Br. Ivan Desai, Elder at Borivali Assembly, Bombay India

May 15th , 1936-April 3rd, 2007

He was repairing his legs to walk the streets of earth for some more time,

But God was repairing his legs to walk the streets of Gold forever


April 3rd 2007 will be a day etched in our memory forever, reminding us of the “fragment” of time when we lost a fatherly figure in Christ. Br. Ivan Desai (Fondly called as Ivan Uncle); one of the Elders of Borivali Assembly, Bombay went to be with the Lord on the morning of 03rd Apr 07. He had been hospitalized at the Lauds Hospital for knee cap surgery for 10 days. He had successfully completed both his surgery and had completely recovered. He was going to be discharged on April 3rd at 9 am.

On that morning during the prayer time he asked Bro. Joy Muringathery who was taking care of him in the hospital during these days to read his favorite portion, Psalm 91. After that they prayed together. He himself paid the hospital bills and was about to be discharged. In fact a vehicle was getting ready to take him back home. But while doing the exercises before discharging from the hospital, he suddenly fainted. He was carried back to the bed and he went in to coma and was PROMOTED TO GLORY at 10:45 am, in spite of the best efforts of the doctors. Shocking as the news was to us, but at this moment we say, “It was well pleased by our Master to call this dear servant of God to the ETERNAL HOME.”

Uncle used to say to the youngsters that “My age will be 70. Anything over that will be a bonus.” He lived 71 yrs. He used to say that he never would like to be in an inactive state in his old age and Lord heard that prayer as well as he was taken to the Lord in a very fit and healthy state. Doctors had commented earlier that “you are as fit as an 18 yr Old Boy”.

As he was leaving the Hospital to be discharged he called up his dear ones and said “I am coming Home today”. Little did we know that in the next 2 hrs he would truly be in his eternal home. As we look at events and words he spoke before his promotion to glory we could say that “Uncle was well prepared to go HOME”

His Life & Ministries

Though born in a Christian (Exclusive Brethren) family Uncle came to the Lord in his Forties. He came to accept the Lord in the most astonishing fashion. One Sunday evening as he was going to the theatre to watch a movie, late Bro. P.O. George from FORT assembly caught his hand and brought him to the evening gospel meeting. He heard the Gospel there. Later on in life he had suffered severe burn injuries. During those painful moments he came to know the crucified Christ. He gave his life to the Lord there. He was in fellowship with the Bethel Assembly, Santacruze up to 1991.

He was one of the Brethren who were instrumental in starting the Borivali Assembly. Lord has also used dear uncle to start an assembly ministry in Rabkavi, in Karnataka, his birth place. He has been a strong prayer warrior, counselor for many, Loving father and above all an uncle who set an example with his meekness, humility and labor for the Lord.

Three lines to describe him:

  • Love for God (ready to lay down everything for the Master)
  • Love for God’s Word (always waiting to hear God’s Word and rejoicing in it)
  • Love for God’s people (loving in truth not just in word; also rejoicing in their well being; praying ever; sorrowing for the backslidden)

God has worked powerfully through him in the slum meetings in Borivali(E). Uncle would never shy away from sharing the gospel with a single person whom he met. In slum he was particularly liked by the many parents and their children who have been touched by his ministries. He was known to interact with all classes of people and share the gospel with equal comfort. In his assembly life at Borivali, he has led the led the worship service at the assembly and has never allowed silence to dominate the worship service. He would set an example for many by always being the first to reach on sunday morning. He would start the songs first and bring life into the songs.

It was truly said at the funeral: “Borivali assembly has lost a father”

Funeral Service:

His funeral was held at Sewari on April 4 at 1 pm. Bro. Thomson shared comforting words from the Book of 1 kings chapter 2 and psalm 23 and talked about Death as a  way to achieve eternal glory and not an end in itself.

His family

He is survived by his wife Sr. Grace Desai, two sons (Timmy and Daniel) and one daughter (Sis Ellen, W/o Evangelist Nitish Patel, London).

God may use them powerfully in the coming days. Please keep the family in your prayers.