In the 1940's Ayyah had a great admiration for the leaders of the ‘Indian Congress Movement’ for independence, and he readily read their books. In August, 1942, when the national leaders launched the 'Quit India Movement' against the British, he was the leader of the student group. He organized and led a big student strike in his college. In those days he could not tolerate the sight of any white man. If he came across one he would tell him rudely, "Get out of India you white face!" One day he went to the then Bishop of Tirunelveli, an Englishman, and was so rude to him, that tears welled in the Bishop's eyes. At that time when he was leading the protest, he stole the Bishop's communion bread knife to spite him.
The police received orders to shoot the leaders of the student strike and Ayyah was prepared to die for his country and for Mahatma Gandhi, who initiated the ‘Sathyagraha movement’. The police officer in charge to carry out this order had been a football friend of Ayyah; he intervened with the principal of the college. He was able to change the order and instead, an arrest warrant was issued. Ayyah was about to be caught and put in jail. His mother wept and pleaded, "Why are you living such a wicked life? You know that as the eldest son in the family you have been dedicated to God's work." It was her tears that made him flee to Colombo, Sri Lanka, in October, 1942. The police attempted to apprehend him, but he managed to escape because he had two names, Paul and Lawrie.
In Sri Lanka, he got a job in one of the tea estates as a stenographer. He continued to read political books and began to lean toward communism and thought to join with them. He would have turned a communist at that time had he not had the spark of God alive in his heart. The communist way of thinking attracted him because he felt that in it lay the fundamentals to salvage the lot of the downtrodden people of India. The draw back, that made him hesitate, was that communists do not believe in the existence of God. If he went over to their side he would have to deny the existence of God. He requested his comrades to give him a month's time, to enable him to make his final decision.
During this time he started reading religious books in general. At that time he was not believing that Jesus Christ was the answer to the world's ills. A clerk of the same tea estate where Ayyah worked, E. W. Arulanandham, came to him one evening and asked him, "Paul, are you saved?" In a menacing voice, Ayyah told him to get out, and threatened to kick him out if he didn't leave. However that young man was persistent in coming for two consecutive days and always asked, "Are you saved?" Each time he got a beating from Ayyah. Because of this man's persistence, Ayyah began to think that such a man would be a good volunteer for communism. Ayyah then tried to convert him but as it happened, Mr. Arulanandham succeeded in persuading Ayyah to attend a whole night prayer meeting. Making up his mind to attend just for the fun of it, Ayyah stole plenty of oranges on the way to the meeting from the superintendent's garden. He took the oranges to the meeting and started eating them there. The preacher who conducted the meeting interrupted his message and said that the power of God was not manifesting, there must be sin in the group. He said he could see ball like things, maybe fruits. He asked whether they could be oranges. When Ayyah was convinced that he had been spotted he confessed he had stolen some oranges. He was shaken and was awake all through that night, after seeing this demonstration of the power of God. Soon after this he started reading books on Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Buddha, and scriptures of other religions, such as Bhagavad Gita and Koran. Books of any religion he read. He stopped eating meat and practised Yoga. Finally he read the book, 'The Fool Hath Said' by Beverly Nichols. This book made him interested in reading the Bible. When he started reading the Bible prayerfully, the Lord opened his eyes.
Ayyah took his friend Arulanandham with him and under a tea bush confessed all his sins and promised to make restitution as far as possible. He returned the communion knife to the Bishop who was praying for it for nearly one year. On June 2,1943, he saw a vision of Jesus; a bright light came into his heart and his sins were forgiven. The nasal trouble that had plagued him for a long time was healed. He resigned his job in the tea estate, because with his new enlightenment he could not continue to work in a place where there were dishonest dealings. His father was much annoyed over his resignation. On that day the Japanese bombed their city, Colombo, Sri Lanka, and they both ducked under a table till the raid was over. Ayyah prayed much that night and he heard a voice speaking to him, "Go to Harrisons & Crossfield Ltd. I have a job for you." Going there the next day, he was taken on immediately. He later became the secretary for 35 European mercantile firms.
