Browsing books, web surfing, drinking chai, laughter, prayer, conversation, the presence of God, friendship, peace, fun.
The South Asian Friendship Center is not simply a bookstore or a place to get a cup of chai, copies made or a fax sent — it is also a place of welcome for the people of Chicago’s Little India. SAFC is where tutoring, ESL, youth and kids’ clubs, conversation and women’s luncheons happen. We extend our hand in friendship to the Devon Avenue community with the message of the Lord Jesus Christ, and love people of all ethnicities and religions.
During times of great crisis, such as natural disasters or persecution, the South Asian Friendship Center is a conduit of aid to affected areas. Also, many who have volunteered and interned at SAFC are now serving overseas in various capacities. A number of our staff are involved in ongoing work, equipping, training and empowering nationals around the world.
Chicago’s Little India is an ethnically distinct residential and commercial community along Devon Avenue. It stretches from Damen Avenue on the east to California Avenue on the west. Historically, the neighborhood has undergone a variety of changes in its 140-year history. First known in the 1850s as Church Road, Devon Avenue became the main shopping area for Chicago’s Jewish community. With the influx of South Asian immigrants in the late 1970s, the neighborhood now has a completely different flavor.
Today some estimate there are up to 400,000 South Asians in Greater Chicago. Nations represented in our neighborhood include India and Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan. Because it caters to South Asian culture and tastes, our unique marketplace draws Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.