress on verse 6 that what God has joined together, no man should put asunder. He also noticed a number of pictures on the wall, alongside each other, which included one of Jesus, one of Mary and one of the archangel Michael. Pointing to the picture of Jesus, he asked her who that was, and she told him that it was Jesus. He asked her if she had ever seen Jesus, and she replied that she hadn't. He then asked her whom the other two pictures were of and she told him, and he asked her why she was giving the same respect to all of them, and also said to her that it was wrong to worship idols. He said to her that God is love (1 John 4:8), that He dwells within us (1 Cori. 3:16, 1 Cori. 6:19) and that God is Spirit (John 4:24, 2 Cori.3: 17).
Sajini is prayed for
After this the man said to Sajini that he would pray for her, before they went. So he started praying for her in English putting his hand on top of her head. She said that there was a very powerful feeling that went through her body like a cold sharp knife, leaving a numb feeling within her. She can't remember much of what he prayed because of the effect of his hand upon her head, in which she felt almost semi-conscious and in a different world. She does recall, however, that in his prayer he spoke about whoever believes in Jesus will have their sins forgiven because of the power of his name. After he had prayed for her she was left with a feeling of peace and happiness within her. They had been with her for about 45 minutes when they made their way to the front door. When they were passing through the Dining Room the man said to her that she needed to tell her husband about their visit. At no time did they say who they were, what their names were, or where they were from, and curiously it never entered her mind to ask them. (On the question of who the visitors were Jeminy referred to the passage from Exodus 3:13,14 i.e. "if they asked who sent him (Moses) that he should reply 'I am who I am'"). The man then said to her "tomorrow, at the time when we came into your house (3pm) you will know the change that has taken place in your life."
The visitors disappear
As the visitors left her Sajini opened the front door to let them out and was standing within arm's length of them as they were saying goodbye to her, when right in front of her eyes they completely disappeared. She felt really scared and went to the front gate and looked in all directions to try and see them, but she couldn't see anything. She started wondering to herself if she was dreaming and what was happening to her. So she came back in the house and asked Daniel if he had seen the two people in the house. He said that he had done and wanted to know why she was asking him this. She then remembered that she had given them a cup of tea, so she went into the kitchen to see if the cups were still there and was relieved to see that they were still in the sink. It then dawned on her that something really amazing and supernatural had happened to her. The experience of all that had happened had left her feeling very happy with her sorrow and bad feelings completely gone. One of the things that the man had said when they were in the Lounge was that when she was really sad, anxious or upset, that she should go to the Bible and that he would talk to her. That was one of the few things that he said. She then remembered this and went back into the Lounge and opened her Bible and she read the words "Do not be frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you." (Joshua 1:9). She then picked up the phone to call her husband, even though they hadn't spoken for three days and told him everything that had happened. He listened to her even though it was very busy in the hospital, and he also accepted what she said and believed that Jesus had come into their house. Sajini stressed to me that their marriage really was at the point of collapse and that they would have divorced each other. This, she said, would have been especially hard for them because divorce is very much frowned upon amongst their own people in India. They both believe that Jesus had come to them to save them and their marriage. Sajini had to go to work that night as she was working on night duty; so after Jeminy came home they only had one hour in which to talk before she went to work. Before she left Jeminy said to her that they needed to pray together although they didn't really know how to pray, so they just repeated the Lord's prayer and some Catholic prayers. They did also thank God for what he had done for them and for saving them, and by this time all the heaviness in Jeminy's mind had also completely gone. When Sajini returned from work the following morning they went together to the Catholic Church. Jeminy had been active in the church especially in the music ministry as a singer. Usually on Sundays they went to the English Mass at the Roman Catholic Church in Woodchurch or Upton, but once a month they went to the Malayalam Mass which is held in the afternoon at St Joseph's church in Birkenhead.
A life changing experience
Sajini went to bed with her daughter Keziah after the morning service. At the same time as the visitors had come the previous day Keziah started to cry, so Jeminy went upstairs to get her. But Sajini also awoke and said that she wasn't going to sleep anymore and that she would bring Keziah down with her, so Jeminy went downstairs. After about 5 minutes Jeminy heard a sound which turned out to be Sajini crying. He saw that Sajini was holding Keziah in one hand and her eyes closed with tears flowing from her eyes. So he took Keziah downstairs this time and Sajini followed and asked him to fetch the Bible, which he did. However when she tried to open the Bible she was unable to do so; it was as if it was stuck with glue. She then found herself speaking and singing in tongues, which lasted for about 5 to 10 minutes and she then just collapsed on the settee. When she awoke she asked Jeminy how she had got there, so he told her everything that had happened. From that day onward all the former problems had gone. They started praying together but their prayers were now a lot different, no longer liturgical, but from the heart, praising Him and thanking God for all he had done, which now just flowed from them effortlessly. They were so amazed at what was happening to them with all their former sadness and anxiety completely gone. They continued praying together every day and then after a few days Sajini started to see visions of angels and also, she believes, of Jesus also, although she couldn't see the angels faces. During the last few days of this experience Jeminy was also baptised in the Holy Spirit and started speaking in tongues. She said that in all this there was no sadness or sorrow and they were really happy. She also said that she was giving prophecies during the 40 day period, and when I asked Sajini what sort of things she had been prophesying about she said that they were concerning things that were going to happen in the future. As they continued in their Christian life they recognised that many of the things that she had been prophesying about were in God's Word. She wrote everything down in her diary and even during her break time at work God would speak to her, so she would write it down and they would read it together at home. Some of the prophesies concerned their personal future together, including a vision of three houses being acquired in India, one for orphans, one for the elderly, and one for a house of prayer, which God showed them that they would be involved in. God also showed them that they needed to share their testimony with other people, so they invited a small gathering from their own community into their house for a prayer meeting and during this time they shared their testimony for the first time.
After all this they started attending an evangelical Malayalam Church which at that time was meeting in Hope Hall in New Ferry. They have been in this fellowship every since and have very much benefited from the teaching from God's Word, but they have also benefited from their own time of prayer and study together at home, when God often speaks to them. They have shared their testimony on a number of occasions amongst the Malayalam community both at home and also in India. It was in June 2008 that a preacher came from India to preach to some of the Malayalam churches and he also came to their house and spoke to them of their need to be baptised. At first they were resistant to this but then God spoke to them from John 13:8 and they then phoned the pastor and agreed to go ahead with this, and they were baptised later in the same month.
Jeminy and Sajini are still going on with God today, praying and reading God's Word together, enjoying their fellowship at their church in which Jeminy is involved in the music ministry and they are very happy in their family life. They are rejoicing in Christ and living in the truths of God's Word and are seeking to know his peace (John 14:27) to walk in His light (1 John 1:7) to produce the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) and also to live in the experience of Psalm 139:v23, 24 i.e. "Search me O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thought. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting."
Reflecting on all that has happened to them Jeminy likened their situation to that of Zacchaeus, when Jesus went into his house and said to him "today, salvation has come into this house" and that, he said, is what happened to their house, for which they praise God (Luke 19:9).