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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.
This legacy of passion for the lost received from our founders inspires Christar workers to continue to share the hope of Christ with least-reached Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and other Asians around the world. Today Christar has nearly 300 workers serving in over 30 countries with more than 70 different people groups! Through the faithful witness of these servants of Christ, God is raising up believers and establishing reproducing churches.
Our story isn't finished. Read more stories of transformation.