A Tribute to the late Mr. T. M. George
(Father-in-law of Rev. Dr. Abraham Chacko)
I had the privilege of knowing Bro. T. M. George since the early 1950s. He along with some other young people was sent to N. India. Bro. T.M.George was sent to Madhya Pradesh. Most of his life, he spent in Jhalap. When I was in Bhilai-Rajhara area, I had the privilege of going to Jhalap several times and ministering with him in those places. In those days, Jhalap was only a small village, and none of the developments we see now were not there. Bro. George earned his living mainly working with the little medical knowledge he had, and farming the land. He was a tireless and hard worker. He never lost his original call and vision. He knew who sent Him there and for what purpose he was there. He did all that he could to spread the good news in Jhalap and to the surrounding places. Whenever I went to visit him, we would go and sit in quiet places, and pray for those unreached places. His life was a life of hardship, but those difficulties only shaped his Christian character, to transform him into the image of Jesus Christ, helped to clarify his vision and forced him to make a new commitment.
In 2004 some of us from U.S.A, Kerala, Bombay and other places went for a two week mission tour (Altogether we were 21 people). I still remember his enthusiasm when he heard about this mission trip. Once, I called him and told him our desire to go the places where nobody had previously gone with the gospel. He told me, “come and I will take you to the forests and among the tribal people where nobody has gone yet’ and asked “are you willing for this adventure”? When we went there, it was amazing and a challenge to see what he had said was true. He took us to several places including to the forest areas among the tribal people. When we went to forest area, it was a reserve forest and we had to get special permission to go to those places. We could see the board with pictures of the wild animals warning us that we were entering a dangerous area. It was amazing to see that there were villages after villages in those places. We conducted open air meetings, showed the Jesus film and preached the gospel. Bro. George without any fear declared the gospel clearly and told the audience that Jesus Christ is the only Savior and the Lord. His boldness amazed all of us. He was a fearless man and preached that the idols they worship are not gods and that Jesus is the only way for salvation. Naturally, there was opposition. In one place, we had to face opposition when we were showing the Jesus film. During that night itself, he wanted to go to the next village even after the opposition we faced. Later, a group of the villagers wanted us to continue there and they wanted to see the whole Jesus film. However, Bro. George said “you had your chance and some of your people did not want to hear the gospel and now we are going to the next village. If you want to see the film, you have to come to the next village where people are eagerly waiting”. Naturally, some of the audience began to beat those who opposed us. We went to the next village. Before we went to those places, he told us to forget any conveniences we were used to, expect to sleep wherever we get a place and eat whatever food we get. Of course, due to the hunger, the food the villagers gave us at 12:30 a.m. was very delicious and we all slept comfortably in that open Veranda of a village house. We all were physically exhausted. Next day some of the leaders including the chief of the village came to us to hear the rest of the story about Jesus which they could not hear the previous night. What a joy it was to share the gospel with the leaders of that village. We had a blessed time of telling the way of salvation.
Bro. George was a tireless worker. Anyone who went with him for village evangelism knows that he wanted to go to the next villages assl. He would tells us, “let us go to the next village also, because we may not get a next chance to come here”. If he felt that someone would be tired and wanted to go home, he would tell them, “this is Lord’s ministry, we cannot do it without hardship and this is the reason why we are here”. He would ask that person to rest there until we come back from the next village. In one village, he took me to see a sick man and pray for him. However, when that sick man went to another place, Bro. George told me “let us go and see him where he is”. He said “the place is very near”. We walked and walked and I was very tired, but didn’t say anything because a person older than me was walking like a young man. We seldom find a man who is totally committed to the Lord and willing to spread the gospel.
