A ministry opportunity half way around the world in rural India!
With dirt roads and electric that’s off … as much as on.
Many of us have donated to missions. Often times the mission is supported by international organizations. Most of the time those missions are headed up by Americans who train the indigenous people. This opportunity is the polar opposite. It’s home grown and run by Indians.
Perhaps the most effective way to do things?
Let me unfold the story.
Recently, I’ve been working with a fine young man named Williams Ray Revu. Williams is 39, married to Anitha, and they have a 10 year old son named James. Williams acquired a Bachelor’s in Medical Lab Technology which got him a job in a hospital. He used that income to get a Masters in Biochemistry from Guntur. He also completed a Masters in English Literature via the distance education. He then had to register with the government as a Christian which began persecution. As he saw the perishing souls it moved him to leave that work to do ministry. He’s been working the last 15 years reaching the lost.
As I corresponded with Williams, I came to recognize our Father’s hand on his life. His dedication and obedience to our Father made me think of one of three men that our Father specifically mentioned as highly righteous … Daniel. As it turns out, in India a nickname is welcomed. Williams has taken to calling me “Ayyagaru”, which I think means respected man, and I have taken to calling him “Mighty Daniel”. You’ll soon see why.
His grandfather, Anandam, was an orphan who came to Christ while the British were still there. Interesting that I chose to name Williams Daniel because as it turns out, his Father’s name is actually Daniel. His father is one of six children and is married to Subha. Daniel and Subha have four children. They are a middle class family and have some land and some means. Williams could have had the same. But he chose to set that option aside in order to better serve others.
Williams lives in a town in South East India in Andhra Pradesh, East Godavari district. With a team of about 50 men, he pastors more than eight locations in an 80 kilometers (50 mile) radius, including his local church which is CSI Zion Prayer City. Some of the pastorates are house churches and some are simply out on the street. Williams speaks Telugu, but there are so many dialects in India that he sometimes uses an interpreter. In fact, in some locations the dialect is so rare that he uses 4 interpreters. One translating to the next, to the next, and eventually to the hearers.
I thought I had it tough?
As a part of their work, they feed the orphans and underprivileged children, hand out blankets, hand out medicines, hand out bibles, provide wells and water purifiers for villages, and help women to learn to sew in order to support themselves. Most of the people can read some, but they can’t write. He would like to have the ability to teach them English and the truths of our Father’s “Word”. For the ones who can read, bibles in their language have unfortunately gone up from $2 to $5. They’ve distributed 15,000 bibles to date.
I note that my Grande Starbucks costs more than his expensive bible.
The new mission that Williams is undertaking is one that Jesus and Paul both directed, “make disciples”. Williams knows about 200 men from three villages where he preaches that want to be discipled. The plan is to offer a six month training program, a “Bible Collage” if you will. Unfortunately, the lies of a prosperity gospel are widespread in India. Among other things, the Bible college will serve to counteract those lies. The men who plan on attending are already doing our Father’s work. This training will further equip them with an in depth, systematic study of the Bible and theology. The learned insights will help them more confidently share the gospel as they oversee their churches and various missions.
Williams and his father, who is also a preacher, are finishing construction of a significant structure located next to their residence that will become a badly need medical clinic and site for the Bible College. The first class of 25 students is awaiting funding of $8,000. The funding is needed to cover some material and meal costs and to give the men a small allowance so that they can come from their villages and stay at the Bible College for the entire six months.
As it turns out, Williams’ son, James, is named in honor of the American, James Terry, from Kentucky who 15 years ago began to invest himself in the ministries of Williams. His father created a nonprofit called CSI (Christ Saving India). Unfortunately James Terry passed away in 2015. Today, his son Marty carries on the work and has set up a safe way to get monies to Williams. Through CSI, various donors regularly fund about $3,500 per month to the ministries that Williams is undertaking. Marty’s visited Williams and his ministries six times and knows firsthand the authenticity and honesty being performed on behalf of our Father. In fact, Marty put together a video that says a thousand words.
Because the villagers are the lowest class, the untouchables, they have very little hope. What “religion” they know is all verbal traditions, nothing in writing. The offer of Jesus and eternal life is a welcomed proposition to so many of them. Truly, the issue is finding workers for the harvest. Getting them properly equipped and out in the field … literally. This is the goal of the Bible College.
As a final note, wherever Williams goes to share Jesus, he takes a picture of me and my wife, who has stage 4 cancer, and has the children, widows, elderly, and all others pray for us.
Imagine God stuffing those prayers in His adversaries pipe … and making him smoke it?
Your economic gifts are coveted for this new phase of disciple making. If you or your fellowship have a desire to contribute, please contact Marty Terry at 859-433-0200. Marty can pilot you though the process to get funds safely to India through his nonprofit CSI ministry.
I have a video on all this at the bottom of my Pics page that says 10,000 words.