On Thursday morning, November 2, our father G.V. Mathai took his last breath on earth and entered into the presence of our Savior, as the Scripture promises in II Corinthians 5:8. Dad had been dealing with a number of health issues in recent months, and had been hospitalized in mid-October. He came home to hospice on October 28, and family and friends made their way to his side around the clock over the next five days singing hymns, reading the Psalms, and praying over him.
We had a burial and funeral service for him on Friday, November 10th. We are planning a memorial service on Saturday, December 2nd, where we will take time to thank God for his remarkable life and the way God used him and our mom, Mariamma, along with the founding members of India Evangelical Mission, to labor to fulfill the Great Commission.
G.V. was one of the most single-minded people we knew. He wanted the people of India to know and believe in the One who came to seek and to save that which was lost. For over 55 years, Dad traveled back and forth to India, training Indian nationals and equipping them for the work of the Gospel, serving the poor and needy wherever there was a need, all while dealing with the difficult political and social and complex issues that dominate life in India.
Dad was constantly in prayer–for the staff in India, for those suffering with physical needs, for the growth of the work in unreached parts of India, and for all of you, who have made the work of IEM possible. We remember how he would take time each month to meditate on what would be the right Bible verse to share with all of you in the prayer letters.
G.V. was able to be in India this past January and encourage the workers who labor in Mumbai, see the new fruits of ministry in north India and challenge the Bible College students in Kerala. We as his children, along with the IEM Board of Directors, are continuing to cultivate the growth and flourishing of the ministry. We are privileged to be a part of what God is doing in this part of the world, and we are grateful that God used G.V. to achieve His purposes. We know he was so thankful for each of you and your partnership in the work of IEM. But above that, he loved you and appreciated your friendship for many years.
As we said our goodbyes to Dad, we sang his favorite chorus, “I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord Forever,” we read to him one of his favorite psalms–Psalm 34, and we were able to pray and commit him to the Lord. Although we all grieve together, and we will miss him, we rejoice in knowing that he is in the very presence of the Lord whom he loved and served for so many years.
Thank you all for your love and support. May we continue to carry on the work of our Lord until He comes again. May God bless you.
We love you,
Dayan, Mishal, Sheela, and Helen