The final hours of the year 1983 were fading... a blessed, seventy-two hour fasting prayer was coming to an end... Bro. Dr. Mathews Vergis heard the call of the Almighty God. "Lord, I have neither the quality nor qualification to take up Your work," Brother responded. The powerful reply came, "I know whom I am calling. Pray.
" So, Brother started to pray with his wife Raji from the dawn of the new year for the revelation of God’s plans. After fourteen months of intense prayers and many fasts, the Heavenly Father revealed His plans. The Almighty God wanted his shattered and scattered people to be brought together to his presence in fasting prayers irrespective of the barriers and barricades of churches, congregations, languages, or regions. He wanted them to truly experience Him, and be anointed with the power and presence of His Holy Spirit to become mighty witnesses of His Son, Jesus Christ. So Brother founded the Inter Denominational Christian Fellowship Foreign Units with a 24 hour fasting prayer on the 29th of March, 1985, now known as the Inter Denominational Christian Fellowship International. Though, Brother was not discouraged that only seven, including his wife, attended the very first fasting prayer, which was his very first attempt in obeying the call of God. He moved ahead, banking on the promises of his Heavenly King. The ministry began to expand to different countries as weekly worships were started along with quarterly 24 hour fasting prayers and annual 72 hour fasting prayers.
Brother continued to build up his ministry upon the pillars of fasting prayer. Besides the corporate fasts of the fellowship, Brother added other Biblical fasts of different durations namely 7 day, 14 day and 21 day fasts in his spiritual run. The Inter Denominational Christian Fellowship International spread its wings and established units across various locations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and India.
Brother and the Word of God
Today the 'Word of God' has lost its paramount importance and significance in the Christian world. This negligence has led to the decay and degeneration of Christian churches and congregations. In these circumstances, the Almighty God gave Brother a great burden for the promotion and propagation of His Word. So at the very beginning of his ministry, Brother started the 'Brother's Bible Lovers League' to encourage his flock to read and study the Bible every day.
He held several Bible Exhibitions under the banner "BIBLEX", encouraging and attracting thousands and thousands to the "Word of God" and to make it a part of their everyday life. It was this enthusiasm to give the Word of God to the masses in the simplest language possible, that led Brother to study the outdated 100-year old translation of the Bible in the South Indian language, Malayalam. Brother approached the relevant Bible translation and publication authorities in India with his findings of about 30,000 mistakes in the 100-year-old translation and requested them to make necessary changes. But Brother returned with a heavy heart as they bluntly refused to look into his findings, stating that he had neither the qualification nor authorization from any Church to do such a thing. That night as he lay on his face crying out to the Lord Who had called him, the glorious presence of the Lord filled the room and commanded him to take up the translation of the Bible into Malayalam. The Lord also warned him about the fiery trials that lay along the way, but promised "I will be with you
". Without any hesitation, Brother immediately started the "Millennium Modern Malayalam Bible Project", also known as the ‘3MBP', to present the New Malayalam Bible translation in the new millennium.
Voluntary Bible Prayer Squads were formed across the world, to pray for the project with weekly 24 hour fasts. As the translation progressed, Brother developed severe eye problems, which the doctors were unable to diagnose or treat. Brother knew it was the attack of Satan who hates the "Word" most, because "God's Word is like fire and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces" (Jeremiah 23:29).
Brother's 40-day Fasting Prayers
Brother knew fasting prayer is the one and only weapon that could conquer Satan, as taught and shown by his Master and Savior Jesus Christ. So Brother declared a fast for the healing of his eyes, but no reply came. As the condition grew worse, Brother continued to extend his fast to seven days, then fourteen, then twenty-one days, and finally to 40 days. At last, Satan was conquered on the 40th day, and Brother was completely healed! The Lord showered upon him new gifts and graces from the Throne of Grace on the completion of his first 40 day fast. Thus, the Lord granted Brother a new vision and a new weapon to conquer Lucifer in spiritual warfare as taught by his Master.
Brother undertook two more 40 day fasts to complete and present the Bible in the Modern Malayalam Language on the 22nd of December, 2000. The Almighty God answered the prayers and fasts of His people to present the "Vishudha Satyavedapustakam" (the name of the new translation) to the Malayalam-speaking people across the globe at the dawn of the new millennium.
Satan was furious! Despite the fact that the Bible was published in another country, Brother and his family were deported from the country of their residence of two and half decades for the translation of the Bible. His house was raided, and all his research and translation materials were destroyed. His children's education was disrupted. Ironically this was brought about by some Christian brethren under the encouragement from their parent churches. Many left Brother. Without any complaint, he returned to India amidst joyous outbursts of Christian leaders who told 'their faithful' that God had punished Brother for daring to touch the "Word of God". Without any response or retaliation, Brother once again started the translation process of the Malayalam Bible. The whole Bible was completed in sixteen months.
Yet Satan did not give up. Certain leaders of Christian churches, who were partners of the Bible Society, pressurized Christian Book Stores to refuse the sale of Brother's translation. This led Brother to start the "Bible Towers", a Christian bookshop chain in Kerala. Brother went ahead with his 40 day fasts and presented to the world with Bibles in English (the first study Bible the world featuring an in depth study about fasting prayer along with meditations and answers to the burning questions of the youth today), Telugu (the second widely spoken language in India), Paniya (the language of the ethnic tribe Paniyas with a population of 120,000, Jennu Kurumba (the language of the Jennu Kurumba ethnic tribe with a population of (60,000), and finally Banjara (the language of the Lambadis, with a population of around 200,000). Brother has undertaken nine 40-day fasts thus far, for the completion of several mighty goals for God. The Heavenly Father has opened before him the gateway to the Throne of Grace, with the abiding presence of His Son Jesus Christ, strengthening him with His Holy Spirit, and bestowing upon him precious gifts and graces that are yet to be revealed to the world. Through the numerous gifts and graces attained through these fasts, Bro. Dr. Mathews Vergis has authored numerous books on a variety of topics on Christian living, including the best selling, Malayalam daily devotional 'Athiraavile Thirusannidhiyil' (In His Presence at Dawn). Brother has penned and tuned over 450 songs in four languages - English, Telugu, Malayalam and the Paniya language - ministering hope, healing, peace and deliverance to listeners.