The story of ELS and A Lifetime with Books – Two Free eBooks
“The written word is like a seed. If it falls on prepared soil having moisture and sunlight, in due season it will grow and bear fruit.”
We present two free eBooks in pdf format courtesy by V M Abraham. He and his wife Leelamma Abraham are known for their life long mission and role in the formative years of ELS (Evangelical Literature Service) in India and the expansion of its work across India.
In fact my life in the role as the leader of ELS was a victory march of eighteen years. It is only with the eyes of a beholder that such struggles and victories can be seen, especially in a spiritual field. We never worked for personal gain – be it money, popularity or position. We firmly believed that ‘godliness with contentment is great gain’. In times of crisis it was great to listen to God by reading His Word and meditating upon it to hear what He was saying. At such times, it was God’s Word that comforted, encouraged and gave me direction and purpose. I know that He is a God who speaks; but to hear His voice, one must choose to listen.~ V M Abraham
A Grain of Mustard Seed
The Story of Evangelical Literature Service (ELS) is an account and a confirmation of that blessed truth that God is utterly dependable and that His faithfulness towards us never fails. Authored by V.M. Abraham and Ida David it is a firsthand account of the ELS story in India.
In 1946 a bookshop was started in Chennai in a small rented room. That was the beginning of ELS. God blessed the work and in 1954 ELS was registered in Chennai under the Societies Registration Act. God has blessed the vision of Donald David and the work that began in 1946 as a one room shop, today has twenty three centers in nine states of India – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Dimapur, Secunderabad and Pondicherry.
A Lifetime with Books – Personal experiences of V M Abraham and Leelamma Abraham in Christian Book Ministry (2017)
“VM has sketched us many interesting aspects of his life, from a boy with bare feet going to school, to beinginvolved in a world wide literature ministry where all the essential lessons learned in Madras/Chennai, were shared with CLC workers in different parts of the world, what a wonderful heritage to pass on.” ~ Geoffrey and Pauline Williams.
The Printed Page
- The printed page can go where the human voice cannot.
- It travels cheaply.
- It leaps language barriers, and is never influenced by racial prejudice.
- It preaches the same message to everyone.
- It never loses its temper… never talks back
- It never tires, but works even when men sleep.
- It is never discouraged.
- It always catches a person in the right mood.
- It speaks without a foreign accent.
- It never compromises… never changes its message.
- It continues to witness long after its author has died.
All copyright belongs to the respective publishers and Mr. V. M. Abraham. Kindly attribute the author, publisher and the website for any future use. Nalloor Library never charges for any content and only asks for proper attribution for any information used from this website.
Malankara Sabha Tharaka feature- Oct 2021
Nalloor Library content was featured in the Mar Thoma Church’s official magazine – Sabha Tharaka October 2021 edition (p 20-21).
It features two important individuals and their stories. You can read about it in detail using the links below:
Rev. Advocate C.V.George B.A.,B.L
Rt. Rev. Dr. Juhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan
29 July 1955: Daniel Case – St.Thomas Evangelical Church of India separates from the Mar Thoma Syrian Church (with Rare Photos)
29 July, 1955: Mr. Daniel files suit against the Mar Thoma Metropolitan. On 29 July 1955, Mr. Ninan Daniel, of Kurumthottikkal, Melukara Pathanamthitta District and three others filed a civil suit in the District Court of Kottayam against the then Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma and six others. Mr. K.N. Daniel, was a lay leaders in the Mar Thoma Church, an eminent liturgiologist, theologian, an author of many books, and a prominent lawyer.
According to Mr. Daniel, the Metropolitan favoured and accepted the faith of the Jacobite Church and as such he had no right to enter any of the Mar Thoma Churches and that he should not be allowed to continue as the Supreme Head of the Church. This case is known as the ‘Daniel Case’. This litigation lasted for almost 10 years and the final judgment from the Supreme Court of India came on 7 Jan 1965. In all the three courts (the District Court, Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court) verdicts were against Mr. Daniel.
This case was an unfortunate event in the history of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church and resulted in the formation of the St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India on 26 January 1961. Twenty priests who had been ordained in the Mar Thoma Church joined and pledged allegiance to the new Church.
- First defendant Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan was examined through the judicial commission in the Mar Thoma Seminary in Kottayam. His examination took 35 hours over seven days.
