Thomas Cosmades


Thomas Cosmades     4/29/1924 -- 9/20/2010

He lived his life for Jesus

 He 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.

 A 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. 

 After the main service, all were invited to stay for coffee and refreshments, a custom here in Germany.  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. 

 Then 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. 

 The 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. 

 Thank 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  operate legally.  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. 

 Until next time, I close with love and prayer,

 Lila Cosmades, with Debbie and Heather, along with my beloved sons-in-law and cherished grandchildren