Once A Missionary, Always A Missionary

On April 22, our dearest brother and friend Raj Perumal passed away.

As we bid adieu to our dearest friend and faithful brother, we look back fondly on what he meant to many of us. We do this with the faith that his life will inspire many of you, just as it did to many of us. Raj Perumal was a name synonymous with “mission.” One who ran the race with great conviction, despite having lost a leg four years ago to amputation.

As a young disciple in London in 1987, Raj Perumal set out to Bangalore, India, as a missionary to preach God’s word. There he met his bride, Shakila, and together they went on a mission journey to Chennai taking the good news of Jesus. As a Sri Lankan at heart, his heart would constantly beat to be a missionary in Sri Lanka. He was able to fulfill that dream when he joined the mission team to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Wherever he went, he remained a missionary, deeply engraving the vision of Christ in people.

His Legacy

Over the past 30 years, Raj was many things to many around him. A great, caring, and cool dad, in the words of his son Chris and daughter Shwetha. A gentle and patient teacher and trainer as recollected by Dinesh George, evangelist from Bangalore. Shakila, his wife, fondly remembers him mentoring her on financial discipline in the early years of their marriage. On their first date, Raj would ask her, if she is willing to join him on his mission journey to Sri Lanka, at some point. That was his love to share the Gospel to others.

Raj is known for his kindness, even to those who criticize or hurt him. Not one to hold grudges, Raj’s only complain with life was when his health failed him. When he realized his heart had become weak and after his first cardiac arrest when he woke up in the hospital with one leg, he was hit hard. But he came back with his steely resolve to surrender to God, as always and continued in his faithful journey with Christ.

His family rallied around him and fought for him, as they provided great care for him. Shakila stood by him and continued to be part of his journey now as much as she was during the great mission trips. Raj loved his family very much. He wished he could do more, but he was really thankful to God that his children put their faith in Jesus.

He has donned many roles the family of God required him to, over the years. He has been a translator, a shepherd, a guide, a mentor, a leader, a friend, a teacher, above all else, a servant. The church will deeply miss him, along with his family. I am so grateful that he was one of two brothers who stopped me on a busy road in Bangalore and invited me to study God’s word in 1993. That invitation changed my life. Thank you dear, Raj Perumal. Adieu.

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! – Romans 10:15