Oct 12, 2011

Beyond Boundaries: Hosanna’s life story ( Must read...)

Beyond Boundaries: Hosanna’s life story
(A tribute to daughter by J.N. Manokaran)

Born Premature
Birth of a child is a miracle and source of great joy. Rosy had a painful time to deliver the child in the Kancheepuram Government hospital. We had friends outside the ward praying, praising and pleading to God for a wonderful miracle. The child was ready to enter the world from womb even before the time was complete (just eight months). Rosy trusted she would deliver normally, and not through caesarean section. She had challenged the attending doctors that she would have only normal delivery and she was willing to wait with pain. Evening 6 PM on 22 November 1983 a girl child was born. We rejoiced and celebrated this wonderful gift from God. Interestingly, there were prophets who said we would be blessed with a boy.
There were clear instructions from the doctors that the child should be cared for wisely. She was breast fed and allowed to have only milk from a single cow.
Search began for naming is lovely child. We wanted an unique name, that would glorify God and a rare name among Christians. “Hosanna” was the name chosen. As parents, we did not discriminate male or female child but gave both equal opportunities both inside and outside home.
Thinking of others
As a small kid she was always helpful to all. Hosanna insisted on assisting mother while she washed clothes and utensils. While I was getting ready to go out, she would bring things as needed; comb or office bag or socks and shoes. She could expect the next need and fulfil it. One pastor who visited our home said: “Did you perform tapasya to give birth to a child like this?” This attitude of helpfulness was always there. In Moscow or St. Petersburg or Vitebsk she would distribute the medicine she carried from India to other sick students and will not have any when she became sick.
Difficult school in a village
As missionaries in a remote place in Himachal Pradesh, we put her in a village school. At this point she could speak only few words in Hindi. Unfortunately, the school teacher was not trained to handle children. She was beaten up for something, which we never knew. She was four years and from next day refused to go to school. We punished her, but did not budge. “You can hit me as hard as you can, but would never go to school again,” she said. Then it made us realize that there had been a serious problem that she hated school. Also, as parents we learnt that she could be motivated by love and never force.
St. Thomas school, Jagadhiri (Haryana)
We started motivating her about pleasant things in school. Taking her to schools; showing children playing; the school buses that take children to school; toys in a school....etc. Hosanna started admiring the school and wanted to go St. Thomas school. However, she cannot travel from the village to the nearby town every day. One family from Kerala, was willing to keep her at home during week days and send her to school. The school was administered by a missionary from New Zealand and was astonished to hear that Hosanna would be coming to school from a friend’s home and gladly accommodated her. She had to leave the comfort of family to live in a strange place at the age of five.
Intelligent conversations
As a child, Hosanna would love to hear stories from parents. With the inquisitive mind she would ask several questions. She always loved to sit with children who were elder to her or even with older people; talking, discussing, debating, questioning and always learning. This trait of learning from all sources helped her to learn in holistic manner. As a keen observer, she would grasp and analyze things she saw, heard and experienced.
Joyful and Content
She was always joyful and content with what we had. There was never a demand for anything special in terms of food or clothes or any other thing. If we are late for lunch or dinner, she would patiently wait and only eat when we eat. In the initial years of ministry, we were in dearth of essentials on many occasions. However, she would never murmur or rebel.
Birth of brother
Hosanna always wanted a sibling. Sometimes she would say: “Mummy, go and buy a brother or sister for me from the market.” Her desire for a sibling became her prayer. We would laugh and say that it is not possible as Rosy had multiple health problems. It was a miracle that she could be treated by an old Ayurvedic doctor who was a seeker of Lord Jesus Christ and cured by her ailments and also conceive. After nine years, our son Thambos was born.
Hosanna was literally a second mother to Thambos. She would take care of him: playing, carrying, feeding, changing diapers, rocking the cradle, washing his clothes....etc.
For Hosanna, the best place in the world was Jagadhiri (Haryana). She had friends in school and in church. We had to shift to Chandigarh, when she was 13 years old. It was a difficult transition for her. As a teenager, she was not willing to lose her friends. In Chandigarh, she enjoyed her new school – Air Force school. Within short time she started making new friends. She participated in the Sunday School, Vacation Bible School enthusiastically.
Chandigarh to Chennai
