. . . Your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the hip.
. . . they will come from afar—
some from the north, some from the west,
-Isaiah 60: 4, 49:12
UESI Maharashtra today
Total No. of Districts : 36
No of Universities : 52
No of Colleges : 5371
Student’s population : 75 L
Affiliated EU’s/ICEU’s : 7
No of EGF Cell’s : 27
No of EU Cell’s : 67
No of staff : 7 families’ 4 singles
Districts with EU Cell : 19
Districts with EGF Cells : 14
“Nothing is well done without prayer for the simple reason that it leaves God out of the account.” – E.M. Bounds and so has it been with the UESI Ministry in Maharashtra where it owes its origins to Dr. T. Norton Sterrett’s visits in the mid 1950s. A young dynamic T.E. Koshy was part of a group called the Bombay Inter Collegiate Christian Student Association in 1955 formed under the inspiration of PT Chandpilla who stayed in Bombay a short while after arriving from the US. He and his close friend GV Mathai along with P. O. Kurien were pioneering student leaders. Meanwhile Mrs. FC Durham had started a meeting for youth at her home at Elysium in 1952. In 1955 T.E. Koshy and Mrs F.C. Durham began to work together. The other pioneering graduates were DP Patel of Crompton and Greaves and Sarah Paul, Director of Education, Government of Maharashtra.
By early 60s, the work in Pune began with student groups in the Armed Force Medical College (AFMC) meeting at the residence of Mrs.& Mr. Milton Cashman (then working with Phillips India). Dr. Abraham Ninan, a doctor from CMC Vellore, also an active member of the UESI ministry in Vellore made frequent visits to AFMC and contributed substantially to the work which was started. Mr. John Garrison, a Canadian and his wife actively involved in the ministry at Pune. Ms. Serena Holroid, staff of UESI and Ms.Elaine Paton, a New Zealander lived together and worked among the students. They started meeting the students and initiated cell groups in various places making the movement spread.
P.T. Chandipilla made pioneering visits to Nagpur in early 1960s and John Garrison continued the efforts in late 1960s. John Garrison also pioneered efforts in Nasik in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The ministry in Nasik picked up in the 1980s by the effort of Subash and Crossy Urtekar from Pune. The history of Vasai ICEU traces back to a very humble beginning in the year 1987-88. It was started at the home of Captain Jesudason and was led by Jose George, then a bachelor graduate who was staying at Nallasopara. Mumbai EGF had sent a team comprising of Monahar Stanley and Robert on 2rd October 1992 to Kolhapur. They met George Varghese, an MBA student of SIBER College and Mr. Babu Zachariah a lecturer in the same college. They were together able to start a cell group for the M.B.A Students.
Mr. Chris Williams became the 1st staff of Maharashtra in the late 70s. The ministry spread to other centres also with the hard work of Bro. Jose Jacob and George Korah who pioneered the ministry in Maharashtra. We praise God for many staff workers who invested their lives in bringing the gospel to many parts of Maharashtra.
The state was decentralized in 2000 with an office functioning in Nasik and Bro. Philip Samuel as first state secretary. This was followed by Bro. Prakash Salve who passed on the vision about the unreached. Later Bro. Billy Sam Varghese gave leadership to the state
We praise God for Bro. Benhur Paul who was the first president after decentralization followed by Bro. Sony Abraham ,Bro .Selva Kumar, Bro.Chanty Babu, Bro.Praful Sonarkar and now being led by Sunil D’souza as president.
Growth and milestones in the ministry
Bro. Praveen Raju, staff based at Nasik initiated visits to Aurangabad. Michel Jesudason was the first staff based in Aurangabad. Vasai EGF initiated outreach ministry to Jalgaon. Nagpur EGF initiated outreach ministry to Wardha. Bro. Prakash Salve initiated and pioneered the ministry in Solapur and Nanded. Bro. Yesuratnam pioneered the ministry in Satara, Gondiya and Yavatmal. Graduates from Mumbai, Vasai and Pune initiated out reach visits to develop the ministry.
In 2007,the state conference at Nagpur was one of the mile stone in the history of UESI Maharashtra. Awareness for outreach ministry was emphasized and people began to pray and started working in outreach centres .
In 2010,UESI Maharashtra Golden Jubilee conference at Pune was another mile stone.
2011, Prathana Yatra initiative gave us great awareness about ministry needs of unreached districts in the state. The state prayer conferences was held in 2014 .
In 2013- 15, the staff were placed strategically (Suresh Jadhav at Amravathi, Devendra Babu at Nanded, Shamuvel Kale at Jalgoan). Strengthening state office for effective administration gave us support to the field establishment growth. In 2016, Aurangabad and Nasik ICEU’s got affiliated. We praise God for all who toiled all these years for the development of the ministry.
Praise God for:
Staff in 9 regions
For financial provisions
Growth in the field and in the staff team
New affiliated ICEU’s and growth in upcoming centres
New initiatives, state prayer conferences, Prathana Yatra, staff base in strategic centres
Pray for state goals:
Affiliated EUs & EGFs in Jalgaon, Amravati, Satara, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Solapur, Nanded and Wardha in addition to the existing ones
Each region to have at least one established center
Each region to have a regional coordination team (RCT) to plan for that region
The growing financial needs of UESI-MH would be met
Believing students and graduates would move as missionaries and tentmakers to unreached areas in the state
A staff couple only for graduate ministry and another couple for field ministry
MH to produce quality Marati Christian literature which would be useful even to the Church.
Maharashtra to have its own retreat centre