We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization based out of West Bend, Wisconsin. Our mission is to oversee, organize, and support two different ministries: The Circle of Friends Shoppe in West Bend, WI and the Joyful Journey Ministries in Madhavapatnam, India. You can learn more about our programs by exploring the website, but a basic history of the leadership of ministries is as follows:
About the Director of Joyful Journey Ministries in India, Novahu Valluri:
Novahu was born into the “madiga” caste, which is the most oppressed and exploited caste of the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. His parents named him Noah (which translates to “Novahu” in Telugu) because they had a vision that he would one day become a great minister of God. He was one of ten children, raised in a palm branch hut with no running water, electricity, or toilet facilities in the village of Ganganapalli- and from childhood, he dreamed of being a preacher. Receiving two Bachelor Degrees and a Masters in Theology, Novahu became the Professor of New Testament and Academic Dean at Church on the Rock Theological Seminary in Visakhapatnam. He had an arranged marriage to Manjula Swarna, who had a similar upbringing with seven siblings, also born into the madiga caste. Manjula received a Masters Degree in Education and taught at a government grade school. While in Visakhapatnam, they had two daughters, Karishma and Shekinah.
It was at the Seminary that Novahu met and served as the translator for the pastor of Immanuel United Church of Christ in West Bend, Wisconsin; for a few years, the two of them kept in touch through e-mail exchanges. Then Novahu began to feel called into another direction by God, to go to the remote villages to preach the Word of God to those people who had never heard the name of Jesus Christ. In June of 2005, Novahu and Manjula, along with their two daughters, left their prominent positions in a big city, where they were well-respected and well paid; they had full benefits, free housing, and high quality schooling for their daughters. When Novahu announced his decision, his colleagues laughed and wondered if he had gone crazy, because he was leaving a job in which he had everything to go to a place where he would have absolutely nothing- except for the hope of support from an unknown church halfway around the world in West Bend, WI. From the beginning of this ministry, Novahu has served as the Director of Joyful Journey Ministries and Manjula has served as the principal of Marshall School; they have remained the primary leadership of all parts of this ministry as its influence has grown by leaps and bounds. Joyful Journeys, Inc. is now the official body that supports this mission work, though the funding comes through individuals in the church and beyond.
About the Circle of Friends Shoppe:
In 2008, a member of Immanuel Church who was also a client at the Washington County Abuse Center in West Bend, Wisconsin was so moved by the stories told by other women who had taken their children out of abusive situations with just the clothes on their backs that she wanted to do something to help. She worked with Immanuel Church, who graciously donated a vacant house to open what is now called The Circle of Friends Shoppe.
The Shoppe’s original vision was to allow women from the Abuse Center to start their lives over by “shopping” free of charge for the basics- clothing, bedding, towels, kitchenware, and other household items. Since its opening, eight other public service agencies and numerous school districts have joined in our efforts to help the less fortunate in Washington County by distributing vouchers to their clients so that they may visit the Shoppe. Many of the items in the Circle of Friends Shoppe are donated, but Joyful Journeys, Inc. provides the funds to purchase packaged underwear and socks, as well as other needed household items.