After his conversion Ayyah still continued in sports; by virtue of his athletic powers he became famous. Football now became like a god to him and he was spending so much energy and time into the game. In his heart he knew he should leave playing football and would tell himself, ‘I will leave, I will leave’, realizing how it was hindering his spiritual life. He kept telling himself, ‘I will leave it’, but the pull of the game was so powerful that he kept putting it off. The desire to play was too much for him to leave. Then he prayed this prayer: "God I am not able to live a holy life. I cannot be responsible any more; you must be responsible for me. If I am lost it is your responsibility, as I cannot do it on my own." When he quit struggling and gave his problem to God, then he found the victory. He was preparing to go to the Olympics in two weeks. Instead of this glory, his leg was broken in a football game and he had to be carried home. It was a blow for him as he realized his broken leg was the end of his football days. He was in bed for nearly 40 days. During this time spent healing the leg, he was also healed spiritually as he felt a special nearness of God. Happily, he realized that God had answered his prayer when he had put himself in the hand of God. After recovery he lost his desire to play football.
One day a man and his wife asked shelter for the night. Ayyah offered them his room and slept on the floor in another room. His father slept in an adjacent room. In the middle of the night his father felt as if a rat bit his hand and felt blood oozing out. He went to switch on the light, but the light in his room did not come on. He then switched on the light in the room where Ayyah was sleeping and saw a cobra near his son's head. It was about to spring when his father managed to kill it. When his father looked at his hand where he thought he had been bitten by a rat, there was no bite mark or any blood on his hand. This again was a supernatural way that Ayyah's life was spared.
Even though Ayyah had given his life to God he still had his old hot temper. One day a man insulted his father. Ayyah confronted that man the next day and fractured his collarbone, for which he was taken into custody by the Sri Lanka police on a charge of attempted murder. If convicted he could have spent a long time in prison. He then prayed what he calls one of his best prayers. The Lord sent a man to intervene and he was released from custody. The case was contested in courts for nine months. On October 6, 1946, he decided to obey God in every way, according to what is taught in the Bible and he had a new blessing. The Lord showed him a vision, where he saw a powerful light around him, and also the Lord guarding him. He assured him that his case in court would be dropped that week. Suddenly that week the judge dismissed the case.
Finding a girl for Ayyah's marriage was now giving concern to his father because Ayyah was rejecting so many proposals. This was because he was telling the Lord that unless He showed him his life's partner, he would not marry any girl. God kindly revealed to him his future wife in a series of four dreams. In 1946, he went to India on a short holiday. While going with his mother to a friend's house, he saw everything according to the dream he had had about his wife-to-be. The church, the road, the house, the family and every detail flashed back in great vividness. Thus assured that the girl in that house was the one chosen by the Lord, he consented to a marriage and they became engaged. His mother was there but since his father was still in Sri Lanka, the marriage had to be postponed for six months.
His first son Deva Evu was born in the Tamil month of Chitrai (May). According to astrological calculations, it was thought if a child was born in this month, the father would die before the child could walk. This made Ayyah's mother greatly worried.For her son's life, the astrological predictions had no effect. At nine months of age Deva Evu was taken ill of diphtheria. He was so seriously ill that Ayyah and his wife prayed earnestly day and night. The boy was operated upon and a tracheotomy performed on him. One morning Ayyah and his wife went to a church and cried and prayed to the Lord that if He would heal their son, they would go back to India and work for Him. The next day, to the amazement of the doctors, Deva Evu was healed. Faithful to the promise, Ayyah resigned his lucrative job and left Sri Lanka where he had so much distinction and popularity. This new resignation was again against the wishes of his father.
On their way back to India in 1949, while the train was passing through the Anuradhapura Jungles in Sri Lanka, a girl possessed of a demon lunged on their sleeping child with the intent to kill him. Most of the passengers were fast asleep. Ayyah who suddenly awakened grabbed her in time and wrestled with her. She seemed to have enormous strength. Something prompted him to say, "In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to come out!" Immediately the girl collapsed. When she came to, she did not recall the attack. This incident prompted Ayyah to study about the demons and evil spirits, of which many do not believe even exist.
While in India he went job hunting looking for employment which would permit him to work for God after hours. Working for a month in Madras in a firm he was suddenly discharged by the Marwari manager. When he arrived at his home, there was a letter offering him a position in the ‘Yercaud Estate’ in South India. There he organized a Sunday school and participated in the believer's meetings. After staying there for some time he received a letter (in reply to his earlier application) from the famous American Christian Medical College Hospital in Vellore. As the salary offered was small, he decided not to accept the position. Suddenly their son fell ill and became serious. Sister Lawrie opined that it must be God's punishment for not accepting the offered position, and that it was not good for them to expect a big salary, but go to any place the Lord would lead them. After prayers Ayyah agreed to go to Vellore. To their great happiness when they came to this agreement, their son was suddenly healed. Trusting now fully that this was God's will, they left for Vellore.
