Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

J is for Joy in India

I traveled to India in 2002 to meet my friends, Abraham Thomas, his wife, Valsa, and their two daughters, Sneha and Steffie.

Abraham is a native Indian missionary who carries out his ministry with the Christian Evangelical Fellowship (CEF) in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, and Karnataka, the four southernmost states of India.

Abraham took me to visit various churches in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, to places not commonly visited by tourists. At one small church, a couple with an infant wanted me to give their child an English name to go along with her native Indian name.

I looked at this precious child and could only think of one word: Joy. This little girl is now ten years old and in the fifth grade.

Later I gave a “sermon” (yes, me) at a small church in Upper Manalar, a church dedicated to the memory of my late husband, Victor Hall. My sermon was based on Philippians 4:4. “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice.”

Abraham started this missionary effort in his own country in 1990 with himself and one other minister. They visited very poor rural communities to spread the “Good News” about their wonderful Lord Jesus Christ.

Now CEF has 82 churches, 87 ministers, and over 13,000 members. Although their prime ministries are evangelism and church planting, CEF also sponsors an orphanage that houses and cares for 35 children ages 5 to 14,  a sewing school with 38 students, and a Bible training school with eleven students.  In 2011, CEF provided 100,000 pounds of rice to 2000 poor families, school supplies to 1200 children, and clothing and food for people living in areas hit by natural disasters. They also provided medical help for the poor and widows in the congregations and constructed 7 wells in villages.

I have been watching this ministry now for over fifteen years, and I am blessed to have been a very small part of it.

You can read more about this native Indian missionary effort in the following CEF Today newsletter.


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2 thoughts on “J is for Joy in India

  1. Education is all around understanding other cultures and visiting on is a true blessing.

  2. Such amazing work being done!

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