The Church Mission Society started work in Khammam in 1886 and in 1953 a young man called Azariah joined the team. When the CMS left Brother Azariah, as he was known, took over the leadership role to carry on the work that was being done. Under his leadership the work continued and expanded. He was supported over the years by a group of friends and supporters in the U.K. many of whom visited the various projects. In 1983 they formed the charity, ‘Christ For All In Andhra Pradesh’ with the aim of supporting this work and enabling it to continue and grow.
In 2010 Brother Azariah was tragically killed in a road accident. Rev John Mark, for many years Azariah’s deputy, then led the work in the same dedicated manner, right up until he himself passed away as a result of a sudden illness in early 2018. Now, the work of what became known as the Christian Service Unit (the CSU) continues to grow under the leadership of Franklin, whose history of working with Azariah and John Mark dates back to his own childhood.
Andhra Pradesh, the fifth largest state in India, is in the SE of India and has a population of more than 76 million. Khammam is a rural province within Andhra Pradesh with the main town also called Khammam. The CSU is based is this town.
The needs in a country the size of India with over 1 billion people seem to be endless and it is easy to see the work of the CSU as just a drop in the ocean. Yet through Brother Azariah and the workers of the CSU the lives of thousands have been transformed and are still being transformed. In Brother Azariah’s words, ‘It is something small for God’.
The aim of Christ For All In Andhra Pradesh and the CSU is to provide help and hope to poor communities by:
- Showing God’s love through word and deed
- Transforming lives
- Working among people regardless of religion or caste
The needs of the people where the CSU work is very varied and wide. There are children, old people, destitute people, and children and adults with physical and learning difficulties. Others have HIV/AIDS while others have no clean water supply. The aim of the CSU is to transform lives by showing the love of God and this takes many different forms. It is all about sharing God’s love among people from all faiths in practical, life-changing ways.