Holistic ministry is a term used to describe the ideal combination of word and deed in ministry, particularly among the under-resourced. While the church leads with proclamation, the personal and public announcement of the good news of Jesus Christ, acts of service, and empowerment are integrally related to that good news. God’s care for us is for both body and soul, not just one or the other. Kachhwa Transformational Ministries (KTM) seeks to live this out in Uttar Pradesh, located just a few miles from the Ganges river.
The compound served as a hospital for many years, which was on the verge of collapse in the early 2000s. Raju moved to Kachhwa and began to restore and rebuild the hospital’s operations, often with personnel from south India. Rob Liddon observed that “on each of our trips to India, we have been pleased to meet ministry partners who have moved from their homes in the more prosperous southern part of India to serve Christ's kingdom as cross-cultural missionaries.” At Kachhwa, they “teach the Word of God daily among the very poor in north central India while also providing medical services, elementary and adult education, vocational training and public health instruction.” The hospital now serves the 100,000 people in their district with essential medical services. As Rob mentioned, the compound houses a school for 100 local, elementary school children. They are not only taught how to read, write, and do math, but they are also taught the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and Psalm 23. Older teenagers receive vocational training in sewing and various equipment repair skills to obtain viable work in the community. On the same compound, they have started a church which meets weekly, led by some of the same people who serve in the hospital and the school. Throughout the month, various church leaders, pastors, and community members gather for training in God’s Word, in ministry skills, and for Christian growth.
A team from Second was there for the culmination of a community health training done through the hospital. Over the course of the year, church planters were equipped in community health. As they traveled through their towns and surrounding villages, they were medically trained to give basic health instruction about hygiene, preventative health care, and diagnosing common maladies. They were taught to identify more serious health issues in order to help connect people to the proper clinics for treatment. For some, clinics and hospitals are too scary (or expensive) to approach unaccompanied. These church planters, motivated by a love for God and a desire to see people in their villages come to know Christ personally, were equipped to serve their communities both physically and spiritually.
Sometimes “God pulls back the curtain of heaven to give us just a little glimpse,” notes Susan Liddon. “I had this moment as we shared dinner in Dr. Raju and Catherine Abraham's dining room with the staff of KTM and their families. Singing ‘God is So Good’ in all the different languages represented in the room was a glimpse of Revelation 7:9 when believers from every nation, tribe, people, and language will be praising Him together!” Betty Eubanks summarizes God’s beautiful irony about our brothers and sisters in India. “Many of the Indian villagers can’t read, but they are memorizing scripture, learning about Jesus, and trusting God with their very existence. They have no running water, but they have Living water. They have no electricity, but have their being in the Light of the world. They don’t own a Bible, but know the Word. They worship and praise God with abandon and show the love of Christ unapologetically. They are small in stature but great in spirit. I eagerly anticipate seeing them again, if not in India, in eternity!”