News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
We learned that Phlip Prasad died this past Saturday, June 4th.
Philip Prasad was born an untouchable, a Dalit, in India.To be an untouchable means that one is consigned from birth to cleaning latrines, hauling human waste by hand, removing dead animals and other such disease ridden and dangerous jobs.It means one cannot be educated in Hindu schools or practice the Hindu religion.It means that one does not have a last name.But Philip’s family had become Christians and Philip attended a missionary school in the 1950’s.They immigrated to the United States where Philip went to college, seminary, was ordained and eventually became the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the City of Fresno.In 1983 he returned to India to visit his former home and see how the churches there were doing.He found the school and church of his childhood closed.He found the oppression of the Untouchables as complete as ever.Following independence from England in 1947, the missionaries had slowly been forced out of India.The Untouchables had been isolated in enclaves outside villages and cities.Philip wired his resignation to the city of Fresno and began a ministry to his people.Since that time the Rural Presbyterian Church of India has grown to 200,000.Four-thousand a month are joining the churches.That’s 50,000 people last year.Philip now spends 6 months a year in India and the rest of the year here, raising funds for the transformation of 135,000,000 Dalits into people who are educated and value themselves.They are founding churches, schools for their children, and businesses.Seed money from people like us is used to begin.Each Presbytery or regional area of churches, must become self-supporting in five years and then seed money is used in a new area.The poorest of the poor give of their meager earnings to support pastors and start new churches.There are no missionaries, other than Philip, himself an Untouchable.
You can give to the ongoing life-changing and world-transforming work began by Philip through Witnessing Ministries through the PC(USA): DONATION LINK
You can also learn more online at the official Witnessing Ministries webpage.