The Association for Christian Thoughtfulness
Bringing the Love and Hope of God to a Dark and Devastating CityMumbai is a teeming metropolis rife with crime on every rung of the economic ladder. Drugs and abuse, prostitution and corruption are embedded in this city, from the government down to the homeless on the streets. The city is a hotbed for every sin imaginable. It is a beautiful sight in this lost sea of humanity, to see a beacon of God shine brightly for all who are in need. The Association for Christian Thoughtfulness was formed to provide such a Christian light and hope for the church to the poor and survivors of abuse.
Oakseed's ImpactOakseed has been in partnership with ACT since 1995. Through the years, Oakseed has provided funds that have helped many young women wishing to pursue vocational training. They also help ACT to provide training and resource materials to young men and women to make better choices with respect to careers, sexuality, and personality. Funds from Oakseed are also used to teach life skills to the youth in our community. Because of Oakseed’ s support, hundreds of youths have experienced the transforming love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
ACT tells Oakseed, “Prayer is the power behind what we do. We spend the first working day of the week in prayer. During this time, we come together as a family beseeching the Lord to teach us to care for those in need. We pray for all of our partners and our beneficiaries. We also pray for wisdom to always be in the center of His will. During the last Monday of the month, we spend time fasting and praying for the nation and also other nations. We also pray for churches in the country.”
Partnering with the church has always been ACT’ s goal. They partner with churches interested in working for the poor. They then set up a series of workshops to instruct others how to help the needy in our community. Their end goal is that the church is engaged and capable of caring for people in poverty and victims of abuse. They are also capable of addressing issues within families and also the specific issues of young people.
Good mental health is currently the need of the hour. ACT wishes to empower the church to care for those with mental disorders, whether severe or mild. Another important area of growth that is essential in this area is the rehabilitation of girls/women who have suffered abuse of various forms. ACT’ s wish is to train churches to accept girls/women who have been sexually used and abused. The church should be a safe space for them to find spiritual, emotional, and physical healing.
ACT is in need of funding and your prayers:
“We are a small number and the need is so enormous. There are so many churches and schools and communities asking us for help, especially in the area of abuse and therapy. We need to multiply ourselves and that will only be possible if God sends out His people. But like the scripture says, ‘ The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray earnestly that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers.’ Thus the only recourse we have is prayer.”
HistoryThis wonderful ministry started in 1973, when members of the Christian community in Mumbai independently witnessed the devastation in their city first-hand. They wanted to see the church get directly involved in meeting the needs of the poor and neglected of their community. God moved these Evangelical Christians into action and they came together to answer one important question:
“What can we as committed Christians do for our city?”
Their answer was ACT (the Association for Christian Thoughtfulness). Through the years, they have grown through God’ s planning to 19 full-time staff and 50 part-time staff who serve the areas of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and the Thane District. It is led by Dr. Alita Ram who works feverishly to provide services to all in need.
The ACT ministry strives to:
- ~ promote health
- ~ provide advocacy for government entitlements
- ~ counsel survivors of abuse
- ~ teach life skills to youth
- ~ network for social justice
- ~ provide advocacy for government entitlements
Founder Rev. Viju Abraham says, “People are our main resource.” Their current staff is a passionate and vibrant group of people who have hearts to serve.
One youth, helped by ACT, will be forever grateful
for their intervention. David
(name changed to protect his identity) remembers:
“Some years back, I was just a normal boy with very few expectations in life. My father died when I was two years old. Later I learned that my mother too was infected with HIV.
For many years, I lived with anger against my father and against God. Upon looking at my mother’ s situation, I found myself feeling totally helpless... I was in fear that my brother and I may also become infected. I continued to live in this fearful existence until I met the ACT organization.
They encouraged my brother and meto take theHIV test. With the help of ACT, we had our test and found neither one of us was infected! It gave me a ray of hope. ACT shaped my life through their lessons on ‘ Truth’ , ‘ Loyalty’ , ‘ Keys of Life’ , ‘ Wishes and Dreams’ , and others. But I truly loved the Youth Leadership Training (YLT) that I received from ACT. I learned from them that our values, our beliefs inside of us determine the actions that we take in life. ACT inspired me to view life in a new perspective.
I have been with ACT for nine years now, and am getting my degree in Engineering. ACT taught me patience, kindness, and respect as well as many other values that are crucial in life. My aim is to serve the Lord by helping others who are in need like me.”