This church, a two story structure, has been declared unsafe for human occupancy or use. It is unlawful for people to meet in this building.
In 2012, Mumbai city officials condemned the Chembur Seventh-day Adventist Church citing a lack of structural integrity. Over the years, the church had sadly fallen into disrepair. The church members were active, but poor, and though they wished to fix their church, they could not afford to make the needed repairs. Small problems turned into large ones until the building became entirely uninhabitable.
Mumbai is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India with around 20 million residents. Chembur is a suburb of Mumbai, and like the rest of the city, it is home to both the affluent and the impoverished. The Chembur church is located in a poorer section of the suburb, where most people, including the church members, make just enough to live on. They did not have extra money to spare to repair the church, let alone to tear it down and rebuild it entirely.
Now, nine years later, the Chembur church is still empty, waiting for someone to help. The praise songs of faithful believers no longer fill its rooms. The once brightly-painted walls are faded and chipped, and the floors are covered with dirt and debris. The church’s neighbors have started to use part of the property, and they will continue to encroach further as long as the building is not being used.
*Now photos were taken during our last trip to Chembur in 2019. No changes have been made to the building since that time.
What happened to the church members?
For several years, the Chembur church leaders rented a methodist church to hold services each Sabbath, but the cost was high and the methodist church’s location was too far for most of the members to walk. They either had to spend their precious few rupees on public transportation, or not attend at all.
By the grace of God, the church leaders found a closer, less expensive church to rent. They have been using this church for the past year and a half, but they don’t have full use of the building for prayer or revival meetings, and it is still quite a distance to travel.
Just some of the church members that are missing their old church.
God has placed a burden on our hearts to help rebuild the church in Chembur, that can serve as both a church and a Center of Influence to reach out into the local community.
The current plan is to tear down the old building and replace it with a three story structure. The first floor will hold the church and a natural health center, the second floor will be guest accommodations, and the third floor will provide a home for the pastor and his family.
Because of an increase in material prices, the church will cost $100,000, or maybe more, to tear down and rebuild. Mumbai is a world-class city and it’s quite expensive, but still much cheaper than many cities in the world.
God sees this need, and He cares about the people of Chembur. We have faith that He will provide the necessary funds, workers, and materials for this project in His perfect timing. We are already seeing evidence that God’s hand is over this project, and we are excited to share that with you soon!
We would like to invite you to join us in praying in faith for this project and for the people of Chembur. This way you too can be a part of the blessings God is preparing for this community and the city of Mumbai.
We will share more updates and stories from Chembur as we receive them.
If God places a burden on your heart to give toward this project, please click the button below.