Profile: Odisha, India
November 27, 2017 at 6:00 AM
Join us as we take a closer look at each of our ministry partners from the viewpoints of the ministry directors. Three to four ministries will be profiled per month, so check back often to learn more about the Luke Society's 42 ministry partners.)
Profile: Odisha, India
Ministry: Luke Society Odisha, India
Location: Odisha, India
Directors: Dr. Pushpa and Rev. Prem Rout
Q&A with Dr. Pushpa Rout
Q: What are the important components to your ministry?
A:Our ministry has seven important components : Community Health care and Health education; malaria prevention program through educating the village communities along with distribution of a huge number of medicated mosquito nets to each of the family at our ministry villages; maternal and child health services and trainings; water projects; literacy program; microeconomic projects; and evangelism.
Q: What factors led you into a career in ministry work?
A: Our home state, Odisha, is the most backward and poorest state in India. Soon after my medical graduation, we both joined in a well-established missionary organization known as “EHA” (Emmanuel Hospital Association) away from our home state in North India. But we had cherished a desire to serve our backward, poor, needy villagers of our home state people from the very beginning of our childhood. Though we were in good comfortable, secured jobs, the backwardness of our home state, Odisha, was in our minds and hearts. We had a desire to come back to Odisha to serve and help our needy villagers in Odisha – to bring some changes and to show the light of Jesus in these darkened areas.
Q: Describe some parts of the culture in the region where you operate your ministry?
A: India is a big country and each state has its own language, culture, customs, costumes & religion, however, it is a Hindu majority country. Christians (3.2 percent) live in this country as a minority with full discernment, but with much courage and braveness with the grace of the Almighty God. Sharing one’s faith and propagating religion is prohibited, but the Holy Spirit works through His people in various ways to fish out the lost and broken hearted to the Savior. Hallelujah.
The coastal region of Odisha is a Hindu-dominated area, but its southern and northern forest areas are occupied by Tribals. Tribals in Odisha depict ancient civilization and occupy an unique position in the ethnographic map of India for having the largest groups. Tribals in Odisha constitute 26 percent of its total population. They live in forests and mountains, and some communities are still inaccessible as protected by the law of the land. After all, they are the Lord’s most beautiful creation, but are the most neglected, backward groups – vulnerable to many diseases and death. Tribals in Odisha are the poorest
Tribals are very simple people and love to remain in their groups. It is difficult to approach or motivate them, but once they understand the good effect of the teaching or motivation, they accept very simply, and hence the Good News spreads among them rapidly. Full discernment and caution is needed to work among them. Their main occupations are hunting in the forest; and farming the water and lands in the forest and mountains; and collecting forest products to sell at nearby towns.
Q: How are you able to witness about Christ in your ministry?
A: We witness Christ through our behaviors, unconditional love and care to the villagers; frequent visits and healthy fellowships with them; treating their sick with showing our faith on Lord Jesus; healing prayers when situations permit. Also through our Community Health Service. We educate them to live in clean surroundings, and to practice clean and good personal hygiene, to live healthy, and at the same time, educate and counsel them to have clean heart. That is only possible by accepting Christ as the God and Savior Direct preaching and propagation of religion is prohibited, but our love, care and simple presentation of ourselves to them creates great and miraculous impacts through the Holy Spirit and wins thirsty souls for Christ the Savior.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working in your position?
A: We work as a complete team with each one having great responsibility. We give much importance to our local staffs – the community health coordinators – who asses the local situations and the real needs of the people over each areas and lead us to different villages to render the needed services. Hence we honor, encourage and love our village coordinators as our leaders and guides for our expanding community health ministry at remote villages.
Q: What is your vision for the future of your ministry?
A: We can see the visible upgrading lifestyle and living of our ministry villagers with clean surroundings and personal clean habits that was brought within these 17 years of our ministry and Christian fellowship to them. Even the evangelism is spreading fast in our ministry villages and efforts are going on to bring the neighboring villagers to the Savior. Many new churches and prayer houses have come up at our Tribal ministry areas in Odisha in these years. This is the Lord’s doing, and we praise Him for all these developments in these backward remote villages.
We are feeling the need to build a refreshing community skill development centre for the volunteer health workers and evangelists of our ministry for their periodic refreshment, revitalizing their knowledge and skills with new ideas, as well as and boosting up their spirit and faith in Jesus with the guidance and fullness of Holy Spirit. We need much prayer and support for this new plan and vision to upgrade our ministries in Odisha.
We also want to establish more sewing schools in our ministry areas – especially at Cuttack terrine to help the poor girls and ladies suffering with low or nil income for their better life.