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Tracing the steps back to the beginning of Christar is a journey through more than 10 decades, many countries, various agencies and numerous kinds of ministry. Our roots are anchored in a rich heritage passed along from faith-filled Christ followers. Christar workers today continue to carry the vision of cultivating Christ-honoring transformation in communities through church-planting ministries among the least-reached Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims and other Asians worldwide.
1909 – China Roots (South China Boat Mission)
Miss Florence Drew, a Canadian by birth, arrived in Hong Kong in 1909 with $40 in her pocket and no promised support. She was a typist in Chicago and carried her heavy typewriter with her to supplement her meager income. Her passion was to reach the very least-reached peoples who were too poor to own land and who lived on boats in Hong Kong, Canton and the Pearl River Valley. She founded the South China Boat Mission, and over the years, 38 boat churches were planted, thousands of people heard the good news of Christ, a leprosarium was established, schools were founded and boat children were educated. When the communists took over, ministries expanded to numerous boat people in Japan and Bangkok and to Chinese in Mauritius. The South China Boat Mission changed its name to the Oriental Boat Mission in 1953, and in 1967 it merged with International Missions (now Christar).
1930 – India Roots (India Mission)
Benjamin Davidson of Scotland, working as a cloth merchant in India, had a love for sharing Christ with the people he met. His vision grew, and in 1930, at the age of 69, he began the India Mission. Davidson’s driving passion was for prayer and the salvation of souls. The work grew to over 250 churches. Many of these were planted by Indians from Hindu backgrounds. After India and Pakistan divided, the new field of Pakistan opened. In 1953 the India Mission changed its name to International Missions (now Christar).
1950 – Iran Roots (Iran Interior Mission)
After World War 1, thousands of refugees and orphans poured into western Iran from surrounding countries. In 1921 Francis Stead took seven orphans and established the Faraman Orphanage and Industrial School near Kermanshah, Iran. His goal was to raise the orphans in a Christian environment, plant a church and help farmers to farm more productively. During World War II, Allen McAnlis, who was a chaplain’s assistant in Iran, visited Faraman and caught a vision for the orphanage. After military service he began the Iran Interior Mission in 1950. The organization merged with International Missions (now Christar) in 1955.
1999 – Christar

In order to further clarify its vision, International Missions changed its name to Christar in 1999. It also adopted a new logo to communicate its desire to bring the light of Christ to the least-reached.

2008 – Internationalization

As God raised up workers from around the world to serve among the least-reached, Christar sought to align itself with what He was doing by becoming an international organization. This enabled believers from across the globe to be sent to the field without going through the United States. It also served as a reflection of our value of the Body of Christ and of the contributions that result when diverse members of the Body minister together. As a result of this change, Christar has become a global network of mobilization centers that come alongside the Church to extend its reach to places where the gospel isn’t yet known.

2022 – Next Chapter

As Christar has continued to witness what God is doing to bring about transformation among the nations, it has sought to adapt and develop to serve well in a changing world. To reflect this, Christar adopted a new logo to reaffirm its commitment to minister effectively with the Body of Christ at the center.

Our story isn't finished. Read more stories of transformation.