Second defendant Rev. C.V.John was examined for 11 days continuously 6 hours each day. (Total 66 hours)
Adv. K.T.Thomas appeared before all the three courts for the Mar Thoma Syrian Church without taking any remuneration. Total cost of the case was Rs. 13;239/- (today it could be in crores).
A fearless Indian Bishop who took on the Prime Minister despite the threat of jail
On 25 June, 1975 – nearly forty years years ago, Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi unilaterally had a state of emergency declared across the country. Officially issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352(1) of the Constitution for “internal disturbance”, the Emergency was in effect from 25 June 1975 until its withdrawal on 21 March 1977 (21 months). `
So what did the Emergency imply? Essentially, at the stroke of the President’s pen India ceased being a democracy and was converted into a virtual autocracy. Civil liberties were suspended, media was censored, state and parliamentary elections were postponed, and anyone who wrote or spoke against the Government was put behind bars. In the 21 months of the Emergency, 100,000 people were arrested and detained without trial. ~ www.thelogicalindian.com
Under the Emergency rule, it was not easy to raise voices of critical opposition, in making even a mild-toned protest, one did so at considerable risk. Many kept silent because of the fear which spread among the people. Despite these pressures, some of the Christian groups made courageous attempts to express critical voices. It is significant to recognise that those who made the critical protests were not the representatives of the large institutional churches; rather, they were members of relatively small groups or of a minority group within the institutional church.
Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma was the only Church leader who wrote a letter to her disapproving it. The Metropolitan’s letter stated that he deemed the Emergency rule as a setback to democracy and demanded its speedy withdrawal as well as the release of the politicians arrested in this regard.
His earlier statement was drafted in Malayalam in the fall of 1975. Even though it was not an entirely critical protest, but raised in a modest way a critical question, it was refused publication in Kerala. Metropolitan has written a brief yet pointed letter to Prime Minister Gandhi stating clearly his concern for the political situation.
“A vast number of people, and that growing numbers, feel the price we have to pay is costly. With people like Morarji and others in jail, and a press which has lost its freedom to write news and views, we feel a kind of depression. On behalf of thousands, I request withdrawal of Emergency by gradual stages. Immediate and altogether withdrawal is likely to have very bad repercussions. If the political detenus are released and’ freedom for press is given, it will be a great relief.
“I have one more request: not to have elections and constitutional changes during the time of Emergency. Hoping to be excused for this letter written from a sincere and painful heart.” ~www.daga.org.hk
He wrote that he was writing as a Church leader and a citizen. Mrs Indira Gandhi gave orders to arrest Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma. Mr. C. Achuthamenon was the Chief Minister at that time and with his interference the arrest was avoided. It was the Mar Thoma Church’s fight for independence and national integrity that echoed through Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma, a fearless commitment to the concerns of the people that is hard to find among religious leaders now. On September 9, shortly after he wrote this letter, he fell ill and died on September 27, 1976.
The first edition of the Indian Express after the imposition of emergency consisted of a blank page instead of editorial. The Financial Express had Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, “Where the mind is without fear, and the head is held high”.
Where The Mind Is Without Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake
Mar Thoma Church’s role in Modi’s gift to Israeli Prime Minister
The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church had a part to play in the historic visit of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi to Israel. PM Modi presented PM Netanyahu replicas of 2 sets of relics from Kerala that are regarded as key artifacts in the long Jewish history in India. One of them was was made possible with the cooperation of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church which was publicly acknowledged by the Prime Minister on Twitter.
They comprise two different sets of copper plates that are believed to have been inscribed in 9-10th century C.E. The first set of copper plates is a cherished relic for the Cochini Jews in India. It is regarded as a charter describing the grant of hereditary royal privileges and prerogatives by the Hindu King, Cheraman Perumal (often identified as Bhaskara Ravi Varma) to the Jewish leader Joseph Rabban. According to traditional Jewish accounts, Joseph Rabban was later crowned as the Prince of Shingli, a place in or equated with Cranganore.
Cranganore is where Jews enjoyed religious and cultural autonomy for centuries, before they moved to Cochin and other places in Malabar. Local Jews once placed in each coffin a handful of earth from Shingli/Cranganore that was remembered as a holy place & a “second Jerusalem”. The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of the Paradesi Synagogue in Mattancherry, Kochi.
