On January 27, 2014, ICM showed love to 350 poor and street children who attend school by giving them good shoes. This was a late Christmas for these children, many of whom have never had a good pair of shoes. It happened at ICM headquarters at Gandhinagar, Ongole, under the leadership of Mr. James Rebbavarapu, director of ICM.
One of the costs of poverty is that items like shoes are neglected. Poor children do without or wear very cheap or worn shoes, only when necessary. This distribution helps close the gap between what the rich can afford and what the poor cannot afford. The children were given the same good shoes as the rich children can buy. This made them very happy and also shows them that they are just as valuable as their wealthy schoolmates.
The chief guest was Mr. M.S.S. Ashok Babu, Deputy Superintendent of Police. He praised ICM for their kindness and care for these poor children. Mr. Rebbavarapu added that ICM always tries to fill the needs of the most vulnerable, especially children, in society. He said that education and health were one of the most important physical needs.
The programme was led with songs, games, and cultural activities for the children, who enjoyed the event very much.
India Christian Ministries, along with Run 4 Rice and Communion of Covenant Churches, stretched out a helping hand in the month of January, 2014, in the form of rice for the poorest of the poor. Covenant pastors and others working in the slums selected the most vulnerable and needy families (around 700 people) for this emergency relief in order to stop starvation. They were selected out of Kukunur of Madak District, Gaddapaka of Karimnagar District, and Kottapeta of Madek District.
Rice is a staple food in India. A $13 bag of rice can feed a family of six for almost a month, yet among the poorest of poor, $13 is too much. Pastors with Covenant Churches and slum workers chose the people in their districts who were the most in need and partnered with ICM and Run 4 Rice to take care of them this month.
ICM Director Mr. James Rebbavarapu assured the people that whenever ICM had the funds, they would always try to give holistic support where it was needed most, and that ICM staff, along with Covenant Churches, will always strive to help the poor and needy.
India Christian Ministries distributed sarees to the poor women of Ongole, Prakasam district, on the 16th of December, 2013. It is the custom of ICM to hold a free saree distribution for the poor women before Christmas. These women need new clothing, but often neglect themselves because they want to make sure their children and husbands have nice clothing. Simply giving them special clothing makes them feel valued and loved.
Mr. Ashok Kumar (DTC-DSP) joined in the occasion as chief guest, along with ICM Director James Rebbavarapu. Mr. Kumar gave warm appreciation to ICM and Mr. Rebbavarapu for the distribution.
In the rural areas of the Kurnool district, a flood hit in November, 2013 due to severe rainfall. The Brahmana Kotkur village, about 20 km away from Kurnool, was badly hit. and many people lost everything in the disaster. ICM distributed 60 bags of rice (25 kgs each) to 60 families on December 3rd.
This distribution will help keep these villagers alive while they try to put their lives back together. Without it, recovering would have been an extremely difficult process.
The next day, ICM went on to help another village, Bhaskarapuram (35 km away from Kurnool headquarters), which was also badly affected by the flood. The poor there did not even have proper clothes to wear, so ICM distributed 270 sarees.
ICM believes that loving and caring for people is one of the highest commandments of Jesus. Therefore, regardless of religion, ICM seeks out those in need and tries to fill those needs.
I arrived in Ongole July 4th, 2013 to start my 5 month volunteer trip at ICM. I didn’t know what to expect as I depart from Oklahoma. I was ready, open, and willing to accept whatever was given to me. I am a graduate from a technology school with skills in all types of media. I was given the task of updating and gathering content for icmin.org and update social media. The website was recently updated and needed content added to it. It took me weeks to finally understand all of ICM’s numerous departments and to meet the staff. I started to add content to the website using WordPress, which I had only played with before I came to India. I was unexperienced to say the least. But I was willing! After much frustration, tinkering and prayer, I was able to do what needed to be done. I was able to use my own photography on the site and some graphic design work. I am praying for the next person that takes my place; that they will far exceed my work. It was hard being this far from home, working every day, and being challenged to accomplish tasks I had no idea how to do. I failed in a lot of ways in helping ICM, but I grew in so many ways by being here. But all I can do is take what I learned and move forward with what God is leading me to.
I met so many great volunteers through ICM. People I will never forget and hope to see in the near future. It is awesome that this far from home I can meet people like these, and I am so thankful for it. The people who live are fantastic as well! So many friendly faces, kids waving and the occasional scream of “America” as go by. It was a blessing to meet all of them.
