India is the second most populated country in the world and is predicted to overtake China as the most inhabited by 2028. There are thousands of ethnic groups, and it has arguably greater linguistic diversity than any other large country with over 1,000 languages spoken—though, with much overlap, it is often hard to define when one ends, and another begins.
The people of India operate within the cultural class system tied to Hinduism. Because Christians live outside of that system, they lack opportunities and are often persecuted by the cultural majority. One’s place in the caste system determines the gateway to jobs and level of income. With this built-in social network, Christians are often left doing the hardest jobs with the least pay. In addition, women in this society are traditionally treated as property. Years of this narrative have left women with much internal work to do to restore their dignity and self-worth while they externally fight for their position in society.
We were never intended to live in poverty, divided against one another, with little hope for peace. In the Kingdom of God, poverty, violence, division, and hopelessness will not exist. We believe the Church is God’s primary transforming agent in the world, and that the local church exists to make its community more like the Kingdom of God.
We partner with local indigenous leaders as they minister to the communities and cultures that they themselves are from. We start projects and programs in the hardest places and set up a plan for them to be self-sustaining in order for them to know independence and the value of reinvesting in their own communities.
Read on to learn how communities are being transformed in India.
Our partnership in India began in 1992, but the local Bible college was founded in 1952. Over the past 70 years, this Bible college has grown into a multifaceted ministry providing theological education, village church planter training and support, ministry training, and children’s outreach all over India. Their graduate-level college has prepared thousands of women and men who are serving the Lord all over the world. Our partners in India have reached thousands of people through evangelism and have a goal of reaching nearly 2 million by the year 2025.
Education Without Boundaries - Mission ONE partners are transitioning an Indian seminary’s theology program into an online setting, attracting additional students to achieve financial sustainability so they can be equipped as gospel-led leaders in their own communities.
Covid Relief - Our local partners activated a network of churches across India to bring COVID-19 relief to families seeking immediate healthcare and grief counseling as the country experienced a second wave of cases.
Agricultural Farming Project - This project was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which left thousands of migrant workers stranded without jobs and unable to travel home. Our partners quickly pivoted in the midst of this crisis to create both jobs and food sources for struggling families.
Our partner in India has said, "The biggest problem with the Church in India is that it doesn't know how to be Indian." Mission ONE has joined our partner in the task of giving leaders the tools they need to understand how Jesus' life, death, and resurrection apply to their community.
This work requires a deep relationship founded on trust. To learn more about how to build relationships across cultures, check out our study guide: The Beauty of Partnership.