Even before we could complete one year stay in Chandigarh, Rosy was hit with severe health problems. When there was continuous rain in Chandigarh, Rosy fell sick and had severe breathing problems. We had to rush her to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS). The doctors were shocked to see her condition. One doctor shouted, “She is dying.” Another doctor said, “One of the lungs did not function and only 20% of the other lungs was functioning.” Hosanna went through this cheerfully, fully supporting small brother.
Doctors advised that Rosy should move back to Chennai, if we wanted her alive. It was one of the most difficult decisions that we had to take. Reluctantly, we moved to Chennai. For Hosanna, a second uprooting within a short span of time was really difficult.
Shouldering responsibility
Rosy’s health was fragile and Hosanna stepped in to help mother. She started cooking even at the age of twelve. If Rosy is unable to cook, Hosanna would step in and cook for the family. We did not have a washing machine, Hosanna would wash all the clothes when I tour for the sake of ministry. She was an excellent host for all guests.
Spiritual growth
Being rooted in Chennai was one of the most difficult process in her life. The culture, education system, food and climate were not comfortable for her. She had to adapt to the new situation. For us, parents also the re-entry trauma into home culture was severe. Unfortunately, even the Christian schools in Chennai did not bother to give both the children admission. Only a non-Christian school gave both the children admission. Somehow, she became comfortable in the new school system.
These adverse situations drove her nearer to Lord Jesus Christ. As parents, we taught both the children to read bible when they entered third grade. Also we taught them to exercise faith to meet their needs. Before they ask parents, they should learn to ask the Lord. While she was doing her tenth grade, she asked for a special dress. I was literally angry and said that I cannot afford such dresses. She was quiet, but did not reply. After few months, God enabled me to go to be trained in Haggai Institute in Maui. Hearing that, one friend in main land US sent a parcel for children. I just brought it home. When we opened, Hosanna exclaimed: “This is the kind of dress I asked. You refused. That day I decided never to ask in my life for dress from you. I prayed, God has given me.”
In the school, she was able to lead a small fellowship during lunch break. Few students came to know Lord as personal saviour. Always, she preferred to be in the background. She would organize the choir and choreography that was always creative and dynamic. Hosanna used to train leaders who go for Short term mission trip to North India by teaching them songs, basic conversational Hindi, memory verses and prayer.
Vision and education
From childhood, she dreamed of becoming a Missionary Doctor. When Hosanna completed her school studies, she was shattered to find very few medical colleges in India. She appeared for many entrance exams to various institutions in India. However, she did not get admission in any of the medical colleges. I suggested that she do Psychology in Madras Christian College or Women Christian College. However, she refused. “God has called me to become medical missionary. If not in India, God will take me to a foreign land,” she said. We said, “We struggle even to pay your college fees in India. How can we pay your fees in a foreign nation?” Hosanna replied, “You don’t worry dad/mom, I will go, God will provide my needs.”
Call to Russia
We explored several options. Through emails Hosanna sent application to institutes around the world. She got application forms, CDs from various parts of the world: US, Canada, UK...etc. One friend suggested that she should explore possibilities of going to Russia or former Soviet Republics. God impressed in her heart that she is being called to be a Student Missionary to Russia. She mused, “I wanted to be a medical missionary in the future, but God made me missionary right now – Student missionary.”
Launch out in faith
Then we went to Russian Culture Centre and applied for an institution in Moscow. The first instalment fee was Rs. 80000. We did not even have Rs. 40000. Then we all started to pray. It was a miracle that one friend wanted to give one time gift of Rs. 80000. He sent a cheque in the name of Hosanna Manokaran. She opened her account with that amount and also signed the first cheque for Rs. 80000. I said, “In our whole life I have not seen this amount or signed a cheque for this amount. It is about one year salary for us as missionary.” Many friends started pitching in by giving a gift and committed to provide throughout her studies. Without scholarship or savings, she sailed through her whole course by faith.
Inspiration for many
I always encouraged her to read and write. She wrote how God had called her to Russia and how she is going as student missionary. The article was published in web and in some print publications. One girl took a print out, placed in her bible and prayed to go to Russia as student missionary. It was interesting that she ended up in the same institution and attended the same fellowship. Many missionary kids started going to Russia, China and many other countries.
Visit to England
