Excerpt from Fall 2014 RR Crossing
by D. John Richard
Ramesh Richard’s Prelude:
I usually write a biblical-theological-practical reflection to open this publication, but I must defer, especially on this important matter, to my dad—the biggest, deepest and longest spiritual influence in my life. So although I could wax eloquent on the subject at hand, I yield to my father’s comments on my mother, Manorama, whose name means “delightful to the heart; pleasing to the mind.”
My wife of almost 64 years, born in 1924 in Salem, Tamil Nadu, India, was promoted to glory on April 29, 2014, in Richardson, Texas, USA. Had she lived for 32 more days, we would have celebrated our 64th wedding anniversary. Even as her name suggests, she brought fullness of satisfaction to me and our four children, Ramesh, Ramani, Ravi and Rajiv, along with their spouses and children. We have six great-grandchildren. Her sorrow was that she could not see our sixth great-grandchild recently born. Truly it could be said of her that she was concerned about everyone in our extended household, including our loved ones in India and here in the United States.
More importantly, under God, she was instrumental in leading our four children to Christ while they were yet in their tender years. Glory to God, all of them have a concern for the advance of Christ’s cause. Along with me they are discovering the truth of 1 Corinthians 4:20, that the kingdom of God is not in word (words piled upon words) but in power (power over passion, power over pride, and power over all that brings grief to the holy heart of God).
Manorama was one who readily shared with visitors what little we had. On one occasion, Mr. L, a member of the church where we worshipped, called on us in our home. He was not happy with certain things in our church, and he referred to me as one of the unholy trinity, the other two being the pastor and our lay leader. I used to pray for him regularly and therefore I could not harbor any resentment in my heart.
Soon after Mr. L arrived, Manorama brought him a cup of coffee. He told Manorama, “I have come here to fight with your husband and you are bringing me a cup of coffee.” Manorama responded, “You may fight with my husband, but please drink my coffee.” Some months after this visit, Mr. L lay dying at his breakfast table. His last words to his wife were: “Remember me to John Richard.”
Yet another mark of her commitment to our Lord Jesus was when I was called to full-time Christian work. I was serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI). In one of our committee meetings in 1965, Rev. Dr. I. Ben Wati, the Executive Secretary of EFI, shared with us that his workload was quite heavy and he needed someone to help him full-time. The committee agreed to the request and said we would pray about it. I led in prayer for this specific need. At the end of the meeting two veteran missionaries approached me to consider becoming the answer to my own prayers. I told them I had merely prayed that God would raise someone else to assist Ben.
I shared with them that Manorama and I had four children ranging in age from 13 to five and that the salary for the EFI job would be a third or quarter of that which Indian Airlines, my employer at that time, was paying me. I told them I would be sharing with Manorama this offer and that we would seek the mind of the Lord. After a few weeks of prayer, Manorama gave her glad consent. That’s how I entered into full-time service with the Lord in January 1966. Manorama never hankered after earthly riches, and we can therefore wholeheartedly subscribe to the truth of Psalm 37:25, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his descendants begging bread.”
To God be the glory!
Our entire immediate family was there to say a grateful, earthly farewell to my beloved mother in song, prayer and other expressions of love. Condolences poured in from across the world because of my parents’ long faithfulness to the Lord Jesus around this globe. I never knew we were loved so much. Really, I didn’t know that I loved her so much.
Because of my mother’s evangelistic role in my salvation and encouraging role in the ministry, the Board of RREACH has set up the Mother’s Care Fund. As an extension of our ongoing Pastor’s Family Care Fund, gifts which come in as memorial gifts in honor of Manorama Richard will help pastors’ wives in economically deprived situations to take care of the physical and educational needs of their children.
Since disaster and deprivation are all around us, and pastors sacrifice privileges for the sake of their congregations, RREACH has established this limited fund for the practical care of pastors’ wives and children. Not a generic relief project, this fund serves only pastors and their families. I invite your financial participation in memory of my mother, Manorama, who delighted many more hearts than just those of our immediate family during her 90 years of faithfulness to the Lord, her husband, her family, and the body of Christ.
Pastor’s Family Care Fund
The Pastor’s Family Care Fund strengthens pastoral leaders in situations of extreme poverty, social persecution and natural disaster by temporarily easing their personal financial responsibilities. The Fund provides help for pastors and their spouses and children in defined, specific, measurable and accountable ways. This initiative was born from Dr. Ramesh Richard’s burden to strengthen pastors through strategic and practical means:
“Having experienced God’s provisions in my own life, I carry a great burden to relieve pastors of some of their personal needs, so their spiritual energies can be focused on ministering to their congregations and communities.” – Ramesh Richard
Many of the pastors that RREACH serves live in difficult conditions. They often write to the RREACH staff to give updates, especially in the wake of tragedy or disaster. In light of the Apostle Paul’s instructions to the Galatians to “do good to all people, and especially to the household of the faith” (Gal. 6:10), RREACH will sometimes, following particularly devastating events, provide special opportunities for constituents to send much-needed resources to pastors and their families.
Throughout the years, RREACH has been able to provide relief to pastors living in Bangladesh, Egypt, Haiti, India, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Syria.
Mother’s Care Fund: In Memory of Manorama Richard
Because of Ramesh’s mother’s evangelistic role in his salvation and encouraging role in the ministry, the Board of RREACH has set up the Mother’s Care Fund. As an extension of our ongoing Pastor’s Family Care Fund, gifts which come in as a memorial gift in honor of Manorama Richard will help pastors’ wives in economically deprived situations take care of the physical and educational needs of their kids.
Since disaster and deprivation are all around us, and pastors sacrifice privileges for the sake of their congregations, RREACH has established this limited fund for the practical care of pastors’ families. Not a generic relief project, this fund serves only pastors, their wives and their children. RREACH invites your financial participation in memory of Ramesh’s mother, Manorama, who delighted many more hearts than just their immediate family during her 90 years of faithfulness to the Lord, her husband, her family, and the body of Christ.
Note: The Mother’s Care Fund was fulfilled in 2015.
But the needs of pastors’ families continue. Please visit ENLARGE.life to learn how you can help.