The Rev. Inba Joshua Inbarasu understands the importance of providing comfort.
Inbarasu was just 2 years old when his mother died in an accident in India.
Growing up, he’d find comfort through his father, Anantharaj, and God’s word.
Inbarasu later embarked on a ministry that has included teaching and hospital chaplaincy.
And, most recently, serving rural churches.
In February, Inbarasu became a part-time interim minister for the Faith Ambassadors Lutheran Parish. The parish consists of five churches in the Scribner, Uehling and Hooper area.
Inbarasu appreciates the rural community and said he’s excited about the opportunity to serve these congregations.
Born in South India, Inbarasu grew up in a Christian family. His parents were educated in a teachers’ training school founded by Danish Lutheran missionaries.
The Danish Missionary Society established churches, educational institutions and hospitals in the region where his family lived.
And at the time of his mother’s death, both of Inbarasu’s parents were teachers.
His older sister was 6 and his brother was 4 years old. Inbarasu’s dad, Anantharaj, brought his children up in the Christian faith.
“I knew God’s love, care and grace through my dad and the faith community,” he said.
Inbarasu said he loved the Lord and was about 13 when he gave his life to Christ.
“Personally, I wanted to live a life of gratefulness to God for his mercy and grace,” Inbarasu said. “I wanted to help others in their grief and loss.”
Inbarasu said his dad was—and continues to be—an excellent role model and an inspiration.
“He is living a great life of trusting God for all the challenges. As a lay person, he was very active in the church,” Inbarasu said.
Inbarasu’s father was involved in ministries, including Gideon’s International and prison ministry. His dad, a linguistic scholar, is retired, but continues to be involved in lay ministry.
Inba Inbarasu became an ordained minister and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
He began his ministry as a theological educator and pastor.
Inbarasu was still teaching in a seminary, when he wanted to take a year off and be with his father, who’d become ill.
But his dad said God would take care of him and urged Inba to do the Lord’s work.
Inbarasu then had the opportunity to join the chaplaincy team at Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore, where he’d grown up and where his dad still lived.
So he was able to work in hospital ministry and help care for his father.
Having experienced grief and loss, Inbarasu believes many people need God’s comforting presence as they experience different diagnoses, illnesses and treatments.
“One of my greatest joys is to journey with them,” he said. “I consider it a sacred journey.”
He’s had the privilege of comforting the sick, holding the hands of people at the time of their deaths and helping people know they’re not alone – that God is with them.
Inbarasu has loved helping people as a hospital chaplain. He’d develop a special interest in learning about chaplaincy and teaching that to others.
While in India, he was senior pastor at the hospital in Vellore, the second largest medical college and hospital in Asia. He’d coordinated the pioneering of the first kind of Clinical Pastoral Education in India.
Inbarasu came to Chicago in 1998 for CPE supervisory training, which he finished in Iowa.
From 2008-2017, he was chaplain educator and CPE supervisor and program director in the Alegent Creighton/CHI Health System.
He’s a CPE certified educator in the Veterans Affairs Health System and a visitation pastor at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church in Omaha.
Inbarasu has been pleased to be serving the Faith Ambassadors Parish.
He preaches at one or two of the churches each Sunday, rotating among the congregations. He teaches confirmation classes, conducts hospital, care center and home visitations, reaches out through the parish’s food pantry and provides leadership.
“I love the work,” he said. “I love the people.”
Admittedly not a farm kid, Inbarasu has worked more in big urban churches, but says he’s a lifelong learner.
He’s open to learning about the rural congregations and ministry.
“I enjoy the community aspect, the love for the land and the love for the community,” he said.
He loves the opportunity to have a long-term relationship and journey with people in the rural churches compared to the short-term contact he had serving in hospitals.
Inbarasu has a passion for congregational work in a rural setting.
He sees what some rural congregations face, because they cannot afford ministers due to declining membership and attendance.
“It’s a challenge at this time for the rural congregations to keep their doors open,” he said. “My heart goes out to not only make them survive, but thrive – that’s my goal. That’s my vision and passion for shared ministry.”
Inbarasu and his wife, Dr. Jeba Inbarasu, have a son, Dr. Jery Inbarasu, who is completing his medical residency, and daughter-in-law, Dr. Jennifer Inbarasu, and a grandson, Isaac.
He looks forward to the future.
“I like to be where God wants me to be and to be a blessing to the places where I am called,” he said. “I am excited to be part of God’s mission and feel the call to serve our Synod and with Faith Ambassadors Lutheran Parish congregations.”