In the Summer of 2017 a team of 12 young people and leaders from Christ Church, Downend will aim to travel to India. The biannual youth mission trip is a highlight in the busy youth work calendar. The team will work predominantly with an amazing Christian orphanage called Haven Home in a town called Vizianagaram, but also with rural village projects in the Andhra Pradesh province.

The exciting 16 day visit will follow on from 12 months of intensive work building links between our young people and the children in the orphanage.  The team will be working along simg_6865ide our friends in the Haven Home. The orphanage was set up by an Indian Christian couple in response to a vision from God. It is funded purely through charitable donations, mainly from the UK. It has strong links with Downend due to one of its main fundraisers and advocates, Martyn Poole, living in Downend and establishing funding from local groups and organisations. Haven Home seeks to provide a home and schooling for poor and orphaned children from the surrounding rural mountain villages, where they receive a nutritious diet, medical care and schooling.  Their vision says, We are committed to feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, visiting those in prison, providing clean water and showing the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.”

In the mountainous areas surrounding Vizianagaram are many isolated rural communities of the poorest caste of people in India, known as Dalit. The children of Haven Home come from such villages. During the visit, as well as working in the orphanage, the team will travel into the mountains and spend time in some of these villages, providing its people with food and supplies and medical education.  In advance of our trip we aim to raise money to fund a much needed bore-well for one of these villages, and assist with its installation on site.  Getting accessible clean drinking water is still a problem in isolated communities in India.

Working in partnership is the vital and exciting component of the visit. It is hoped that by working together with Indian Christians, it will enable us to learn from each other. By striving towards common goals; living, eating, working and praying together, it will help cement lifelong friendships.