Pastor Chacko - His Zeal and Humor
Pr. Noel Samuel
I sincerely consider it a blessing to have been born into Pastor P.T. Chacko’s family. My mother Mrs. Joy Abraham Samuel is Appachan’s second daughter. Appachan lived in Secunderabad, and we used to visit him and Mary aunty (Mrs. Mary Abraham) and our cousins there. During the summer time Appachan used to visit us and he spent the summer vacation with us. Twice, he was with us when we visited Conoor in Tamilnadu, and Chirala, a town on the coast of Andhra Pradesh.
I have very good memories of Appachan. He was very loving and a good conversationalist. In every conversation he used to teach us something.
Appachan was very passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to every person, irrespective of his or her caste or economic status. To him every person, male or female, was a soul that would spend eternity either in heaven or hell.
Appachan was very frugal, and one of his favorite sayings was “waste not, want not.” Appachan always recycled paper, even using the backside of used envelopes to print short gospel messages. Appachan was not only careful with resources but also with time. He did not believe in wasting time and was excellent at multitasking. Along with his daily chores and routine, he would be heard praying, reading or singing.
Appachan shared his beliefs without offending others. I remember on one occasion when he was visiting my paternal grandfather Pastor P. M. Samuel, he shared his views about believers using medicine for their ailments.
Appachan was a man with passion and zeal to impart to others what he knew. He was a teacher who taught the Telugu people Malayalam and he taught the Telugu language to the people from Kerala.
Appachan did not like when women wore clothes that exposed their bodies. He said, "the purpose of dress is to cover and not to expose one’s body.”
Appachan considered “cleanliness next to godliness.” He emphasized that when we are raptured he wanted those left behind to know how neatly our houses were maintained and thereby glorify God. When we traveled with him in trains (coal engine) Appachan used to clean the washroom in the compartment. Once he asked the Train Ticket Examiner to check the washroom that he had cleaned.After checking the washroom the TTE came back and requested Appachan to travel with him every day!
Appachan zealously believed that Jesus would return in his lifetime. With this passion he used to share about Christ with everyone. One summer, we were vacationing in a beach resort near Chirala a town on the coast of Andhra Pradesh. Every day, Appachan visited the huts of the fishermen along the beach, stooping down to enter them as the door to the huts was very low. Thus he shared the Good News with the hut dwellers.
One day, Appachan came to pick me up from my college in Vijayawada. I was a few minutes late. Appachan, instead of sitting in the car, came to the petty shop where my college mates were smoking. He struck up a conversation with them, by saying that if God wanted us to smoke he would have installed a chimney on our head, and then he was teaching about the second coming of our Lord. He said that if Jesus would come now, he would drop the umbrella that was with him and he would be with his savior Jesus Christ. My college mates teased me for a long time by asking me if my grandfather had rocketed into space.
Many times Appachan used to persuade me that I need to accept Christ as my Savior. I used to tell him that when I get old I would be religious. In 1978, when I was in Osmania Hospital in Hyderabad due to a tragic motorcycle accident (head injury), Appachan was a great comfort to my mother. I was unconscious for four days and was behaving like a person with psychological problems for several weeks. Appachan told my mother that God would heal me and that I would be ministering for His Kingdom. Now, after three decades, I look back and see the words of Appachan come to pass in my life.
Appachan had a favorite question that he asked us. It was "What is greater than God, what is worse than the devil, and if you eat it you will die? We will find the solution only when we answer the questions separately,NOTHING is greater than God, NOTHING is worse than devil, if we eat NOTHING we will die, so the answer is NOTHING!
My mother used to narrate to us an incident every time we ate sapota fruits. It seems, a fruit vendor came by selling sapota fruits. Appachan purchased some of them and placed them on the dining table. He didnot mention it to Ammachi. As sapota fruits were not available in Kerala at that time Ammachi did not recognize the fruits on the dining table. Out of curiosity she touched the well-ripened fruit and found them soft. She then went on to ask who had purchased the rotten potatoes. Appachan came to the dining table and calmly said that he had foolishly purchased them and since he did not want to waste it, he would eat it himself. He then went on to peel and eat the fruit, much to Ammachi's surprise !