The incessant cacophony of vehicle horns and engines. Human voices striving to be heard over the noise of the crowded streets. This is the unsettling accompaniment to the lives of the citizens of the 24th most populous city in the world, Bangalore, or Bengaluru, India.
Though this noisy background is life-as-usual for Bangalore’s 12.3 million residents, its effects on human life are considerable. Studies have reported exposure to high noise levels can result in higher risk for high blood pressure, myocardial infarction, strokes and depression.
“Audiologists and ENT specialists insist that Bengaluru’s increasing decibel levels are indeed a cause for worry,” says one writer for the Deacon Herald, in an article entitled Bengaluru’s Noise Levels are Deafening.
Some of the city’s streets have recorded decibels up to 105-110. Just 60-65 dB can put humans under stress and cause road rage and aggressive behavior.
“Chronic exposure to noise keeps ... stress response activated continuously. Eventually, it starts to wear the body down, causing mental and physical health problems,” says Brainfacts.org, a website dedicated to sharing and advancing brain research.
ITMI partners, David and Taru Kumar, who live and minister in Bangalore, noticed that the constant stimuli and interruption of the city’s streets was affecting the quality of their time alone with the Lord.
It’s not uncommon for David to face spiritual warfare in the form of physical illness, travel complications or opposition when he trains pastors in remote villages to share their faith with their Muslim friends and neighbors. Covering the ministry with prayer is one of the most important things he does.
The Kumars' Hindu and Muslim neighbors feel it, too. They’ve confirmed that a quiet, peaceful place is something they don’t have, but would value.
Last year, David and his wife, Taru, felt the Lord leading them to build a prayer room above their home. The peaceful room would be open to their neighbors and others they minister to, including families from the nearby Muslim slum.
David would have a small office on the same floor, where he himself could find the quiet he needs to listen to the Lord’s direction. He would be on-hand to pray with or for anyone who sought a quiet place to pray.
In an act of trust and obedience, David and Taru began construction using their own limited resources in 2019.
When ITMI Director, Steve Evers and ITMI Financial Officer, Mark Burritt, visited David and Taru in late 2019, the Kumars showed their guests the construction. They shared what the Lord had led them to do, and that they were waiting for God to provide for the room to be completed.
With the help of ITMI supporters, the prayer room was completed during the summer of 2020! On August 27th, 2020, the Kumars held a dedication service in the newly completed prayer room. They asked Steve to speak at the service, which he did remotely.
The service also included worship, Taru leading the group through a spiritually meaningful craft and of course, a time of prayer.
Steve shares Biblical encouragement remotely.
Taru led the group in a spiritually meaningful craft.
David and Taru host a prayer meeting every Friday morning in the new space.
Now, thanks to the vision and generosity of these ITMI supporters, there is a serene place where people in Bangalore can seek the Lord - even if they don’t yet know that’s what they’re doing!
Gupta et al. Community Noise Pollution in Urban India: Need for Public Health Action. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968587/
Naik, Priyan. Bengaluru’s noise levels are deafening. https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/perspective/bengaluru-s-noise-levels-are-689726.html
Sheik, Knvul. Noise Pollution Isn’t Just Annoying — It’s Bad for Your Health. https://www.brainfacts.org/thinking-sensing-and-behaving/diet-and-lifestyle/2018/noise-pollution-isnt-just-annoying-its-bad-for-your-health-062718
World Population Review. Bangalore, India. https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/bangalore-population
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