The second set of copper plates is believed to be the earliest documentation of the history of Jewish trade with India. These plates describe the grant of land and tax privileges by the local Hindu ruler to a church and oversight of trade in Kollam to West Asian and Indian trading associations. West Asian association included Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, as also a group of Jews who signed in Judeo-Persian and possibly also in Arabic and Pahlavi (Middle Persian). The plates bear their signatures that appear to have been cut into the plates by a local workman unfamiliar with the script. The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Thiruvalla, Kerala.
In addition, Prime Minister @narendramodi also presented PM @netanyahu a Torah scroll donated by the Paradesi Jewish community in Kerala. Handwritten over a hundred years ago, the scroll had been dedicated to the Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi that had been built in 1568. The Torah is enclosed on wooden staves in a wooden case adorned with silver sheets.
And a metal crown covered in gold sheets in floral ornament style, bearing motifs typical of lamps and decorations of South India.
Rare Historical Recording to celebrate 70 years of Hoskote Mission Field
Listen to a rare 33 year old recording to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Hoskote Mission Field.
The recording was done in June 1984 during Mrs Mariamma Joseph’s (co-founder of the mission) address to the Dubai Mar Thoma Parish. She spoke about the beginning of Hoskote Mission and the challenges faced by the pioneering missionaries.
The Hoskote Mission Medical Center was established in 1947 in Hoskote, Bangalore Rural District, Karnataka by two missionaries Mr. M. T. Joseph and Mr. A.C. Zachariah along with their wives Mariamma Joseph and Saramma Zachariah.
Read more about this incredible story (Free PDF)
To read a more detailed biography of Mr. & Mrs. M.T.Joseph (Free PDF)
To read a more detailed biography of Rev. A. C. Zachariah (Free PDF)
Maramon Convention 2017 – My Life – Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan
This audio is a recording of the speech given by the Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan ( b.27 April 1918.) during the Maramon Convention 2017.
Note: (Sadhu Sundar Singh was an Indian Christian missionary (.b.3 Sep 1899 in Ludhiana, Punjab) He was the main speaker of Maramon Convention in 1918.)
Explaining the Maramon Convention to Children (Free pdf)
122nd Maramon Convention for Kids
A free pdf resource sheet for Parents / Sunday School Teachers to explain to their children facts and events chosen from the history of the Maramon Convention.
Basel Mission Press celebrates 175 glorious years
Arrival of Basel Missionaries in South Canara—- Brief History of Basel Mission in India
175 years and still going strong…
Basel Mission Press, which pioneered the printing revolution in coastal districts 175 years back, continues to breathe in Mangaluru, although not in its earlier glory. Established in 1841, the press is now recognised as Balmatta Institute of Printing Technology and Book Craft, located at Balmatta, Mangaluru. The institution has seen many ups and downs in a century. The printing press is currently run by KACES (Karnataka Christian Educational Society) and continues to operate.
Read more at: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/584856/175-years-still-going-strong.html
175 glorious years for Basel Mission Press
The press is also evidence to the first Kannada newspaper ‘Mangaluru Samachara’, the first copy came out in 1843 as a fortnightly. The landmark publications in Kannada, Tulu, Malayalam and Konkani languages were also printed in the same printing press.
The printing revolution in Dakshina Kannada was pioneered by German Missionaries who landed in Mangalore on 1834,
Read more at : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/175-glorious-years-for-Basel-Mission-Press/article16762961.ece
World Sunday School Day: 6th November 2016 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got the Sunday School)
6th November 2016 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 6th November, 2016 as World Sunday School Day.
Robert Raikes (1735- 1811), an English Publisher, started the first Sunday School in the city of Gloucester in England in 1780. During the early days, reading, arithmetic and Bible was taught at the Sunday Schools.
In 1809, Church representatives of the Malankara Churches held a meeting at Kandanadu Church, near Ernakualam to arrange facilities to teach children in the Church about religion, prayers and sacraments. The India Sunday School Union was founded in 1876.The Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam was established on 25 February 1905, at the Maramon Convention.
We encourage our readers to read and share this Free 4 page PDF Ebook Resource for your Sunday Schools and children’s services: Robert Raikes and How We Got Sunday School