K. C. Mathai Sir who went to be with the Lord left behind a legacy not only among his family and relatives, but also among many in different walks of life. I thank the Lord that I had known him in a personal way and had fellowship with him since 1965.
My first appointment after my ordination was in North Travancore. While staying in the mission house at Keezillom, I was going around and serving my several parishes. Valakam – Kunnackal, was a large parish of the STECI and I spend a lot of time there. The father of K.C.Mathai sir was the treasurer of the parish. I had the privilege of accepting their hospitality when I was there. Mathai sir along with his wife Marykutty was living in a different place due to their job. They were young couples and they gave leadership to the young people. Although he was young, he was well accepted by older people as well due to his maturity. His maturity was beyond his age. His opinion was much valued by everyone. We cannot find many people mature beyond their age.
There are couple more things that comes to my mind when I think about Mathai Sir.
He was a man who always worked for peace and reconciliation. When someone talks to him they will come back encouraged. He was always optimistic. His smile was always there to encourage others. He worked hard for reconciliation where there was a dispute. He played a major role in bringing recnciliation and unity in the St.Thomas Evangelical church of India.
Mathai Sir was a man of generosity. With his business, he always found time to give importance to serve the Lord. His business was only his ‘tent making’ to work for the Lord. He generously gave his time, talents and resources for the service of the Lord.
The house of Mathai Sir and his wife Marykutty was always opened for God’s people. I cannot forget the time I spend in their home. To them, hospitality was a joy, privilege and a natural thing, and they didn’t count it a burden to serve others. Very seldom we find people who open their houses to show such hospitality to others.
He often expressed his desire to go to North .India with a mission tour team. However, he .had the accident and was not able to go to North Indian villages. Accident and age took a tool on him. However, in 2011, along with Rt. Rev. Dr. M. K. Koshy and a few other senior members of the church, he travelled to several of our mission fields in North India. They went to the cities, stayed in villages, slept in the village huts, and gone through the places and situations which they were never accustomed. At the end of the mission tour they came to Amla. In the HBM training center they spent 2-3 days. My wife and I were also there at the HBM training center. That was the last time we met. Although all the team members except one were above 65 yrs and above, we praised the Lord for Mathai sir. We talked how the Lord has fulfilled his desire to go to these places. This was very important about him because he had the car accident a few years ago in which his beloved wife died. It was not an easy journey.
The mission team saw the need in several places and prayed for the people and need. Particularly, they were burdened about the need of worship places in Bihar. When they were in Amla, they encouraged each other not only to pray, but to do something to meet some of the immediate need. They paid from their own pockets more than 500000/- Rupees for a church building in Bihar. Mathai Sir had remarkable influence in the life of several people.
The death of his wife never discouraged him although it was painful. He took it as God’s providence and went to serve His master. His departure is a great shock, but we know it is in God’s plan and also we know that God in His time and way called His servant to His presence. May His great name be praised.[heading]Announcement[/heading]
‘Mathai Sir’ that was what we called him. K.C. Mathai, Kunnackal a veteran stalwart of the Church went to be with the Lord. He lasted his breath at 3 a.m. on 10th January 2012 following a heart attack.
In his death Church has an irreparable lost not only a leader but also a great man of God, who was a voice for peace and spiritual integrity. His demise is irreplaceable. We the members of the St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India, Sabha Council all the Boards, Samithies express our deep condolence on the passing away of Mathai Sir. We know his departure is a great loss to the Church but as a man of God he is now promoted to the glory of his heavenly abode.
We are thankful to God providing our Church with such a dynamic, inspirational and faithful servant for the growth of the Church. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” May the Lord God of all comforts and be with his children and all the dear ones in the bereaved family. Funeral will be on Thursday 1.30 p.m. at St. Thomas Evangelical Church, Kunnackal, Valakam Cemetry.
Rev. C.K. Jacob