Elamma Antharjanam grew up in a Hindu Brahmin (priestly) family in India [Brahmin are the highest of the four Hindu castes; their traditional occupation being the spiritual guidance of people—Ed.] . Her father Subrahmanyan Namboothiri was the head priest for 250 temples, and he and her mother married as children—child marriage being common then. Not until 30 years later did they have her, their only child, whom they named Saraswathi.
Saraswathi fanatically followed the tenets of Hinduism. She’d rise early each morning for the ritual bath in the temple pool, and then worship before the temple idols. As a young girl she even had her arm tattooed with images of Hindu deities.
Severe asthma plagued Saraswathi from childhood. None of the special treatments and potions or healing rituals her parents tried could ease their daughter’s suffering.
One day a woman named Kamalamma visited the family. She had converted from Hinduism to Christianity, and despite the persecution she endured from her own husband and community, she wanted to pray for teenaged Saraswathi. But the girl refused the prayers of a woman who could mean nothing but trouble, having abandoned Hinduism for foreign Jesus.
But the wheezing only got worse. During a particularly severe attack, she lost the ability to breathe and had to be rushed to hospital. And guess who visited her? Persistent, prayerful Kamalamma. This time, it was Saraswathi who requested prayer.
While the Christian woman prayed, Saraswathi became aware of a man standing before her. He had a small lamb straddling his left shoulder and a stick in his right hand. With a smile, he gently moved his hands over her head.
“Believe me my daughter,” the man said to her. “I am your Lord. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply.” [Ps 16:4] She suddenly felt such relief!
The young woman needed no convincing of her need to confess her sinful ways and accept Jesus as her personal Savior and Lord. And the asthma completely left her.
She surrendered herself fully to Jesus, was baptized, and took on ‘Elamma’ as a new name. But she faced many persecutions from her family and community, who finally drove her away them.
She married a Christian man, Jacob, and both were fully engaged in serving the Lord Jesus. He recently entered into glory but Elamma continues faithful in the Lord’s ministry as an associate with Bibles for Mideast. Please keep her and the ministry as a whole in your prayers.