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This team is eagerly praying for new teammates who will help to shape our community and our vision in years to come! Up to now, the
team has lived in primarily Muslim communities, but living amongst the majority Hindu population of the city is also an option for future team members.
WHERE WE LIVE
Our city is historically Muslim but diverse in current population, which creates a rich cultural environment expressed in the architecture, art, food, and
religious practices. As a capital city, it also has much of modern India easily accessible. The contrasts and diversity were part of what attracted the
team to move here in 2012: a vibrant mix of old and new: ancient religious monuments and British colonial architecture stand alongside glossy shopping malls;
female college students in Western jeans and t-shirts pass women in traditional saris or burqas on the streets. The city is also characterized by a widening
gap between growing wealth and grinding poverty: middle class families live in plush apartments next door to the makeshift shacks of the people who clean their
houses; their private cars share the road with bicycles, horse-drawn carts, rickshaws, herds of goats, pedestrians, and crowded buses. People come to settle
from all surrounding villages with their different dialects, and yet a beautiful hospitality and welcome is offered to the stranger.
Though currently a team of two (husband-wife), we have a strong value and vision for being a part of bringing the heart of God from within community. We hope
to do this though a variety of like-minded individuals and groups, each contributing through their own unique role and gifting, and inviting more into
relationship with the poor of our city. In the three years since moving from Delhi we’ve developed a network of resources and partnerships, though we still
await what more will develop. We are eager for new members bringing their passions and gifts to help shape the ever-fluid but forming picture of what we
contribute to this place. Specifically, the team is dreaming of and experimenting with creative ways to engage in the spheres of human trafficking, domestic
violence and inadequate education in our city and across North India, though even naming these issues is a slightly misleading narrowing of the wholistic lives
and experiences we engage with in our community and the broader city.
In the last three years, a new Servants team has formed on the northern edge of this major Indian city. Our community consists of eight adults and two children with a wide spectrum of interests and backgrounds. We live amongst the poor in slums where overcrowding, pollution, lack of employment and education opportunities, and gender inequality are prominent issues. We value our community space together and strive towards providing a place of grace, where each person is listened to and different opinions respected as we learn to live out our faith in our context.
Our Hindu neighbours are patient while we learn the local language and the ins and outs of the many varied customs and festivals of their culture. In seeking to live authentically in our neighbourhoods - cooking, washing, chatting and simply ‘being’, we hope to be able to be present to those around us. Listening to their concerns and stories as well as sharing in moments of hardship and celebration are a big part of what we do.
EXAMPLES OF CURRENT MINISTRY INVOLVEMENT:
Many of our team members are engaged in various projects, bringing change in more tangible ways. One team member created a social business that provides the opportunity for people to reduce their carbon footprints through the purchase of carbon offsets. The money from these sales subsidises the purchase of clean burning stoves, relieving local families from the need to use illness-inducing wood and coal burning stoves. Other team members are also looking at creative ways to use business as an agent of change and community improvement.
In partnership with a locally run NGO, Servants team members are bringing their gifts and passions to life. One vehicle for this is a Child Development Centre, where children are taught spoken English through an engaging and fun curriculum. Teenage girls are also given the opportunity to explore the connections between body, mind and spirit through Dance Movement Therapy, facilitated by one of our team members.
Previously Servants had been living and working amongst the urban poor in another part of this megacity for over a decade. There they built a strong network of relationships and partnered closely with Indian Christians in establishing an innovative ministry amongst young women from the slums that continues to provide training and job opportunities. As well as being trained in tailoring and paper crafts, the women are taught English, business skills and values for life. Today the project is directed by an Indian Christian ministry that continues to empower the women to earn a livelihood, grow in self esteem and dignity, and become self sufficient.