Goa – A Land of Emeralds


Goa, the western coastal state, is the smallest state of the Indian union. It was liberated from Portuguese rule in 1961. Goa covers an area of 3702 square kilometers and comprises two Revenue districts viz. North Goa and South Goa.

Unity in diversity with a sense of homogeneity within heterogeneous culture is due to the 450 years of Portuguese rule in Goa. The language & culture is Konkani. The amalgamation of Maharashtrian and Portuguese culture gives rise to a unique Goan culture; where some of the religious celebrations and feasts are celebrated by both the Catholic and Hindu communities jointly. Goa is a melting pot of many cultures because of the huge floating demographic changes because of tourism & its natural & peaceful environment.

Thus, Goa is not only about sands & beaches but is an emerging educational and cultural hub as well. The native indigenous Goan carnival is an annual state sponsored event. Goa hosts IFFI (International Film Festival India) annually, since 2004, Def Expo (International Defence Expo) since 2015 and other national & International summits & mega events.

Universities: 1
Districts: 2
Colleges: 55
Junior colleges- 89
Student Population: approx. – 14 Lakhs
EU Cells: 7
EGF Cells: 4

History & Beginning: The genesis of UESI ministry at Goa dates back to the 70s. Dr. A.J. Varghese came to Goa from Chandigarh, Punjab in 1978 and joined as an English teacher at Govt. Polytechnic, Panaji, Goa. He and his family conducted retreats for students at their home and elsewhere. Between 1980 and 1986 the pioneer Staff Mr. P.C. Varghese came to Goa four times of which once he came with Mr. Jonathan Maraj to speak in one of the retreats. Former GS of UESI, Mr. Arthur Hope also came once as a speaker. These were the people who pioneered EU work at Goa. In one of the retreats on August 15, 1985 at Junta House, 250 students attended. Among those saved was a local student Mr. Altino Gomes who is today a Pastor of a thriving Church at Goa. A student from Nagaland, Mr. Vihoto Achumi, who was studying at Goa Engineering College, was of crucial help in arranging the retreat. Students like James Samuel, Thomas Samuel, Savior, Stephen Rodrigues, Angela, Raju Samson, Bernice were other local students who were very much involved in initiating & helping in organizing students’ get-together.

Growth: Students’ cell groups used to meet at Goa Engineering College, Ponda & Goa Medical College, Panaji. Occasionally the Medical students met at Dr. Shanti David’s Qtr. Lt. Commander N.S. Samuel, VSM, who was stationed at Goa during that time. He introduced these students to Dr. Varghese & Tome Fernandes, who together sponsored James Samuel, Jones Samuel, Samuel & Bernice to go to SIBS, Bangalore for the ten days Training Camp (which is later known as CMTC) at Karnataka in 1981. That camp was memorable to each one of them. Dr. Jojen Mathew & family were taking initiatives to hold programs & retreats in Ponda and other areas. In the late 70’s and early 80’s , the students’ ministry at Goa was clubbed with EGF-Karnataka. Together they had a retreat in which Mr. Prince Edward & his wife Vasanta came as speakers from EGF- Karnataka. Mr. N. Jayasheel, then EGF Karnataka Staff based in Karwar & also Mr. Ravi David from EGF-Karnataka visited Goa a couple of times.

By God’s grace now Goa EGF has its own state committee/board, 1 affiliated EU, 6 Campus EU cells in the state & national importance institutions, and 4 regional EGFs.

Significant Milestones

  • GEC-EU (Goa Engg College) committee formed in Aug 2012. (now called as GEC Campus-EU as NIT & IIT also are together in the same Campus)
  • BITS Pilani, Goa Campus -EU started functioning by October 2012.
  • IHM (Instt. Hotel Management)-EU started functioning by November 2012.
  • Goa-EGF State Board was formed in 17th March, 2013.
  • 1st DTC (Discipleship Training Camp) in the year 2013, September 7th to 9th.
  • Goa-ICEU was formed & started functioning by April 2015.
  • 1st LTC (Leadership Training Camp) and Prarthana Yatra on 2015, 16th to 20th September.
  • NIO (National InstituteOf Oceanography)-EU/EGF reached by 2015. Goa University-EU started functioning since 2015.
  • Total number of student leaders sent to national CMTCs till date is 5. First time 2 students participated at NMTC in 2014.
  • 1st Goa-EGF Annual Conference cum BOP (Board Orientation Program) on 11th February 2017.
  • For the first time an EU, GEC Campus-EU (Goa Engg College) got affiliated in last AGM, July, 2017.
  • Vasco Da Gama-ICEU started functioning since June 2017

Staff who served thus far

Mr. Emmanuel F. Benjamin & family came to Goa in 1997 as Staff workers of UESI along with additional responsibilities of International Students Cell. They left by 2001.
After, more than a decade, in 2012 August Mr. Anando S. Deori, Mrs. Abuno & their son Daniel took their place. They are still based in the state as the only Staff family.

Praise God for
1. Contacts and openings in the Campuses thus far.
2. Previous Evangelistic Retreat and pre-Christmas programs.
3. For good student initiative.

Pray for:
1. More graduates and students from decentralized states may opt Goa for work and studies as tent makers and missionary students.
2. Need of one more Staff family & coordinators.
3. For more open homes. Senior students and graduates may have burden to mentor. That they may take their own personal efforts and initiation to reach to juniors and students.
4. Bible Studies may transform individual lives.
5. Students and graduates may have Christ-centered life styles, servanthood attitudes and Christ-like testimonies in their homes, society, hostels, campuses and work places.
6. Native Goan students and graduates to be reached.
7. Good leadership to emerge at all the levels.
8. Pre-Christmas program of Goa Medical-EU.
9. State Goa-EGF Annual Conference & Board Orientation Program. Tentative dates- 23rd – 24th February 2018.
10. DTC/LTC Camp in March/April, 2017.
Our prayer theme for this academic year is “Reaching Goa – by reaching one Goan (student/graduate) at a time!”

Recent program at Goa

Goa-ICEU had an Evangelistic Retreat on 9th September and again a follow up retreat of the same on 14th October 2017. It was completely an initiative by the students – from planning, fund raising to inviting their nominal Christian friends and friends from other faiths. 45 students attended the program of which 15 were from other faith backgrounds and five were nominal Christians. 12 students accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Praise God for all these! Please pray with us so that the Lord may continue to minister to them and that the students who have given their lives to Christ be followed-up and mentored well.

Anando, Abuno & Daniel


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