Monday, May 23, 2011

My Mother. Saramma Verghese: A Brief Memoir


(A Mother Who Left Behind an Exemplary Foot Prints to Follow)

A brief memoir of my mother Saramma Verghese (85 years) Promoted to Glory on July 8th 2008

My Beloved Mother Saramma Varughese

This is a brief memoir of my mother 'Saramma Verghese' (85 years)  who passed away on 8th July 2008.

She was the first daughter of Mr. Thomman Chummar and Sara. Her parents were from an aristocratic family named Pappalil. They lived at a village  called  Maaraady, near Moovattupuzha town.

She was brought up with strict discipline of the Syrian Christian tradition. Her mother Mrs. Sara was the first person (who came to know the Lord in their family) in her family to know the lord. Along with her conversion some wonderful things happened in their home. Her mother Sara's father Mr. Ulahannan Kakkatuputhenpurayil was staying at Palakkuzha village. At that time there was no gospel preached or heard in that village. One day two evangelists visited the village and decided to do some open air preaching, they started singing some songs and was about to start preaching, all of a sudden an angry mob reached the spot and caught them and started beating.

Their plan was to kill them and throw their bodies into the nearby river. One of the evangelists was Br. P H Peter lovingly called as "Peter Upadesi" (Now with the Lord), father of Evangelist George Peter of Chitoor. Hearing the news Mr. Ulahannan, my mother's grand father ran to the place, he being the village leader, no one was brave enough to protest against him. By the time it was dark, fearing that the angry mob might attack them again he gave shelter to them at his home. That night the servants of God shared their testimony and spoke to the family about Christ and the salvation they could gain by believing in Christ. That was a turning point in their family and my mother's mother accepted Christ as her personal savior.

Her faith was so strong and she started witnessing the truth to other members of her family. Her husband Thomman expressed his displeasure and was dead against to her new faith. But among the five children Saramma and her younger sister Mariamma accepted Christ as their personal savior. Later they decided to take baptism according to the Word of God. The news spread through out the village and it was shocking news to the relatives and the nominal orthodox Christian society. The Orthodox Syrian Jacobite Church ex-communicated them and they were considered out casts and were not allowed participating even in the funeral services of their relatives. They faced severe persecution from inside the family as well as from outside.

A Photograph with her sister,sister-in-law,

children & Grand Children

A Photograph taken 20 years back  at the time of my younger brother's marriage.
My mother sitting along with her sister Mariamma (left) and
my father's sister at the center.  My two sisters at the left, 
with my brothers and their families.
Myself and my wife standing at the right.

Though they were firm in the faith there were no believers in the nearby villages. So they had to walk about 60 kilometers every Sunday to participate in a worship meeting and other week days gatherings. My mother and her sister told us that they never missed Sunday worship meetings except when they were ill. They continued this way for almost five years and the Lord sent some of His children to extend their evangelistic work in those areas.
Some of the prominent evangelists at that time in the brethren movement M/s. K V Simon, Lonappen Upadesi, Peter Upadesi, K G Kurian, E P Varghese, C T Mathai, A P Paily, Vattakattu Varkey Upadesi and a few other's through their inspirational messages and classes strengthened them to be firm in their faith. Though they faced many problems from their family members, whenever these brethren conducted gospel meetings and Bible classes in the nearby places, they made it a point to attend those gatherings. A few more Christians joined the faith and started a small gathering at Pothanicade near Parambencherry.
My mother's brothers were dead against her faith and they were not willing tot ake care of their parents so she decided to stay unmarried to look after the parents. Meanwhile her younger sister got married.The years went by and the parents were getting old. After their death Saramma's life and safety became a question, so they convinced her to get married. A few years passed by and their firm faith in the Lord and the exemplary life they led in the Lord enabled her other family members too to come into the faith. Some of their children
are in the service of the Lord.

Another Photograph taken at the time of my younger brother Shaji's marriage day.
 PV and his wife standing at both sides.
The Lord was faithful to His daughter and gave her a partner who was a believer. Mr. P T Varghese from Kota, Chengannur, who was a God fearing, humble, loving and well disciplined person. Evangelist K P Stephen of Thiruvankulam and his wife (she can be seen in the adjacent picture--in white dress holding a bag) took initiative in this matter and they were united in holy matrimony. At that time my father was working as a pattern maker in the carpentry section of the erstwhile Pampa River Sugar Factory - Now Travancore Sugars and Chemicals Ltd-. My mother was an ideal wife to my father and a loving mother to all of us and an excellent home maker like the woman in Proverb 31. She was a mature woman, devoted wife, mother, honorable, humble, unselfish and kind. She was a caring and loving mother not only to us but also to the neighbors, especially to the fellow believers. She was so keen to share whatever we had with others especially with those in the Lord's service. In spite of our tight financial budget she always made it a point to set apart some amount for this purpose.

PV with his parents and younger brothers Sunny & Shaji at
his right and left. A photograph taken at our company Quarters.
Those days running a family of nine members was a great task. With my father's meager salary it was difficult to make both ends meet. On my mother's initiative father bought a cow and started selling milk and manure to the neighboring people and earned a small income from that. At that time we were staying in the company's staff quarters. There was a high demand for our milk as it was not diluted. My mother was so strict that she never diluted the milk with water for sale. Apart from this my father used to work in the evening hours after his eight hours duty at the factory. He made different types of wooden furniture with good quality wood. This too was in high demand because of the carpentry skill and the reasonable prices.
Through their dedicated life, all the children got educated and are settled in different parts of the world. By the grace of God all are in the Christian faith. She was an instrument in bringing them up in the fear of the Lord. She continued steadfast in the faith till her departure from this earth. My mother set a good example for us to follow. We, her children are very happy to follow in her foot prints. Though, she was a silent doer of the Word of God we are sure that her reward in heaven will be much greater. We thank God for being the children of this loving mother.
We are seven children, five brothers and two sisters-Rosamma John Secunderabad, P V Thomas Bangalore, Ammini Daniel U S A, P T John Chennai, Philip Verghese 'Ariel' Secunderabad, Paul Varghese Pulikeezhu, Shaji Varghese Palghat.
Sons and Daughters-in-law: John Philip Secunderabad, Glory Thomas Bangalore, M V Daniel U S A, Sally John Chennai, Omana Philip Secunderabad, Nessy Paul Pulikeezhu, Annie Shaji Palghat.
(Note: For the early history of my mother I am indebted to her sister Mariamma's elder son Joykutty Chacko, an evangelist in Kothamangalam, Kerala)
P V Ariel's Knol Pages


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