Dr. Spiros Zodhiates Returns to India After 14 Years

by Larry Malone

Dr. Spiros Zodhiates met Dr. John David, an evangelist from India, in 1968. Out of their meeting a relationship developed and AMG India was born. Today AMG India includes a ministry to leprosy victims, a number of hospitals, disaster relief programs, childcare, and vocational programs.

The seed for Dr. Zodhiates' current visit actually began when John Meador, pastor of the Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, made his first visit to India in 2003. The impact of the trip was so powerful on John Meador he decided to revisit India in 2004 and bring Dr. Zodhiates with him. The two longtime friends, Dr. Zodhiates (now 81 years old) and Dr. David, will work side by side again in India.

John David encouraged Pastor Meador to pray and plan for a conference of 3,000 evangelists, who would go from the conference into the countryside to reach the 30,000 villages and towns in Andhra Pradesh where AMG's ministry is located. Last year 6,000 people were reached through the evangelistic services and this year much larger crowds are expected.

The conference is called the "Hope for India Conference." John Meador has put together an outstanding team to teach and train the national workers during the day and then conduct evangelistic services each night. The team includes, besides himself and Dr. Zodhiates, Bob and Diane Vereen from Precept Ministries, International Evangelist Harold Peasley from South Africa, Alan Stewart, a Chattanooga pastor, and Bruce Daugherty from the Woodland Park Church.

Under Dr. David's leadership, with Dr. Zodhiates' support and encouragement, AMG India has grown into a major ministry in the state of Andhra Pradesh. These ministries include four leprosy relief and rehabilitation colonies. Each colony has a population of about 250 patients. Once they are declared cured of active leprosy-though any prior disfigurement remains-jobs are found for them so they can once again become productive members of society. They are provided with a place to live, water, electricity, clothes, monthly food rations, and medicine. Their children are also enrolled in AMG residential schools.

In addition AMG operates the Kadyum Eye Hospital, providing free care and cataract surgery for leprosy victims. (Leprosy victims are particularly prone to develop cataracts because damage to their nervous system keeps them from feeling the need to blink their eyes, which remoisturizes their eyes.) AMG provides treatment for non-leprous patients along with leprosy patients. By doing so AMG has narrowed the gap between non-leprous and leprous people, just as Jesus preached and practiced.

Approximately 10,000 children are helped and cared for in AMG residential schools. Another 10,000 are helped through milk distribution, daycare centers, meal centers, and home support. AMG India also operates several hospitals specializing in tuberculosis, eye surgery and general care. Every month AMG sponsors medical camps where doctors and nurses travel into remote villages bringing care to those who otherwise would have none. There are also New Life Centers that are dedicated to teaching vocational skills to those who either cannot afford to continue in higher education or do not have the learning skills to continue.

AMG India provides monthly food rations for over 6,000 leprosy patients every month. Our outreach called "Education and Rescue" is reaching nearly 1,000 prostitutes, teaching them skills so they can get jobs and not remain trapped in prostitution. In addition to these regular ministries, AMG India helps tens of thousands of people through disaster relief.

However, without meeting their spiritual needs, the entire physical ministry is like putting a bandage on a mortal wound. AMG's National workers' conferences are designed not only to impart enlightenment and encouragement but allow our workers to return to their respective ministries revived and recharged. God continues to use these dedicated men to share the good news of salvation with literally thousands who have never heard. These men then begin a process of individual discipleship that results in churches being planted and growing.

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