There are more than 160 million people in India who are known as the Dalits and are considered "Untouchable"—people tainted by their birth into a caste system that deems them impure, less than human. The Dalits fall beneath the four main castes. Although “untouchability” was abolished under Article 17 of the Indian constitution, the practice continues to determine the socio-economic and religious standing of those at the bottom of the caste hierarchy. India's Untouchables are relegated to the lowest jobs, which means they are expected to perform menial, degrading tasks that include unclogging sewers, disposing of dead bodies and cleaning latrines. Dalits are forced to live in separate settlements, prohibited from worshipping in temples, barred from using the village wells, and their children often denied education or made to sit in the back of the classroom. The average literacy rate among Dalits is approximately 37 percent. Among some Dalit communities it is a low as 10 percent.
Tiffany Williams and Risa Williamson (volunteers and ministry leaders at The Anchor) will be leaving for India for 3-4 weeks in June. This will be their third time going. While there, they will be teaching English to about 100 “Freshers” (freshmen) college students from Dalit, Tribal or lower class families who have never really had a proper education. These young adults who are 18-25 years old come to learn basic English in 7 weeks, while taking their other Bible courses that are taught completely in English. After their 7 weeks on campus each student rejoins their team of 2 to 5 members of the same gender, which are stationed all over India, sometimes in areas where they don't speak the local language or practice the local customs. There are over 1,500 different languages (all unique and non-similar) across India, which is why it is so important to know English (India’s business language), so they can communicate wherever they are placed. In these teams they continue with their studies independently while they are ministering in those communities. After four years of studies (back and forth to campus) they will graduate with an accredited degree in either Theology or Christian studies.
Most students sacrifice greatly to receive such an education, sometimes over family expectations or cultural demands. For many, choosing to follow Jesus instead of their family religion has exacted a heavy toll. These students are the next generation of Christianity ministry in India, since it is illegal for foreigners to preach there. Through prayer and showing them a genuine Christ-like love, we are able to encourage these students in their calling from God, while giving them the knowledge of English to better their status in life.
The cost for this trip is $3,500 per person, this is an opportunity for them to put their complete trust in God to provide for what He has called them to do. If you would like to support them financially please click on donate and change the “Campaign” tab to Anchor India Mission Trip to ensure that your donation will go to the India Missions Trip. Any excess funds received for the team will be used by The Anchor to help in their ministry for the military in Oceanside.
Thank you so much for your interest in the India mission’s trip. If you would like to follow Risa and Tiffany on their trip you can do so on InstaGram. The team's profile is 2016India. They can’t wait to see how God is going to work in and through them in India this summer.