Biography – Ravi Zacharias
The Beginnings of RZIM
RZIM Zacharias Trust is named after its founder, Ravi Zacharias. Ravi’s own journey has been one of remarkable transformation from a turbulent childhood in Asia to becoming one of the world’s best-known apologists.
Born in India in the 1940s, Ravi’s religious upbringing was an eclectic blend of both spirituality and superstition. Although his parents were nominally Christian, they did not have a personal faith in Christ and their routine involved attending the temple during festive occasions as well as consulting palmists from time to time.
As he grew up, Ravi felt a growing sense of emptiness in his life, which culminated in an attempt to take his own life at the age of 17. Ravi was fortunate to survive and as he slowly recovered in hospital, he experienced a radical transformation that would dramatically alter the course of his life. As his mother read to him from John’s gospel he was stunned by the words: ‘Because I live you also will live’. After meditating over these words he decided to commit his life to Christ and soon became gripped by a new-found hunger to discover the truth – a desire that would sustain him throughout his life. He felt a burning need to learn more about God and, when he returned to full health, he began to immerse himself in studying the gospel.
His family emigrated to Canada in 1966 and, after attending Bible College, Ravi became an itinerant preacher. Evangelism was Ravi’s driving passion and as he spoke in many different settings, he began to realise the desperate need for a ministry that was able to proclaim the gospel effectively in a cynical world. In particular, he desired to reach the happy thinking sceptic and to help them address their objections about Christianity so that they could see the cross, clearly and unhindered. In 1984, this ministry became a reality when a Christian couple who shared this same vision offered to provide the means to establish Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). From this initial leap of faith, the organisation has now grown to become a truly global ministry. This development has been possible because of the generosity of our worldwide supporters, a community of believers united with the same desire to see the world transformed by the love of God.
For more on Ravi Zacharias’s story, please read his autobiography Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows
Apologetics with a Touch
Love is the most powerful apologetic. It is the essential component in reaching the whole person in a fragmented world. The need is vast, but it is also imperative that we be willing to follow the example of Jesus and meet the need.
Wellspring International was established in 2004 as a practical expression of what RZIM preaches and defends. The vision behind this humanitarian arm of our ministry is to identify and fund individuals in need, as well as existing organisations that are helping those at risk in their communities, specifically women and children. Wellspring is involved in numerous projects worldwide and these range from caring for HIV/AIDS orphans in South Africa and supporting a drug-rehabilitation programme in Indonesia to providing a home for the destitute in Southern India and working on an initiative to improve schools in Uganda.
One hundred percent of donations given to RZIM and designated for Wellspring are distributed to projects overseas that we have researched and vetted.