Dr. M. A. Thomas, Founder of Hopegivers International and Emmanuel Ministries passed away on Saturday evening (December 4, 2010) at the age of 74.
|Dr. M. A. Thomas|
The ministry reported that Dr. Thomas had been ill since suffering a stroke in December 2008 that left him paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak.
His son, Dr. Samuel Thomas, President of Hopegivers said, “My dear father has been promoted to glory! He fought a good fight; he finished the race and kept his faith in Jesus alone. He always desired to know Christ in a better way with each passing day. Today that desire has been fulfilled for him.”
Hopegivers International and Emmanuel Ministries began over 50 years ago when Dr. M. A. Thomas and his young bride (Ammini Cherian 1935-1995) arrived in Kota in March of 1960 with a vision to spread the Gospel throughout India. The ministry is primarily known for rescuing orphaned and abandoned children. Hopegivers not only feeds the children and places them in Hope Homes (orphanages of all sizes), but they educate these otherwise forgotten children so that they can one day leave the orphanage and live as productive citizens of India.
Recognizing the many years of humanitarian effort due to this man many call “Papa”, the Indian government awarded him the coveted Padma Shri Award in 2001. Very proud to be an Indian citizen he was humbly and tearfully moved by this honor. Taking no credit, he simply expressed his gratitude for the citizens of Kota, Kerala, all of India and his many friends and supporters abroad. He knew that his dream for India could never be completed by one man. Dr. M. A. Thomas passionately believed that if you “save a child, you save a nation!”
Dr. Samuel says, “If my father were here today, the last thing on his mind would be preparation to honor him. He was always about the children. He would urge us not to forget ‘his kids!’ There is still much work to be done!”
Dr. M. A. Thomas is survived by one brother and a sister, Samuel Abraham and Mary Kutty Philip both of UAE; two daughters, Elizabeth Sam and Mary Babu, one son, Dr. Samuel Thomas, 17 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Services for the revered Founder, Dr. M. A. Thomas – “Papa” – are scheduled for 12:30PM on Thursday, December 9, 2010 at Emmanuel Orphanage Church – Raipura in Kota, Rajasthan. Dr. Samuel Thomas, son of Dr. M. A. Thomas and Dr. K.P. Yohannan will conduct the service. The graveside service is scheduled for 3 PM.
In lieu of flowers and cards, please make donations to Hopegivers International in memory of Dr. M. A. Thomas. Help us continue a half century legacy of caring for Papa’s kids. You can donate at www.hopegivers.org