17 February 2018

Drop Inn Ministries…

Drop Inn Ministries is a Registered Christian Charity that seeks to bring Hope, Help and Healing to a hurting world through the provision of Humanitarian Aid. Based in Northern Ireland and funded from a chain of Charity Shops throughout Ireland it works alongside Churches and Pastors in Africa, Eastern & Central Europe, India, Cambodia, Venezuela, Brazil and Haiti. Altogether we provide support in 18 different countries around the world.

Drop Inn Ministries was founded 17 years ago by Richhill couple Ronnie and Carolyn Dawson who were concerned about young people in the area getting involved in underage drinking. What began as a drop-in centre for young people in Richhill has grown to include the Christian, humanitarian work overseas – as Ronnie says, “There’s no use telling someone that God loves them if they need a pair of shoes.” However, the ministry still involves youth work at home, with centres in Richhill and Craigavon.

It was from those beginnings that the Ministry took its name. ‘Drop Inn’ is spelt deliberately this way as it is taken from the story of the Good Samaritan where, “he…. took him (the injured man) to an inn and took care of him.” Luke 10:34. This sums up the ethos of Drop Inn very succinctly – it is a ministry concerned with taking care of others.

Our Current Project: Sunny’s School Project – Rayagada, Orissa, India

We have been working alongside Sunny and his wife Kuni since 2007 in what we believe is work that will bear great consequences for the future of Rayagada, Orissa and perhaps even India itself. We believe this because the main emphasis of this young couple’s ministry is to nurture children in a loving Christian environment.

Working in the town of Rayagada in the State of Orissa, Northern India, Sunny and Kuni run a Primary School/Orphanage for boys and girls from the poorest families in Rayagada. At the time of writing, seventy-five boys and girls are resident at the school and will remain with Sunny and Kuni for at least seven years. They have committed themselves to literally bringing these children up as their own family, teaching them a good and varied curriculum and organising daily devotions and prayer times around the Word of God. Their desire is to see these young people become children of God, growing to spiritual maturity, being able then to integrate back into their families and communities to bring Godly influence upon them. Twenty four hours a day, all year round, with the help of only a few others, Sunny and Kuni love and care for these children because they responded to a call God gave them and which Drop Inn Ministries sees as being very much part of and at the heart of its vision and ethos.

The children live, eat, sleep, play and learn in and around the present building which is set in the back streets of the busy and populous town. They do so in cramped and meagre surroundings. There is no furniture, no beds to sleep on, and no tables to eat from or to study upon. No chairs to sit on or wardrobes to hang clothes in, not that they would need much space for that, as even clothing is but one uniform and one change of ordinary clothes, indeed their entire earthly possessions are kept in one small container placed around the walls of the classrooms/bedrooms. The school has a very small kitchen in which three cooks prepare three meals a day and there are only TWO toilets available to be used by everyone!

How we do Ministry with Sunny and Kuni in India!

Drop Inn Ministries supports Sunny and Kuni by providing a monthly income to maintain the running of the school. Although they labour in very austere surroundings, Sunny, Kuni and the team have managed to raise the children thus far and the standard of achievement and the joy that can be seen upon their faces is utterly amazing and we are proud to be partners with this couple. However, they have now come to a point where circumstances beyond their control demand the need for a complete relocation of premises and people. The driving force is persecution.

The Problem they face in India!

The State of Orissa has been in the world news for all the wrong reasons. These were some of the headlines just two years ago….

“In September 2008 thousands of believers in Orissa were attacked, some killed, and their homes and churches were destroyed. Many are still homeless and some are even living in the forests or relief camps.”

“Three more believers were martyred and twelve others were severely wounded in a fresh

“Two of the anti-Christian extremist groups responsible for the violence against Christians in Orissa, India, are demanding that the state government ban Christian witnessing..”

The wave of persecution that broke out in 2008 saw many Christians killed or injured, their homes burnt down and churches and other property attacked. The attacks came mainly from extreme Hindus who object strongly to the proselytising of Hindus to Christianity! The persecution broke out in Orissa because huge numbers of the Tribal people, (the lowest caste), were converting to Christianity and being accepted into Churches along with people from higher castes. Hindus found this intolerable, especially when the converts began using words like emancipation! Echoing the days of Wilberforce and Newton, Christianity was bringing freedom to a people held captive to a religious and cultural belief that was prepared to leave them in their poverty and squalor! It is to these very people that Sunny reaches with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is seeing many converting. It is from these people that Kuni receives the children she educates and provides a home for.

Drop Inn Ministries has been supporting Sunny and his wife Kuni since 2007 and therefore have been there for them during this dangerous time. They have experienced first-hand the effects of the persecution. Following numerous attacks on Christians in their town, local police mounted security protection around their home and the school. Two years on, there is still tension and fear and many of the Christians who fled from their homes have still not returned.