The hand of God soon lifted Ayyah to the high post of Secretary to the General Superintendent even though he began as an ordinary clerk. Before coming here, the Lawrie's had made a promise in Sri Lanka when their son was dying, that they would serve God full time. God had spoken to Ayyah that He would give him five years to fulfil this promise. As the years went by and as the Lawries were prospering in Vellore, this promise was pushed out of their minds. He became very busy with the gospel work. At times Ayyah would think of resigning his job but with a wife and three small children, to resign was a difficult decision. Also Sister Lawrie was not willing to take such a step; so he continued to do his job conscientiously as a paid worker and participated in gospel work on the off hours. As the years went by, he thought God must have forgotten the promise and rationalized that he was serving Him fully.
During these days they were called out for a convention at Tanjore. On their way at Thiruvannamalai, they met a person they supposed was a true prophetess who told them to go back to Vellore, as God was against their taking part in the Tanjore convention. They realized it was a false prophecy, for when they turned back to Vellore, their son Devadayavu suddenly complained of pain in the stomach. For three hours he suffered a lot. They came to the conclusion that God really did not want them to turn back, and when they again made their way to Tanjore, the child became all right.
Since the Lawries did not get themselves bound by any single denomination, they mingled with God's groups of all types; during these early days, they were moving with Pentecostal groups also. Wherever they were called upon they gave their testimonies. In many of these meetings they saw others seemingly having an anointing of the Spirit, speaking in tongues and dancing, but they themselves did not have such an experience. While at Vellore Ayyah was praying with some Pentecostal people and a brother, Mr. Gnanaprakasam, suddenly prophesied, "Paul, Paul, where are you?" When they all enquired who this Paul was, as they knew no one by that name, Ayyah then said, in his home he was known as 'Paul’ and outside the home he was known as 'Lawrie' or 'Brother Lawrie.' Mr. Gnanaprakasam then said, "There is a great place for you." After this he continued to pray often with Ayyah. On one of these occasions, on March 30, 1952, at about one o'clock in the night, Ayyah was filled with ‘joy unspeakable’ as spoken of in Acts 2:4. He was baptized with such a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit that he was rolling and singing and praising God for five hours, speaking in unknown tongues. When his wife came in the morning, she found the whole room was upside down with chairs and tables overturned. He told his wife the ‘ecstasies’ of this new experience and she also started eagerly seeking the Lord to be thus filled.
In 1953, Brother William Branham came to Bombay, India, and Ayyah went there to attend the meetings. When Dr. Billy Graham came to Palayamkottai the Lawries could meet him also and had a personal talk with him.
The Lawries took a leave from their work in Vellore to visit his family. There during the prayer gathering, the anointing of the Spirit came on him and he revealed the sins of the family. Even a murder that had been committed by the gardener many years ago, while he was living in Burma, was revealed. That night the Lord baptized his mother, sisters and brothers, and the servant girl with the Holy Spirit, when he laid his hands on them. Since Ayyah's father was still working in Sri Lanka, his mother, brothers and sisters eventually moved in with the Lawries in Vellore, as they had a large house there. It was thought since they were both working and the children were small, it was a good solution. But of course with so many people in the house it also brought friction.
The Lawries were prospering; Ayyah as secretary to the Superintendent of the Vellore Hospital, and Sister Lawrie as the head dietitian there, overseeing the meals for 500 patients. But they had promised to serve God full time when their son Deva Evu was dying and it took a strong hand of God to make them fulfil that promise. Ayyah relates what happened here:
"He was talking to me directly, 'My son, leave everything, sell your property and all and give it to the poor and follow me.’ Then I told my wife, 'I heard like this, God was speaking to me.' Fight started from there itself. Then God was patient for five years and He had already told me, 'After five years I will call you again.' Then what I thought was, 'How will He remember? Then I can see.' The five year period was about to be over; there was only one day, when my wife told me, 'He said, He will call again after five years; did you hear any voice?' I told her, 'Where is He going to call? He would have forgotten.' On that day the five years ended and in the evening a fever started; headache - severe headache. I couldn't breathe. Without telling my wife I went to the hospital. The doctor opened my mouth and said, 'This is diphtheria, you can't live any more.'” (Quote from message, December 31, 1988.)
