A tribute:


By Bro. Tom Johns, USA

My older brother John Kurien [Joychayan] died in 1956. He was the middle child of T. K. John & Rachel John. Our family, known to be of Thaiparampil, lived in Narakathany and attended the Brethren assembly at Ezhumattor. He was only 7 years old and died of a heart disease that was not properly diagnosed or treated even though he was taken to Madurai General Hospital, one of the best hospitals available. Yet he died in a few days and only our mother and her nephew Bro M E Cherian [MEC] and a few other brethren were there for the funeral. No other family members were present due to communication delays and travel difficulties of those days. His grave remains unmarked in the Madurai assembly cemetery and his body is waiting for the sound of the trumpet.

I was just five years old, and my brother John Mathew [Valiachachen] was ten when Joychayan passed away. A few months later our parents gave to MEC a small amount to start something special in the memory of Joychayan. This gift served as the seed money for the very first SBS camp at Kallissery. We are amazed to see how God had blessed this ministry and how it still influences the lives of many people.

My brother currently lives in Thrissur and I live in the USA. I often wondered why Joychayan was called home at a tender age, although I know it was for the greater good. He was saved at a very early age and was used to reciting a few Psalms in whole and several other scripture verses, even to the amazement of our neighbors. While lying in my mother’s arms he called out, ‘my Lord and my God’ as he took his last breath in a labored yet distinct voice. I am recording some of my memories as a tribute at the dedication service of the SBS camp-site at Punthencavue on December 8, 2012.

I am sharing this story now to refresh our minds to stay focused on God’s eternal promises when we go through fears, anxieties & uncertainties.

To Joychayan ----

You have been in heaven over a half century
I think of you often, my dear brother.
You were all of seven and I was just five
Valiachachen was ten, when you bade us goodbye.

You were my pal, my dearest friend
Took me around, to the shops and the market
We ran to places to see goats and the cows
You showed me the snakeskin lying in the yard.

You showed me love when I was in trouble
You really grieved when I got punished
Only vaguely can I remember your face
Though do I recall well, my protector and guide!

Your testimony, your call, "My Lord and my God!"
Your last words were words of faith and longing
From Ammachy’s arms your spirit soared high
Away into the arms of our loving Lord.

Ammachy wept for you ever so long!
Her step with a gift has kept your memory alive
She gave MEC a tiny mustard seed
He planted it at Kallissery and many have watered it.

God is making it grow to become a big tree
Many souls are finding rest under its shade.
For the ones who find Jesus through these camp ventures
You dear brother, we here, and our parents can be glad.

Of those who have passed on I think of you most
I still do miss you and sometimes shed a tear
For we parted without the chance of a good-bye
My pal, and my brother, my guide and my friend!

I wonder how heaven is! And how Christ appears!
I think of God’s mercies that made us His own
His Gift of His Son Whom He loved above all
The cause of our hope and of my seeing you!

As so often said, by many with wisdom,
"Our lives are not just measured in years;
They are measured in the lives we touch."
You lived your life to the fullest and you still live.

By- Tom J.




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