May 2020 Mission Focus: India

Our Mission Committee’s focus for May 2020 is on India. India’s flag will be displayed on the chancel in our sanctuary throughout the month.

Presbyterian World Mission works in India through service of mission co-worker/partner church relationships. Special ministries include ministries to street children and social justice programs. Other mission emphases include parish ministries, social, health and community development, unity and ecumenical relations, education, children’s ministries and evangelism. The church has had a significant and invaluable impact on the Dalit community and promoting harmony in this richly diverse cultural and religious nation.

The PC(USA) also joins with its partners in these ministries: church development, food aid, higher education, human rights advocacy, hunger, leadership development, ministry to minorities, theological education, women’s work and youth ministries.

Witnessing Ministries of Christ, an organization ministering to families in the lowest caste in India, was first added the NWPC mission budget in 2004 and that support continues in 2020. Witnessing Ministries of Christ is a Presbyterian Sponsorship Program established for changing the lives of Dalit Christian children through nurture and education. Their philosophy is to help people so they can stand on their own feet. This is the reason they educate children to make them fully capable to learn and to earn their own living and not to need further help from their families. This ministry was started by Philip and Elizabeth Prasad. Philip was from the Untouchable caste system in India. Learn more by visiting www.witnessingministries.com.

Other mission partners include:
Maggie Cuff Ogonek who we recently contacted about her experience in India and she sent this response: “In 2011, I had the privilege of spending a year in India being the PC(USA) hands of mission through the Young Adult Volunteer Program (YAV). During this year, I lived, laughed and loved at a residential all- girls school in Kerala, India. I spent my days empowering young girls through teaching English, playing games, and being present for the girls in a way other teachers at the school were not. I spread God’s love by creating joy and connection – a reminder that God’s got the whole world in His Hands.” Maggie grew up in NWPC and is Tim & Carolyn Cuffs’ daughter.

In 2015, Kelcey Bailey, a Westminster College student at that time, went to India through a Justice Mission Group whose concern was human trafficking. Kelcey is Ethel Bailey’s granddaughter.

Margaret Courtright who died in 2017, was a “mission kid” in northern India where her father and mother, Dr. John & Elizabeth Taylor, were both medical missionaries treating patients with leprosy. Several parents suffering from the disease requested the Taylors to please take their children out of the conditions of the leper colony to their mission station. That was the beginning of what came to be the Bhogpur Children’s Home and by the time the Taylors retired in 1964 the number of children being housed and educated had grown to 125. Even after moving to New Wilmington with her husband in 1982, Margaret’s connection to India continued. She served on our Mission Committee for several years and educated us about the many needs of those considered outcasts.

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