When we left Back2Back in Hyderabad, we didn’t know how any experience would compare to that one, but when the entire Kachhap family met us at the airport in Jharkhand State with huge flower arrangements in hand, we realized we were in for another great Indian adventure.
It’s quite apparent to us now, having spent close to a month in India in two completely different areas, that Indians are extremely welcoming. Everywhere we go, there is always a swagath grand, which, if you remember, was the name of our hotel in Hyderabad (South India), but it wasn’t until here in Jharkhand State (East India) that we came to find out that it meant “grand welcome.”
Our second mission was serving with the Kachhap family — Christian missionaries and Indian natives. Their entire family is involved in ministry, stemming from the patriarch of the family, Reverend Sunil Kachhap, pastor and founder of their family’s Indian nonprofit Springs of Living Water. Reverend Sunil and his sweet wife, Mary, have three children, two of which we had the pleasure of meeting. The one we spent the most time with, is their son Anmol, who speaks great English and is the voice in the video we filmed and produced. While we were here, Anmol’s Nepalese wife, Sarah, who was eight months pregnant at the time, went into labor and had a beautiful baby girl! We went to the hospital and got to hold the seven-pound miracle of life who still goes unnamed — they were certain she was going to be a boy! The entire Kachhap family, from the pastor-dad to his children’s children are all committed followers to Jesus Christ and have dedicated their lives to ministry in India. Their work is far-reaching and a wonderful testimony.
We are proud to share their story, and as always, we hope to come back to see them again.
With no exaggeration, we’ve probably accumulated 20 flower arrangements, bouquets and orange marigold leis from our 10-day stay in Jharkhand. Everywhere we went there was a big presentation to welcome us.
We visited several churches, from the big pink church of Reverend Sunil’s to tribal villages where the Christian church meets in a hut house. Every church visit, regardless of whether or not it was a Sunday, began with the entire congregation assembling to welcome us. They would be waiting outside for us to arrive and would greet us by lining up so that we had to walk through them while they sang their tribal worship songs, clapping and playing drums and tambourines. Even though we didn’t know the words, we we soon came to love them and would hum the melodies nearly every night in our hotel room. Their voices were beautiful. Their songs were moving. Their steadfast faith was encouraging.
As we walked through the singing and smiling crowd, they would dip leaves in water and flick it on us. Once in the church, the congregation sat on the floor, and we were seated in the only chairs at the front of the room, sometimes on a stage facing everyone. Church members would present us with fresh flower bouquets or marigold garlands and then get on their knees to wash our feet. They always wanted us to say a few words, which Anmol would translate, and then they would bring forward the sick so that we could lay our hands on them and pray for healing. Leaving was a two-hour ordeal, beginning with coffee and cookies.
We were always so amazed at how the tribal churches in remote locations wanted us to share words of encouragement, but we got so much more from them than we could have ever offered. Their faith was humble and unwavering even despite real persecution in their villages. We have never experienced anything like what they are experiencing, and because of that, God is moving in a much bigger way there. Miracles are performed — healing is common. And no matter what, these Christians rejoice both in sickness and health, life and death, good and bad.
Springs of Living Water started all of these tribal churches and they continue to support them. In all, they have 13 Christian churches in the state. Some have church buildings built by Springs of Living Water and the others are praying for one. They also provide monthly support meetings for the pastors to encourage their ministries, weekly community “cell” groups where the church members study the Bible, an annual women’s conference, and other social programs. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Anmol is a regional director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in India and he is in charge of an FCA soccer team of young men. Rev. Sunil cares for 20 orphan boys and Anmol cares for 24 orphan girls in addition to their own families. Child Development Center (CDC) is another branch of its ministry, which reaches 300 kids in an afterschool tutor program and provides them with a healthy meal. Needless to say, this family is busy! They truly are dedicated to their people and country, but above all, to God.
If you are touched by this family’s ministry, the best way to support them financially is by donating through their FCA account, since their nonprofit organization is registered in India and the government is extremely skeptical of any money coming in for any Christian organizations. The FCA account goes straight to Springs of Living Water though, not just their sports ministry aspect. Any monetary donations would support everything mentioned above and can be written off since FCA is a registered 501(c)3.
If you want to support this ministry by prayer, next time you dip your French fries in that red sauce, send prayers to the “Ketchup” family!
We’re enjoying an extra night of rest in India before we depart for Nepal. Unfortunately there was a crash on the runway in Kathmandu, and even though it was three days ago, the one runway is still not cleared of wreckage. Thankfully, no one was harmed on the plane, but we are unable to leave today since the entire Kathmandu airport is shut down. We’ll try again tomorrow and will be back to India soon enough for another project. It’ll be nice to enjoy one more rooftop terrace breakfast tomorrow morning.