India (MNN) — Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India
has found a way to connect families in the U.S. with families in India…without
ever having to board a plane.
President Dave Stravers says, "My Passport to India is
a ministry to American children. If you
go on our Web site, mypassporttoindia.org, you find there a ten-step process
introducing children in the United States to what life is like in India."
Why? "India is a very strange place to an
American. When you first go there, you can be overwhelmed by what you see," Stravers
explains. It's not until there's a
personal connection made that interest grows. "When you get inside people's lives, it's just mind-blowing what God
is doing. It really sensitizes Americans to the life of the poor, the different kind of
needs that people deal with, and how God is meeting those needs."
It's a challenge to sensitize children to needs outside of
their own. "Growing
up in America today, most of our children have everything they need and more. Understanding how
most people in our world live–their
needs and their joys–is a great education experience, and it helps us to get perspective
on our lives."
"My Passport To India" not only communicates what the world is
like in a Third World country like India, it also connects the Gospel
needs. In the 10-videos at the Web site, tour guide Chris explores a new, exciting
destination in India. Each 4-6 minute
episode features related material that helps participants learn even more about
Each dollar raised
through this ministry pays for one student to attend a Children's Bible Club. The
doors are wide open, too. "Muslims
and Hindus in India want their children to be served by Christian teachers," says Stravers. "We
started year-long Bible clubs. Usually, they meet after school, every day.
Children in the community gather together and get help with their homework, and
they hear Bible stories, learn songs."
Why focus on children at all? Stravers explains, "Ministry to children
is more of a guerrilla-style attack on Satan's kingdom because children are the
most open to the Gospel. We've discovered that when children hear a Bible
story, they go right into the home with the Gospel, where an evangelist
"My Passport to India" raised enough money last year to send
284,812 children to Bible Clubs all over the country. Even
better, says Stravers, "The most common response that I've had from
parents is: 'My kids are now praying for India. They would like to give some of
their allowance to bring more of these children to Bible clubs, so they can
Once the participating children are made aware of the needs,
just like the evangelists they are, they respond. "We've
had people tell us that their kids put some of their toys out in a garage sale,
or went around to their aunts and uncles to collect loose change to provide
help for India," says Stravers.
The videos provide some excerpts from Chris' journal, as
well as devotionals and stories from kids whose lives have changed since they
participated in the Children's Bible Club.
All videos and bonus content are available to view at any
time, and are appropriate for all age levels.