What I saw in India

what I saw in India
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Some of you may know that I went to India to visit friends. This is a record of what I saw in India. The people I stayed with worked in ministry, and so I was a witness to their testimony.

I saw many remarkable things, for instance, many good people, as well as a poverty that was astounding.

Many of the things I saw caused me consternation and bewilderment which took time to overcome.

Simply noticing does not undo the need to help. Most importantly, seeing the need should make us responsible to do something about it.


India has the second largest population in the world. Therefore they have problems of a nature that most of us cannot know without experience. The following link contains an account of some of the issues they have.


Ministries, more of what I saw in India

Youth meeting about to start

First, the main ministry I visited was run by Bishop Lazarus Valluri.  He runs Interior Church Ministries and has been the director since 1984.

Lazarus and I talked at length about the needs and problems of India.  Poverty is a major problem.  There are so many people who are in poverty because it is hard to find jobs for everyone.  Corruption is everywhere, especially graft.  If something is needed legally, for instance, then paying extra fees can expedite the situation, or simply leave them hanging with no money for rent.

There are many other problems, such as massive hunger problems, overcrowded slums, persecution against both Muslims and Christians.  I must say that while I was there I met many people of different faiths.  All of those I met were polite and respectful.


In addition to the problems above, youth are often exploited.  This comes in many forms.   India is cracking down on sexual trafficking and there are plenty of organizations, both Christian and secular, working now to curb that industry.   But it is not just sexual exploitation. 

Additionally, sometimes children are forced to work illegally in dangerous jobs.   Again, there are organizations of all types working to help.  


Contract marriages are one of the worst forms of exploitation I witnessed.  Women are allowed to work.  They are allowed to do jobs.  But I saw teenage girls who had been married that were abandoned by their husbands, sent home in disgrace after having paid the husband lots of money in dowries.   They lived with their parents unable to do anything, usually with a child or pregnant.  I heard about many lawsuits involving this situation as the family was desperate to make ends meet.   

Furthermore, Most married women work only at the will of their husbands.  If he does not want her educated, then she is not educated. 

These are my views and opinions as an outsider on this subject.

Furthermore, I’m not sure the Indian pastors would agree as a whole that it is the contracted marriage that is the issue.  On the other hand, if people were allowed to marry freely the situation would resolve itself.  Actually, marriages can break in any society, so what I am saying is not a judgment against Indians, or, to tell them to become westernized.  In fact, what I am trying to do is strengthen their culture. 

Sometimes the only way to repair is to start new traditions.   With this in mind, parents should be involved in weddings, but they should not decide who their children should marry.


There are other issues involved in Indian marriages.   Most do not marry outside of their caste.  Even where one family would be willing, the other will not want to accept anyone beneath themselves.  It is a complex situation that is completely foreign to western minds.  This mindset cuts through all areas of Indian life, including churches.

Indian castes are very complex and I am not an expert. Therefore, I’m not going to tread further into this issue.


Interior Church Ministries visits with people.  Most of all, they provide encouragement, food, and other resources as they are available.  Their faith community is strong.  I was encouraged to see the work they are doing.

They did not simply work with Christians.  They worked among Muslims and Hindus equally.  It was a blessing to see their work.

Valluri family and I

Summarily, if you wish to help, you can visit their page and donate directly.

However, you can also donate through me. I plan to go back and visit my friends again.

In conclusion, this is more of a personal update than perhaps a ministerial one, but I want people to know what I saw in India, and the things I have encountered. Some of the things I saw:

  • Food deliveries to tribal communities with blankets.
  • Visits to the sick; alcoholics; the depressed.
  • Social services to help the elderly & the destitute.
  • A strong vibrant church who loved each other.
  • A church that wanted to help each other and everyone else.

What I saw in India affected me personally

When I went to India, I knew two people. I knew Bishop Lazarus Valluri and his son Yesudas. I met Yesudas through an Indian friend from long ago in the USA.

When I landed in Hyderabad, Yesudas met my plane and then we flew to Visakhapatnam together. There, at the airport I met most of the rest of their family. They welcomed me in as if I was one of their own.

Their church welcomed me. The whole town welcomed me. Being that it was such a unique culture, I wasn’t sure how how open people might be or what reaction I might get. I feel I made some of the best friends I will ever know in this world through the experience.

In the future, I hope I can maintain these close friendships and unique bonds that we have developed.

the younger members of the family
The younger Valluri family
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