Bro. George wholeheartedly welcomed the servants of the Lord irrespective of their language, church affiliation or status. He went from village to village and from house to house. His house and whatever he had, was opened for the servants of the Lord. Unlike other people, he had a vision of how to spread the gospel. He realized that the only way to reach the villages with the gospel was through the local people. To this end, it was his desire to bring young people from the villages to stay with him and teach them about Jesus Christ, along with some other basic teachings of how to read, write and prepare them to reach their own villages. He worked tirelessly in spite of the several limitations he had. He was never discouraged as far as the work of the Lord was concerned. If someone was lagging behind, he always challenged them and asked them to take hardship for the gospel.
His wife and children gladly stood with him in the ministry. His children are serving the Lord in different capacities, some in full-time ministry and others with their job.
When I was down cast I used to call him. Talking to him was always a great encouragement. He touched several hearts with the gospel and several people came to the Lord. The Lord in His time and way called him to His presence.
Praise be to His name for the life and ministry of Bro. T. M. George. All those who knew him were blessed and I’m sure everyone can share several experiences they had with Bro. George, just as I did.
Rev. M. V. Abraham
Glorious Life of Mr T. M. George
George uncle was born and brought up in Konny, Kerala There were lot of revival meetings in Kerala during that time. In one of those meetings conducted by Punchamannil Mammen Upadeshi he committed himself to the divine call. Immediately he went to Kompadi Bible school.There he was very much influenced by many great servants of the Lord like K.N.Daniel sir, PlavumkalAchen and many others. He received God’s call to north India through Plavumkal Achen “CLOSE YOUR EYES AND PUT YOUR HAND SOMEWHERE IN THE MAP OF INDIA; GO THERE AS A MISSIONARY AND SERVE THE LORD THERE; GOD WILL BE WITH YOU”.George uncle kept his challenge in his heart till his last breath. After completing his Bible training in Kompadi he went to Sehora Ashram in Madhyapradesh.He used to share about that journey ” We went to Sehora by in a local compartment we had to travel by standing for 30 hours had nothing to eat for the entire journey.”
After spending some months in Sehora he worked with Marthoma voluntary evangelistic association in Bhopal for some time. Because of some reasons he had to discontinue from there .He went to Kerala and worked with Bishop P.John Varghese in Prakasha Puram Ashram.He had lot of memories regarding the work there “Eating some staple food in the morning and going to the villages by walking to share the gospel;walking up to 25 kilometrs and coming back only in the night for supper;Bicyclying up to 120 kilometers in a day and many other hard toils”.
Although he was enjoying the work there his heart was beating for north India.He got a chance to go back to north India through Rev. Dr. C. G. Samuel who was working in Mahasamund as a missionary doctor.Working with Samuel Achen helped him to earn basic knowledge in medical feild.After much prayer he was led by the Lord to a remote area called Jhalap to start missionary work there.He toiled there till his last breath.George uncle had nobody to support him when he went to Jhalap Later his wife Amminy aunty joined him in his service.
George uncle rendered glorious service to the people in jhalap during the last 60 years It is interesting to note that Jhalap does not even have a M.B.B.S doctor even now.Then we can imagine the situation before 60 years. George uncle was the only source for help at that time.He earned his livelyhood through medical work and farming. He taught the local people lot of farming techniques. Many people testifies with gratitude “Doctor Sab taught us to cultivate lot of new crops which helped us to have decent income”Health condition of the villagers were pathetic at that time lot of superstitious practices were common at that time :women were not given drinking water for 6 days after delivery many ladies used to die because of that.He created awareness on that and many lives were saved.L eprosy was very common in those days .Lepors were expelled from the villages and had terrible life. George uncle treated and cured many lepors during that time. He took the serious patients to far away leprosy hospitals
George uncle never restricted himself to social service only. He had a deep passion for the perishing souls. He never missed any opportunity to share gospel.He even showed the boldness to share the Gospel to sevaks in the local temples. Although he was a member of S.T.E.C.I, he associated with many churches and organizations like Mennonite church, Missions India,C.S.I south kerala mission and many others. He sent many young people to various bible colleges and they are serving the Lord in many parts of the country ;these include Br. Chandramany who is going to be ordained as first Hindi presbytor of S.T.E.C.I from Hindi region.
