» Evolution of Interserve India:
Interserve ministry in India spans more than 150 years. The ministry has gone through several phases of transitions leaving behind a rich heritage for the future generations to emulate. The genesis of this great legacy was unveiled in the significant event on March 1, 1852 when, a London registered mission society, pioneered by a few English women, began its ministry in Calcutta. In 1987, the same movement has given birth to Interserve India, as autonomous affiliate agency in fellowship with Interserve International. Indian leaders like Dr. G. D. Devapaul, Dr. M. C. Matthew, Dr. K. N. Namboothiripad, Dr. L. N. Tluanga, Mr. Lalchuangliana and Mr. George Mani played a pivotal role in this historic transition.
The primary focus of Calcutta Normal School ministry in 1852 was to reach out to the women and girls in the zenanas (women’s quarters in North India). In 1880, the society underwent a name change as Zenana Bible and Medical Mission (ZBMM)to aptly reflect the nature of its mission.
Subsequently, it became the Bible Medical Missionary Fellowship (BMMF) in the post-independent era in 1957 and finally as Interserve in the year 1986. The mission was registered in India in 1988 under the Indian Societies Registration Act as 'Interserve India'.
In the 1960s Interserve emerged as an international agency with the mission expanding into other Asian countries. The affiliate agencies from different countries came together and formed the ‘International Service Fellowship’ (INTERSERVE) based on federal principles. India served as the International headquarter for Interserve.
The vision for Interserve India is to mobilize committed Indian professionals and send them within India and to other parts of Asia, to serve as agents in transforming lives and communities through encounter with Jesus Christ. Several Indian women and men were part of this great movement from its early inception. Interserve India, has carried on the rich heritage of the originally founded ministry in 1852 — by reiterating the importance of professionals in cross cultural settings among Indian churches and missions and setting standards in pastoral care for its members.
Till now, Interserve India has facilitated the Indian churches to send its members as ‘Partners’ in mission within India and overseas and is actively pursuing the vision of sending Indian professionals to other parts of Asia, to serve as disciple-makers of Jesus Christ.
||Interserve work begins in Calcutta under the name of Calcutta Normal School with the primary focus of reaching out to the women and girls in the Zenanas. It pioneered educational work among the women and children and founded some of the first blind schools, orphanages and schools in the country.
||The first two medical professionals sail to India. The first dies during the journey and the second dies after one week of work in Bombay.
||Name changed to Zenana Bible and Medical Mission (ZBMM) after the work grew to include providing health facilities.
||ZBMM had 103 stations and the work included education, medical work and orphanges. The main stations were in Lucknow, Lahore, Benares, Bombay, Faizabad, Jaunpur, Sultanpur, Allahabad and Patna.
||Centenary year of ZBMM. Men and families allowed in the fellowship for the first time.
||The name is changed to Bible Medical Missionary Fellowship (BMMF). Areas of ministry extended to other countries of South Asia, the Gulf and North African regions.v
||During the mid-sixties, BMMF began turning over properties and institutions it owned and operated, to local leadership.
||BMMF is now under a new name — ‘International Service Fellowship’ or INTERSERVE.
||Interserve (India) was born on September 28th as a national mission agency.
||A partnership agreement with the Mizoram Presbyterian Church Synod was signed.
||The Indian On-Track programme, a short-term mission exposure for young people, was started.
||Interserve office shifted to Pune, Maharashtra
||Property for office was purchased. Change of Leadership in India. Mr John Amalraj takes over as National Director from Mr. Bijoy Koshy.
||First Mission Seminar for the local church was organized. Four Indian partners are placed overseas
||A Day Care Centre for street children was started in Kolkata. An organization to provide micro-credit for the marginalized people was started.
||A post-trauma care for victims of communal violence in Orissa was organized. A number of Mission Seminars were organized for professionals and entrepreneurs all over the country.
||Highest number of ON Trackers were placed with partner agencies. Griha Shiksha, the home school programme, was relaunched. KARIS, a pre-school and Day Care Centre, started in June 2010