We are thankful and excited to welcome as a DNA affiliate organization HIMserve, a 12-year-old Christian organization in India mobilizing local churches for effective, transformational ministry.
HIMserve’s vision and mission are aligned closely with those of the DNA, placing emphasis on local churches as God’s main agents in social and cultural transformation:
To see communities being transformed by the committed efforts of men and women who themselves have been transformed by the Holy Spirit and challenged to see the church be salt and light within its area of influence.
HIMserve’s role in realising this vision is to help the church to broaden its ministry, from being one of purely meeting the spiritual needs of the community, to also addressing its physical, social and economic needs. Hence we endeavour to envision, empower and develop the capacity of motivated and committed men and women, to present and demonstrate the gospel through example, word and deed. We want to see these men and women become agents of change in their respective communities among the Nepali speaking people groups in North Bengal.
This is not an easy task.
“It was like hitting a wall when trying to motivate believers to share the gospel not only in words but also in deeds. But we strongly believe that this is the need of the hour and the mandate of scripture.” –Puran Rai, HIMserve executive director
Similar to the DNA, HIMserve takes a decentralized approach: Rather than running its own projects, it trains and equips local churches from all denominations to be salt and light in their areas of influence.
Adapting DNA materials for local use
HIMserve staff have been using DNA materials since attending a DNA Vision Conference in 2003-2004. Using DNA materials translated by volunteers into Nepali, they created a “Holistic Mission Curriculum” divided into two parts: a basic lesson and an advanced lesson. This training is the start of HIMserve’s long-term relationship with a local church.
After learning about wholistic ministry, church leaders build various groups based on service opportunities in the community, inviting other community members to participate. HIMserve trains these groups on leadership, community development and resource discovery. The community is analyzed, and a participatory plan of action is carried out, ensuring each group and each individual can personally contribute to the process of improving the community. HIMserve also trains people in relevant skills like:
- Leadership development
- Forming and running community-based groups
- Preventive health and healthy living
- Work among children and adolescents
- Adult literacy
- Agriculture and animal husbandry
As DNA materials have been foundational to HIMserve’s ministry in the past, so this closer affiliation is expected to produce more fruit for God’s kingdom. HIMserve expects to make use of DNA’s new resources as they are released, also sharing with the global DNA its best practices after more than a decade of ministry.