India (MNN) — Every 20 minutes a Dalit in India suffers some kind of atrocity against them. 1.3 million Dalit women are forced into manual scavenging — cleaning open sewers and worse. Some are stripped naked, raped, and killed simply for being a Dalit.
Serve India Ministries is reaching out to this so-called "untouchable' segment of society. President of Serve India Ministries, Ebenezer Samuel, says their Stepping Stone Ministries is an outreach to poor Dalit children. "Over 100 million Indian children have no education. So Stepping Stone is an after-school program that helps children with their education. They also learn about the Lord Jesus."
According to Samuel, the tutoring program helps the children thrive in the public school setting, which is a battle in itself. "The administration discriminates against the children from the so-called Dalit or untouchable communities. When they do well in their studies, they are not encouraged. When they are not able to do well, they are encouraged to drop out."
Reaching out to Hindu Dalits is an example of Christ, says Samuel. "The Dalit Christians are considered developed, or liberated. They're not bracketed with the Hindu Dalits. So when the Christians reach out to the Dalit Hindus or the Dalit Muslims, it does them a huge help."
The tutoring help is paving the way for outreach. "The children as well as adults gravitate toward Christians now that they know they are compassionate and very helpful. Of late, we're seeing lots of these families coming to our pastors for counseling." Some have even started to attend church.
Currently, Serve India Ministries is helping more than 2,000 children in 55 centers throughout India.
Because the program is basic, they're able to influence many families with the Gospel for $3 per child. Samuel says because they don't provide books, clothes or other enticements, "They know we're not enticing them with gifts. It's basically a ministry of relationship. Helping children with their education is all that they receive, and they appreciate that."
For $21 a month, you can help seven children hear the Gospel and help provide them with a quality education.