David C Cook Staff Profile:
Role: Programme Coordinator, Hyderabad, India, J127 Clubs. Ravi monitors and encourages existing J127 Clubs, begins new ones, and connects with area churches.
Ravi was raised in a nominal Christian home. As a child he survived a sexual assault at the hands of an older classmate, and then sought refuge from those memories in a violent gang during his early teen years.
One day, a man approached Ravi and invited him and his friends to watch the movie “The Cross and the Switchblade” by Nicky Cruz. The film changed his life. Almost immediately he left gang life and committed his life to Jesus.
At the age of 15, with a new, vibrant faith, God called him to ministry, specifically to orphans and children who’ve faced trauma. He took a bold step in India: He made a public declaration of faith through baptism.
Unlike countries in the West, Christianity is penalized in India. For Ravi, the act of a public baptism meant having his official status in society altered from a “Scheduled Caste”(sub-Hindu) to a “BC Caste” (Backward Christian Caste). This meant he lost educational benefits and job opportunities made available through the government. This act did not play well in Ravi’s family. In Asia, where education and place in life are often paramount in families, faith sometimes takes a back seat, especially if it’s lukewarm to begin with. His parents threw him out of the house. Later they let him back home, but his father tied him to a chair on Sundays so he couldn’t attend church services.
Just after high school, Ravi left home to pursue ministry. After courses in Bible and a training seminar by Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), he entered full time children’s ministry. He didn’t receive any compensation for years, relying on God to supply his needs.
Ravi’s marriage is also a miraculous story. A group of close friends in another city said they found the perfect girl for him. They didn’t give Ravi information, but advised he fast and pray. So he did for three days. God showed him in a vision his wife and their home. Ravi went back to his friends and described the woman from this revelation—and it matched the woman they had chosen for him. Ravi sent a marriage proposal to her through them. The two had never spoken.
Kushuma, now Ravi’s wife, was not on the same page. She, too, was deeply involved in children’s ministry, and skeptical about this seemingly strange man sending a marriage proposal through friends. She fervently prayed. And Ravi fasted and prayed for two months. At some point she heard from God and sent word that she’d marry Ravi. They enjoyed a brief courtship. They are both immersed in children’s ministry among the region’s poor.
Ravi feels called to raise up a generation of children’s ministry leaders. He actively trains older children in J127 Clubs to mentor younger children, and even grooms them to run their own Club in the future.
Throughout Ravi and Kushuma’s ministry, beginning in 1990, they have eagerly sought to get their hands on David C Cook VBS material and curriculum because of its creativity and solid biblical content. As he says, “Now that I am working with David C Cook is amazing.”
Ravi and Kushuma have two children: A daughter named Tehillah (age 9) and Son, Joy Daniel (age 4).
Update: In 2018, David C Cook transferred oversight of the J127 clubs to an in-country partner which continues to shepherd and grow this program. By supporting David C Cook’s Life on Life curriculum, you will be helping support this program as well.