On his first visit to India, in 1971, Pastor John DeVries was overwhelmed. The heat, the crowds of people, the stench (which John recalls as a mix of exhaust, urine, and curry powder), the beggars on street corners grabbing at his sleeve – it was a lot to process.
Mission India founder,
visiting one of the earliest Children’s Bible Clubs.
An Unlikely Partnership
“God, I will serve you anywhere you want, just please don’t send me back here again.”
So on his flight home to Michigan, John prayed what he calls his “Jonah prayer”: anywhere but there, Lord. Anywhere but India. But the truth is, John witnessed an incredible need on that trip. Not just in the poverty and injustice all around him – but in how immensely untouched by the Gospel India was. And he discovered an incredible opportunity: passionate Christians in India who, despite being radically outnumbered, were motivated to reach their own nation with the love of Christ. John could not ignore the calling God had placed in his heart, and eventually, a beautiful partnership was born.
John’s wife, Atts DeVries,
meeting a child in India during one of her many visits there.
As that partnership began to take shape, three distinct programmes formed. The first was our Bible-based Adult Literacy Classes in 1984—meeting the practical and spiritual needs of India’s poor and oppressed illiterate population. A year later, Church Planter Training was added. In 1990, Children’s Bible Clubs were introduced as Mission India’s third programme.
Today, through these three programmes, Mission India continues to fulfill our God-given vision: To see India changed by the love of Christ.