Ayyah was then placed in the isolation ward of the hospital. The situation was so serious, the doctors told Sister Lawrie that her husband would not survive the night. They would not allow her even to visit him, as the disease was so contagious. She wept bitterly and went home, throwing all her jewels away, even her wedding chain. Crying she said, "Lord, you are making me a widow, a young widow!" Suddenly she was filled with the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues, an experience she never had before; without asking for it, that just happened. Then she heard a voice telling, "Obey your husband and prepare to leave the job. Tomorrow he will be sitting in the bed completely healed."
In the mean while in the isolation ward, Ayyah's life was slipping away; his soul left his body and he met with the Lord. This great incident is told here in Ayyah's own words:
"By that time I was taken to heaven and my death came. My soul was going to heaven. When I reached there He said, 'Have you come? 'Lord I must serve you, why did you call me?' Now I am turning the tables over, see. The Lord said, 'Look at your body lying on the cot without moving. That is your body. You have come to me. Why do you want to think about your body now?" (Quote from message, December 31, 1988.)
The Lord then showed him a vision, showing what was happening in the earth:
"That night I had a vision of a great train with a countless number of carriages full of dead bodies, maimed and sick people. Carriage after carriage filled with dead bodies were added. My soul came out of my body and I saw Jesus Christ and He spoke to my soul, 'Do you remember the promise you made five years ago when your son was suffering from the same disease?' I said, 'Yes Lord, I promised to serve you all my life with my wife in India.' Then he asked me, 'Have you done so?' I said, 'No.' Then He commanded, 'I require your entire life and your wife's too.' Then I asked, 'Lord, what about feeding my wife and three children?' The Lord replied, 'Leave that to me. I will look after you all if you will believe me.' In an awe inspiring voice Jesus Christ said, 'Decide between these two: Your life today or your promise that you will serve me fully with your household.' Then I wept and said, 'Heal me Lord. We will serve you forever!' The Lord healed me instantly: Then I saw a vision of a train with many cars and all compartments filled with living people of all colours and races, and the train was driven by a gruesome person. Compartment after compartment was being dropped off into a pit of fire. Then Jesus put His arm on me and commissioned me and said, 'Son, I am sending you to them. Do not bother if they listen or not. I will judge them by your words. I have blessed your right hand like the rod of Moses and will take you all over the world.'
My wife came the next day full of happiness and filled with the Holy Spirit ready to follow Jesus. We both promised again that we would leave the job as soon as I was out of the hospital ward. But even after I was discharged from the hospital I was hesitating to resign, as our parents, friends, and relatives were raising objections. Then the Lord spoke to me, 'If you do not come now with honour, you will have to come out later on with dishonour.' I came across a verse in the Bible.
‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.' (Ecclesiastes 5:4)
This struck me down and I could not proceed. Quite convinced I resigned the job on October 15, 1953."
"My wife said, 'Come we will go.' (To resign the jobs.) So I was going like this, (hesitantly). I went straight to the Vellore hospital office. My wife said to the superintendent, 'Myself and my husband are leaving the job.' He said, 'You fools! Have you any sense? Who will give a job like this?' My wife said, 'God has given us a job.' I have to sign the resignation... My hand was shaking, thinking of my wife, children and family, of supporting my family. My wife was looking and telling, 'Why are you hesitating?'
Ayyah was leaving his job and going into the unknown without any financial support for him or his family. After signing his resignation, God spoke to him and said, "This day I have become your Father and you are my Son? (See II Samuel 7:14) Although at that time he did not realize the tremendous importance of this statement, he was highly elated spiritually, and had a great peace in his sou! From that time on, ready to start this new venture with courage.
In the vision, Ayyah was told that He would take him from village to village, from town to town, from city to city and all over the world, to preach the gospel. He also was told, that He had blessed his right hand as He did Moses' rod, and that He would give power to Ayyah to heal the sick, cast out devils, perform miracles, and administer the Holy Spirit. So with this expectation the Lawries left their jobs with great faith on God's promises. They went to the parents of Ayyah and they announced that they had resigned their jobs and renounced everything for the sake of God. This news was met with harsh criticism from the family and they were chased away. They had sold their possessions, distributed to the poor and had now come to the last of their funds. Sister Lawrie went to her parent's house alone, to judge her family's reaction, thinking they would understand. She came back with the same sad story. With their last few rupees they took a humble single room apartment in Nazareth, with a rental of less than one dollar a month. As the family came to occupy this house, while opening the door, there they saw Jesus standing with open arms. For two weeks off and on they would see Him there with them.
