From the Dark Streets to the All-Encompassing Salvation of Jesus Christ!In the heart of the mega-city of Mumbai, crime runs rampant as well as prostitution and drugs. Many of the citizens are below the poverty line and live in hovels and slums. The prices for commodities are rising as well as communal diseases. Many people are too poor to educate their children and better their lives for themselves. In this spiritually dark area of the world, the Lord spreads His light through the endless efforts of the South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise).
This amazing organization, under the guidance of Ernest Albuquerque, runs three centers throughout the city—2 in Hindi and 1 in English— catering to the educational, social, and economic well-being of the underprivileged people that they serve, as well as ministering to people on spiritual needs in the slums (both lower-middle class and below the poverty line), hutments on reclaimed land, footpath dwellings, buildings for rehabilitated slums, brothels in red-light areas, HIV+ people and English-speaking middle-class families.
The South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise) ministry provides for its communities by:
- Providing help to pay school/course fees, school books, uniforms and bags, as per
- Creating a library for educational reference and organizing educational trips
- Providing counselling/directions to students looking for career options
- Organizing Family/Youth/Kids camps/outings
- Counselling couples, youth and individuals
- Providing rations, medical help, travel passes and educational fees for those in need
based on a case-to-case basis, and discretion
- Provide opportunities to explore music
- Provide football training to boys (and girls) from the slum area
- Network on a personal level for jobs, school/college/course opportunities
- Bible studies (weekly sessions or for personal understanding of the Bible)
- Worship training (training worship team members to lead in worship)
- Spiritual Retreats
- Church Services at three locations (weekly): one in English and two in Hindi
- Purchasing new or used Bibles or procuring free copies of the New Testament in
different languages, and distributing them
- Creating, printing, and distributing Gospel tracts and prayer posters
“I have seen unbelievers from different communities coming to the saving faith in Jesus Christ, some from areas where we labored and prayed many years without any fruit. Many years ago, when I held prayer meetings with families living in pavement-dwellings, in shanties, along railway tracks, etc. I never knew that God would move so sovereignly and one day, provide them with permanent homes of their own, when the government relocated them from the railway tracks or pavements. I have seen some of those saved becoming leaders and preachers in our various house cells. Today, I have a strong, relational ministering core-team, through whom we do in-house visits, counseling, helping people find suitable jobs, visit the sick and take them to hospitals when necessary, and who help us to administer financial help, and generally encourage and bless people wherever they go.”
- Ernest Albuquerque, Director, South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise)
South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise) needs your help. Please pray faithfully for this wonderful ministry.
The South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise) is headed by Ernest Anthony Albuquerque. He, along with two other workers and valuable, dedicated volunteers, serve their communities in many areas. Their ministry covers the slums (both lower-middle class and below the poverty line), hutments on reclaimed land, footpath dwellings, buildings for rehabilitated slums, brothels in red-light areas, and English-speaking, middle-class families, as well as HIV+ people. The communities are reached through door-to-door visits, personal contacts, and through friends and relatives of those they are in touch with. The work areas are mostly in Hindu and Muslim-dominated areas. Many of them are open to Christianity, while many openly object to the Valley of Praise’ s presence and to the people making their commitment to Christ. In hostile situations, the ministry’ s strategy is to work inconspicuously, without attracting unnecessary attention that will hinder their work.
The staff/volunteers believe in their cause to such a fantastic magnitude as to decline extra earning opportunities to sacrificially serve their community. Ernest and his wife Evelyn are very much involved in administration/accounts and counselling of women, and their son Elijah is actively involved in worship, playing the drums, guitar and keyboard.
Oakseed's ImpactOakseed has been an enormous help to South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise) over the years, providing regular quarterly funds that have greatly helped the needy. Oakseed funds have paid for:
~ Expenses in the ministry’ s annual camps.
~ Musical instruments, which are an attraction for the youth, giving them opportunities to come together to practice their skills.
~ Fellowship meals, which are meaningful times spent with each other during meetings for youth, families and children – whether on spiritual issues or life in general.
~ Also, we can help different poor people or families with rations and foodstuffs, medical and school/tuition fees, and other education expenses.
Oakseed’ s supporters have made their work possible!
God is working in amazing ways through the South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise). Now, with Oakseed’ s help, this ministry is growing and expanding. They plan to build and empower the communities of Mumbai family-by-family and person-by-person. Within the next five years, a strong emphasis will be to visit and serve in the unreached areas of South Mumbai. The challenge is to disciple a new group of youth and young people and ensure they hold on to the truth of the gospel so that, through Christ, their lives and the lives of those around them will be blessed.