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Keiss young people invest in India’s orphans
by Kenny Cormack
In April Keiss Baptist Church Youth Club had a special visit from Dr Suresh Vemulapalli, his wife Roja, their son Swithin (4) and daughter Sophie (8 months). Suresh and Roja run an orphanage in the Andhra Pradesh region of India and the youth club has been sponsoring a 7 year old girl named Bhavitha for over a year now. The children all help pay for the £20 a month that it takes to clothe, feed, educate and provide medical care for her. Bhavitha’s father died from HIV when she was 3, her mother also has HIV and is too ill to look after her. Bhavitha has settled in well at the orphanage and is one of the top students in her year at school.
At the youth club, Suresh showed slides to the children and explained what life is like in India and also spoke about the work of India Village Ministries (IVM). The Keiss children heard how this ministry takes children in India from backgrounds of abandonment, dire poverty and child labour and brings them to a place of welcome, shelter, food, education, love and hope for the future. They now have an environment where they can flourish and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
The Keiss children were surprised to hear that the children in India have to go to school 6 days a week, work longer hours and have more basic facilities than schools in the UK. They also realised how a small amount of money from the UK can go a long way to helping someone in India.
One of the children handing over a cheque to Suresh from the youth club for £250 to help towards the building of a new bigger orphanage.
The new orphanage is progressing well and is due to open later this year. The present orphanage houses 20 children. When the new orphanage opens, they hope to take that number up to 40 initially and eventually take up to a maximum of 60. It is hoped that the Keiss Baptist Church Youth Club will be able to sponsor more children in the future.
Back in 2006 the children from the Youth Club raised over £1100 for the new orphanage by organising a charity children’s fashion show in the Assembly rooms in Wick. The clothes were supplied by ‘New Look’ in Wick and Sally Davidson, a children’s fashion designer from London who came up especially for the event. The event was also backed by various local businesses.
Suresh and Roja have a strong connection with Caithness as they spent several months in Wick back in 2003 during Suresh’s ministerial training. They are well known amongst the Christian community in Caithness. Their son, Swithin, was born in Wick during that time.
Suresh is a civil engineering graduate but when he was called of the Lord to work amongst the needy people of his village, he left the engineering profession and went to a Seminary in India. He graduated from there with a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) in 1997. Subsequently God led him to the University of Aberdeen where he graduated with a Masters in Theology in 1999 and a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies in 2005. Roja, who is also a graduate, has a call from God to work with Orphans and children.
Some of the children who stay at the orphanage which was set up by Dr Suresh Vemulapalli and his wife Roja in the Andhra Pradesh region of India.
They began IVM in 2001 to help the needy people in their area. Along with the orphanage, IVM provides free medical care to some of the poorest people in the area who cannot afford expensive private treatment. They also provide support and vocational training so that poor people can help provide for themselves. They supply sewing machines and training to women and have even provided buffalos and goats so that poor families can use these animals to provide an income.
IVM has also opened a Bible collage to train local men and women to become ministers and help them share the Good News of Jesus Christ in surrounding villages. Although persecution and intolerance to the Christian faith is growing, the workers are not deterred and they continue to reach out in love to the needy people.
During their short time in Caithness, Suresh and Roja also visited Wick Baptist Church, Pulteney Parish church, St Peter’s Church in Thurso and Canisbay Free Evangelical Church. They have already visited supporters from churches in Aberdeen and Fraserburgh and still have to visit other churches in Shetland, Lewis, Glasgow, Livingston and Northern Ireland before returning to India.
Anyone who would like to contribute to the work at IVM or sponsor a child
(Scottish registered charity no. SC032158) please contact the address below.
India Village Ministries
PO Box 18485
Dr Suesh Vemulapalli can be contacted via email : firstname.lastname@example.org
India Village Ministries
India Village Ministries (IVM) began in the year 2001 with Suresh & Roja Vemulapalli. They responded to the call from God to reach the un-reached and serve the needy people in the villages of India. Suresh is a civil engineering graduate but when he was called to the work of the Lord, he left the engineering profession and went to a Seminary in India. He graduated from there with a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) in 1997. Subsequently God led him to Aberdeen University (U.K.) where he graduated with a Masters in Theology in 1999 and a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies in 2005. Roja, who is also a graduate, has a call from God to work with Orphans and children.
