A brief introduction
In Hebrews 11, we have an impressive list of people from the Old Testament who followed the call from God in faith to step out into the unknown with confidence and calm expectation. There have been many who have taken this course over the years moving to areas of need and made their mark for us as role models.
Dr. Thomas Mathew was born in Ranong, Thailand on the 4th of April 1937. He along with his mother and siblings moved back to India and settled in Kerala, where he did his schooling. After finishing his intermediate studies from UC College, Aluva, he went to Bareilly to train as an X ray technician but discontinued after a few months and joined a lab technician’s course in Calcutta. He then went on to do his B. Sc in Ewings Christian College, Allahabad. Following this, he got into MBBS at the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana, after which he worked in a village for a year and later got married to Molly Cherian.
He worked in various rural areas including Hoskote in Karnataka, Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh, Oddanchatram in Tamil Nadu, and Mahasamund in Chhatisgarh for nearly 15 years. The utter poverty and poor health conditions in Western Odisha challenged him to take the step of faith of moving to Khariar Road in Kalahandi district in 1982 along with his wife and two children Ranju and Manju. Two nurses joined them to pioneer the work with scarce resources. He has been there for the past 36 years. His wife Molly has been a source of support and strength for the work and always kept an open home for all.
Dr. Thomas has reached out to the surrounding villages around Khariar Road to deliver healthcare to the poor and marginalized. He has intentionally kept the Christian Fellowship hospital infrastructure very simple to enable the poor to feel at home and also cut down on costs for the patient. Over time, others who shared the vision joined them. He is fondly called Papa by the team. Realizing the need for good education, he along with his daughter founded a school for children of the region. Starting with 10 students in 1989, it has grown to be a reputed school with over 800 students. This has changed the face of Khariar Road and surrounding villages, as alumni of the school have excelled in various fields.
Dr. Thomas is a man of few words, steadfast in faith and obedient to the call he received from his Heavenly Father, in his words, online with Him all the time. He is 81 years old and still goes into interior areas where people do not have access to medical care. He goes on to inspire in his quiet way and be available to be used by God.