Aarav (name has been changed) lost his father to HIV when he was two years old. His mother also contracted HIV, and Aarav and his brother feared they might also be infected. Aarav was angry at life and God.
Then Aarav came to ACT. Staff members at ACT encouraged Aarav and his brother to get tested for HIV. The negative test gave Aarav hope. He joined ACT’s Youth Leadership Training program and began to learn about things like truth, loyalty, and respect. Aarav credits ACT for changing his life. Today he is enrolled in an engineering program and wants to serve the Lord by helping people in need.
ACT serves the poor in Mumbai, India. Mumbai is the wealthiest and most prosperous city in India. But not all of Mumbai’s 18.4 million residents share in the city’s prosperity. Despite the booming economy, many of Mumbai’s residents still struggle with widespread poverty and unemployment. Many also lack access to basic healthcare and education. Drug abuse, prostitution, and corruption are endemic and impact every level of society. ACT is a light in this darkness.
- India has only 0.301 psychiatrists for every 100,000 people. Lack of access to mental health care means that many suffering from mental illness go untreated (Hindustan Times).
- A 2007 report by the Indian government found that 53 percent of Indian children had been sexually abused—one of the highest abuse rates in the world (International Business Times).
- Those living in poverty lack access to education, medical care, job training, and may feel they have little hope or opportunities to change their life.
- Churches want to help people and bring change but need training and resources to know how and where to begin.
- ACT partners with churches to teach them how to advocate for the poor. Training begins by examining issues such as justice, poverty sexuality, and finances from a biblical worldview. Once the training is completed, ACT partners with churches to address issues of advocacy, health, life-skills, and abuse in their communities.
- ACT empowers churches to care for those with mental illness, reducing the stigma of mental illness and increasing awareness and understanding.
- ACT also trains churches to accept and rehabilitate girls and women who are victims of abuse, helping them find spiritual, emotional, and physical healing.
- ACT’s key mission is to:
- Promote health
- Provide advocacy
- Counsel survivors of abuse
- Teach life skills to youth
- Network for social justice
ACT was formed in 1973 by a group of evangelical Christians who wanted to see the church directly involved in meeting the needs of the poor through social action. ACT became an Oakseed partner in 1995, and today ACT has 19 full-time staff members and 50 part-time staff who serve the area of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and the Thane District.
Oakseed provides prayer support, has helped provide materials for youth vocational and life-skill training, and supports ACT’s staff by providing funding for staff retreats and spiritual care.
- Pray for laborers to grow the ministry and help ACT respond to the many requests for help the ministry receives.
- Pray for the development of a new generation of younger leaders for the ministry.
- Pray for favor in the eyes of the government, as new legislation has put strict protocols in place for non-profits and how they spend and receive money. Pray that the staff and churches will be able to work in freedom.