When the first year ended, she got an opportunity to go to England. She went to St. Petersburg to get visa for her journey. One of my English friends had given her the invitation. The Visa granting officer was not convinced. She asked: “What makes the English man to invite you?” Hosanna replied, “My father is a missionary, the English man was a missionary to India.” The visa officer said: “Are you a Missionary Kid? Collect your visa tomorrow.” It was a proud moment for her as Missionary Kid.
Her visit to England was an adventure of faith. She did not know where to go from Heathrow airport. Only hope was a phone call. She made a call and God took her and used her for six weeks in England.
In Vitebsk, Belarus, God gave her a breakthrough in the ministry. God enabled her to start an International Fellowship which was later termed as: “House of Prayer For All Nations” (HPFAN) Students from various countries began to attend the weekly fellowship. They used to worship in five languages: Russian, English, Ghanaian, Hindi and Tamil. Many students from various nations and various religious backgrounds had personal encounter with Lord Jesus Christ and became His disciples. They had several outreach programmes that they visited each student in the hostel, gave a gift and a tract. God enabled the small group to witness to the teachers, professors and dean.
Multi linguist
God had enabled Hosanna to learn languages. She was very good in phonetics. She could read, write and speak in English, Tamil, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Russian. In 2006, a Russian pastor visited India and spoke in ten cities. They could not find a translator for him to interpret his messages from Russian to Hindi. Hosanna travelled to these cities during her holidays and translated the messages.
Visit to Singapore
It was a privilege for Hosanna to take few students from her institution to attend a global conference of South Asians in Singapore. It was a great time of fellowship for her. She was able to share her vision for Indian Diaspora students and for India.
Hosanna had to come back after her exams. She had few weeks left to attend the graduation service. With one month medical leave she came hoping to go back for graduation in the month of January 2011. She went for treatment in Stanley Medical College, Chennai; Christian Medical College, Vellore and Madras Medical College, Chennai. All doctors agree that she has Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. However, she was not able to tolerate the medicine and had vomiting every day in spite of providing anti-vomiting tablets three times a day. The X-ray showed that she was getting worse. Hosanna had been treated by so many experts. At last one of the reputed professors told bluntly: “She has only fifty percent chances to live. And we lose two of three patients who come to us for this disease.” The doctor advised us to continue the medicine even if the body does not accept. One doctor wanted to experiment a radical treatment: cutting open her stomach and placing the medicine direct in the intestine (which she rejected).
With no other option, we thought of trying traditional medicines like Ayurveda or Siddha. Her health has already gone bad due to continuous vomiting; now walking up to bathroom has also become difficult and she needs someone besides her constantly. This verse would be apt in Hosanna’s experience: “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.” (Mark 5: 26) After much search, we were able to find a possible treatment. So, we started her on Ayurvedic treatment.
Last minutes
In the last minutes Hosanna told her mother, “Even if the Lord clears my lungs it is enough. I would sit in the wheel chair and do ministry.” Though she was under great pain, she put up a brave front. She asked others to pray for her deliverance, either through a miracle or home call. On 2nd September, she said, “I am going to die.” I rebuked her. She ate when I fed her and drank orange juice. Rosy gave her a bath. Around 12 mid day she began to move into unconsciousness and started grasping for breath. Around 4 PM she breathed her last and entered glory to the Master and King whom she loved and served.
Vision for Future
Hosanna prayed for her future work. She did not want to end up as one more doctor in a Christian mission hospital or a private hospital. In her vision, she saw a group of World class hospitals in each Capital city of States in India, Christian medical colleges in each State, training young doctors to become policy decision makers for the country, establish a Christian Medical University and also help health issues in other Asian nations. Also, she wanted students to go into various institutions and reach out to Diaspora Indian students around the world.
Hosanna went Beyond Comfort Zone to take risks for the Lord; She contributed Beyond her Capacity for our Lord; Always she attempted things Beyond her power by faith; Thought Beyond strict rigid parameters/boxes; God used her Beyond her inadequacies and contributed to missions even Beyond her talents.

Rev. Dr. J. N. Manokaran,
6B/1 Doshi Apartments,
59 Chetty Street
Chennai 600 023 India
Mobile: 9444027221

Posted by Jeberson. (spreadgospelonline.org)
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