Hephzibah Ministries was established as a charity in May 2009,to help spread the Gospel within Europe, especially the United Kingdom through words and action.
Hephzibah Jesudas, its founder, was born in Kerala State, South India, into a loving but poor Christian family and raised on sound Christian principles which, she recalls “made me eager to serve the deeper needs of people living in a materialistic society.” She believes “that faith and social action are inseparable but it is the faith in Jesus Christ that brings about the inner transformation which will make the outer change sustainable and on-going”
She felt the call on her life from an early age and as she grew older the conviction in her heart, that God was calling her to be a missionary in Europe, grew stronger. This was confirmed when she was invited to visit Sweden with all costs taken care of. She felt at home there and loved the experience of meeting people from a different culture. She also visited Rumania and was blessed by their love and generous spirit, and spent some time in England, where again she felt ‘at home.’
Life wasn’t always easy and she suffered many setbacks and disappointments, but with the encouragement of her family she went to Bible School and trained in theology and mission, trusting God in the calling He had embedded in her heart so many years before. When in the year 2000, an opportunity arose to come to England, and with only enough money to buy a one way ticket, she took the challenge. The driving force behind the challenge was a seed that had germinated in her heart after studying the prophet Hosea, who through his obedience to God, married a prostitute, loved her and had children by her – a picture of God’s aching heart loving His people, despite their unfaithfulness, yearning for His beloved and waiting expectantly for her return. Bringing a message of hope and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to a Continent that resembled ‘the faithless wife,’ was all that was on Hephzibah’s heart as she boarded the plane for England.
During the years that followed she worked with social projects that supported the homeless and prostitutes, did home visits, was involved in running faith exploration courses such as Alpha, Discipleship courses, organised evangelistic events, facilitated mission in the wider context without denominational barriers, one to one evangelism and student outreach. She says “I find it empowering for individuals to find meaning and purpose in life, and I love to share the hope the Gospel brings and see transformation taking place in people’s lives.”
During this period she attended Outreach UK , trained as an evangelist and from 2004 utilized that training at St Andrew’s in Nottingham. She also met her ‘lovely husband’ James Shipman and following their marriage, in 2012, moved to Norfolk, where they attend Fountain of Life church. As well as being involved in the church outreach programmes such as Alpha and Youth work and organising community events, she is also developing her own ministry as an evangelist reaching out into the heart of the community. With husband James and other church members they regularly visit a council estate to share the Good News in a practical way and organise activities for the young people they attract. She also visits a local prison where, with volunteers from the Prison Fellowship, helps the chaplaincy in the Bible Studies and Alpha courses.
With a new arrival expected at the end of the year, new challenges will bring new opportunities. The same God whose miraculous provision brought Hephzibah to England to fulfil His purposes, will continue to provide for their every need as a family as they work together towards bringing ‘His Beloved’ back to Him.
Update January 2014
James Shipman,Jim as everyone calls him,very proudly announced the birth of their daughter Beulah Esther Shipman, born on the 20th December 2013, at 17.06, weighing 6ibs 4 oz.
But you will be called, "My delight is in her" (Hephzibah),And my land "Married," (Beulah)
For the Lord delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. Isaiah 62:4b