About - History

 

 

 

 The early focus of HIMserve’s work was Community Health promotion. Through this the need to challenge and equip Christians to be more socially engaged became apparent. This was a time when the concept of Holistic Ministry was virtually unknown in the churches of the region. Several “Vision Conferences” were organised to foster an understanding of the church’s role in society. This God given mandate became the foundation of HIMserve’s vision and mission. Since then all efforts have been directed towards the physical, social, economic and spiritual transformation of communities through the initiative and leadership of the local church. Himalayan Ministries and HIMserve are pioneers of this service-focused Ministry in North Bengal. Later Development Associates International (DAI) became a bigger promoter of Holistic Ministry in the Himalayan region. However, HIMserve still remains a major player in implementing it at the grassroots level. In the beginning, there was a small team comprised of Ms. Anne Herr, Mr. Rajesh Thapa, the late Mr. C.K. Gurung, Mr. Yuden Lepcha, Mrs. Sheila Subba and Mrs. Elena Soren. In 2003, HIMserve was registered under the West Bengal Societies Act. Over the years other team members have joined and moved on, two of whom require special mention. Ms. Maria Schimpf and Ms. Sieghild Rapur of Germany were with HIMserve for 5 years (2004-09) respectively. Maria was responsible for health trainings and made very valuable contributions to the development of HIMserve’s health department. Sieghild on her part was instrumental in developing the Society’s outreach to children and adolescents through educational services.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HIMserve People often ask, “Why does HIMserve do what it does?” In short, the mission of HIMserve is to serve ‘Him’ by serving the Himalayas. Through this example of service, HIMserve teaches Christian communities to serve their neighbors as well. HIMserve’s vision is to see the church take the forefront in creating lasting transformation in communities suffering from spiritual, physical, social and economic poverty. The work of HIMserve began in Siliguri in 1998 under the leadership of Ms. Anne Herr, within an organisation known as Himalayan Ministries. The founder of Himalayan Ministries, Dr. Cindy Perry, invited Anne to Siliguri and she began a work, which has continued on until today.
After guiding HIMserve with her wisdom, vision and example for 8 years, Ms. Anne Herr handed over her position of Executive Director to Mr. Puran Rai. At this same time (2010), Dr. Tigi Verghis was named Program Director by HIMserve’s Board of Directors. In 2012 the Dayasagar Project of ECTA International joined forces with HIMserve. Through this, 3 ambulances, a rural health clinic, a primary school and a 14 member team became a part of HIMserve. ECTA and HIMserve already had a close working relationship in the field as well as an identical mission and vision. It became apparent that the two organizations could do even more together as a unified entity than they already had as independent partners. ECTA’s Project Coordinators, Mr. Ryan & Mrs. Amanda Philips are now responsible for overseeing all of HIMserve’s health endeavors. Today we have a very committed and skilled team of 14 full time staff, 8 community motivators and 23 workers at the local level.
When HIMserve began, its vision included reaching Nepali speaking people in Sikkim and as far away as Assam. But as we began working and interest in partnering with us increased in the hills of Darjeeling district, it became clear that we could not do justice to such a large area. Today HIMserve works in 4 major geographical areas (Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Dooars and Terai), partnering with 43 churches, covering 69 Nepali speaking communities in North Bengal.
Anne Amanda & Ryan Puran & Tigi Sieghild Maria
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Registration Number S/1L/17250 under West Bengal Societies Act of 1961