Ministry Helps 'Hook' Indians to Christ

Using a curious mascot of a fish hook, a U.S.-based ministry is partnering with Indian mission leaders to "hook" the people of India to Jesus Christ.

Fishhook International, which restarted about a year ago, is supporting the efforts of Indian Christian leaders to train missionaries as well as care for orphaned children both physically and spiritually.

Through helping to build a community of support in the United States, Fishhook ministry aims to strengthen the evangelism work taking place in the country – predicted to be where the center of the world's unreached people are located.

Will Turkington, executive director of Fishhook International, shared with The Christian Post about one of the Indian leaders the ministry supports, Richard Samuel. Samuel, the head of Christ Community Ministries, grew up in an orphanage although he was not an orphan.

His parents, who were also evangelists, had founded the orphanage. Samuel, according to Turkington, would often wake up in the morning at the orphanage and find an unfamiliar child lying next to him wearing his clothes. His father during his evangelism trips would bring children he met along the way back to their center.

Growing up in this environment, Turkington said, Samuel has inherited a heart to reach out and share the love of Jesus Christ to the forgotten and discarded in Indian society.

Children taken into orphanages run by Samuel's ministry as well as other groups supported by Fishhook have a "deep life" of faith, noted Kim Turkington, who works with her husband as business manager for the ministry. The children wake up at 6 a.m. for prayer and then pray another three times during the day, she said. They also have Bible studies everyday.

Kim Turkington noted that Indians have a "huge capacity for spirituality" because of their Hindu background, which teaches its followers to always search for God. Thus when they find Christ they are highly passionate and dedicated to worshipping Him and spreading the Gospel.

She emphasized that everything the ministry does and supports in India is for "evangelism."

Fishhook International traces its roots back to 1955 when Ford Philpot founded the Ford Philpot Evangelistic Association. The American preacher had held revival meetings and hundreds of crusades around the world during his lifetime. Philpot would wear a fishhook lapel pin, which often prompted people to ask if he was a fisherman. Philpot used that question to talk about how Jesus told the first disciples he would make them fishers of men.

After his death, the ministry had lacked leadership and vision. But about a year ago, Will and Kim Turkington came aboard the ministry as full time staff. They have tried to redefine the vision and revive the ministry to be more active and engaged in supporting mission in India.

Fishhook International is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. It sends 100 percent of all contributions given for work in India directly to the cause without deducting any administrative fees.

On the Web:

www.fishhook.org