In India we are registered as International Aid Trust New Jerusalem Ministries. The Indian headquarters of International Aid Trust are situated in the town of Secunderabad very close to Hyderabad which is the capital of Andhra Pradesh State, (population of over eighty million) from here practical and pastoral support goes out to the five states of:-
1) Andhra Pradesh,
4) Odisha. (Formerly Orissa State)
5) Arunachal Pradesh in northern India.
Our Director there is Rev Dhanraj Kota, a true man of God who spends a great deal of time on the road visiting the many areas of ministry including churches, prisons, leprosy colonies, villages and house groups. Over the last two years our ministry here has almost doubled and we hope to expand this further as resources permit.
Our full time ministry team include:
International Aid Trust India
Since 2010 International Aid Trust India has been instrumental in establishing 65 church and 30 house groups in various states throughout the south of India. Initially pastors are appointed and they are supported by International Aid Trust India. A principal aim is to continue this process, particularly in areas where there are no established Christian communities or churches such as rural villages, tribal areas, urban slums and inner cities.
A central focus of the work in developing the pastor network is to provide regular theological training so that they may be more effective in their Christian ministry. Each month a Pastor’s Leadership Training seminar is held in Hyderabad. Instruction is provided in house and supplemented by visiting theologians. Currently 34 pastors are supported by International Aid Trust India. See appendix A for a detailed list of supported pastors. International Aid Trust India would also like to raise the support to the existing pastors. At the present time the financial support (3,500 rupees – £35 per month) is insufficient to cover daily family requirements and educational fees due to an increase in the cost of living. All International Aid Trust pastors have school going children.
Pastor Support is a fundamental tenet of International Aid Trust India ministry. To this end an increase in the number of full time and financially supported pastors from the current 34 to 70 by 2020 would be beneficial to continue the growth of ministry in South India. It is envisaged that 14 pastors for each of the five states would be an achievable aim. This would enable International Aid Trust to reach 700 villages and minister to approximately 840,000 villagers. As previously highlighted above the cost of supporting one pastor is currently 3,500 rupees (£35) per month and increasing. At the present time local funding is generated from Church offerings and small donations from other sources.
In 2017 International Aid Trust India also organised a series of 12 regional conferences in various states including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra. The average attendance at these conferences was in excess of 150 pastors.
Following on from the initial training provision for pastors International Aid Trust India has established, in 2016, the ‘Living Word Theological College’ in Hyderabad to continue the ministry training. The faculty is located in a rented two storied building with 6 accommodation rooms, two large halls and two kitchens. This provides the appropriate residential and teaching facilities for 20 students. Tuition and accommodation is provided free of charge to the students. Currently (Dec 2017) 15 students have been selected and are ready to commence their two year theological studies. In June 2017 the first batch of 32 pastors graduated from the college, of which 15 were residential students and 17 day scholars. 18 are now working under the International Aid Trust framework in various states and the remainder in their respective villages. The syllabus for the pastor’s course has been developed in-house and is not currently affiliated to any theological college, either in India or internationally. The association with an outside Bible College would not only be advantageous to the education of new pastors, but to the future impact of our ministry. The longer term aim is to train 50 new pastors thus enabling the work of International Aid Trust India to cover a greater geographical area.
Gospel crusades are an important part of the work of International Aid Trust India in that they give an opportunity to spread the Good News of the Gospels to both Christians and non-Christians. During 2017 12 Gospel crusades were held in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The average attendance was between 400 and 600 with many responding to an altar call to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. These attendees were subsequently guided to local pastors and churches. The success of these Crusades highlights the desire to continue to take the Good News to further locations during 2018.
Many of the villages where International Aid Trust pastors are ministering have poor and inadequate healthcare facilities. International Aid Trust India has organised free medical camps in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Odisha states. Medical and optical treatments are provided free of charge. Primary issues are diabetes diagnosis plus a range of other treatments. An average of 500 people attend the International Aid Trust medical camps. While International Aid Trust India has no funds available to runs these medical camps the programme has been fortunate in having the free voluntary services of 4 Christian doctors and 5 nurses in addition to 3 pathology staff and 2 pharmacists who distribute free medicine prescribed by the doctors. Recent camps, in association with Lions International, have focussed on diabetes and eye screening. International Aid Trust India undertakes the logistics, travel, food, accommodation and hospitality to operate these medical camps. The average cost in organising a medical camp is in the region of 30,000 rupees – £350 and includes honorarium to the medical staff, medicines and hospitality etc.. During 2017 the services of the medical camps were accessed by nearly 2,600 patients.
