India isn't just an overpopulated, under-resourced Asian country anymore.
It's the world's largest democracy, with the world's second largest population with over 1.4 billion people.
India has the second largest middle class of any nation.
It's an extreme dichotomy... the collision of two worlds —
Why? Wealth and affluence abound... India is home to more wealthy people than anywhere in the world.
Yet, what things also coexist? Tremendous hardship and despair... with more poor people living in desolate poverty than any other country on earth at the same time.
It makes more movies than Hollywood. According to Variety International Film Guide, Asianfilms.org and Reuters, the USA produces about 500 films a year, while "Bollywood" in India makes about 1,000 each year.
India has tropical rainforests and lush tea plantations... a rugged desert and a beautiful seaside resort region. It has pristine Himalayan mountains and one crowded city so destitute — it's actually been called a black hole.
It has one of the largest Muslim populations of any nation in the world... and the largest Hindu population, along with several thousand Jewish people as well.
India holds a prominent place in the world today and has much to offer. Until the very recent past, India's history of ethnic and religious tolerance was nearly flawless.
That's not to say that crushing poverty doesn't still loom like a black cloud over a huge segment of the population.
Of India's 1.4 billion people, a whopping 456 million live below the poverty line: on $1.25 or less per day. That's almost one-third of the entire country's population.
The lack of education for the poor ensures the next generation will also grow up in ignorance and desolation.
A rigid caste system (now outlawed but often still practiced) debilitated millions who are taught they can never rise above their station, never atone for their past bad "karma" and never be prosperous or free...
The physical, emotional, and material needs are immense.
The spiritual need is equally devastating.
But, thankfully there is hope for those who seek it.
Today's Indian leaders are now encouraging the poorest of the poor to:
grasp the civil rights available to them
shrug off the caste system that has held them down
and look for hope in different faiths
The Dalits are those formerly known as the "untouchables" in India. They've been oppressed and exploited for centuries by higher castes. We have the opportunity to meet their greatest needs!
launch churches as community centers to transform the whole person and establish the community with a permanent destination of hope, interaction, support and aid,
provide job training, self-help, medical and dental clinics. Such critical, compassionate work is integral to the process of engaging, establishing and elevating every single village and villager. It can't be overstated how important it is to provide desperately-needed humanitarian aid to those who live in impoverished circumstances. Dayspring is privileged to be part of such ongoing work.
The tremendous material and spiritual needs are being met by believers who extend the compassionate hands of Christ, transforming every village through the power of His love. We welcome, we need, your partnership in this great effort.