|Birth And Family
A name familiar today as the pioneer of missions in Kerala is Sadhu Kochu Kunchju
Upadesi. His real name is M I Varghese. He was born as the son of Etti and his wife Mariamma in the
remote village of Edaranmula Gramam into the Mehanbakal Tharavadu family. The time was December
of 1883. He was a member of a large family. He had six sisters. He had a brother, but his brother
died at the age of 2.
Sadhu Kochu Kunchju Upadesi had his formal education in a MT Lower Primary school. The principle
of that school was the elder brother of the noted mahakavi K V Simon, who was the classmate
of Sadhu Kochu Kunchju Upadesi. K V Simon was a great friend of Sadhu Kochu Kunchju Upadesi.
Sadhu Kochu Kunchju Upadesi used to compared this friendship to the friendship between Jonathan and
David. K V Simon also helped Kochu Kunchju in his service of the Lord. This friendship had
a great impact on Kochu Kunchu's life.
Marriage and family life
As Sadhu Kochu Kunchju Upadesi lived in a time when child marriage was an accepted custom, Kochu Kunchju was married at 12 years of age. His wife's name was Eleyama. She provided the support that Kochu Kunchju needed. He made ends meet by working as a farmer and selling the products of the field.
Beginning of the ministry
Sadhu Kochu Kunchju Upadesi was saved at the tender age of 11. He decided to commit himself to ministry at the age of 17. In the beginning he went to spread the gospel at night time after farming. Later on he organized sunday school, prayer Group etc. He was a member of Eddayarmulla Christian Fellowship Unity (ECF). When the brethren movement gained momentum in Kerala, Sadhu Kochu Kunchju Upadesi decided not to join that church even though his friend K V Simon joined it. He said that even though he agrees with all their doctrine, he felt that his mission is to stay with the church he is staying and preaching the gospel. The source of his power was prayer. He used to spend hours in prayer.