On Faith: Inspirational Indian Ministry Visits Newport Beach

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Cindy Christeson, faith, reaching out
On Faith columnist Cindy Christeson

“God is working mightily in India, but there is much to be done,” explained Colleen Redit director of Christian Missions Charitable Trust, “The needs are very great and the needs are everywhere; we really are just touching the fringe. But we are seeing lives saved, and lives changed.”

Colleen may feel that the efforts of her ministry are just touching the fringe of need, but those who’ve been touched have received a beautiful wardrobe of love, dignity, acceptance, and hope, in addition to medical help, vocational training and much more.

Colleen began Christian Missions Charitable Trust (CMCT) in India over 42 years ago.  “From the age of thirteen, living in New Zealand, I felt the call on my life from God to the poorest of the poor,” Colleen said. “I obeyed the call and went to India in 1964 with the motto ever before me, ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’”

Colleen studied the difficult Tamil Language and found ways to help meet the many needs of young girls in the city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras. What began with one girl has now developed into a large organization and 26 different ministries, including an orphanage with over 200 girls, two schools which educate over 1500 slum children, soup kitchens in numerous slums, care for lepers and AIDS patients, homebuilding for a fishing village destroyed by the tsunami, child sponsorship programs, as well as education, food, shelter, medical care and vocational training for countless numbers of the needy in the city of Chennai.

“My aim is, and has always been, to uplift the poor and to train them in an occupation which would give them a measure of independence and self-esteem,” Colleen said.

Colleen and twenty-nine year old Aaron Moses, Project Coordinator of CMCT’s AIDS project, visited Newport Beach near the end of their two-month trip to England, Spain, Canada, and the United States. After leaving Newport, they visited Singapore before heading home. Throughout their travels, they shared inspiring stories in homes, Bible studies and at churches. The purpose of their trip was to increase awareness of the desperate needs in India, to hear the wonderful ways God is working through their expanding ministry, to raise both financial and prayer support for CMCT, and to raise sponsors for the increasing number of children in need.

Aaron Moses and  Colleen Redit of Christian Missions Charitable Trust
Aaron Moses and Colleen Redit of Christian Missions Charitable Trust

“I continue to be amazed with what Colleen’s ministry does, and how far money that we donate here goes to save lives in India,” explained Teri Gundlach, who hosted the two for their week in Newport. “I’ve gone to India four times to help and it’s really unbelievable how CMCT shares God’s love with the poor. It’s actually humbling to be a part of; the needs and the poverty are so great. It’s been a privilege to host someone I respect so much.”

Aaron explained that India has the second largest population of AIDS infected people in the world.

“Eight thousand people around the world die every day from AIDs, and 6,000 of them are in India, because they don’t have proper health care and nutrition. No family members will accept you if you are infected; you are just sent out of the house. The women have no support and the suicide rate is very high. We started giving nourishment to women and children, and we train and employ those who are strong enough. This gives them a sense of security and self-esteem and helps them understand God’s love for them.”

CMCT’s newest ministry is the Street Children Project, which began nearly two years ago.

“There are many children who live on the streets; they just wander around with no parents, no guidance and no hope,” Aaron explained. “They sleep on the pavement and recycle plastic to get money to eat. We have a heart for them and have started a program for them. Now they are attending school and doing well and can get a meal every day.  There are thousands of street children all over the city, but we can only concentrate on one area.”

“Newborn babies are thrown in rubbish bins every day, or left on the side of the road,” Colleen added. “There is much to be done and much to pray about. There are lives to be saved. We are asking people to pray. God is at work, and as people come to know about Him and put their faith in Him, there is transformation in their lives. We are a total faith ministry; we rely on God. The Lord speaks to people and moves them to give, that’s how the ministry is supported.”

For further information, go to www.christianmissionsindia.org.

Cindy can be reached at [email protected].

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