Impoverished and forced out, this group of people have set up an informal settlement next to a dump, where no one else wants to be.
Many of the men squander their meager income, leaving their wives and children with little to nothing.
It's not uncommon for the little that is left - if there is any - to be split between a husband's multiple households that are home to children numbering the double digits.
School is not provided for these children, so their future is not likely to include anything brighter.
Most of the women are forbidden by their husbands to obtain work outside the slum, and there's little industry within it.
One "street" in David and Taru's Muslim slum.
For women and children, life in the Modi Road slum is unspeakably oppressive.
Considered property, many are forbidden to leave the slum or sometimes even their tiny, drab homes. A low percentage of the men see providing for their families as their responsibility. The women have no resources or influence and the children are often hungry.
David and Taru have been ministering in this context for years. They have loved the community so well, that they are welcomed and respected in this "closed" community.
Though their ministry facility is small, Deepam Center is a beacon of hope for many.
Sewing Ministry for Women
Taru and other Christian women provide machines and teach the women of the slum to sew. This allows them to earn income without leaving the slum. This makes all the difference for their family's well-being.
Muslim women learning to sew.
ITMI's Steve Evers and David share the story of the potter and the clay with the women after they've done their sewing.
They come to earn income making crafts, but they LOVE the rare opportunity to connect with other women in a way that is acceptable to their husbands.
Deepam Education Center
David and Taru operate a small primary school that prepares children of the slum for future schooling.
They are taught how to hold a pencil, recognize a letter and count. Just participating in organized activities is immensely beneficial. Their parents are thrilled to see how they learn and grow.
Without these experiences, many would begin elementary school having never held a pencil. Thanks to Deepam Education Center, they won't start school so far behind.
The children have been known to suggest their family pray before a meal, since they were taught to do so at school.
Taru provides activities for the youth, such as crafts and stories. They are often demonstrations of the Gospel, helping the children learn a truth about God.
Taru with two young girls, proudly displaying their crafts.
Taru demonstrates the love of Christ to the young children of the slum through VBS.
Many are scared and unprepared for how to talk to their Muslim neighbors and community members.
David has a passion to equip Indian Christians for this. He travels to rural villages and equips pastors there to reach Muslims with the Good News.
David and Taru both grew up in orphanages in India.
Taru doesn’t know why her family left her where she grew up when she was a baby.
David’s father worked at the orphanage where he was raised, but was so poor that the orphans were better off than his own children, so they were raised with the orphans.
David and Taru had been living across the dumping ground from a Muslim slum in Bangalore, India for some time.
They had been in a employee-like role with another ministry organization for quite a few years. But around 2015, when the organization wanted to relocate them to Northern India so David could manage something they were doing, David and Taru risked everything and said they couldn’t go.
They knew God had called them to demonstrate and declare the Good News in that Bangalore slum.
- Demonstrate the love of Christ to as many people from the Muslim slum as possible.
- Declare and demonstrate the Good News in a marginalized area.
- Transportation for the children who complete their school to a school outside the slum that will take them.
- Support for David and Taru.
- Prayer warriors lifting up David, Taru, their helpers and those they minister to.
The Unusual Bus Ride that Changed Someone’s Life featuring Mark Burritt and Steve Evers (Podcast Episode)
In this episode, ITMI’s Mark Burritt and Steve Evers tell the story of Taru’s unusual bus ride. Our partner, Tara, was riding the bus to the slum where she ministers when she noticed a young woman looking at her strangely, and Steve reveals why. Plus, Steve and Mark reflect on their visit to the slum where David and Taru minister, and Steve reveals will never get to visit David’s ministry in remote villages.
In this episode, ITMI’s Mark Burritt and Steve Evers share about their last visit with our partners in India. Mark shares what he noticed as a first time visitor to India, and Steve shares something most people don’t know.
Divyashree’s dark eyes were turned slightly upward toward the middle-aged man who sat facing her. They were missing the sparkle you’d expect for her tender age…
For most of the women living in the Modi Road area of Bangalore, India, a slum many call “Little Pakistan” because its population is 95% Muslim, life is a struggle to put food on the table. The women and children are, in a way, trapped. As women, they aren’t permitted to leave the slum to work. So they are forced to depend on their husbands.
“Lord, I know you are telling us to share you with the people in my village. But they are Muslims. I don’t know how to talk to them. We want to obey, please help us!” This was the prayer of a small, simple village church in rural India. They knew the Lord was telling them to share the Good News with their friends and neighbors. They really wanted to obey. But they were overwhelmed and afraid.