Episode 3: Sunday meeting at TPM
Recap: This is the story of Daisy and Molly. In the last episode, we left off when Daisy’s family reached the abode of TPM saints, which is known among believers as House of God. Today she will be testifying about the importance of “prayer of saints” in our lives.
We see Daisy’s family enter the meeting Hall. People are seated on the floor on white & blue coloured mats. Men and boys are seated on the right side and the ladies and girls on the left side. Daisy and her mom, quietly turn towards the sister’s side. They are late. Daisy and Mom are worried what would have that angel written against their name. There is no place on the front side. It is jam-packed. Daisy and her mother force their way to the front row. Those already seated in front are not willing to move or give place for them. Some of them are making faces, while some are faking smiles. Daisy and her mother are getting themselves forcefully fitly framed into the first row.
Lydia (a believer): Daisy! Will you please get seated there at back? There is a lot of space for you and your mother to sit!
Daisy: Hilda Akka asks me to always sit in front row. She says satan works in them who sit behind!
Lydia: Don’t you understand it is difficult to sit in cramped position!
Daisy: I am very sorry, sister. Please adjust. God will give you grace.
Lydia: At least ask your mother to get in a back row! She will start fighting if I say anything.
Daisy: It’s her place. She says she always sits here.
Lydia: Did she buy it for thirty pieces of silver? Better come early if you want the front row.
In spite of little anger burning in the hearts of women seated in front row, the atmosphere is made to look spiritual. Walls are coated with white and white. There are scriptures everywhere. We see white light dazzling and reflecting from lights in the ceiling. Music is soft, sweet and beautiful. It feels so TPM-heavenly! But from the face of Joseph (daisy’s brother), it appears he is worried. Daisy’s mother is quick to notice this. She doesn’t usually look towards the brother side, because Lydia is evil-minded. She will make stories about her looking towards men side. She begins to text Joseph.
Mom (texting): Close your eyes.
Joseph(texting back): I am getting shivers
Mom (texting): Shivers? Why? Seen devil or what?
Joseph(texting back): No,.. Its last song and now people will jump up and down and kick me.
Mom (texting): Shut up and close your eyes. Don’t look here and there! Surrender to God! Don’t ask questions!
Song tempo is getting faster and faster. We hear the crowd repeating Praise the Lords and some are already in ecstasy. Few people have started to fill in tongues. All have started to jump up and down; Joseph has closed his eyes, but it is half open and half closed. He has shifted himself near the wall to protect himself from the person in front. The guy has fallen down and is rolling on the floor. This continues and we hear someone speaking in unknown tongues in loud voice. All have become silent. Only two-three sisters seem to be speaking in tongues. People are awaiting prophecy. But there is no prophecy. Minister in charge has realized that there will be no prophecy, and so he has started to sing a song. Sisters have joined him and they are raising the tempo again. Unlike the day of Pentecost, where people from different language heard each person glorify God in his own language, a Tamil speaking believer cannot understand what Telugu believer is saying! Neither does a believer from Punjab understand what believer from Mumbai is uttering? We can only hear the sound of cymbals and clinging of brass wheels from the tambourine. This continues for half an hour. We hear minister conducting prayer speak something. All become silent.
Minister conducting meeting: Let us pray.
We hear one believer pray in a loud voice for everyone to hear. After prayer ministers ask people to sit down in a comfortable position.
Minister conducting meeting: Please be seated.
People get seated comfortably.
Minister conducting meeting: As you all know our convention is very near. Last year the chief pastor has told us that we should conduct this year convention on our own land. By the grace of God, we have found of land. The owner is asking for 11 crores. From where can we bring such a great sum of money? We are helpless. We told him we are servants of God. We don’t have a job. We do not receive a donation from foreign lands. We live by faith. But he is not willing to reduce the price. But our God is great. He does wonders on earth and in heaven. I want you all to pray that God should change his heart and make him give land at price convenient for us. Let us all praise God for the convention land.
We hear people chanting “praise the Lord”, “praise the Lord … This continues for 2-3 minutes.
Minister conducting meeting: There is a chance that rain will hinder our convention. Let us all pray that it does not rain during convention days. We have lots of work to be done.
We hear the chant of praise the Lord, praise the Lord … again
Joseph (talking with himself): Why should God stop rains? Hundreds of poor farmers are praying to God for rains. Poor people have taken the loan from banks to buy seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. They have worked so hard to till the ground and sow seeds. The water level in dams has become low. Well in villages have become dry. If it doesn’t rain, people in villages will face severe problems. God, please don’t stop the rain. Give our saints wisdom to think about others. They think only about themselves and their conventions. Don’t listen to their prayers.
Minister conducting meeting: We have no time for testimony. I am giving just five minutes. Only those of have urgent testimony can give. Rest all can postpone it for next Sunday.
Joseph (again talking with himself): Brother says he has no time. But he will keep for his long sermons which are practically useless. If I was the minister, I would have reduced my sermon time and instead give people more time to glorify God.
We see daisy getting up quickly and come forward for testimony. She stands before a microphone and starts her testimony.
Daisy: “Praise the Lord. I thank God for the wonderful opportunity God has given me to stand in your presence. I thank God for helping me get admission in engineering college. I was not worthy at all, I got very less percentage. There were thousands of students who got better marks than me. It was impossible to get admission in such a prestigious college. My family had no hope. My father called the servant of God and asked him to pray for my admission. When my name appeared on the list I could not believe my eyes. I came home and my mother was so happy. I got this admission only by the prayers of the saints of God. We called faith home and thanked servants of God. I request your prayers for God to help me in my further studies. Please pray for me and my family. Praise The Lord.”
We see brother conducting meeting rise from his place and come in front. He begins his sermon.
Minister conducting meeting: Let us praise God for all the testimonies. God should grant people what they have asked in testimony.
Scene: People again repeat the “praise the Lord”, “praise the Lord”chanting for 2 minutes.
Minister conducting meeting: Meetings for the week will be as usual. We fast twice a week as usual. Wednesday we have fasting prayer in morning and bible studies in the evening. Again we have a fasting prayer on Saturday morning from 9 to 11. There will be tarrying meeting in the evening. Please pray for all our meetings.
Minister is preaching. Many people are looking at their bibles. Some are looking at minister preaching. Some are sleeping. Some are playing with their mobile. The focus of the sermon is a NEW 10 point list by which you will be debarred from entering heaven. It seems to be the very same thing which was published in this month’s Voice Of Pentecost magazine.
After the meeting is over, people started chatting with each other. Sister Lucy (Worker sister) comes to Daisy and takes her to the kitchen and asks her phone so that she can call up Bro Nelson(Worker brother in a different Faith Home). She is desperate to talk to Bro Nelson. Daisy knows that there is a romantic relationship between Lucy and Nelson. She gets back the phone from Lucy after 45 mins with all her talk time exhausted.