January 2023 | The True Vine and The Soon Coming King

Pastor P. T. Chacko-A Man of Deep Conviction
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Pastor P. T. Chacko-A Man of Deep Conviction

Ms. Mary Abraham

As a young girl, growing up in Kumbanad with my parents I vividly remember my father narrating a vision that he had one night in 1925 about the Pentecostal work after attending the tarrying meeting conducted by Pastor K.E. Abraham. - “I saw myself and the Pentecostal workers and believers engaged in building a strong straight wall along the road that goes from south to north beginning from the south western corner of my neighbors wall.  At the extreme south of the wall for about 20 ft on the wall was a triangular edifice, the top corner ending in a big cross.  One peculiarity of the wall is that whenever the worker would bend forward and touch it by faith a new door would be opened.  All the workers were busily engaged in this work bringing stones and building the wall.  

When this work was progressing very well, the western side of the wall was seen as the sea.  Looking at the sea we found big beasts swimming over the sea from west to east.  Each beast was running towards a worker to swallow him and the workers ran to and fro.  I stood near the wall and when one beast came near me I got on top of the wall.  When the beast climbed the wall I climbed the triangular edifice and caught hold of the big cross.  The mouth of the beast reached up to the foot of the cross but the beast was afraid to touch the cross.  As the cross was the only place of safety for me I embraced it with all my strength.  Losing all hope of grabbing me the beast went down from the wall.  All the beasts disappeared from the scene and the workers came back to continue building the wall with renewed vigor and dedication”.  

The Lord showed appachen a clear vision of the work that He was going to do in India.  This was a work of faith built from the cross.  God clearly showed the several clever attempts made to devour the workers who had started well with good motives.  God enabled appachen to be true to the cross and not be swayed by devious means of financial help from outside the country.  

In the years 1927 – 1930 Mr. K. J. John and Appachen along with our families taught the children of the Alwaye Settlement School.  While my parents had been prayerfully considering some form of Christian service, an opportunity opened up at the Alwaye Settlement School.  This was a Christian residential school for boys from the under privileged communities.  Formal classroom instruction was combined with practical training in life-skills and community living.  Both Appachen and Ammachi taught at this institution.  Lord Irvin, the Viceroy of India included the Settlement School in his South India tour.  He was greatly impressed with the excellent training provided for the disadvantaged youth.  

During the years 1930-34, appachen studied for the Bachelor of Divinity course at Serampore College.  During the summer vacations he traveled with Pastor K.E. Abraham on evangelistic tours outside Kerala. Appachen translated Pastor K.E. Abraham’s messages from Malayalam to English.  These mission trips broadened his vision about the needy places in India.  Appachen was moved with compassion for the people caught up in idolatry and a deep stirring of the Holy Sprit began to move in him.  Prayerfully, our parents considered the possibility of relocating to Andhra, a needy mission field.  Although there was much opposition from relatives and grandparents, my parents were obedient to the heavenly vision.  They chose to give up the cozy comforts and security of native Kerala.  In the summer of 1936 our family traveled to Eluru. 

The move to Eluru affected me tremendously in school, as I was the only Malayalee among 800 students.  My teachers gave me extra coaching in Telugu and they were pleased with my progress after 3 months.  As I teenager, I started translating messages from English to Telugu and from Malayalam to Telugu for both Appachen and Ammachi and also for visiting pastors.  During World War II and subsequent years we had military personnel and their families join us for worship and it was normal to have a multi-lingual congregation.  To meet their needs, I had the privilege of translating Appachen’s sermons from English into Telugu.  

Upon my graduation from high school, I received monetary gifts from my maternal grandfather and uncle who encouraged me to attend college.  In the year 1941, Osmania University had a residency requirement for all applicants.  A “Mulki,” or residence certificate had to be filed with the application.  Some friends were willing to work this all out for us.  But Appachen was a man of conviction and would never consider dishonest means for college admission.  He was sincere and honest in every aspect of his life and practiced the righteousness that he preached.  No doubt, I was very disappointed but God had better plans and I have certainly learnt from Appachen to stand for the truth always.  

Although I had never gone through formal teacher training, God opened an opportunity for me to teach at St. John’s Brigade School in Secunderabad that served the needs of the European and Anglo-Indian children in the area.  It was during this time, Mrs. Akram, the Inspectress of Schools who was a Muslim approved of my application to appear for the Intermediate Examination.  My sister, Joy was a student at Mahbub College in Secunderabad and was preparing for the Intermediate Examination too.  Appachen encouraged me to read Joy’s notes and books with the hope of writing the exam.  “Dedicate your life for the ministry, God will open a way for your higher education,” was how appachen encouraged me.  Teaching all day, tutoring kids in their homes and translating for evening meetings left me with little time to study.  Three months before the exam there was an official announcement in The Deccan Chronicle giving teachers the option to appear as private candidates.  By God’s grace I succeeded in the exam.  Sure enough, when I was willing to get my priorities right, God honored me with highly commendable success in both my Intermediate and B.A degree exams.  

After our wedding in 1950, we continued to live in Secunderabad and participated in all aspects of ministry along with appachen and ammachi.   Appachen was the editor of monthly magazine -The Gospel Herald, until his death.  Both of us along with my 4 children have had the privilege of helping with this publication over the years.  Appachen was the author of the book – 'The Second Coming of Christ'.  He wrote several books and pamphlets, such as –“Pentecost”, “The Midnight Cry”, “This is That” and “Healing through Jesus”.  

Appachen was a born teacher.  Conversations with him were always a useful – instructive, educational, spiritual and informative.  All the evangelists who have had training under him will testify to this.  While walking on the road he will not waste time by being silent, but engage the persons with whom he was traveling by telling interesting anecdotes, stories, riddles, proverbs, etc that would create an enthusiasm to learn.  By the end of the mile’s walk with him, people would have gained a lot of constructive information.  

As a father, he instilled in us children a desire to study and was very particular about educating us.  As the oldest daughter, I had to take on major part of the family responsibilities especially after Ammachi’s death in 1964.  My teaching profession helped me to take care of financial responsibilities in the home and appachen was able to focus on the ministry. Because of appachen’s motivation, God enabled me to touch the lives of thousands of students who are now in various leadership positions.  Appachen encouraged me to take on leadership and administrative skills in the ministry and church.  This has enhanced my management abilities in my secular job and empowered me in the church ministry, teaching and managing the boarding facilities for the Bible College, Ladies’ ministry and literature ministry.   

The training that I received growing up with Appachen and Ammachi has equipped me tremendously for the ministry that God had prepared for us.  Appachen was a disciplinarian and I have inherited this trait from him.  Translating his sermons as a teenager prepared me for future pulpit ministry.  Hosting and taking care of visiting pastors and missionaries started in the faith home in Eluru and continues to this day.  The influence of Appachen’s godly life and passion for souls had an indelible impact on us, his children. I am so blessed and privileged to see this passion for souls and evangelism passed on to my children and grandchildren too. 

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