Hopegivers ministry celebrates life of Dr. MA Thomas
By Babu Thomas
Hopegivers International celebrated its first annual Founder's Day this past week to honor the life and work of Dr. MA Thomas whose efforts helped in the rescue of tens of thousands of orphaned and abandoned children throughout India.
"Today all across India in our Hope homes the children celebrated his birthday with prayer and thanksgiving. A special meal was provided for all the children," said Samuel A Thomas, President of Hopegivers International.
"When I think of my father's birthday, I thank God for his life and legacy. He truly was a visionary and a man who sought to please God always! He was a people's person. He saw no fault in anyone. To him everyone was valuable to God," Samuel, who is the only son of Dr. MA Thomas, stated in a note on Saturday.
Dr. MA Thomas passed away on December 4, 2010.
Thomas, who has received numerous awards and recognitions for his humanitarian work, including the Padma Shri Award from the President of India, began his ministry as a missionary in Rajasthan in 1960 and dedicated his life to the ministering of abandoned and orphaned children.
Hopegivers International, which he founded in 1967, has helped start more than 70 orphanages, over 100 Bible colleges, and 25,000 churches in India. The ministry also has an orphanage in Haiti and three in Africa.
"My father never started any work with money in his hands. He just trusted God and took God at His word. I remember days when we did not have money to feed the orphans; he would declare a whole day fasting prayer. Without fail I always saw God provide the needs for the entire month before the prayer meeting was over," recalled Samuel.
"Taking in orphans, taking in widows, taking in lepers, taking on land and building projects, even when he had no money. God rewarded his faith, provided the needs of all those he took in," he added.
Hopegivers International not just rescues and houses orphans, but also educates, cares for medically and trains spiritually in loving family environments called Hope Homes. The ministry also supports those suffering from leprosy and HIV/AIDS in the country.
Furthermore, the ministry has trained over 30,000 pioneer missionaries who went on to establish churches in several parts of the country. Thomas in fact started his first church with only a $25 donation from Dr. Bill Bright, the co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.