A TRIBUTE TO MRS. MARY ABRAHAM
Mrs. Mary Abraham wholeheartedly dedicated her life in molding, shaping and training the younger generations both in the secular as well as the theological streams of education. The India Bible College and Seminary community stand united in sharing in the sorrow borne out of the departure of our beloved Mummy.
Having taught here for the last 22 years, I have nurtured a close relationship with Mummy. She has left an indelible mark of her personality in the hearts and minds of all the teachers, staff and students. Both the teachers as well as the students who have gone out of the portals of this theological institution have vivid reminisces of our beloved Mummy.
Mummy’s prayer life is worth emulating. Many teachers and students and I have regularly witnessed Mummy’s devotion to intercessory prayer as she set apart a specific hour every day in her room in the Hebron Bungalow. Her prayers have been the backbone to the successful ministries of dear Pappa, her children and the graduates whom she trained.
We have been inspired through the virtues that we have seen in Mummy’s character. She showed total dedication and commitment to her responsibilities, meticulously planned her classes, and endeavored for the holistic development of her students.
Mummy was an exemplary teacher who inculcated discipline as a way of life. The reverberations of the strict training that her students received through her classes have been felt in their future ministries. A pleasant disposition, well-mannered interactions, healthy conversation, timely acts of service, an immaculately elegant sense and style of dress are some qualities that the students have imbibed from Mummy. These qualities have blessed the students by helping them sharpen the contours of their ministries.
In this context, we recall the many years of commendable leadership that Mummy gave to the Sodari Samajam Bible School for ladies.
Mummy owned a lifestyle that was simple and shorn of pageantry. She exhibited consistency in every enterprise that she undertook. Mummy never did anything for the sake of name or fame. She did not desire praise and publicity but rather disliked being extolled by others for her good deeds. She was also not resentful when she did not receive honor or credit due to her. Recognition and position always came in search of her.
Mummy’s love and care to the teachers, staff and students was very valuable. Her timely intervention and encouragement to those students who wanted to discontinue their studies was tremendous. She boosted them up and they were used mightily by God in later years. She also gave detailed attention to the food and accommodation of the teachers who stayed on campus, especially the senior faculty. Even to her last days, she showed special interest to know the number of new students and their places of origin. She enquired about their well-being and their food arrangements. To the end, her only desire was to do the work of the Lord.
Mummy had a very strong zeal for the gospel. She took the initiative to send many Bible school graduates to Andhra Pradesh and other places in need of evangelists. The IPC Attapadi area churches were birthed as a result of Mummy sharing with her students about the spiritual darkness that enveloped that tribal belt.
Mummy not only ensured regular monthly financial support to the evangelists she consistently prayed for their ministries and also shared her prayer concerns with them as well. She kept in regular contact with them through letters and enquired about the status of their work. Whenever she got opportunities to speak in public fora, she would always touch upon issues related to the Lord’s work and about the evangelistic efforts of the church.
We have learnt some pertinent life lessons from Mummy and her children while she was bed-ridden during her last days, just as we have valuable memories of her while she was in the prime of her life. We have witnessed firsthand the nurture and care shown by her children in ministering to her. Both Mercy Aunty and Georgy uncle have gone the extra mile in providing the best medical care and were constantly by their side. We have all seen the manner in which they have encouraged and uplifted them spiritually and emotionally through their words of comfort and prayers. All of Mummy’s other children have poured out their love and care on her whenever they came home for vacations. These invaluable lessons from these experiences about honoring our parents and caring for the elderly remain ingrained in our hearts.
The entire IBC&S community is sorrowful in the departure of our beloved Mummy who left behind some good memories that may be cherished. We are comforted and filled with hope that Mummy is resting in her eternal home awaiting the reward of the selfless labor she has done for the Lord.
(Spoken by Pastor Saju Joseph at the Home Going Service of Mrs. Mary Abraham on 03rd Dec 2016. Pastor Saju Joseph serves as Director of India Bible College & Seminary. Translated into English by Evang. Abraham Chacko, Faculty, India Bible College and Seminary).