India (MNN) — It all
began with a dream. In 1981, Brent
Hample, then a college sophomore and member of a church in Eugene, Oregon, USA,
had a vivid dream that involved Jesus, foreigners, food and himself. He
understood that the dream was a call for him to go to India, but did not know
when or how that might happen.
One day, a pastor
from India came to Hample's church and spoke about his orphanage ministry. The
people of the church wanted to help and began a child sponsorship program. It took off from there.
Today, Hample is director India Partners, a U.S. Christian
development and relief organization committed to supporting self-help ministry
projects in India. He's seen evangelism and discipleship come a long way in India in a quarter century.
Hample explains, "Our whole model from the start of
India Partners was that our brothers and sisters in India are created in the
image of God and that they need to be
inspired and encouraged."
The ministry marks its 25th anniversary this year on May
30 and looks forward to more lives changed. "We have sent many teams of volunteers to India; we've helped the
persecuted churches in Orissa, helped malnourished children. I've seen lepers
ministered to, widows getting clothing and food, and overall, I've seen
hundreds of thousands of people learning who Jesus is."
Although persecution has increased, so has ministry. Hample
says they've walked a long road with the help of seven partners. Additional help is also essential. "We just want to communicate the needs of the church
in India to believers in the U.S. and other countries so they can get
India Partners has grown steadily in size and scope. Those who have gotten involved have been able
to advocate by writing letters, praying, sponsoring children, developing a
fishery, funding a village church, or sharing skills on a volunteer team. If you want to get involved, click here.