26 Canadian Mennonite August 17, 2009
Story and Photo
by Evelyn Re mpel Petk au
T he story is told of two men walking
along a beach dotted with stranded
starfish. One of the men frequently stops
to pick up a starfish and toss it back into The ministry of Das and Doris Maddimadugu of India is supported by Larry and
the ocean. “What difference will that make Jessie Kehler (behind) of Charleswood Mennonite Church, Winnipeg.
when there are so many?” asks the other
man. “It makes a difference to the one that my people are like that today. Doris and I sharing, Bible study and prayer. Twice a
is saved,” was the response. felt we must go back to the people I came year he provides theological seminars for
Th a t i s t h e w ay D a s a n d D o r i s from. I felt a calling to release these chil- them. “This shows the many Hindus and
Maddimadugu of India view their work dren, to educate them and to teach them Muslims that, as Christians, we are one.”
in the second-most-populous country in about Christ.” After the devastating tsunami in 2004,
the world. Since 1991 the Maddimadugus Although the government has tried they visited the destroyed communities
have been trying to live out the biblical in- to abolish the caste system and bonded about 300 kilometres away. They con-
junction of healing the sick, feeding the labour practices, they still exist, explained structed 20 new homes, repaired boats and
hungry and clothing the naked as they of- the Maddimadugus, “because the land- provided new nets for the fishermen. “We
fer a growing number of ministries in their lords need cheap labour. The landlords were asked to build a church there. That
impoverished rural community about 100 want profit and do not provide health care church was dedicated in April this year,”
kilometres from Hyderabad. or proper food. The change is slow and has said Das.
“Thirty years ago I stood here in fear and to come from within the communities.” “Many Christians still suffer,” he said.
trembling when I was a second-year stu- In 1991 Das and Doris established the “In some areas, violence against Christian
dent at Canadian Mennonite Bible College,” Matilda Educational Society. It has grown activity has escalated. Radical Hindus have
Das recently told a group of people gath- to include a high school for 800 students, asked us to shut down the school at times.