Pic: The Founder Principal addressing a gathering of close to 300 people in RTI in 2010 during Special Missions Conference
Going for vacation at the close of the third year was an emotional affair for all of us. Such a close-knit family had RTI become for all of us. At the same time, Dr. Saneesh and I were convinced that due to the mature level of attainment, it was time for us to hand over the management to Rehoboth Girl’s Orphanage Trust. We were yearning to get back into church-related ministries.
I discussed the matter with my family. Since many of them have been actively involved in the financial support of RTI, they knew about the day to day developments and felt that RTI has reached a very mature and stable state. Thus all of them agreed that it was time for me to leave. I then discussed the matter with the elders of my assembly and they also agreed that RGOT can easily run RTI using the protocols that I and Dr. Saneesh had established.
Pic: Jiju Ninan, the present Manager and Registrar of RTI. A first batch graduate, he stands as a testimony of the transforming power that RTI training has upon students. (Picture shot during 2010 Missions Conference at RTI)
Once the vacation was over in 2010, Saneesh and I reached RTI with the understanding that the period of transition of power is here. Meanwhile the Chairman of RGOT late Dr. John and Miss Treasure were waiting to meet me. On the first day itself of the fourth year they discussed the matters with me and I told them that we need to look forward to a new dispensation and administration very soon. I also reminded them that my commitment was limited to developing and handing it over and that they should start looking for new people to fill the slot. I informed them that Dr. Saneesh also feels the same about his role and that they needed to look for a new Academic Dean.
The classes started as usual, and the deeply spiritual atmosphere again gripped all of us. For us RTI was an inseparable part of our life. While it was now the best time to hand over the complete management to RGOT, emotionally it was going to be a painful exercise. It was exactly the feeling of a father who witnesses his children leaving the house and settling in a remote place – to meet only now and then from that time onwards.
Pic: Dr. Saneesh Cherian addressing the RTI students in a combined class in 2011
Saneesh and I took a month to organize everything. Meanwhile the senior-most elder from my church called Dr. John, the Chairman of of the trust, that it is time for them to take over full administration. Dr. John was a member of my church but was based at Irinjalakkuda which is close to Thrissur. He approved of the decision and said he would convey it to the Trust.
Finally at the end of June both of us handed over the reins of RTI to RGOT (Rehoboth Girl’s Orphanage Trust, the parent body) and left. After we left, on our way we informed James Williams the Secretary of the now defunct Steering Committee of our decision. We also informed Mr. KP Samuel the elder of the assembly.
After Leaving RTI
That we would leave RTI after its formation was the condition on which both I as well as Dr. Saneesh Cherian had taken up the burden of developing it. We had put forth this condition first because our primary call was to church-related ministries and not to manage institutions. There was a second reason: holding on to position till death or till the setting in of senility has become common among us. I have personally witnessed how senile leaders had to be forcibly ousted out of our organizations in their seventies and eighties. I always considered this to be a bad example and wanted to do better. While I could have continued at RTI, I decided to be an example in this matter and it was met with approval.
Pic: With resident faculty and students who graduated in 2011
There is no way in which Saneesh or I can forget RTI. After all, who can forget his child. Thus the ties continue, with me having more links and visits due to the children at Rehoboth. During summer and Christmas vacations my wife and I bring children from Rehoboth to stay with us. We are confident that we would be able to do this more often because our nest is now practically empty and therefore we can accommodate children with us during vacations.
As I write this, Santosh and Keith (brought up for RGOT in my cousin Abraham Thomas’ family) have become grown up adults and very lovable young men. Helena, whom we used to bring home during vacations has found a home with a family in our own church. Asha C. Philip continues to be in Rehoboth and we try to visit whenever possible.
Pic: With the resident faculty and wardens in 2011
I consider it a privilege to visit Rehoboth from time to time. It is an inspiration to see how a non Indian has given her life for India. The last time I had lunch with her in 2010 she had several other non Indians with her, all of them there for short term or long term ministry with Rehoboth.
Each time that I return to RTI, my heart takes an emotional leap. Saneesh says it is the same with him. After all, which father is not moved when he sees his infant when he becomes a teenager and then a full grown adult. RTI today is a full grown adult. It has the finest campus, students, faculty, and library. I am thankful for the way in which God gave me and Saneesh an opportunity to plant this seed on behalf of RGOT.
If the Lord were to allow me to become a student again and start all over, my wish would be to join RTI as a student!!
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