In 1971, after the Moonlanding messages were sent all over the world. Suddenly there was a spiritual call to people from many countries, to uproot themselves and gather in India with Ayyah. This gathering was done without any human effort. People who had little or no previous contact with each other felt compelled to rush to India to be with the person God came down into and listen to the deep messages about the end-time. The call was so urgent that some barely took time to lock the door behind them.
During the five years stay of the Westerners, great messages were preached. Most of them have now come into printed form. At this time there were many vindications that were witnessed by the believers there. Rainbows around the sun and the moon, nightly lightning flashed over the compound from evening till morning; there was no thunder or rain but brilliant light that flashed, illuminating the sky. When a great revelation was being preached, an answer from heaven via a loud clap of thunder would startle the people there. Always the cloud would follow along with Ayyah wherever he travelled. If he spent some days in another city the cloud went with him. It became so obvious to the believers in Madras, that they could know that Ayyah was in their city by observing the cloud that always travelled with him. They would then search for him in the usual lodge where Ayyah might stay and soon they would find him, because they could recognize the sign of the cloud.
One time when Ayyah was going with a crowd inspecting the three wells in the Ashram, the cloud went with them. It left the main building, travelling just before the group and stood at the first well. After Ayyah gave a prayer there and just before the group left to go to the next well, the cloud moved ahead and stopped there. After praying at the last well, the cloud then returned over the main building where Ayyah resided. Scoffers might say, 'Oh that is just a normal moving cloud.' But going to the three wells and back was a triangular pattern, and against nature the clouds travelled with Ayyah. When explaining to his followers the meaning of the cloud and lightning seen almost daily, he said it was there for heavenly protection, guarding to see that no harm should come from any evil power.
During the five years period when the Westerners, along with the Indian believers, were gathered in the Ashram Ayyah's ministry took a different form. Previously Ayyah had conducted great public campaigns and healing services. Now he mostly remained with the believers in the Ashram where great messages and teachings from the Bible were being revealed. The ministry could be described as a quiet teaching ministry and not like the former days, which was a public display of God's power. These years exhibited the moving of the Spirit of God without much outward show. Infact many times he would take the believers to the doctors when they became sick. Outside people now accused that Ayyah had lost his power, because there was not much open display.
This of course was not so. Many, many times there were great healings during these years. The difference was, there was not a public display of the power. Actually the believers there witnessed many miracles. In fact it was so common, that they were taken much for granted as a daily occurrence.
In one instance a lady was bitten of a scorpion. Just at that moment Ayyah's car arrived back from the town. Someone ran immediately to inform him of the problem. He instantly prayed, while two blocks away from the scene. At that very moment the throbbing pain that was travelling up the leg of the lady suddenly stopped, and began travelling back down. By the time Ayyah reached the place the pain was completely gone and even the sting mark could not be seen. Another time a woman was in bed with a high fever of 103 degrees. Ayyah came and prayed. In a few minutes the fever left and the woman was up and about with no more sign of sickness. One woman was diagnosed with sugar diabetes and the prognosis was not good. Ayyah prayed a short prayer, asking God to set her free from bondage. She was later taken to the government hospital in Tirunelveli, and tests showed she had only a trace of sugar. She was asked to come back in a week. One week later there was no trace of sugar at all and more than 35 years later the sugar level is still normal. One band member was sick with jaundice, an ailment that makes one so weak one can barely rise from the bed. Ayyah prayed for him and told him to go with the band for a concert the next day. He was fine, practised with the band all through the night, went the next day in the crowded van, played at the concert, and ate the normal food that was given, with no trace of jaundice.
These are just a few examples of the many, many cases of healing power that was taking place. It was all without open show. The emphasis of the ministry was not on believing God by seeing signs and miracles, but to recognize Him through His Word. It is what Ayyah called, believing first then seeing, rather than seeing signs and wonders and then believing. This 'believing God without seeing' is the faith that pleases Him. Formally in his ministry Ayyah had gathered hundreds of thousands who were drawn because of the great miracles. Miracles draw people without great faith. God wanted to gather a people who can believe Him from His Word. The ministry after July 1969 was, to take a people to faith, and away from seeing and believing. It was the reason for the quiet teaching ministry, building faith by His Word. This was a joyous time for those gathered there, daily studying the Bible, taking part in chain praises, serving in the night long praises, and sitting under the great teaching lessons and revelations.
