Cheri Chats

George Cherian (s/o Bishop T.C. Cherian) shares a few of his experiences of Chandapilla.

(This was the earliest testimony I received up on request).

Dec 5, 2010 by Email

"As a child, my father used to tell me about a highly respected Achen who had uplifted the STECI’s name across the nation, who had given away his wealth and belongings for the Church, who had brought in famous guest speakers for the Annual General Conventions.  I was longing to see such a BIG man; and finally when I met him in person, he was different from my perception about him: he was short framed, wearing a Khadi Dhoti and Kurtha, with a plastic sandals (worse than what my dad used to wear), walking around slowly, mostly head down.  It took a little while to know him, but after each encounters, this short man started growing big and huge in my heart.  Though I have had the privilege of knowing Rev. Chandapilla since my childhood, it’s the Shishyashram” stay (Anna Nagar West, Chennai), that left me awestruck.  I still remember those days when he used to spend time discussing and advising.  I know that I am blessed today, due to his presence and his influence, and still hold those memories close to my heart”

"Once he brought along a gift for both of us, two diaries. Though my brother accepted that straight away, I was not willing to accept it (out of a principle very dear to my father, not to accept any gifts from others, and as a small child I just obeyed my dad blindly, not knowing that a diary was not there in his list).  Achen calmly took back the diary with him. But he found time to talk to me later in the evening on this. He clearly mentioned that the greatest and the most precious gift of all time is salvation, and God in His mercy has given it to us freely, and never, ever reject any kind of gifts.  He was so gentle throughout the conversation. 

"He loved to hang around with youngsters, and used to instruct them quoting his own life. He wanted the youngsters to be a disciple of Jesus, and to work for His Kingdom.  Though he was very serious while he advises and preaches, he was humorous too, when it comes to the friendly talks.  He used to laugh out loud, and when he laughs, he finds it hard to convey, as he continues his laughter for some time. 

"While he was the main speaker for our General Conventions, he used to stay in our house in Manjadi, as it was convenient for him to go and come back.  He stayed in my room which was smaller, and he used to compare that to the upper room in which prophet Elijah stayed.  He adjusts with any kind of situations, any kind of transport.  In our family prayer, Achen used to read the Bible portions very slowly, word by word, understanding ad making others understand, every bit of it.  He taught me the art of reading out the bible to the public, so that they should understand what it says.

"Achen was very much against the myths, idols, superstitious beliefs and anything and everything which are against the Biblical faith.....

"He was concerned of our Spiritual cleanliness, as well as the cleanliness on our surroundings. On every visit, he used to make sure that he checks on the toilet, and the Kitchen to see how things were kept. .

"He was friendly to all and loved small children.  I remember him carrying a 2 year old baby girl in his arm while he was blessing all those who were celebrating their birthday along with her, in the midst of a Sunday service. 

"I was so surprised to see him finding time to reply to my letters, even in the midst of his busy schedules and travels. Those letters were all hand-written.   I still remember the first few lines of his first letter to me.  “Dear Kochumon, your letter was short and sweet and full of meat”.  I was able to see him while he was at  Ottanchathram hospital.  He recognized me after a while, and we had a sweet time of fellowship.  Later on I moved to Kuwait and was not able to see him again.  Though he had gone, to be with the Lord, his memories, his vision and his teachings keep on growing in me…   Achen, we shall meet on that beautiful shore"

- George Cherian


Picture: received through Aby Alexandar