Mumbai is India’s largest and most Westernized city, but it is also home to many who live in extreme poverty. Crime, prostitution, and drugs are prevalent. Many of Mumbai’s residents live in hovels and slums.
In this challenging environment, South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise) is drawing the people of Mumbai to offer praise to God. The South Mumbai Centre operates three ministry centers in Mumbai’s slums and red-light districts, offering hope to the poor, middle class, and those living with HIV/AIDS. Through education, social support, and spiritual care, South Mumbai Centre sees lives transformed by God’s saving power.
- Mumbai is a prosperous city, but 20 percent of the city’s population is below the poverty line, and 60 percent of Mumbai’s residents live in the slums.
- Prostitution, crime, and drugs are pervasive problems in the city.
- Communal disease is spreading, and the price of everyday goods is rising. Many families cannot afford to educate their children.
- South Mumbai Project meets educational needs by helping pay tuition, providing school supplies, distributing educational books, and offering career counseling to students who are exploring future options.
- The ministry also offers social support such as organizing family and youth camps, providing personal and family counseling, assisting with food and medical expenses, and providing opportunities for children to explore music and sports.
- Bible study, church services, spiritual retreats, worship training, and Bible and literature distribution help the ministry share the gospel. Their goal is to bring people to the saving knowledge of Jesus so they may live lives transformed by Christ’s power.
- The ministry works mainly in Hindu and Muslim dominated areas. While many embrace the gospel and are eager to hear about Jesus, others object to Valley of Praise’s presence and the people who are committing themselves to Christ. Valley of Praise seeks to serve quietly, without drawing undue attention that may hinder their work.
Ivan Raskino began what is now known as South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise) in 1987. Ernest Anthony Alberquerque joined the ministry as a translator in 1986. Today, Ernest leads the ministry along with two other workers and a core team of passionate volunteers. South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise) reaches communities through door-to-door visits, personal contacts, and networks of friends and family.
Valley of Praise became an Oakseed partner in 1996. Oakseed helps provide funds for annual camps, fellowship meals, musical instruments, food, medical expenses, scholarships, and intergenerational outings. Together, Oakseed and South Mumbai Centre (Valley of Praise) are seeing lives transformed by the power of the gospel.
- Pray for volunteers and staff as they serve in areas where many are resistant to the gospel. Pray for people to be receptive to learning about Jesus.
- Thank God for the core team of volunteers who have sacrificed so much to carry out the work of the ministry. Pray that God will continue to raise up those who are willing to participate in this vital ministry.
- Pray for freedom for those who caught in the bonds of addiction, poverty, and human trafficking.
- Pray for the ministry as they seek to expand their work into unreached areas of South Mumbai.