Although the violence has more or less ceased and persecution is no longer overtly seen, it is still very much part of the Christians experience and this young couple perhaps has felt it more than others recently.

The school is in a built up area surrounded by homes, which are predominantly Hindu. The school faces constant and continuing complaints from their neighbours about the ‘Christian songs’ the children sing. So they sing inside the school quietly and are forbidden to sing when in the garden. Local Hindu men gather daily outside the wall drinking, throwing their empty bottles and hurling abuse over the wall at the children.

Because of continuing threats, animosity from many in the town but now specifically because the landlord of the building, a Hindu, no longer wants his premises to be used as a Christian School and has informed Sunny & Kuni that their lease WILL NOT be renewed in May 2012, they must find somewhere urgently to relocate the School.

What Sunny and Kuni propose.

In order to allow the children to live and learn in a place that is safe and free from fear or interference they want to buy their own site outside the town and build a purpose built school/home. They plan to build it in such a way as to enable them to look after at least 100 boys and girls. Even though they have endured much from their neighbours in Rayagada they still believe it is God’s will that they remain and look after these children. They believe that if they persevere, change can and will be seen, not only in the children under their care but in the wider community. They have a Vision that sees the land being used eventually to build, not just a school and separate dormitories, but a Bible Seminary too, where they can teach young men and women to go and make disciples of their own people in the towns and in the Tribes of Orissa. They see a time when all the persecution will be done away with and that the wretched ‘caste system’ is demolished for good. They see God’s Kingdom flourishing and people praising Jesus alone.

The cost of land in Orissa is quite high, whilst the cost of the actual building is quite reasonable! They need £57,000 in total to make this possible…£27,000 is needed to purchase the land and the remaining £30,000 to complete the building itself.

We know it is a big task but we serve a mighty God, who is able and we believe that He will help us meet the target.

Today, Drop Inn Ministries continues to provide support in Eastern and Central Europe in Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Albania and Prednestrovie. Much of the work undertaken in these countries is with families, widows and orphans. We give help to feeding programs, orphanages and rehabilitation units and to a Children’s Hospital in Minsk. Every year, just before Christmas we send out Shoeboxes to be distributed to needy children and adults.

We are working also in Africa.

In Rwanda, with Jean Gakwandi, we are involved in Aids Clinics, the second of which was just opened in the summer of 2011 and was the subject of an Ulster Television documentary. We are supporting orphans and widows still suffering from the awful genocide that ripped Rwanda apart in 1994. We are building schools in Zambia and have just recently sent a team out to Kenya where Paul Mwangi heads up Drop Inn Ministries. He already organises a feeding program in Nairobi, it’s Capital, but as soon as our people arrived out there he headed to the refugee camps where thousands are dying every day from starvation because of the present drought situation. We have received encouraging reports back from Paul who took the money raised by Drop Inn to the famine area and thousands of people now have food.

Nigel Burrows, a native of Dungannon, heads up Drop Inn Ministries, Venezuela where he helps the ‘Street Children’ and the poorest families in Barquisimeto, not far from the Country’s Capital. In South America we also work alongside another Irishman, Martin helping the people in Manaus in the Amazonas region of Brazil.

Drop Inn Ministries is presently working in India with John Daniel Rebba in Repalle, a Coastal area in the South East of India. We got involved in Repalle in 2005 after the Tsunami that struck the area on December 26 2004. We have just returned from a visit where we toured a Fishing Village destroyed in 2004 but with the help of funding from Drop Inn Ministries is now rebuilt, this time with concrete dwellings that will be able to withstand all weather conditions. John Daniel’s Ministry goes further than just responding to disaster but to longer term projects supporting widows and particularly orphans.

It is into these Countries and our other projects that Drop Inn Ministries is really ‘Making a Difference’ in the lives of thousands of children, widows and families and it is just a part of the work that Drop Inn Ministries does and continues to do. Through the income, mainly, of our Charity Shops and the generosity of people, even in times of financial hardship we have been able to Bring Hope, Help and Healing, practical and spiritual aid, to people who are in such desperate need right across the world, people who depend on our Ministry, for the Humanitarian Aid is not an end in itself but a means to an end. Yes we make a huge material and physical difference to people’s lives and want to be able to carry on doing so, BUT it is the great Hope that we have found in Jesus Christ that we most want to share with all the peoples of the World. It is that Hope that really makes an eternal difference and transforms situations dramatically. In often hopeless situations we have seen amazing testimonies of people not just fed or clothed but finding, for the very first time, HOPE and the difference can be seen on their faces.

The work of Drop Inn Ministries continues to grow. Every year we are being asked to consider new projects in new countries. For example, our Director, Ronnie Dawson visited China in November this year, as it seems the Lord is opening doors for us to work with the House Church Movement there. These are exciting times!