In many ways, India is emerging on the world stage as a powerful force, yet this vast and diverse country still has great needs.
Samuel Thomas, president of the ministry Hopegivers International , believes there is a solution to those problems.
CBN News Sr. International Gary Lane spoke with him about the thousands of Indian evangelists his ministry is sending throughout the nation.
Thomas was once jailed for 49 days because of his efforts to house, educate, and train young Dalit orphans to become missionaries in Indian. His father, the ministry's founder Bishop M.A. Thomas, was forced into hiding.
Bishop Thomas started the Emmanuel Mission Ministry -- now known as Hopegivers International in the United States -- in 1961.
Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright suggested he start an orphanage and school outreach to Indian Hindus in Bombay. But Thomas preferred to start his ministry efforts in an area with very few Christians: Rajasthan. He set up shop in Kota, India.
His ministry is now the largest Christian ministry in India. In Rajasthan alone, at least 4,000 orphans and impoverished children are housed.
Emmanuel educates students in 55 schools and operates more than 100 churches. An Emmanuel hospital serves orphans and members of the community in Kota.
In February 2005, Emmanuel Ministries conducted the largest Bible school graduation in Indian history as more than 5,000 attended ceremonies at the school in Rajasthan.
When they arrived at the Kota train station to attend the ceremonies, some of the graduates were attacked and injured by militant Hindus.
Shortly afterwards, Bishop Thomas died in 2010. Though militant Hindus have threatened his life repeatedly, his son Samuel has continued the work of the ministry.