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About International Sanctuary Ministries

A sign hanging from our first orphanage site.

Our work is concentrated in southern India, in the provinces of Andhra Pradesh (in red) and Telangana (in green).

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What do we do at International Sanctuary Ministries?


*We help orphans and children from unfortunate circumstances.

Some of our children in our children’s home are true orphans. Others come from broken homes, from abuse and neglect. As these kids come into our care, we are saving them from malnourishment, life on the streets (and the bad influences they find there), abuse at home, and other bad circumstances. We provide them with safety, love, mentorship, a healthy life, and an emphasis on school. Above all, we show God’s love and teach these children of His grace and salvation.


*We help widows survive.

Being a widow in India is different from in the Western world. If a widow loses her husband, she is seen as unlucky and cursed. She is seen as the reason her husband died. Widows often are found begging on the streets, but many people in India cross the street on the other side to avoid coming in contact with such a person. In addition, many women whose husband has left them also face an extreme struggle. If a woman can find a job, they are paid half of what a man would make. If they have children, these women sometimes find it impossible to care for themselves and their kids. Our ministry is focused on helping Christian women who struggle in these circumstances.


*We help support local ministers and evangelists in their efforts to show Christ’s love and spread the gospel.

Ministers in India are truly devoted. They must work long hours, working in the fields or performing some other menial job to support their families. In addition, they tend to their congregations, teaching God’s word, and trying to help widows and hungry children of their village. We work with a hundred ministers in cities and villages in southeast India, helping them as we are able. In addition, we support a handful of evangelists in their efforts to work full time for the gospel.


*We feed and educate children of the slum.

We have “adopted” a slum area that we renamed “Hope Village.” We provide a non-accredited school for the children of this slum, which is the only education they receive, as parents in the slum will not send their children to school. Instead, these kids wake up early and are sent out to scavenge in the streets to find something valuable for their families. When they return in the early afternoon, we feed them and provide them with education.


*We help Christians with leprosy.

Sanctuary Ministries helps a group of Christians who live in a leper colony. These children of God are certainly seen as outcasts in their society. The government provides them with a place to stay—to keep them apart from the rest of society—but does little else for them. We help with their medical supplies and food to help them survive.


*We provide clean water to villages.

Sanctuary Ministries has drilled dozens of water wells in poor villages to help supply clean water to those who need it. We drill these wells close to congregations in order to use the wells as evangelistic tools. While we pray that people will be lead to Christ, we allow all the people of the village (Christians and non-Christians) access to the water.


*We provide Bibles to poor Christians and to those studying God’s word.

Bibles are not readily available in India, as it is a Hindu nation and Christianity is frowned upon, so Bibles in the Telugu language must be obtained through special order. Through our Bible drives, we have provided thousands of Bibles, and, praise God, the need is growing as more people thirst for the truth.


In addition, we are always open to helping in other works and special requests as God shows us the need.

International Sanctuary Ministries, Inc. is a U.S. based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Abilene, Texas, partnering with the non-profit Truth Ministries Social Organisation in Tenali, district of Guntur, state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Truth Ministries Social Organisation is registered in India to receive foreign contributions under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) of 2011.  Sanctuary Home was conceived in 2006 as two families, the Palaparthis in India and the Pettits in Texas, who wanted to open a children's home for street children in Tenali. From there, the two organizations, complying with laws of their respective nations, were formed, and the children's home was started.

In June 2006, known then as Sanctuary Home for Children, we opened our doors with 5 children in our orphanage.  Since then, we have grown to provide a Christian home for more than 100 children, with our eyes on helping even more kids in poor circumstances in the future.  


In the intervening years, our ministry has grown to the point where we are no longer "just an orphanage," although that is still a vital part of what we do.  In addition to helping the orphans, we support a about 30 Christian widows and assist a colony of Christians who have leprosy.

We also support the director of our operations in India, Isaac Palaparthi, in his efforts to spread the word of Christ's salvation to the people of his country. Additionally, we have hired seven full-time evangelists to preach and teach throughout the state of Andhra Pradesh.

As we get donations, we drill water wells in poor villages.  We construct the wells near church buildings, and use the wells as a tool for evangelism.  The fresh water is free to all who need it.


We have "adopted" a slum area and renamed it "Hope Village."  With the generous donations of our supporters, we have drilled two water wells in that slum, hired Christian teachers to teach the children there, and we provide an unaccredited school for those children, which is the only education these kids would have.  With the help of the Highland congregation in Abilene, we also have constructed a building and a wash station.  The structure is used as a church building, a school for the children of the slum, and as a community gathering spot and refuge from the heavy rains and flooding that seasonally affect the slum.


In 2017, In order to more fully express the diversity of our mission efforts, Sanctuary Home for Children as an organization changed its name to International Sanctuary Ministries, Inc.


International Sanctuary Ministries operates solely from the generosity of individuals who make monetary donations. Many of the donations come in the form of monthly sponsorships for the children and widows, but we also receive large and small undesignated and designated monthly and one-time donations.  Please note that those of us working in the United States are all volunteers so every penny possible can be used to directly support those who are part of International Sanctuary Ministries and its projects in India.


Our current board members are: Garry Bailey, Cheryl Merritt, Matt Merritt, Cleddy Varner, Pat Varner, Allison Wellborn, Kevin Wellborn, Cheryl Wheat, Loren Wheat Bonnie Willingham, and Steve Willingham.   


We continue to work together with our supporters to help destitute children and widows, remembering that true religion is looking after widows and orphans in their distress (James 1:27).  In other ways, we provide benevolence to the poor and needy, all while spreading God's news of salvation through His Son, and thus doing what we can to help fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19)  


For more information, please contact us.

To donate to International Sanctuary Ministries, click HERE.

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