With no funds, the Lawries came under a very great trial. Everything seemed to go wrong. There was no money for food, the children and Sister Lawrie were sick and there was no money for the doctor. God spoke to the worried Ayyah in the night, and said that they were healed; and the next morning they were well. However the need for funds for food still was not alleviated. The temptation to return to his job was so great that finally Ayyah destroyed all the certificates and work testimonials to fight such temptations. It was a desperate time. One night when they were asleep, Ayyah woke up with a start to hear a deep male voice singing (in English).
“Jesus Never Fails, Jesus Never Fails, Heaven and Earth shall pass away, Jesus Never Fails"
To his surprise it was his youngest son, three year old Devadayavu, who was singing the song in deep bass voice like a grown man. He woke up his wife to make her witness this strange thing. She woke her son and asked, "Could you sing that English song once again?" The sleepy boy replied, "I don't know any English song." "But you sang just now." "I don't know," the boy replied. His mother still not letting him off, asked, "But who sang that song?" The boy sleepily said, "Please mummy let me sleep. I don't know who sang."
The next morning fully convinced that Jesus never would fail, Sister Lawrie went off to the market to buy provisions for the family. Surprised, Ayyah questioned where she was going. "Going to buy things." "Where is the money?" To this she answered, "Jesus Never fails." Thus she went to the market. Just then a lady came and thrust some money into her hands saying, "I heard a voice sister, to give this money to you." Sister Lawrie bought whatever that amount could buy. Happily she came home and narrated the incident, also telling that she spent all the money. Ayyah was slightly peeved saying, "Can't you keep something for tomorrow?" She replied, "Jesus Never Fails!"
Still Ayyah was somewhat dejected thinking, "Lord, you always support the ladies." He should not have worried as God's support for Ayyah came shortly after. A husband of a woman in Nazareth came and asked Ayyah to pray for her. The woman had already been pronounced dead and was being prepared for burial. It was the custom there to have a prayer for someone who died. So the husband wanted him to come. Ayyah himself thought, "She is already dead; why go and pray now?" But the husband was insistent so he agreed to go. Not relishing being around a dead body he entered and just lightly touched the woman, saying a few words, then hurried to leave. As he was going they ran to catch him and explained that after his prayer the woman revived and opened her eyes and she was just fine. She lived for many years after this reviving.
This brought quite a stir in the area and the popularity of Ayyah grew. Many were brought to Ayyah for prayer. Money for the family started to come in and their needs were slowly being met. Even though everything was much better, still many times it was difficult to stretch the funds for more than one meal a day. Sister Lawrie, with her training as a dietitian, was clever to find simple meals that would fill the hungry stomachs with a small amount. The training in those early days aided Ayyah when some years later he travelled throughout the world. When he would have no money for food he said, he could eat a few peanuts, drink some water, and it would fill the stomach. In fact, he received the nick name 'banana preacher' because he would eat a banana, drink water and be able to continue for hours on end.
Before Ayyah struck out in a ministry, he wanted to have God's definite leading. Mostly he was staying at home waiting for God's guidance, praying, meditating, and reading the Scriptures. After some time people began to criticize Ayyah's inactivity, saying they had left their jobs to serve God full time and they were just sitting and doing nothing. This brought new stress as he had to overcome this criticism but still wait on God's move. The power of God was manifest in healing the sick; but Ayyah still insisted that he would not launch on any ministry until God would guide him to do so. He had surrendered his life into His hands. After this long period of waiting and studying the Bible, God spoke to Ayyah that he would have a few visitors. He even described the persons who would call on him and the exact moment they would come. When these people came the next day precisely as indicated by God, Ayyah rejoiced that his ministry had started. One of them invited Ayyah to give a message in his church, which he accepted gladly. There were about 25 people gathered to hear him, and most of them dozed off during the sermon. For a while this sorry state of affairs continued until a woman whom the doctors had given up with no hope of living beyond a week, was miraculously healed by Ayyah's prayer. Also an insane young woman was made whole. From that time onward, larger and larger crowds attended his meetings where many miracles were performed. Through Ayyah the Lord was healing people miraculously. Ayyah's faith was greatly increased. After preaching in various towns in South India, Ayyah crossed over to Sri Lanka on two missionary journeys. The first tour lasted from October 25, 1955, to December 20, 1955. The second and longer tour was from April 8, 1956, until June 17, 1956. About 4,000 miles were covered in these campaigns and many miracles and healings took place. The team was accepted eagerly by the large crowds. Just as God had told him that He would make his right hand like Moses' Rod, he by touching people with his hand brought many a miraculous healing and deliverance from evil spirits.
