In January 2000, a volunteer team, organized and trained by India Partners, traveled to India to conduct dental/medical clinics and train the staff of indigenous partners. This was the first of many volunteer teams that India Partners has sent to work with its partner agencies. Volunteer teams have done a variety of activities, including constructing a playground at an orphanage, training indigenous staff and leaders, dental and medical clinics, reconstruction of huts after the tsunami and children’s activities.
2001- Partnering for Disaster Relief
In response to the massive earthquake in the state of Gujarat, India Partners began its relationship with the indigenous disaster relief agency EFICOR, based in New Delhi. Through this partnership, India Partners is able to send relief after any disaster that may occur in the country of India. India Partners has worked with EFICOR after such disasters as the 2005 earthquake in Jammu and Kashmir, the 2007 flooding in Bihar and the 2009 Andhra Pradesh floods.
2002 - India Partners Expands (Again)
India Partners’ collaborations grew further by teaming up with the Indian agencies India Abundant Ministries and Living Sacrifice Ministries, both located in Andhra Pradesh. India Abundant Ministries (IAM), headed by Pastor Isaac Benarjee, manages village development projects, disaster relief, water wells, child and widow sponsorships, and three tailoring school. Living Sacrifice Ministries (LSM) is headed by Pastor Eliezer Devasahayam and his wife, Prema Kumari. Its mission includes community development, literacy classes for children, a children’s home, child and widow sponsorship programs, disaster relief and a micro-lending program.
2004 – Tsunami Relief
After the December 2004 Asian tsunami, India Partners was most likely one of the first agencies to respond. Within one day, Orphans Faith Home was providing relief that India Partners had pledged to raise and send. OFH, which is located three kilometers from a major tourist beach that was hit by the tsunami, immediately began providing food, medicine, blankets, and trauma counseling to the hundreds of survivors on the beach. Because of prior cyclone disaster relief work with OFH, India Partners had a system in place to quickly respond and send aid after the tsunami. The media attention and extraordinary increase in grants and donations were unprecedented in India Partners' history.
2007 – Rescuing Trafficked Women and Children
India Partners began working with its newest collaborating agency, Sahaara Charitable Society (SCS), located in Maharashtra, and headed by Arthur Thangiah. SCS reaches out to trafficked women and their children residing in red-light districts. Activities include adult literacy, HIV/AIDS testing and education, medical clinics, pre-primary education, children’s homes, a safe house for women wanting to leave the trade and vocational training.
1990 – Self-Sufficient Fishery Built
Richard Ross, an MBA student at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA, wrote his thesis on how Orphans Faith Home could become more self-sufficient by building an inland fishery. The fishery would create jobs and provide children at the orphanage with a high-quality source of protein. Proceeds from the sale of fish in the local markets would bring much needed income to OFH. Land acquisition and startup costs totaled a sizeable $100,000. Preparations for the fishery continued for four years. In 1990 and 1992, Richard and Brent visited the site. Richard performed the fieldwork while Brent raised the funds needed, which included being approved for several grants. Over the course of several years, the funds were raised and the Krupa (“Grace”) Fishery was built. The first harvest and profits were netted in 1996. Krupa—the fishery that began as an M.B.A. thesis—provides jobs, food and income to the people of OFH. The services provided by OFH have expanded to serve others besides orphans. The Ashajothi (“Bright Hope”) Tailoring School provides job training to young women and widows. The Dhya (“Mercy”) Medical Clinic provides basic health care needs to those in the community.
1994 – “India Partners” is Incorporated
By 1994, the programs grew to where Marietta could no longer manage them as a volunteer. She was ready to retire as the coordinator of CLC India Mission. Brent offered to take leadership of the programs, and incorporated the work as a new 501(c) 3 non-profit, India Partners. The Preamble of the incorporation documents states, “Believing that true charity is motivated by love and joy, and that grassroots indigenous partnership is the best form of partnership….” Marietta, Richard Ross and Brent formed the initial board of directors. Brent became the President of the new Christian international non-profit.