When HINDI BELT MIISSION was established, George uncle lead the leaders to its first mission field Bhoring. His prayer and support helped H.B.M to extend its work into 7 districts in Chhattisgarh to establish many mission fields, to have 750 believers and many other blessings from God. He has accompanied me to the several mission stations traveling hundreds of kms in motorcycle Last year both of us were planning to visit a station in summer and the Heat was 46 degree Celsius(~115 Fahrenheit). I was planning to start by 4pm, but he called me at 1pm and said we will go now! He was always ready to go to the forest and spend time with the tribals there even in the chiing winter, He used to sleep there in the straw to protect himself in the cold.
George uncle had aspecial concern for the children. It was his vision to start a boys home at jhalap Children used to call him grandpa.. When Christians were persecuted in Orissa he was the one who suggested to start a boys home there.
HIS VISION WAS GREAT AND HE WORKED HARD FOR LORD.
THOSE WHO ARE WISE SHALL SHINE LIKE BRIGHTNESS OF THE SKY AND THOSE WHO LEAD MANY TO RIGHEOUSNESSS,LIKE THE STARS FOREVER AND EVER DANIEL 12:3
May the life of George uncle inspire us.
Rev. Alexander Iype [Roy],
Remembering T. M. George Uncle (Jhalap)
I write this as my personal tribute to an old friend and co-worker of my late father , and as thanksgiving for the blessings which come through such lives, in proportion to one’s trust and obedience to the Lord.
I met George Uncle only a few times.. He always received me with the love of a father. His zeal for the Lord’s work was evident and the hospitality he had shown to his guests was noteworthy amidst hard life. My observations and thoughts on his life as a stranger in the foreign land.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; Heb11:8,9
- Devotion to the Lord ‘in the days of his Youth’ – which took him from kerala to an unknown remote North Indian village in 1950s.
- Accepting the challenges of a hardworking village medical practitioner, farmer as well as a missionary’s life. (A Biblical tent-making missionary model, not much understood, embraced, taught, encouraged or recognized by many churches and organizations today )
- Embracing a biblical ministry model of ‘making disciples’ – picking a handful of jungle men and accommodating them at home and discipling them for four to six months. A ministry model which takes one’s, and one’s whole family’s, overall round-the-clock commitment, labor, and practical life, matching the faith we teach the trainees. Sometimes he sent men, whom he discipled, out as short-term missionaries, with no one else to support them.. except his own hands. In such times, “He worked with his hands for himself and his fellow workers”
- Accepting mixed results in life – ups and downs, hardships and well-being, failures and victories.. – all under the providence and sovereignty of God, and still continuing on in His graveyard.
- Boldness to differ and take objection and the willingness to reconcile when it comes to God’s work.
- The Spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness, with a spirit of love and service , to do greater, harder tasks together.
- Joy and willingness in giving children to the Lord’s ministry, even the one with a very high professional qualification. The Lord in His grace strengthened him to give all his three daughters to ministry.
- Non-reversible obedience and identification with the initial call. He left his home never to come back and stay back and enjoy his motherland fully.
- Amidst hindrances, solitude , lack of companionship from the same cultural background God preserved him.. George Uncle’s family was the Malayalee family in the church and in the whole neighborhood, besides the evangelistic worker and pastor from time to time . Though the work there remain unrecognized and unappreciated and even looked down at times, it is wonderful to see that , from this small congregation God called out five of its members – three from his family and two from one native believer’s family to the Ministry.
- Fervancy in serving the Lord even though nothing is assigned to or no reward/remuneration/allowance is promised or received. A fully volunteer work, for over 50 years. He was deeply involved with local evangelism, obtaining the current mission compound , building the church building,, farming and gardening , mentoring of children in the Boy’s Home at STECI JHALAP Mission Station., even to the day before his fall to unconsciousness. We see a life-long commitment and persistence in the work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.