IVM already ministers to a great number of people and continues to expand its ministries.
India Village Bible College (IVBC) repIndia Village Bible College (IVBC) reports:-
There are many native pastors who are serving in the village communities, but they need Bible teaching so that they are equipped to preach the Word. We conduct seminars for the national evangelists, pastors and local churches to enable them to understand the Gospel and be better equipped to carry out the Great Commission. To help raise the standards of biblical preaching, leadership, we are conducting Leadership seminars for village workers throughout the year.
One of the greatest needs in the harvest field of India is the raising up of godly, effective leaders. This is why IVM started the India Village Bible College (IVBC). The major objective of IVBC is to equip indigenous workers to be church planters and ministers. Jesus called us to make disciples. The classroom is designed to be "mission-minded." IVBC was started in 2005 in Puritigadda. Through our College, many village pastors are equipped with knowledge sufficient to spread the Gospel among the rural masses. Our first batch of 21 students have completed the Diploma in Biblical Studies in Feb 2007. It is exciting to see the lives of young men and women shape up for the Lord's work.
We are working on setting up a medical clinic on the IVM campus. This is desperately needed for the village communities in our area as medical treatment is expensive and is unaffordable to the poorest of people. This clinic will be able to help us care for the needs of our children in our home and people from the surrounding villages. There will be a full time medical doctor and a nurse. This will also help serve others through medical camps. We look to the Lord to provide so that we can go ahead with this project.
Currently a doctor visits our village one day a month and runs a medical clinic. (A church supports this through IVM (USA) at a total cost of $135 per clinic day, including the doctor, transportation, a pharmacist, and medicines. If you would like to help, email email@example.com.)
IVM serves the rural and poor villages of India. When I visited several of the Indian villages, I was overwhelmed by the poverty and the great number of needy people. IVM has an emphasis on bringing the good news about Jesus Christ to the villagers, but this is accompanied by practical help for their everyday needs. How can we help the very poor without making them dependent upon us? One answer is to provide vocational training. Naturally the orphanage provides education for the children. But IVM has found another way to help some of the villagers by providing vocational training and necessary tools. The first step has been Sewing training for village women. A sewing instructor was hired to give classes on the IVM facility next door to the Golden Candle Church. Using pedal sewing machines (electric machines are not practical when the power is typically out for half the day) village women are able to sew and supplement their family income.
[ In October 2007, Suresh and Roja emailed Ron Miller and said, "We had a special function for sewing trainees as they completed their course. We have purchased sewing machines and accessories and presented them to all ladies who completed their training. A second class has started in October. We are limited to 12 students per class." - Ed.]
The vocational training helps relieve poverty in the village and also provided opportunity for Christian witness to the students, families, and to the community. In this Hindu village, it is important to have a good reputation. Many of the villagers are not interested in having Christians in their village, but because of the good works they see that having a church in their village is not a bad thing.
It costs about $100 (US Dollars) to provide a manual sewing machine and basic sewing tools for one graduating student. If you are interested in providing this need for one village family, contact me at IndiaVillage@aol.com to make arrangements for a tax deductible contribution.
IVM Children’s Home was started in Puritigadda, with 7 children in June 2001, with the aim of raising poor and needy children for God and country. Most of the children do not have either their mother or father and some have neither of them. The stories behind the kids are heart-moving. The 25 boys and girls in our Children’s Home are happy as they have a shelter, three meals a day, clothing, medical help, and schooling provided. We share the love of God and teach discipline and the Bible-based values of life.
We are now building a bigger Children’s Home. We are humbled to be a little part of sharing God’s love to the unfortunate, poor, needy, and orphaned children with your partnership. If you are led by God to support a child or want to know more about this, please contact us.
The greatest tool for helping someone face the adversity of poverty is education and we are fully committed to helping the very poor and needy children to have access to and avail themselves of quality education. India Village Ministries is providing support to 24 poor children and young people with their school/college education.
Kenny Cormack, 24/04/2008