Downtown

“Dad had a transforming effect”

Prakash (in cap) with his family. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: mail pic

Well-known Christian thinker, teacher and author Prakash Yesudian died in Chennai on Tuesday. He was 70.

At the funeral service held in Emmanuel Methodist Church, Vepery, the same day, Bishop Ezra Sargunam and former cricketer P.S. Moses paid him handsome tributes. The latter recalled how 15 years ago, listening to Yesudian’s sermon while sitting in the last row with a scornful smile, he underwent a transformation of heart. Yesudian, actively involved in training Christian leaders at the Haggai Institute in Hawaii and Singapore and at Ravi Zacharias Life Focus Society, has touched many other lives in a similar way.

Shini Yesudian Abraham, his daughter, says, “Dad had a transforming effect on the lives of countless people. He has guided and counselled many out of suicide, divorce and other major problems of life.”

Prince Ravindran, a former DGM of Indian Bank, remembers hearing his talks way back in the 70s in Madurai. “A man of God, simple and forthright, he was witty and blessed with a pleasing demeanour,” says Ravindran, adding that Yesudian embellished his speeches with illustrations and anecdotes.

A speaker of international repute, Yesudian was executive director of Ravi Zacharias Life Focus Society for over 17 years. Not just the mike, he was comfortable holding the pen too. He is the author of Fishers of Men, and Practical Evangelism, books that have appealed to the critic and the layman.

Yesudian also made a mark as a Christian lyricist: his well-known songs include ‘Yesu podhumae’, and ‘Ulagor unnai pagaithaalum unmaiyai anbu kooruvaayaa’.

From an early age, Yesudian seemed to have an idea about his calling.

After schooling in Valparai, he went to American College, Madurai, for his graduate studies. He then went on to become a convention preacher and also worked in various capacities in Christhuvukku Sthanapathi and Bethel Agricultural Fellowship. He anchored radio programmes, ‘Sathiya Vasanam’, ‘Aradhanai Velai’ and ‘Eleventh Hour’.

The preacher walked the talk, a fact borne by what people close to him have to say about him. Evelyn Mercylin, a friend of the Yesudians, says he valued human bonds and there was no room in his mind, or his heart, for material things. He was a great family man. Conspicuous was the loving care of his wife Ranie Yesudian, especially after he took ill a couple of years ago. He is survived by Rani and children Shini Abraham and Billy Yesudian. Billy works as Webmaster at Kodaikanal International School and Shini serves among kids-at-risk.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 12:30:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/christian-thinker-prakash-yesudian-dead/article6252663.ece

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