I am very sorry that it will be impossible for me to attend the funeral Prabha George, National Director of India Youth for Christ (YFC). I am very sad today because I have lost a dear friend.
We have had very similar histories, having served YFC for about the same length of time. In age we differ only by a few months. Over the years, I developed an enjoyable and precious friendship with Prabha. He was with us in Sri Lanka last week for our South Asia National Directors’ Retreat and seemed to be so healthy. He made some very important contributions to this meeting. So it is a huge shock to know that he has gone home to Jesus so suddenly.
One thing that I realised afresh last week was how much Prabha loved youth and how urgently he wanted to take the gospel to them. He was talking all the time about the future of YFC India and his desire to leave it strong when he stepped aside from leadership. He was deeply concerned for the welfare of the staff—the sign of a true leader. On his urging, we have put in place a plan to minister to the veteran workers of YFC for whom he carried a special burden—especially that they would maintain their passion for the mission of Youth for Christ, and that they would motivate younger staff to blaze new trails for the gospel.
Prabha had a wonderful record in YFC. He was first and foremost a grassroots youth worker. This is what qualified him for the National Directorship of YFC. In places like the Nilgiris and Delhi, he directed very effective YFC chapters that not only lead many youth to Christ, but developed a significant number of leaders who are now serving Christ with much distinction within and without YFC. He was a discipler of younger leaders. It is significant that he not only died in the saddle, but he did so while he was going about the business of equipping younger YFC staff for the work of ministry—a most noble way for a veteran youth worker to die. What better way is there to go than while doing what you are passionate about!
It has always been a great joy for me to see his whole family devoted to the service of Christ and humanity. His dear wife Nilo has always been by his side. Andy and his wife and Joanna are all involved in serving people in the name of Christ. Prabha was happily telling us about their work last week. This involvement of family in ministry does not surprise me. Prabha was excited about ministry to the end. He did not give people the impression that Christian ministry was a huge burden and that he had sacrificed a lot to serve God. Instead, his life was consumed by a passion to see the growth of God’s kingdom. Such enthusiasm for God’s work is infectious. But it would be so only if the father/husband is considerate to his family and gives them an important place in his life. Obviously, Prabha did that, and the family had no reason to be resentful of the ministry.
A great warrior has completed his sojourn on earth. May others rise up to take his place and devote themselves to Christ and to the cause of youth evangelism!