My prayers are with ICM and the family that is the staff. They have taught me so much and have been so warm and welcoming.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 10:31
The World AIDS day program conducted by India Christian Ministries under the leadership of its Director Mr. James Rebbavarapu in Ongole town. In this occasion, the ICM staff and volunteers joined with rally along with other government and non government organization those which participate at district collector office and taken procession from there with the massage of district collector and the MP of Ongole.The procession took place from collectorate to Doctor Ambedkar Bhavana where the Public meeting conducted along with HIV positive people and other organizations. In this meeting, the ICM distributed 175 blankets to the HIV people through the hands of District Medical Health Office, Dr Rama Tulasamma and the district legal services authority member secretary and Judge, Mr V. Mohan Kumar. The District medical officer and the Judge who presided to this meeting appreciated the services of ICM done so far to the poor and the needy.
Speaking on this occasion to the press people, The ICM director, Mr.James Rebbavarapu told that the ICM has been serving to the needy since 13 years and conducted service oriented programs. He also said from this on wards the ICM is going to do more awareness and nutrition program to the HIV/AIDS people.
On this occasion, The District officers of AIDS Control Project awarded a Memento to the ICM organization.
Like so many orphans in India, their primary parental provider – their father, Samuel lost his dad to AIDS many years ago. What’s worse is that because of the nature of this sexually transmitted disease, Samuel’s mother also has AIDS and is slowly deteriorating in health.
Samuel is eight years old and has lived without his father for five years and will soon also be without his mother. Samuel was selected by the local pastor of his village, Marturu, located about an hour’s drive north of CCH’s Ongole headquarters, to be in the CCH boys home in this village. Samuel has lived in the home since its opening in 2008 and, though unable to care for Samuel in the way she would like, Samuel’s mother is welcomed into the CCH home as often as she is able to visit. His CCH brothers regularly pray for Samuel’s mom both in her presence and in private prayers.
Barring a medical or supernatural intervention, Samuel’s mother will pass in the next few years, in her mid-20s. And if a widowed mother is dying, what leaves her most anxious about her leaving this world? The dependents she has left behind.
Samuel entered the Marturu CCH home when he was four years old. He was the smallest (and downright cutest) little boy in all of the nine CCH homes at the time. Since then Samuel has grown up a bit, but remains one of the quickest CCH kids to smile and engage with others.
As Samuel’s mother considers her son’s life after she dies, she can be confident that he is getting good food and nutrition, will have all of his health needs taken care of, has a good “second family” around him, will have a strong spiritual foundation based in God’s love and he will be receiving the best private education in the entire village. These are opportunities Samuel would never have had otherwise. In the midst of her sadness, Samuel’s mother knows that her son will not only be taken care of, but will have lifelong possibilities and hope that no one in her family could have ever dreamed.
Samuel and his mother are a good example of the role that CCH can play in serving the local community of believers and even the local village community as a whole.
The evening of November 26, 2013 at 6:06pm Siyon, Jaya Chander’s wife gave birth to a baby girl. Siyon was rushed 1 hour away from Ongole to a nearby city to receive better care for the baby. Siyon was going through labor troubles but through prayer and our Lords power both Siyon and their baby are healthy! Please keep this family in your prayer and we welcome their new girl into this world!
Jyothi lives in our Nelaturu girls CCH home, the youngest of the ten. Jyothi is a “double orphan,” distinct from one who still has one remaining parent. About 25% of our CCH children are double orphans, but all 100% are in at-risk situations where, if there even is a remaining, dedicated parent, this parent is not able to meet the needs of the children in an adequate way for his or her protection, health and future.
After Jyothi’s mother and father had passed, the pastor of the Nelaturu church selected Jyothi to be a part of the home, but Jyothi’s spirit was still one of an orphaned child: downcast, devastated, hopeless, hurting.
During our first summer in Ongole, we took each of the then nine CCH homes to the beach. For most of these children, this was their first and still only time to experience the sand, the water, the waves the fun in the sun of a traditional beach excursion with friends. Most of the children played together, laughed together, eventually sat down in the water together and made this day-trip to the coast a memorable experience for all.
Jyothi, however, still in her first year in the Nelaturu CCH home, spent most of the day at the beach playing on her own. She was not very interested in the water or the waves or playing with the other girls. Her face continually downtrodden, Jyothi played in the sand, isolated and removed from the rest of the group. It was May of 2011.
Over time, Jyothi’s demeanor and expression began to change. As the smallest of the group, Jyothi always had the attention of others, but it took time for the joy of the home, the message of the Gospel and the special experience of living in a CCH home to sink into her heart.
Fast forward to today and Jyothi is noticeably different. We noticed this when Jyothi received her first Christmas clothing gift in late 2011, but even more so one year later for the same Christmas celebration. Jyothi’s heart is one that has experienced the heartbreak to be orphaned or abandoned and only then to receive the redemption that is possible when surrounded by God’s love and the care of His people.