Prof. P. P. Thomas: Born with the gift for one-to-one relationships, Parayil Pothen Thomas (Prof. P P Thomas) loved to be with people. The various disciplines in which he underwent training viz. Philosophy, Psychology, English Literature and Theology show his interest in human nature.
His career in North India as teacher in Nepali Bible School and Lecturer in Psychology as well as lecturer in English Literature in South India gave him an opportunity to live in close association with students. He knew the problems of young people first hand – he became a friend to them as he listened to them and talked to them.
In 1979 during an assignment to teach counseling to church workers Thomas found the scarcity of books on the subject in India. A friend coming from Canada brought him four books and one of them was ‘Counseling with the mind of Christ’ by Charles R Solomon, of Grace Fellowship International.
As has been his habit, he wrote an appreciation to Dr. Solomon. On Solomon’s invitation Thomas underwent Counselor Training with GFI in Denver USA in 1982.
He became convinced of the need for an organization in India to concentrate on healing the emotional problems and needs of people.
Added impetus for the need of an organization was felt in a counseling seminar that he conducted in South India. The participants in the seminar had experience in Christian work among students and they encouraged him to start an organization. The Grace Counseling India was formed in 1982.
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Prof. John Zachariah: An Engineer by profession, John was involved in working with young people ever since he was a student. For many years he was at the helm of the Union of Evangelical Students of India (UESI), the premier Christian students’ ministry in India. He, as a Human Engineer, was instrumental in molding the young lives of many University students and graduates to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
As professor of Biomedical instrumentation he has years of interaction with students. John has brought into GCI his deep awareness of the needs of young people and a wealth of experience from ministering to them.
A long time associate of Prof. P P Thomas, John worked closely with him in the formation of the Grace Counseling India. An excellent team leader with a dedication to ministry, John has put in a lot time and effort to give an organizational stability to GCI.
Apart from the administrative responsibilities of GCI, John, noted for his hard work, has a wide ministry of teaching and counseling in several places in India.
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Dr. Alex Mathew: Alex is a Botanist turned counselor. For many years he had been teaching Botany to his students in North India and Tanzania. In 1970 Alex responded to a call to teach Bible to his students in Tanzania. The needs of people around guided him to the helping profession. Finding the need for special training he took a Diploma in counseling from Tanzania before taking a PhD in counseling from United States America.
Alex took up counseling as a full time vocation due to a special call from the Lord. While in Africa Alex wanted to see the face of the Lord for which he fasted and prayed for many days. One fine day a stinking boy covered with filth and swarming with flies called at his door. He called himself human dung. Looking at the repulsive scene Alex felt God speaking to him, “You wanted to see my face, here I am”.
In 1985 Alex returned to India to take up a vocation of Professional counseling. He joined the GCI team and has been involved in the ministry ever since.
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Mr. Reji Koshy
Reji is the Treasurer of GCI. He looks after the accounts of GCI while works now with another organization.Reji has extensive experience in administrative matters due to his prior work with the Union of Evangelical Students of India.
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Mr. Cherian Zachariah
Cherian is the Editor of the quarterly Grace Counselor. He takes care of the literature work of GCI. He translated the Handbook to Happiness into Malayalam to be printed shortly. He takes care of the Center as Administrator in addition to being GCI Board Member.
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