India (MNN) — India is a beautiful nation filled with rich culture and history. However, in a population exceeding 1.3 billion, it’s easy to “disappear.”
Uncounted multitudes lay forgotten and alone in prison cells and hospital beds. Faceless thousands are enslaved to drug or alcohol addictions, while millions are trapped in sex trafficking. Furthermore, while India’s caste system is “dead” on paper, it’s alive in practice.
These are a few of the reasons why Set Free Ministries partners with local believers to carry Christ’s hope and love to India’s forgotten and faceless masses.
“The ‘Untouchables’ (Dalits) in India, they actually believe the gods are angry with them, and so they have to live this life in suffering and misery,” explains Set Free’s Dean Vander Mey.
As explained here, people born into the Dalit caste are considered “Untouchable” and face discrimination in every sphere of life.
“The huge lie in India is ‘don’t help the poor because they are being punished by the gods’.”
Set Free India is replacing that lie with the truth of Scripture.
Set Free India: what do they do?
In his first letter to Corinthian believers, Paul described the ways of Christ-like love in great detail. He concluded that chapter with the following: “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Set Free India staff and volunteers are putting Paul’s words into action as they care for the sick, the prisoners, and the outcasts around them.
A new addiction recovery center is in the works, shares Vander Mey, and Set Free India operates a thriving hospital ministry. As described here on Set Free’s website, Christ works in patients’ hearts and lives through the weekly visits of volunteers:
To the ones who feel alone, there is Christ spending time with them. To the ones who feel hopeless, the sweet sound of God’s truth is read, offering hope beyond measure. To the ones who are unbelievers, trapped in sin and afraid of death, there is Jesus offering His forgiveness and His merciful plan of redemption and salvation. Hundreds of lives have been pledged to Jesus Christ; some as they lie on their very death bed.
Volunteers also visit prisoners at seven facilities throughout the country. “It’s really amazing to watch some of the people who are incarcerated for life,” notes Vander Mey.
“They become the disciplers, or the elders, for the younger men… they know that God will richly reward them for making disciples of the men that come through there, and that is their new life call.”
Set Free India volunteers visit the prisons in teams each week, going cell to cell with Bibles in hand. These volunteers also lead special seminars and praise and worship, and support believers in the jails who are leading discipleship groups. Learn more about the prison ministry here.
How can I help?
Set Free India needs prayers and financial support to keep these ministries going. By clicking here and selecting ‘SFM India’, you can help them set spiritual captives free in the land of a thousand gods.
When people hunger for spiritual truth, “it doesn’t take a whole lot to show them the difference between what they believe and the Truth that sets them free,” Vander Mey observes.
Pray for the ministry as they appoint a new successor, Vander Mey requests. Their current leader is in his 80’s and wants to begin training and mentoring his replacement. Ask the Lord to provide wisdom and discernment.
Pray also for the hundreds of believers who volunteer with Set Free India.
“They’re going into very hostile environments, oftentimes, and there’s a real cost to that.”
Header image courtesy of Set Free Ministries.