Guest / Limited Access /
Persecution Prompts Missions Agency to Transform
Gary Gnidovic

Not far from the city of Secunderabad, in a boulderstrewn landscape, the Uddamarry Good Shepherd School models the new approach of Operation Mobilization India (OMI). A simple cement structure, Uddamarry educates several hundred bright-eyed children from 14 villages. Most students at Uddamarry are Dalits—members of the "untouchable" caste that composes the lowest rung on Indian society's ladder. They long for education.

In this rural setting, where Christianity has never gained a foothold, children are learning Bible verses—and so are their families. Almost three times as many students have applied for admission as the school can accommodate.

OMI teachers live in the surrounding villages, one married couple per three villages. OMI teachers are viewed with great respect. When they start church fellowships in their homes, they do not encounter the same level of resistance as do traditional missionaries.

Churches are opened as the school gains credibility. Then comes a variety of development schemes. In Uddamarry, OMI has started a tailoring school where workers stitch the students' blue uniforms.

There is also a small health clinic, a microenterprise office, and a self-help center. All projects work in concert, demonstrating a holistic gospel in a place where the name of Jesus is scarcely known. OMI offers Christmas programs, Awana children's clubs, vacation Bible school, and other programs. They invite local officials to these events. The gospel gradually becomes less foreign, hostility fades, and interest in Christ grows.

Ragland Rameshwarren, who oversees OMI's community development projects in Uddamarry, says, "In the old days, there was no place for me. You had to ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Wilson's Bookmarks
Brief reviews of 'The Pietist Impulse in Christianity,' 'John in the Company of Poets,' and 'What I Hate.'
Current IssueIs the Way Our Cities Are Designed Keeping Us Apart?
Subscriber Access Only
Is the Way Our Cities Are Designed Keeping Us Apart?
How churches can benefit from a lesson in urban geography.
Recommended‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
TrendingThe Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
The Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
What Paula White’s Washington moment implies for the prosperity gospel’s future.
Editor's PickThe Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
The Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
It begins by recognizing the name above every name.
Christianity Today
Persecution Prompts Missions Agency to Transform
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.