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St. Thomas Bhilai Mission - The roots of Village Mission

Christ had great plans for Malankara Orthodox Church. The church didnot curtial its missionary reach to just the state of Kerala, but the missionary reach of the church expanded to places beyond the boundaries of its home state of Kerala.

Mahatma Gandhiji once said - 'The soul of India is in its Villages'. In the early 1970's, many of these villages in North India were extremely backward in education, healthcare and womens welfare. H.G. Stephanos Mar Theodosius, the metropolitan of Calcutta and the pioneer of the mission work in North India took on this daunting mission for the Malankara Orthodox Church by laying the foundation stones of its village mission.

The Bhilai Mission was started by HH Baselios Marthoma Mathews 1 and HH entrusted the charge to H.G. Mar Theodosius (then, Fr. K. K. Punnose) to nurture it in 1972. Thirumeni planted the seeds of Village mission in many places in North India and focussed on Livelihood, Self Sustainence, Basic health and Education. The mission has spread to many places including Itarsy, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Indor, Calcutta, Bhandara and Bokaro to name a few. The mission operates more than two dozens of educational institutions including Engineering colleges.

The mission operates medical clinic, mobile clinic, orphanages, schools, colleges, training centers, farming centers, women welfare centers. Vimochan, a training program in jails, provides taining in electronics, pathology, sewing and many other  skills to inmates to help them get back in life. Macodia Mission is one of the notable projects run under the Bhillai mission.

In addition to the social service, thirumeni was the founder of the St. Thomas Othodox theological seminary, in 1995 in Bhillai and then moved to Nagpur in 1999.

Thirumeni took the Church's mission into new pastures that the church had never ventured and showed what it means to turn faith into action by sharing his love and care with people in the most backward areas in North India.

Reference and Pictures:

Book: Stephanos Mar Theodosius: Manushya sevanathilekulla Mahaprayanam - by Thomas Neelarmadom

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