GERMANY, AUSTRALIA, SWITZERLAND
In April 1967 Sister Lawrie had a dream in which she saw that they were in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The next morning she told Bro. Lawrie about it and said, “Something is going to happen.” Then Bro. Lawrie himself had a vision of Bro. Ewald Frank pointing to him saying, “You are going to Germany”. Soon an invitation came from Bro. Frank inviting them to come to Germany.
When the invitation came from Bro. Ewald Frank, Bro. Lawrie was away in North India. God again wonderfully provided for the plane fare to Europe. A check for 300 dollars was received from Bro. Avicola of U.S.A who had previously taken Bro. Lawrie to visit Bro. William Branham. He had been keeping the gift for quite some period, not knowing to which address to send since he had misplaced the address. This money came in the right time for Bro. & Sister Lawrie to proceed on their European Tour.
A series of meetings were held at Germany, Austria and Switzerland, beginning April 30, 1967. Bro. Frank, who had been with Bro. & Sister Lawrie in India attending and addressing several meetings, took the opportunity to invite them to his country. The meetings in these countries continued several months.
In Germany Brother Lawrie preached and gave his testimony in more than 30 cities such as Krefeld at the home Church of Bro. Frank, and at large halls, and Churches in Düsseldorf, Essen, Köln, Wuppartal, Dortmund, Bielefeld, Bremen, Hamburg, Kiel, Hanover, Berlin, Kassel, Frankfurt, Nuremberg and München.
In Austria he addressed meetings at Salzburg, Wien, Graz and Linz. In Switzerland he preached in Zurich, St.Gallen, Basel, Geneva, Konolfingen and Lausanne. This series of meetings lasted for nearly four months, ending September 10, 1967.
Wherever they had to address the meetings, deep end-time truths were preached by Bro. Lawrie. He warned them severely of the sins, and exhorted them to repent. Even some of their customs that were not appropriate to the Word of God was severely condemned by him.
The Lord was moving wonderfully in these meeting in all these countries. People who had been chained to evil spirits were made free by the prayers. Sick people were healed wonderfully. God healed a lame man in Germany whose leg was in plaster for a broken heel. He could not wear shoes and was hobbling about in crutches. When Bro. Lawrie prayed for him in the name of Jesus, he could stand up without support, walk and jump to demonstrate that he was made perfectly whole.
At another place, a choir master who was suffering from pain in his heart, was relieved of the pain by prayers. A lady who had swelling all over the body due to kidney disorder was healed by the power of prayer. At another place, a lady who was suffering for seven years due to a tumour in her lower abdomen was miraculously healed.
There was a farewell and thanksgiving service at Krefeld on the eve of their departure from Germany. There were many people who were touched by the Lord present in the meeting. Believers from Bro. Frank’s Assembly were also present. With tears they showered the Lawries with their love and regrets that they were departing and bid them Goodbye.
During the farewell meeting all of them wept when Bro. & Sister Lawrie told them, “We shall meet at Jesus’ feet”. They could hear deep sighs all around. After this meeting, the sisters gathered around Sister Lawrie, lifter her up and smothered her with kisses. In the same way it was a sight when the brothers gathered and shook hands with Bro. Lawrie and bid them farewell with tear-filled eyes.
From Germany Bro. & Sister Lawrie went to London. In England Bro. Lawrie preached at London and Stoke-on-Trent. On completion of their European tour, Sister Lawrie returned to India. Bro. Lawrie continued his travels as he had many appointments in U.S.A. and the countries across the Pacific.
The plane that took Sis. Lawrie back to India touched Moscow en route for an hour’s halt. Sister Lawrie made use of this opportunity to carry the message into Russia. Prayerfully she sowed the seed of His Word by placing on the seats of the airport and the airline bus, tracts in Russian language with Bible Verses.
She prayed that the nation should come out of the darkness and march into the light. This was a bold act, considering the fact that preaching or spreading of God's Word in any communist country is an offence punishable under the law of the country and that Moscow was the Headquarters of World Communism.
The tracts were discovered after Sister Lawrie had already boarded the plane for India. Angry police held up the plane’s departure, demanding that she come off the plane and go with them. The stewardess told her not to go but to remain seated, as she knew the police did not have authority to arrest her after she was already on the plane. So by God’s grace the tracts were not discovered until she was safely aboard and she was thus saved from arrest.
OPEN DOOR IN AMERICA
Bro. Lawrie arrived in New York City on September 1967. There he met Bro. Coleman and Bro. Hunte who were jointly pastoring a Church in downtown New York under the shadow of the Empire State building. They were followers of the Branham Message. Bro. Lawrie was invited to preach there and to give his testimony which was received heartily by the congregation.
After leaving New York he traveled to various places in America and finally came to Chicago where he again visited the Henry Avicolas. A brother Leigh Vayle from Ohio having heard from others about Bro. Lawrie went to Chicago to meet him personally.
He was so impressed with Bro. Lawrie that he brought him to his home in Ohio with the intent of taking him to several Branham centres. Bro. Vayle then took him to New Orleans, Texas, Tucson and other places in Western and Southern U.S.A. to visit the different groups following the message of Bro. Branham.
In Ohio Bro. Lawrie was introduced to a number of Branham groups in the areas near Dayton, Lima and Columbus where he was received warmly. It was after they returned to Ohio that Bro. Lawrence D. Dale and his daughter Sis. Suzannah Baker became acquainted with Bro. Lawrie. The apartment building where the Vayles lived was owned by Bro. Dale. To aid Bro. Vayle in his ministry, Bro. Dale had allowed him to have these rooms without cost.
