January 2023 | The True Vine and The Soon Coming King

Trust the Lord and Make a Statement of Faith
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Trust the Lord and Make a Statement of Faith

Dr. M S Samuel

On February 19, 1519, the Spanish Explorer Herman Cortes set sail for Mexico with an entourage of 11 ships, 110 sailors and 553 soldiers.  Upon their arrival in Mexico, the population was about 5 million.  During their previous two expeditions, Mr. Cortes had failed to establish a settlement in the new world.  At this time, however, he ordered that the ships be burned so that no one would attempt to go back.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Pastor P.T. Chacko’s coming to Andhra Pradesh, our hearts rejoice over the mission of a dedicated servant of God and his dear wife.  Pastor P.T. Chacko and Mrs. Annamma Chacko were quite young and energetic.  They were a team for spreading the Gospel in a state where the language was different.  I have admired the accomplishments of great servants of God like William Carey and Hudson Taylor.  But in the case of Pastor and Mrs. Chacko, there was no one to sponsor the young couple.

When they left Kumbanad, they were making a strong statement, like Abraham of old:  God was their Provider.  I am sure normal questions about their future must have come into their minds, and yet Pastor Chacko knew his God, and trusted that God would not fail them.  

Many of us have a “Plan B” if our “Plan A” doesn’t work.  Such people don’t burn ships.

When Elisha started to follow Elijah, he did something remarkable.  He was a well-known farmer in the Jordan valley where he was very prosperous.  But when he wanted to serve the Lord and follow the prophet Elijah, the Bible says he burnt the plowing equipment, boiled the oxen, and fed neighbors and friends.  He was making a statement that his farming days were over, and now he was going to serve the God of Elijah.

Pastor and Mrs. P.T. Chacko went out with faith in God.  Today, we see the fruit of their labor.  Thousands have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Churches are all over in Andhra.  Hundreds of pastors are serving, along with a number of evangelists.

In 1961 I came to the U.S. to study the Word of God.  While I was a student at Wheaton College, I visited India in 1965, and went to see Apostle K.E. Abraham at Hebron.  I thought it was going to be only a greeting session—but it turned out to be more than that.  Pastor T.S. Abraham, the eldest son of Apostle K.E. Abraham, had a marriage proposal in mind for his young sister-in-law Susy.  Thus, by the wise counsel of these great servants of God, our engagement and marriage took place in August 1965.  That was 50 years ago.  My wife, Susy, and I have just celebrated 50 years of marriage.  Today, by the grace of God, we are the proud parents of two children, Stephen and Sharon.

When Stephen was a young child (about 5 or 6) we were visiting India, and Appachen (Pastor P.T. Chacko) spoke to Stephen about the supreme subject of salvation.  Later, my wife helped Stephen pray to receive Christ.  Today Stephen is a Senior Pastor in Long Island, NY, married to his dear wife Elizabeth, and they have two teenage daughters.  All are active in the church.

Our daughter Sharon is also grateful for her spiritual heritage.  Today she serves as the Senior Pastor of the First Door of Faith Church, in Queens, NY, where I now serve as Pastor Emeritus.  Sharon is raising two fine sons who are also very active in serving the Lord.

My wife and I are very grateful for our children and grandchildren and the work they are doing for the Lord.  Yes, heritage is a tremendous gift.   I am thankful for the faithfulness of Pastor and Mrs. P.T. Chacko.  There is no question that their character qualities have influenced future generations, and their legacy will continue to bring glory to God.

When I consider some of the qualities of Pastor P.T. Chacko, three qualities come to mind:

1.  He was very passionate.  I have never seen anyone as passionate about reaching unreached people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He would make any sacrifice for what he believed in.  And his dear wife, (Ammachi) and all the members of the family rallied together to meet the goal of reaching souls.  They endured all the challenges that faced them:  educating the children, showing hospitality to evangelists, meeting daily expenses.  And God always provided.

2. He was totally committed.  Pastor Chacko knew that his calling was genuine and that God would never fail him.  And we can see, through the many churches and Christian leaders throughout the land of India, that Pastor Chacko’s God-given commitment has resulted in much fruit.  He had a servant’s heart all the time, and God has honored his labor.

3.  He was very caring.  Only an unselfish person will care for others.  One day, as we were sitting and talking at Philadelphia, a poor man approached, but Appachen had no money to give him.  Nevertheless, Appachen went to his room and returned with a couple of books, and told the poor man to sell the books and get some money.  Appachen was very concerned about the thousands of souls entering into a Christ-less eternity.  He wished to have a Bible School to train young men for the Gospel work.  Thank God, Appachen shared that vision with me, and in the early part of 1970 that dream became a reality at the Philadelphia compound.  We were very happy.  Only a caring person can go all the way with his dream.

As we celebrate this 75th anniversary, let us remember with gratitude the ministry of Pastor and Mrs. P.T. Chacko, and the many who labored along with them.  And let us remember that there is still so much work to be done.

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