Dan and Sarah Chetti both grew up in India. While pursuing his doctoral studies, Dan lived in the United Sates for several years, but returned to India in 1982. There he conducted research for his dissertation, visiting libraries and archives. ON one of these visits he met Sarah.
After dating for approximately a year, Dan and Sarah married and went to the United States. Dan was ordained here but they returned to India in 1985 and served for thirteen years in seminary education and pastoral ministry.
Over the years Dan traveled to South Africa, where decades before people from India had been taken as indentured laborers by the British. During one trip in 1994, Dan visited some Indian Baptist congregations where he was surprised to hear music written by his grandfather, a great composer of hymns in the Telegu language. Dan immediately felt the call to minister in South Africa, working among the Indians who had historically been neglected.
The Chettis applied to International Ministries to become missionaries in South Africa. BUT God had other plans — in Lebanon — not only for Dan but also for Sarah. International Ministries received a request to send a faculty member to revive the Arab Baptist Seminary, which prepares students from nine countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Chettis were appointed in June 1998 as the first American Baptist missionaries to the Arab world. Dan became a seminary professor and Sarah was the first trained librarian the seminary ever had.
When Sarah was earning a university defree in her native India, civil war broke out in Lebanon. She recalls, "Every day I learned in the news about the gruesome atrocities committed by warring militia. I then prayed for Lebanon and its people. But I never really knew where Lebanon was and had no idea about its people, language or culture."
Years later she would learn how God would use her sensitivity for Lebanon. Soon after they began their work in Lebanon, a neighbor asked Sarah to speak to an Indian woman who was imprisoned. Ever since that day, Sarah has been serving Christ through a prison ministry to trafficked women.
God uses Sarah's language skills in this critical ministry as she speaks Hindi to the Nepalese and Bangladeshi prisoners, Tamil to the girls from Sri Lanka, and Arabic to the ones from Middle Eastern countries.
Dan and Sarah have been our supported missionaries for the past three years. This background may help us all praise God for the way He prepares us to do His work and may help us to pray more intelligently for our missionaries.