To see lives and communities transformed through encounter with Jesus Christ.
To make Jesus Christ known through holistic ministry, in partnership with the global church, amongst the neediest peoples of Asia and the Arab World.
The story of Interserve
In 1820 it was estimated that out of a population of 40 million women in India, only 400 could read and write. That’s just one woman in every 100,000.
For many of these women life was spent shut away from the world in a secluded woman’s quarters, called “Zenanas”. Marriage at just 13 or 14 was not uncommon for them, neither was her husband’s death. This left her two choices. To die with him by horrifically throwing herself onto his funeral pyre or choosing a life of seclusion in the Zenana, hidden from the world.
In 1852, responding to a plea by Mrs Mackenzie, an English merchant Lady Mary Jane Kinnaird founded the Calcutta Normal School in the United Kingdom. It’s task: to train Indian Christian women to go into the Zenana to teach those there to read and write. She had written that “If we can give the women of India the power to read, and the Book to read, God will bless His Word.”
By 1950,100 years after its initial founding, the British mission accepted its first male missionary. Shortly after, in 1957, the name was changed to the Bible & Medical Mission Fellowship (BMMF), auxiliary committees were formed across the Commonwealth, and the international fellowship emerged.
In 1976 it became known as Interserve and has continued to send those with hearts like Mrs MacKenzie to serve where there is a need – from doctors and nurses, to teachers, and those with technical and practical skills.
To find out more about this story and others, go to www.interserve.org
For more information about Interserve contact Janet Deane (241 145)