1998 – India Partners Expands
India Partners began collaborating with the indigenous ministries Agape Rehabilitation Center and Reaching Hand Society. Agape Rehabilitation Center (ARC), located in Tamil Nadu, was founded in 1995 by Mr. & Mrs. Daniel and Avitha Victor. ARC provides job training, job placement and living skills for the physically disabled. Reaching Hand Society (RHS), located in the state of Orissa, was founded by Dr. Iris Paul, M.D. and her late husband, Dr. RAC Paul. RHS serves the remote hill tribes in their area through projects including water management, village health clinics, literacy training and a prison ministry.
1981 – Brent has a Dream
Spring of 1981, Brent Hample, a college sophomore and member of the same church as Marietta, had a vivid dream that involved a disaster and a meal with Jesus, a British gentleman, an angel, a friend, and himself. Brent knew that God was calling him to India, but did not know when or how that might happen.
1984 – Pastor Babu Visits the US
With funding from the Lions Club International, Pastor Babu took a trip to the United States, where he finally met Marietta and her husband, Ernie, for the first time. Pastor Babu spoke at several churches in Oregon, including Central Lutheran Church (CLC), where the O’Byrnes attended. The congregation was moved by Pastor Babu's dedication and passion, and a member of the congregation gave Pastor Babu a $1,000 check to further his work. Marietta suggested that Pastor Babu start a child sponsorship program. Pastor Babu was thrilled about the idea, and Marietta coordinated the program as a volunteer. The name of the project was CLC India Mission.
1985 – Children are Sponsored
Through the enthusiastic work of Marietta, the child sponsorship program grew. One of the first sponsors was Brent Hample, a member of CLC, who was still praying about traveling to India. Over time, more and more people became sponsors, both within and beyond Central Lutheran Church.
1986 – Brent’s Dream Goes Public
Over the previous five years, Brent, now a college senior, continued praying about how and why God wanted him to go to India. That spring, Brent shared his dream with the Pastor of CLC, Dick Trost. With Pastor Trost’s encouragement, Brent talked with the O’Byrnes about traveling to visit OFH. The O’Byrnes were very excited because they had been praying that someone from the church would go to visit OFH. And Brent was one of two people the O’Byrnes had thought of in prayer. CLC embraced Brent’s vision and supported his visit to OFH. Midsummer 1986, Pastor Babu and Brent began corresponding about Brent visiting OFH.
24 July 1986 Brother Brent Hample, Yes, my Brother, you can stay with us as you like?. We eat rice and curry. Vegetable curry we make, eggs curry we make, fish curry we make and mutton curry we make: but with curry, rice must be there. So, please start learning how to eat rice and curry. I have showed one time to Brother and Sister O’Byrne how to cook rice and curry, but they eat very little. Brother, can you eat spicy food? The Spirit of the Lord is impressing me to take you to all the working areas where we are ministering the Word of God. People will be looking to receive your loving hands upon them for prayers. Your Brother, Pastor G. Parishudha Babu
1987 – Brent Visits India
In January, Brent visited Pastor Babu at OFH for six weeks. He brought over gifts of medicines, a water filter and a used typewriter. While in India, Brent visited many Dalit villages. He told stories, prayed for the sick and took many photos of children waiting to be sponsored. Brent returned to the United States and spoke at more than forty churches, civic groups and schools on the West Coast. In his church's newsletter, he wrote, "I know now that the Lord has brought me back ... for several reasons: to share the miracles and stories and deeds of our Christian brothers and sisters in India; that our faith may be increased through theirs; that we may marvel at how Christ works his love in a country on the other side of the globe; that we may praise God for the love and faith we share with our Indian family; and that we may learn to love our neighbor as ourself in reality."
As Brent traveled and spoke, donations and child sponsorships increased. As more people supported the work in India, more projects were adopted. These projects included building a new orphanage, constructing several schools and providing disaster relief.
1972 - A Letter from India
Marietta O'Byrne received a letter in her Oregon mailbox from a sincere young pastor named Parishudha Babu Gadelli. She read the letter about Pastor Babu and his wife, Vijayasree, who had a heart for the many orphaned children in their town in Andhra Pradesh, India. They began taking these youngsters into their own hut as they could, one or two children per year. This was the beginning of Orphans Faith Home (OFH). Pastor Babu heard from friends in his area that Marietta supported charitable work in India, so he wrote her a letter introducing himself. When Marietta read Pastor Babu's letter, her heart was moved. This was the beginning of a decades-long friendship.