Testimony by sis. Vidhya Kuruvilla on Bro. K.Philip
Rejoicing in God’s presence…
(A tribute to Uncle Philip, God’s Servant, Jehovah Shammah, Chennai)
On the 14th of December 2013, I was at “Jehovah Shammah” (Church at Chennai) to attend the funeral of my dear uncle Bro. Dennis Timothy. After the funeral service at the Church, everybody left for the cemetery. But, I lingered back. And, as it was my usual practice to meet and pray with Uncle & Aunty Philip, whenever I go to J.S; I walked towards his home. I met Aunty Philip & asked if I could meet uncle. She sent a sister inside and asked if he could pray for me. And, he asked me to come inside.
The time on my watch was around 6.00p.m. Uncle Philip was lying down on his bed. He seemed to be weak & frail on the outside, but was strong & very joyful, in the inside. Who knew that he was sinking & those were the last few hours of his life! To help him connect quickly, I told him that I am Molly’s daughter. He quickly recognised & also asked me about my brother. I told him that he was in Muscat & was doing fine. “Your children?” was his next question. I said – “one is in Coimbatore and the other one is inside my womb” – & so requested him to specially pray for my confinement. He prayed for our family – with his feeble voice. But, at the end his “Amen” was bold & clear. And (as I always do) I gently took his hand and kissed him. I can never forget those soft & gentle hands; imagine the long years of them holding the precious Word of God.
I am not sure, if I was “the last person”, he prayed for – on his death bed, but, even if I was not… I consider it a blessing to be “one of the last ones” to be prayed for. Glory to God.
“Across the bridge there’s no more sorrow, Across the bridge there’s no more pain”
Although it does grieve our heart that, our dear Uncle has left us, I see a reason more to rejoice & celebrate a life that has been well lived, glorifying his Master. And, now he has gone across the bridge, to that golden shore – where there is no more pain & sorrow. Back from those days that he first heard the Gospel through Bro. Bakhtsingh, at the home of a Maharashtrian servant of God (Rev. Nevaskar) over a cup of tea, at Bombay (Now, Mumbai); leaving a high-flying career with Merchant Navy to serve the Lord along with Bro. Bakht Singh in the streets of Mumbai, first time coming to Jehovah Shammah compound in 1944 – until this day… his service to the Lord & to His flock was upright, un-selfish & absolutely faithful.
A malayalee by his taste buds… he loved “Appam with Stew & Kerala Puttu with Kadala”. His proficiency with the Word of God & the sharp memory of Bible verses, the reverberating voice, the easy flow & power during his messages, jovial comparisons that easily connects to the situation & your soul, the joyous singing in various languages, many vying to get their Bible autographed by his attractive calligraphic handwriting – can never be forgotten. Even his prayerful presence, made a difference. He leaves behind a legacy for many to follow.
Our prayers remain with Aunty Celestial, Anu Aunty, John anna, the entire family & the family of God.
In closing, I want the world around me to familiarize with a term which could replace R.I.P (REST IN PEACE – since it is theologically incorrect, but many believers seems to be using it unknowingly) with REJOICE IN (GOD’s) PRESENCE forever & ever.
– Sis. Vidhya Rebecca Kuruvilla
Sis. Vidhya Rebecca Kuruvilla worships the Lord at Patmos Prayer House, Coimbatore, along with her husband Mathew Kuruvilla & daughter Aradhana Grace. She was spiritually raised in the fellowship of the church at Jehovah Shammah, Chennai until when she moved to Coimbatore, after her marriage. Uncle & Aunty Philip were her constant inspiration to grow in the Lord, be rooted in the Word & walking a life that glorifies our Lord Jesus Christ.