It was through this friendship with the Vayles that Bro. Dale could meet Bro. Lawrie. After hearing the testimony of Bro. Lawrie, he recognized that this was a great and true servant of God. Therefore from henceforth he and his daughter joined the ministry of Bro. Lawrie. He again preached in that Church after returning to New York, following an extensive travel in the United States.
Bro. Lawrie, though being an Indian had always distributed his publications free of cost instead of fixing a price. He found that the booklets, books and messages of Bro. William Branham were made available through the Spoken Word Publications for a small price. Therefore he suggested the leaders that they distribute the messages of Bro. Branham free of cost.
Accordingly the Branham messages were being supplied free of cost thereafter. Branham Messages were sent in bulk to India to be distributed by Bro. Lawrie. Sis. Lawrie mailed the books throughout India so that all the believers in India received all the different books printed since then. The mailing cost was borne by Bro. Lawrie (Matthew 10: 8).
When Bro. Lawrie was returning to New York to prepare for his trip to the West Indies, Bro. Dale had the rare privilege to accompany him there with another brother from Ohio. On arrival, they were welcomed by Brothers Coleman and Hunte. An apartment had been prepared for them.
For about one week they were blessed with the opportunity of becoming acquainted with this Great Person sent of God. They were deeply blessed to be able to sit and learn from Bro. Lawrie listening to the stories of his life and his many deep spiritual experiences. In the meantime Bro. Lawrie was preparing for visas and plane tickets for Jamaica, Puerto Rico and other points in South America and the Carribeans.
From New York he flew to Jamaica, and at Venezuela he preached in Bro. Oscar Galdona’s Church. Then he went on to Puerto Rico and other parts of West Indies localities. These included Surinam, Venezuela, British Guyana, Jamaica and Puerto Rico in South America and the Carribean Islands on invitation, according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Here he was a great witness to the Lord in those cities among the white and Indian people.
In Trinidad there are large number of Indians who had settled there centuries before, and they were happy to hear an Indian, one of their kith and kin who had come to share with them the Word of God. The sick were healed, many were saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and took water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.
One remarkable incident happened while flying to Venezuela. Bro. Lawrie was assigned a seat in the front. When he found a friend in the back, he moved to an empty back seat with the help of the stewardess. Soon after take off, the plane crashed into the sea. The nose of the plane went down under the water, but the tail portion was on top, out of the water. Boats were quickly sent out to rescue them.
Thankfully Bro. Lawrie was sitting in the back rather than in the seat assigned to him in the front. Many sitting in the front portion of the plane sustained injuries and some even lost their lives. Thus Bro. Lawrie was saved from death. After finishing the American tour he flew back to India.
QUARANTINE AT CHENNAI AIRPORT
When Bro. Lawrie landed at Chennai airport, the airport authorities were asking him about his trip to the West. He casually mentioned to them that he had been in Caracas, Venezuela. Since it was a place where Yellow Fever was prevalent, they asked him to show the certificate for vaccination against Yellow Fever. Since Bro. Lawrie did not have it, he was quarantined at the airport. All his pleadings to let him go were in vain. His wife was allowed to come in to help him.
A believer called Mr. T. J. Chelliah who was an officer in the Indian Airlines was with him to help him. Bro. Lawrie started fasting in the airport and the authorities were confused as to what to do. In the meantime, Bro. Lawrie was talking to the staff regarding Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Airport medical officer Dr. Ghosh was converted and received the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
The usual quarantine period for Yellow Fever is 14 days. Since already 7 days were gone since he had left Caracas, the airport medical officers wanted to hold him for 7days. All the believers at Chennai were gathered for a meeting and were disappointed. They were praying earnestly. Bro. Lawrie was released after two days and no one could divine the reason for his early release.
Later after coming out and meeting the believers, Bro. Lawrie came to understand that a plot had been hatched by some close associate to kill him after he got out of the airport. This delay of two days caused their plans to go awry and Bro. Lawrie was protected by God.
BRANHAM MESSAGES SENT OUT ALL OVER
In 1967, on return from the trip abroad, the Lawries concentrated their work in and around the Manujothi Ashram. Bro. Lawrie was teaching the people to come out of all denominational bondage and many responded. Large supplies of printed messages of Bro. Branham were received from U.S.A. and they were sent throughout India to all the believers. This strengthened the believers on the Word and helped them stick to the Word no matter come what may.
Thus the message of the Prophet spread throughout India. Bro. Lawrie had the habit of taking down the addresses of believers wherever he went so that printed messages could be sent to them. Believers in every nook and corner of India received the messages of the prophet through the ministry of bro. Lawrie. Sister Lawrie was instrumental in the dispatch of all the books to believers. Postal expenses were borne by Bro. Lawrie.
Bro. Lawrie sacrificed without ego, his own ministry for the sake of the Truth of God’s Word. But at that time he did not know that a Greater Ministry would be thrust upon him in the future. There are those who try to claim and tell others that they were the ones who brought the message of Bro. Branham to India. But it is far from the truth.
There were meetings to attend to in Kolar Gold Fields, Bangalore and also in the Kerala State. They went over to Bhagalpur in Uttar Pradesh in North India. In 1968 too there were meetings in North India. The Central Baptist Church at Chandni Chowk, Delhi had invited Bro. Lawrie for a few days’ meetings where Bro. Lawrie took his son Deva-Evu with him.
The Baptists normally did not believe in divine healings and miracles. But because of the name Bro. Lawrie had, they requested him to pray for the sick. There too the Lord worked wonders and there were many healings and in no time the Church was overflowing. Later there were also meetings in Bareilly another city of Uttar Pradesh. Again in 1969 Bro. Lawrie had to go to the United States by the hand of God.