South Asia is one of IFES' most diverse regions. It encompasses war-torn nations, a Buddhist kingdom, a closed dictator-led state, and nations gripped by Islam and Hinduism. Already struggling with much extreme poverty, the region's suffering is often exacerbated by natural disasters.
Student ministry in South Asia
- 5 IFES-affiliated movements
- 1 unaffiliated movement
- 4 countries remain to be pioneered
- largest movement: UESI India, over 30,000 students
Most movements in the region are well established and have a rich history of discipleship and training. At the start of 2012, in response to the need to improve leadership structures, board training events were held. These were well attended and appreciated by every established movement.
Graduate fellowships are a significant strength of most national movements, but graduates are facing challenges such as work pressures and the tendency to go abroad for better careers. Current students face demanding workloads and struggle to make time for activities, camps and bible studies.
Thanks to the developed graduate support, the movements in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are able to raise the majority of their funds locally.
View from the inside
KP Devkota was Regional Secretary for South Asia from 2009 - 2015. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack on 3 June 2015 in Kathmandu. KP had a particular passion for pioneering student ministry in difficult contexts. ‘God has put in me a deep burden to activate the pioneering work in South Asia. A good number of contacts in four countries have been made.’
A special passage of scripture for KP was Isaiah 54:2-3: ‘Enlarge the place of your tent … For you shall expand to the right and to the left…’
- for an opening up of those countries currently closed to the gospel;
- for renewed vision for board members and staff across the region;
- for students facing persecution: that their godly lives may draw people to ask them about their faith, and for wisdom about how and when to share the good news with those around them.