Overview: Jaya Sankar became a follower of Jesus around the age of 15. From that point onward he dedicated his life to learning about His teachings as well as acting them out in a literal manner. He had been given the vision to reach out to the poorest of the poor in the village of Dowlaiswaram by following God's calling on his life, and therefore working with several groups of marginalized, forgotten people. Jaya has a degree from seminary and uses both his education and his compassion to impact thousands of people every year. He self-funded this ministry for the first 15 years and then God brought Jaya and Kensington together in 2000 where a relationship started, and has been blessed in incredible, miraculous, life transforming ways. CEM is made up of 7 ministries with the common goal of reaching people by demonstrating the love of Jesus.
1) Orphan Care: CEM currently houses, feeds and educates more than 200 children, ranging in age from 3-16. The children are responsible to do chores, study, and play together daily to build lasting relationships and to be examples to all those around them. There are currently three dormitories in which they live. Since its inception Grace Children's Home (GCH) has cared for over 500 children.
2) Missionary Training School (MTS): This school educates adults of varying ages in the scriptures, equipping them to go back to their hometown upon completion of one of three degrees or certificates and plant a church, or begin a work in the name of Jesus. The program now graduates around 50 students per year with a total to date of 485. There are several village churches that have been planted from this program reaching as far as 150 kilometers away from the CEM Campus.
3) Sewing Training School (STS): This is a vocational school for women, mostly widowed or unmarried, teaching them a skill they can use to support themselves and their loved ones. It is a one year program and at graduation they are given a sewing machine to help them get started. To date the STS program has graduated over 600 women.
4) JEMS School: This is a private school for children in grades pre-K through 5th. It is an English Medium School meaning that the bulk of their leaning takes place in the English Language. This is a school for children living in the village, mostly Hindu, where they can come to a safe, encouraging environment and in one class per day hear about the teachings of Jesus.
5) Compassion Ministry: This is a program for the elderly and adult homeless where twice a month they come to the Sunday church service on the campus at CEM and, after the service, they receive free rice or money to buy food. To date the outreach has cared for over 1000 people, all of whose names are registered in a book kept at the CEM office.
6) Free Medical Clinic (FMC): The free medical clinic is also located on the property of CEM. On staff are two medical doctors, 5 nurses, a lab technician, and a pharmacist. Medical insurance for people living in poverty (which is the majority of the people in the village) is non-existent and most can't afford to pay for the simplest of procedures. This ministry has seen more than 150,000 patients.
7) Church and Church Planting: Through both the church services held on site and the MTS program, there have been more than 170 churches planted in villages all over the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Relationship: In the year 2000, Steve Andrews and Craig Mayes traveled to Dowlaiswaram to visit Jaya and to hear his vision and calling in that area of India. They had been put in touch with Jaya through a relative of Steve's that had happened to run into Jaya at a Seminary program in South India. The connection that took place on the trip was surely divine and forever joined Kensington and Jaya together. From that time forward the relationship between the two has grown strong and has seen some incredible growth and impact for the Kingdom. Kensington continues to be a major partner with Jaya and has sent several mission teams to learn about the work and to contribute in whatever ways they are able.
Not only has Kensington continued to support the different ministries listed above, but they have also been an integral part of the hospital now being constructed a few lots down from the CEM Campus.