He lived his life for Jesus
had come to the end of his journey.
He was now in the presence of Jesus Christ, waiting for the
ultimate resurrection of all the saints.
On Saturday, October 2, 2010, the last farewell
took place. Crowds streamed
in to the spacious Evangelical Free Church in Siegen-Geisweid to
acknowledge Tom’s life and impact on many around the world.
It was a deeply moving celebration of joy.
Africans, Arameans, Arabs, Armenians, Turks, Germans, and a few
others sat down at tables for what turned out to be a three-hour
program. The draped urn was set atop a little pedestal next to a picture
of Tom on the platform and later moved to the spacious foyer where other
large photos of Tom depicting his life were displayed.
young Aramaic brother ably and sensitively moderated the proceedings in
German. Two of our
grandsons read Tom’s prepared message, “The Triumph of the Evangelium in
Life and in Death”,
one in German, the other in English.
A Turkish duo from one of Cologne’s Turkish fellowships accompanied by
guitar sang God’s praises Turkish style, to the satisfaction of the
congregation of about 350 people. As they sang, the Turkish believers
joined in a soaring expression of praise to our Savior.
the main service, all were invited to stay for coffee and refreshments,
a custom here in
During this extended hour, many gave short testimonies of how Tom
had impacted their lives.
It was a time of rejoicing and giving glory to our Lord. Again our young
Turkish friends movingly sang songs of praise.
In the days following, people remarked that it was more a
festival of joy than of mourning.
It was a worthy farewell to a faithful servant of Christ.
on Saturday, October 9, our family and a few close friends made our way
up the sun-dappled pathway strewn with golden leaves in the Forest Cemetery,
to the area where Tom’s earthly remains were to be buried under a tree.
Under the cloudless sky the tall trees seemed to be breathing in
the gentle breeze. Our
grandson Kenny softly strummed “Amazing Grace“on his guitar as we
quietly walked up the hill.
We gathered in a little circular area adorned with a large wooden Cross
in the front, where we stood for the brief service.
After singing “Amazing Grace” Mike (Heather’s husband) gave the
brief message in English.
For the non-English speakers, he gave the same short message in German
after we had sung ‘Blessed Assurance’.
Christian, Debbie’s son, with white gloves, gently let the urn
down into the grave. One by
one we each dropped an autumn flower in, and a few threw in a little
shovel of dirt. Brother
Fehler, former director of the German mission, offered a meaningful
prayer. We ended by
singing, “Soon and Very Soon We’re Going to See the King”.
It was a very moving occasion for us all, a few tears, but a note
of joy and triumph.
essence of all the tributes and messages received throughout this time
was that ‘Tom left his imprint on our lives’.
He ran the race, he finished his course.
He is at rest from his labors and his works do follow him.
you each and every one for comforting us through your loving words and
assurances of prayer. Our
family will greatly value your continued prayers, as we face many
immediate and long-range challenges.
Tom had a vision for world-wide ministry, and as he realized his
time of death was approaching, there was a sense of urgency to make sure
that everyone and every work we were supporting be continued after he
was gone. How could this be assured?
The perfect solution was reached several months before Tom’s
home-going, when the “Thomas
Cosmades Foundation” was established, with all
stipulations of the State being adhered to, enabling it to
Through this Foundation the various ministries can continue to be
supported; otherwise, the money on hand would have soon been exhausted
and everyone benefiting would have had to try to find other sources of
help. Now the work can be
carried on through the Foundation.
Every contribution is recognized by the State for income tax
purposes (in Germany).
Our aim is to continue to systematically support ministries
(literature, radio, poor pastors, care for the homeless, work among drug
addicts; children’s home, educating poor kids, child evangelism, etc.,
etc.) and even add new worthwhile projects, as the Foundation grows.
I will be glad to send further information to you, if you wish. A
few people have told me, “Oh, we don’t need a tax deductible receipt;
just tell us where to send a gift in memory of Tom.”
Only a suggestion; if you want further information, an e-mail
will suffice and I will get back to you with details.
next time, I close with love and prayer,
Cosmades, with Debbie and Heather, along with my beloved sons-in-law and