Although 3000 years old, the caste system in India is still in existence today but in milder forms. The four primary castes are Brahmin, the priests; Kshatriya, warriors and nobility; Vaisya, farmers, traders and artisans; and Shudra, tenant farmers, and servants. Some people were born outside of (and below) the caste system. They are called “untouchables” or Dalits—”the oppressed, downtrodden, crushed ones.”
Like lepers in the Old Testament, the life of a Dalit was and in parts of India still is, very difficult to say the least. In the past a Dalit was considered unclean and was not permitted to eat with those of the upper classes. Touching one of the upper classes was the same as making them unclean too. Dalits were not allowed to draw water from the same well as the upper classes. In fact, if the shadow of a Dalit happened to fall on one of the upper classes, they would be considered unclean like the Dalit and had to wash as soon as possible. Consequently, when one of the upper classes approached a Dalit, the Dalit had to lower him or herself to the ground to prevent their shadow from falling on the other. In some areas of India such cultural extremes still exist. For a long time, I have had a burden on my heart for people of the lower caste system of India, the Dalits.
Recently I received a “friend request” on Facebook from evangelist, Sikala Cornelius, in India. I confirmed the request and we began to communicate. I was surprised to learn that he ministered solely to the Dalits and in fact, is a Dalit himself. He made it very clear that he is a Dalit and is proud of the fact. Then he sent photos of his ministry. I was awestruck by the work this man is doing. He has 8 small churches and an orphanage of 37 children with a staff of 5. He was being supported by a man in Canada with $500 per month but then the man passed away and the support stopped. Pastor Cornelius is now struggling to feed the orphans and even his own family.
My heart goes out for this man of God. But he doesn’t complain about his situation. Instead, he leads the people in prayer about it. He told me they had all been crying out to the Lord for support of some kind so they could continue with the orphanage and his ministry.
In addition to serving 8 churches and maintaining an orphanage, Pastor Cornelius and his wife, Therisa, also assist a leper colony when they are able to do so. The photos of the leprosy colony were taken in 2016 when Cornelius and his wife gave blankets to them.
Dear friend, we have committed to send this man and his wife at least $100 per month and would like to send much, much more. Can you possibly see any way at all that you could give a little each month in support of them? If so, please go to our “Support Us” page and click on the India Donation button for Paypal. If you don’t have a Paypal account, you can also click on the green “Give” button and designate it is for India. Or, checks can be mailed to us directly at: Covenant Messenger Ministries, 200 East Grant Ave., Shenandoah, IA 51601 and God bless you for doing so.
Now, below are photos sent to us by Pastor Cornelius.
Below are children of the Dalit. They are fed physically and spiritually by Rev. Cornelius
BELOW ARE PHOTOS OF A LEPROSY COLONY NOT FAR FROM REV. CORNELIUS’S HOME. THE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN IN 2016 WHEN REV. CORNELIUS WAS ABLE TO GIVE THESE POOR PEOPLE BLANKETS. AT THE PRESENT TIME THEY ARE IN MUCH NEED OF FOOD AND CLOTHING.
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Thank you for your consideration. If you cannot give financially, please support us by prayer.
Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. 2 The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. 3 The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed. Psalm 41:1-3