One grateful woman from Germany wrote the following letter to the Lawries that expresses the heartfelt gratitude of those who came from western countries and tells of the kindness and care of the Lawries during their stay there:
"Dear Brother and Sister Lawrie,
For a long time I have had the urge to express my love and thankfulness to you for the love bestowed upon us everyday by your entire household. Tears often come to my eyes because of the great sacrifice that your family has made for us. May the Lord richly and mightily reward your family for the sacrifices that you have made. I am sorry that I cannot express my thanks to you in a personal way. (As she spoke only German) So as best I can, I express my thanks to you through this letter. I never believed or imagined that in India I would be so well cared for. I had thought we would live in poor straw huts. Nevertheless, it was with an irresistible power I was pulled here. I was greatly surprised that I, together with the others, could live as a nice family in a house. Daily I give thanks unto the Lord that I can now be in the Ashram. Also the community life here is a pleasure. For the shelter that you erected in front of our rooms to be a shade in the hot sun, Brother Lawrie, I give my thanks to you. Surely you have thought of everything to make it as comfortable as possible for us. I often feel sorry for the way you were so ill treated in the Western countries. That you now care and show your love for the Western brothers and sisters in such a royal manner, my heart warming thanks to you! I will close with the portion of I Kings 10:6-9 'The half was not told me.'
Yours in love,
Friedel Zachmann,Germany. (Translated from German to English.)
A Brother from Germany writes:
"Glory be to my beloved Lord and Saviour who has chosen me before the foundation of the world and was leading and keeping me marvellously during my lifetime. Along with two of my daughters I became acquainted with Brother Tadday, through whom we later came to know the Branham message and as its continuation, the message of God's coming down on the first moonlanding day, July 21, 1969.
When the time had come for us to leave for India where the gathering of the Bride was taking place, we crept secretly just like thieves out of our home in the middle of the night, to the end not to be held back by some people. Because we got the message about God's coming down only very late, and because it is not very easy for a 78 year old man, to leave his country, his home and all properties, I did not have any thought at first, to take this step. In silence I only asked my God for His counsel. The Holy Spirit gave me no rest until I agreed to go to India. Then only peace and quietness returned into my heart.
During the flight we noticed a wonderful rainbow following us for sometime just under the plane. Seeing this first obvious confirmation, we were filled with great joy in our hearts. While staying in India, many other vindications were given to us by God, such as rainbows around the sun and moon, lightning and particular clouds.
The greatest vindication, of course, was the opening of the Word, and the interpretation of the scripture by the Voice of God, in a way that it could be understood even by a layman as I am.
Further, the Lord allowed me three times to have a sight of the unseen world. Once he showed me the golden city of God, another time, a crowd of thousands and thousands of angels like a great host. At last about six months ago I was allowed to see himself, Brother Lawrie as our King and Lord God, as He would stand amidst the sun with his head and his chest wreathed with garlands of myrtle. It is a real pleasure to me, to serve in the place of my beloved Lord and Saviour day and night, by praising and singing and praying. By His grace we were brought step by step closer to God, whereby the Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ became more and more real and important to us. We know that the Word of God is true and we are sure that every Word of God will be fulfilled in His time.
Karl Guenther, Germany, (Translated from German to English.)
Then in June 1976, during the state of emergency that was declared by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the Westerners were issued an order that they must leave India immediately. Even though efforts were made to extend the visas to allow them to stay, the order was adamant that they must leave with the threat of prison. Some members from U.S.A. and Switzerland were even arrested, spending a night in the jail and then placed under house arrest until arrangements could be made for them to return to their own countries. It was a very great shock to everyone, as it was the common belief that the Westerners would be able to stay with Ayyah until the glorification. What seemed right to human eyes is not always God's ways. God had a different plan because the ministry was to take a different shape. The believers from the various countries went back not in defeat, but to proclaim the message of God coming down. Some grew discouraged after a few years, because they thought time should be up, and left following. Many were true believers and stayed in the ministry through the years. This was a very difficult time, since the sending back of the Westerners made it look like a defeat in the ministry. Again the scoffers began to tell that the ministry of Ayyah was gone.