International Aid Trust has established Living Hope Children’s Home in Hyderabad to cater for the accommodation, food, clothing and medical needs for 28 children.
Two projects aimed at Widow and Elderly Support are based in Andhra Pradesh.
The Hands of Dorcas project provides employment training for young women and housewives to learn tailoring skills.
International Aid Trust Food Programme provides hygienic food for children from slums and rural villages.
Children’s ministry is one of the major areas for International Aid Trust India with the aim of helping every young child to grow personally and spiritually. Coordinated by Miss Rachel Jerusha Kota six one day children’s programmes and 5 summer Vacation Bible School camps were held in 2017 aimed at urban slum and rural village children. In the past six years 14 urban slums have also been adopted in Hyderabad and Secunderabad and been thorough our programmes. In 2017 two more slums have been adopted at Mudfort & Gandhi Nagar. International Aid Trust India ensures that a robust child protection policy is maintained at all times during these activities. Since 2013 International Aid Trust India has reached more than 20,000. In 2017 we reached a further 2,800 children though these various activities.
International Aid Trust India recognises the importance of ministry to youth at an important developmental stage in their lives. Mr. Rohi Jason Kota coordinates our approach by motivating and encouraging youth towards a Christian lifestyle. International Aid Trust recognises that globally youth are subject to the influences of social media such as like Facebook, Movies, media and that these can have an adverse effect on their values. International Aid Trust regularly conduct youth Christian awareness programmes, spiritual camps, weekly youth meetings, and musical festivals. In 2017 a one day youth retreat hosted 200 participants. Our aim is to build young disciples for Christ by developing and implementing a comprehensive approach to youth ministry in the areas of group building, worship, discipleship, mission, and outreach. We help youth to share their gifts; grow in life skills; develop a positive self-image; overcome prejudices; develop respect for differences; serve those in need; develop a personal spirituality and prayer life; apply faith to daily life; integrate Christian values; participate in the Church; and develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In the last 7 years we have reached more than 7200 youth and lead them to Christ.
Streams in the Desert water project is an International Aid Trust initiative to provide rural villages with bore wells, particularly where there is an acute shortage of fresh water. So far eight locations have witnessed not only the provision of a bore well but also, in tandem, the planting of a church community.
Karnataka is a State in the south west region of India and is the 8th largest in terms of population with, according to the 2011 national census, over 61 million residents of which 31 million are male and 30 million female.
The largest conurbation and state capital is Bangalore (Bangalore). The official state language is Kannada although Hindi and English are widely used in legislative matters, education and commerce.
Current International Aid Trust projects in Karnataka
The Streams in the Desert project has witnessed the construction of 8 bore/tube wells in a number of ministry locations. These tube wells are placed in those villages where there is an acute shortage of fresh water. Previously many women had to travel considerable distances for a pot of drinking water. This project has given International Aid Trust India not only the opportunity to provide clean fresh water but also to share the Living Waters of the Gospels with villagers so quenching their bodily and spiritual thirsts. The latest 2 bore wells have been laid, the first in Mannaekelli Village, Bidar Taluk & District, Karnataka State.
The second in Jumgi Village, Aurad Taluk, Bidar District, Karnataka State. Each of the eight locations has seen the planting of a church following the drilling of the bore wells.
In 2014 a bore well was drilled in Bichkunda village, Nizamabad District and inaugurated by Bishop Bernard Cocker during a visit to the region.
Bichkunda village well inauguration in 2014
A church was also planted at this time.
A further example of the Streams in the Desert project can be seen from the well that was installed in Rekulapalluy village, Dubbaka Mandal, Nizamabad District from 2013. Pastor M. Gabriel has been ministering in this village for some time and has seen the value of the well in instrumental in providing the opportunity to share the Gospel with the villagers. As a result many have come to know Christ.
Initially villagers gathered for prayer meetings and regular Sunday services under a make shift tent which proved inadequate particularly during the monsoon and peak summer seasons. International Aid Trust sponsored the construction of a permanent church on the same site and this was also inaugurated by Bishop Bernard Cocker in 2015. Villagers now are able to worship unhindered by climatic conditions or other distractions.
Subject to the provision of funding it is hoped during 2018 to construct 5 additional wells in Jodimetla and Mancherial in Karnataka. Likewise wells for Medak district in Telangana and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh are envisaged. Currently International Aid Trust India has requests for the installation of five new wells:
- Jodimetla, Hyderabad, Telangana State
- Mancherial, Adilabad, Telangana State
- SureddyItikyal Medak, Telangana State
- Mahbubnagar, Telangana State
- Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh State
The costing for the boring and development of each well is 70,000 – 86,500 rupees – £820 – £1000. The depth of water flow and the installation of a submersible pump may add to the cost. In the longer term it is hoped that funding will be available to provide a further 25 wells.
