Our Scout Team will travel to Bangalore, Karnataka to develop partnership opportunities with Living Hope Association. Karnataka is about the size of South Dakota and home to 65 million people. Bangalore is now the third largest city in India and the Indian IT capital as well as the capital city of Karnataka.
Living Hope Association was founded in 1996 by Pastor William and Rebekah John. It is a non-profit charitable Christian organization, committed to serve God and the community of all peoples in India. Their goals are to:
· Encourage, help, support and lend a hand of service to the needy, poor and underprivileged
· Equip servant leaders so that they might equip others
· Give hope to those living in hopelessness and difficult situations
Currently Living Hope is comprised of these ministries:
· Church planting - there are 35 LH churches located in 5 states; all pastors are encouraged to look for opportunities to plant additional churches or start a bible study. Other churches that are interested in joining LH are observed for 2-3 years to ensure their theology is sound and that they are a living, growing church. In April 2018 10 churches were added in one of the states. God has given a vision to develop a network of 100 churches across India.
· Evangelism training - this is given to all LH churches and is offered to other churches in the community as well. Originally the goal was to train 2,000 people by 2020; 1,000 or more have been trained so far.
· Pastoral and Bible training - All LH pastors meet monthly for worship, prayer, encouragement and training. If there are other pastors in the vicinity, they are also welcome to come to these trainings.
· Widow’s ministry center - there is one widows center where food is given, and cloth for garment making.
· Day care centers - there are 2 day care centers with a total of about 40 children. The goal is to have a day care center everywhere there is a LH church.
· Children’s Homes - there are 3 children’s homes located in two states with a total of 230 children plus staff. God has given a vision to have 10 homes serving 1,000 children.
· Anton Public School - Anton was launched about six years ago for Bangalore Living Hope Children’s Home children due to concern over what was being taught in Indian public schools. After much prayer, permission was granted to open the school with the goal of eventually having pre-school through 10th grade standard, adding one grade per year. This year they have added 5th grade.
· College and University - After the children in the Children’s Homes complete 10th grade standard, they are encouraged to continue with college classes [equivalent to our 11th and 12th grades] and then on to university for a 4-year degree. As a reward for studying hard during standard school, LH pays tuition fees for these students and also provides them with a bicycle to ride to school rather than walking due to the additional distance. In 2018, there are about 50 students out of the total of 230 that are attending college or university classes.