A quote from Mr. A. P. Guruswamy, President of the Evangelical Fellowship of Sri Lanka on the Lawrie campaigns:
"The Lawries and the other members of their team arrived at Talaimannar on April 4, 1956, and were met by our van. Only in some of the churches were they permitted to pray for the sick. Brother Lawrie was especially used of God for casting out evil spirits from people devil-possessed. Some healings here were spectacular. Brother Lawrie is a humble man of God with a simple message that readily appeals to the unsophisticated people. His emphasis was placed rightly on Salvation and praying for the sick was incidental."
During this two and a half months of campaign, many thousands of people who had never hitherto heard the Gospel, heard the story of Jesus and of His love for the first time.
On their return to India they made their headquarters in Nazareth. It was in 1957 that the prayer house, ‘Elim’ was built there. In July that year, they went to conventions at far-off places near the Kerala border. Parasalai and Palliadi were two places where they had major engagements. At every meeting the power of God was in such abundance, that many went home physically and spiritually healed persons.
As they shifted their area of work to Kanyakumari District, the Lawries decided to stay in Nagercoil. They found a house that was very low in rent because no one liked to live there, as it had the reputation of being haunted. Boldly the Lawries moved in without fear, with full faith that the haunting in the house would not affect them, as they were led of God. And all the while they lived there, no evil effect came on them. Later, after they shifted to another place, again the house had a reputation of being haunted.
The day before they moved, their youngest son Devadayavu, fell from the car as they were driving to attend a meeting. He was picked up unconscious and his skull looked like it was flattened. Ayyah cried to God for healing for his son. By faith they continued to the meeting, realizing that some evil power was trying to hinder them. Before the finish of the meeting Devadayavu was up and around with no sign of injury.
For nearly a year and a half, the husband and wife team worked in Kerala and Kanyakumari District. Preaching, praying, and witnessing was their everyday life. They did get opposition in places where their presence clashed with the vested interests of the Poojaris, (Hindu Temple priests) and those who made their livelihood by witchcraft.
Mention must be made here of one such man Chellam Asan. This is his testimony:
"I am a native of Semponvilai. I indulged in witchcraft and native treatments (medicine) and knew all kinds of self-defence arts. After severe fasting I got the control of goddess 'Pathirakali' and was able to produce currency, flowers, scent, etc., miraculously. I challenged servants of God if they could do so. I did witchcraft in many Hindu and Christian homes. When Brother Lawrie came for meetings here I questioned him from the Bible, and when he asked me what I should be prayed for, I asked him to pray that Jesus will be with me always, just to fool him. That night at 12 the local Pastor, Brother Lawrie, his brother and myself went to pray for a dying child. At that time goddess 'Pathirakali' in me attacked Brother Lawrie several times, when we came to a crossroad. I also in the power of the devil went to assault him, but by the power of the Name of Jesus I fell on the road. Jesus saved me and now I am his child."
Actually when this powerful evil spirit came to attack Ayyah, God lifted him about six feet off the ground, causing the spirit to pass under him. This happened several times until the enraged spirit turned and attacked Mr. Asan. Ayyah prayed for him and cast out the evil spirit and he was thus saved.
Ayyah undertook a 40 days fast, taking nothing but water. The fast was undertaken to drive a devil out of one Hindu woman, Balammal. By the twenty-eighth day the devil left her. But Ayyah continued the fast for the rest of the period. He was very weak after this ordeal. A few days after finishing the fast, a group of Gospel Workers along with Ayyah and his wife were out on the beaches off Cape Comorin. One night while praying on the beach one of the group pounced on the weakened Ayyah and tried to strangle him. It was another attempt of the devil to do away with him, as Ayyah had so much power to drive out the evil spirits. The devil thought to overcome him while he was still physically weak due to the long fast. Fortunately Sister Lawrie could get the assistance of other members in time and save her husband's life.
In 1958, the leaflet 'Healing Leaves' was published by the Lawries. The son of one Muthamma was suffering from urinary disorder. When he was fully relieved of the pains and discomfort by the prayer of Ayyah, the grateful mother gave a gold chain as a gift to Ayyah. It was the policy of the Lawries not to use, for personal family needs, any gifts received from grateful people after they were healed from their ailments. They used such offerings for other needs of the ministry. Thus they sold the chain and out of the proceeds brought out this pamphlet which was beneficial to many all over the world.