It is the policy and vision of International Aid Trust India that wherever a well is installed that a church is also planted. Likewise when a new church is planted a well is installed.
International Aid Trust India provides hygienic food for poor children in slums and rural villages. There are two projects in the villages of Mannaekelli and Haladkheri situated in the Bidar district of Karnataka. A daily evening meal is provided to 100 villagers, particularly women and children, whose financial situation has rendered them undernourished. Sadly the number of recipients is increasing. International Aid Trust India is committed to continue this programme thereby meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of these communities. Continued funding is required for this project to flourish and grow. The average cost for providing one adequate and nutritional meal per day for one child is 400 rupees – £5 per month.
Little Buds, is a primary enabling educational project based in Mannaekelli Village Bidar Taluk & District, Karnataka State where education is provided for 150 children. This project is organised by Ms. Sneha Latha plus 8 teaching and support staff. Education in a Christian environment is the philosophy of the project. Uniforms are also provided for the children costing between 300 and 500 rupees each (£3.50p and £6)
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
Andhra Pradesh is a State in the central and east region of India and is the 10th largest in terms of population with, according to the 2011 national census, over 49 million residents of which 24 million are male and 24 million female.
On 2 June 2014, the north-western part of the state was separated to form a new state of Telangana. Hyderabad, the current capital, will remain the capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telagana states for a period of time not exceeding 10 years.
The largest conurbation is Visakhapatman. The official state language is Telugu although Hindi and English are widely used in legislative matters, education and commerce.
Current International Aid Trust projects in Andhra Pradesh
Hands of Dorcas tailoring school are recruiting many local young women & house wives showing interest to learn tailoring skills. Located in the Olive Church campus where the instruction is provided by a professional tailoring tutor. An additional centre has now been established in Kadakuduru village, Kakinada. 25 students are so far undergoing training. All of them are from non-Christian background. The main objective of this tailoring school is to provide self-dependent, self-employment to those who are restricted to their homes. Additionally, this project diverts women from their previous occupation of rag picking with its associated health problems from working in polluted and unhygienic conditions, such as tuberculosis, asthma and skin diseases.
The Living Hope School is located in Nananavanam Colony, Saroor Nagar Mandal in Hyderabad and caters for children of the rag picking community. Currently 120 children between 3 and 14 years receive free education. This project is organised by Ms. Mary Rose. The medium of instruction is in English provided by 7 teachers. The present accommodation can facilitate classes from nursery to 5th grade only. For upper primary and high school education the children have to attend either government or private education establishments.
It is hoped that during 2018 the project can be developed and expanded to cater for an increase in pupil number to approximately 300 at a location outside Hyderabad.
Widow and Elderly Support is a project based in Kadakuduru village, Peddapude Mandal, East Godavari District. Under the stewardship of Pastor Chiranjeevi and his wife Mrs. Mary Jyothi the project provides accommodation, food, clothing and medical needs for some 20 widows and elderly people. A similar project based in Hyderabad provides similar facilities and services to another 20 widows.
Odisha (formerly Orrisa) is a State in the eastern region of India and is the 11th largest in terms of population with, according to the 2011 national census, almost 42 million residents of which 21 million are male and 20 million female. Approximately half of the state’s people live below the poverty line, with limited access to exploitable resources due to a complex interplay of social, economic, and cultural dynamics.
The largest conurbation and state capital is Bhubaneswer. The official state language is Odia although Hindi and English are widely used.
Current International Aid Trust activities in Odisha
A total of 10 International Aid Trust pastors are working in Odisha State each with responsibility for 5 villages. They minister amongst the rural and tribal people the majority of whom are illiterate. Currently transport between the villages is by bicycle. A number of the pastors, particularly in Kandhamal District face discrimination from anti-Christian elements during their ministry.
Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India and is the nation’s third largest state by area. It has over 110 million inhabitants and its capital Mumbai, has a population of approximately 18 million. The official state language is Marathi although Hindi and English are widely used.
Current International Aid Trust activities in Maharashtra
International Aid Trust ministry is centred in the Chandrapur District, Gadhiroli District and Mumbai from where 5 pastors work among rural villages. It is proposed to conduct pastor’s seminars in the State to encourage these unqualified and rural pastors and assist them in developing their congregations.
Due to political unrest in Arunachal Pradesh in Northern India the ministry of International Aid Trust has temporarily been suspended. It is hoped that when the situation is more favourable that our ministry can resume.