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Doctor of Ministry Alum Leads Transformational Indian Ministries

Doctor of Ministry Alum Leads Transformational Indian Ministries

Saji Lukos S’12 is the founder of Reaching Indians Ministry International and Mission India Theological Seminary.

When Saji Lukos S’12 accepted Christ in 1979, his father showed up at his house brandishing a knife, infuriated at the shame Lukos would cause their family. His father dragged him home to their village in Kerala, a state in southern India, and beat him in front of his mother and siblings.

“No member of his family was going to become a Christian and escape his punishment,” Lukos says. “The only home I had ever known was lost to me. Still, I found strength and hope in Jesus.” That strength eventually led Lukos to found the missional organizations Reaching Indians Ministry International and Mission India Theological Seminary. It also gave him the perseverance to minister to members of his own family—including his father—who all came to have a personal relationship with Christ.

After his conversion, Lukos moved to Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, to pursue his master’s in business. “In Indian culture, the oldest son is responsible for taking care of his younger siblings by providing jobs and finding spouses for them,” Lukos says. As the eldest son of eight, he felt it was his duty to bring his brothers and sisters to the city where they would have more opportunities. When Lukos secured a two-room house to rent, he believed the Lord was providing him a way to extend support.

Over time, all of Lukos’s siblings joined him in the city. Seeing his transformation as a Christian firsthand had a profound effect on them. “When we lived together, my brothers and sisters attended church with me in Thiruvananthapuram, and God revealed the truth of his word to each of them,” Lukos says. But he began to feel God was guiding him to minister beyond his family as a missionary. “If I obeyed God’s call, I would have to give up my financial security—most likely jeopardizing my extended family’s welfare,” he says. “I cried out to God, ‘Who will take care of my family if I go?’ He responded, ‘I will.’”

Lukos’s obedience led him to found Reaching Indians Ministry International in 1993, an organization dedicated to “caring for unreached people groups in South Asia and worldwide, especially the poor and marginalized including Dalits, rural women, and slum children,” according to their website. He also founded Mission India Theological Seminary (MITS), a nonprofit based in Nagpur, India. Lukos received his Master of Divinity in missions from Trinity International University, and his Doctor of  Ministry from Bethel Seminary.

“God opened the door for me to attend Bethel,” Lukos says. “The transformational leadership and emphasis on holistic leadership inspired me to begin similar programs at MITS.” Mission India has grown to oversee a network of more than 1,500 indigenous missionaries and 30 Bible schools. Lukos’s family members have remained actively involved in both of the organizations he founded. Lukos and his wife, Mony, live in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, with their daughter, Maryann. 

“To this day, I look in amazement at how God has blessed my life,” Lukos says. “He saved my family, and he is faithful.”