Mr. Arumai (Raj) & Mrs. Christy Thankaraj founded the Zarephath Ministry in May 1984; however, the ministry was not named until April 1994. The ministry was registered as a non-profit organization in March 2001.
Raj lost his father when he was five years old. He grew up seeing his mom raise five children with no financial support. Christy lost her mom when she was five months old. She grew up seeing her father raise six children. When the Thankaraj's had the opportunity to help others, they decided to help widows and widowers. In 1984, they began to assist five poor widows by providing financial support. Eventually, they supported several poor widows' children, taking care of their education and wedding expenses and meeting other needs. In 1995, the Thankaraj's decided to build two houses for two widows with families. At that time, they named the ministry "Zarephath", based on the Bible story, "Prophet Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath" (I Kings chapter 17: 8-16). All expenses were met by the Thankaraj's, their children Jeba, George, Jemi, and their families. The ministry was taken to the next level and registered as a non-profit organization (trust) with the government of India in March 2001, and Zarephath was blessed with contributions from others. Today, even though 95% of the expenses still are met by the Thankaraj's, Zarephath Ministry has been blessed with several ministries, prayer partners, and supporters, and continues to be a blessing to several lives.
Our vision is to grow the Zarephath home for widows, and open a home for widowers and orphans. The need is great, but God has been faithful.
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?"
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.