Pastor Sami, one of the host pastors on my trip to India last year, came to visit me today! He has been in the states for the past month raising support for the many ministries he oversees in Mamallapuram, a fishing and resort town on the Indian Ocean in southern India.
Pastor Sami is a true visionary. He has started five churches, installing pastors in four of them while he pastors the "mother church". One of the churches he has started and installed a pastor in is in a Sri Lankan refugee camp in Chennai, where over 3000 people live crowded together on a three acre parcel of land in the center of the city.
He has an orphanage which currently provides a home for 44 children. He hosts 45 regional pastors every month to encourage, pray for, and teach the Bible to. He always gives them a meal and provides bus fare for those who needed it to travel to the monthly meeting.
He has plans for a Bible school, and is in the middle of a building project for the mother church, having razed the original church building in the center of town. The church building is also his home, so he and his family are temporarily living at the orphanage while construction continues (although it has come to a halt as funding has become scarce).
Pastor Sami and his wife have adopted two of the girls from the orphanage (he is pictured above with one of the girls, Lilly). He not only preaches locally, but regularly travels over ten hours by train to minister in the northern part of India. Needless to say, Pastor Sami is a busy man with a passion for ministry.
You can read more about Pastor Sami and my trip to India by going to the February, 2007 Blog Archive to the right.