30 years ago, City Express Travel was born as a company to serve our local church and school customers in Chicagoland, to fly within the United States. Over the years, we have grown our customer base to include schools, churches and other organizations across the country. Now our customers travel all over the world – with a focus on group travel, fulfilling mission trips.
From Dust To Glory
Hi, I am Andy Kumar, CEO / Founder of City Express Travel I am simply excited to be part of this company, because a few brave individuals on a mission trip – sharing the gospel made a huge difference in my life bringing hope, healing and joy in our family’s life. I would like to tell you about City Express Travel. My dear mother introduced me to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was very much attracted to mother’s Christian faith, after witnessing a great sense of joy and peace in her turmoil-filled life. I was totally impressed with the simplicity, yet unique story of “the love of God so powerfully expressed through the cross of Jesus”. I accepted Christ in my heart, and thus started my journey of Christian faith. It was all done because few Christian Men & Women from Canada on a mission trip came to share the gospel of grace in India. In 1986, when we started City Express Travel, I had no idea we will be involved in sending over 100,000 short-term missionaries all over the globe. It is humbling to realize that we are able to play our small role in rebuilding lives in different parts of the world. So now you know my personal story, and the reason I get deep personal fulfillment and satisfaction of arranging mission trips and group travel, over and over and over again. Thank you for your kind support. Please let me know how we can assist you planning your trip. We’ll handle all the complex travel planning details, so you can focus on achieving the “Big Picture” of your mission. Andy Kumar CEO / Founder City Express Travel
Story of Andy Kumar, CEO/FOUNDER
A Life Transformed By The Gospel of Jesus Christ By Those On A Mission Trip
The sun rose over the north Indian plains bringing to life the small villages and towns dotted in the fertile lands of the Punjab. A young mother held a newborn baby in her arms and looked out of the open door. All around is poverty, a cruel, cold poverty that was extreme – even in India. An open sewer ran by the house. People were cramped into tiny dwellings with no hope of ever seeing their lives improved. The young mother looked towards the sky and uttered a prayer to god, a god, any god, that this baby would not have to exist in the midst of such depravation and degradation. The baby, a little boy, had been given the name Ashok Kumar. Young Ashok grew up in the shadow of extreme poverty. This poverty became even more intense as his father died, leaving a young widow with young children. Like many young men of that time and place, the communist party seemed one of the only options for freedom from poverty. The other option was a life of crime. Both these options were real to the young Ashok. He was surrounded by idols and the adoration of spirits. The pluralism that all gods were a passage to enlightenment was his daily experience. Then suddenly a marvelous event forever changed the lives of the family and the city. A team of people came into the area, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and Andy’s mother was dramatically converted to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. A new hope descended upon the family. A mother began to disciple her son, and her son let go of the dreams of wealth secured by a life of crime. A generation later that same child, now a man, would be called Andy Kumar. He would go on to devote his life to assisting those who bore the message of the God of the universe, the God and Father of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to take the gospel back to a thousand villages, just like his own, around the world. Andy was given the opportunity of an arranged marriage to a young woman in the Indian community in Birmingham, England. The arrangements were made, and shortly after he found himself in a strange country, a culture unknown to him and a wife and extended family he was yet to know. Tragically, just months after the birth of their only child, Andy’s wife passed away. The long nights of doubt and mourning nearly broke his spirit and his faith. Yet once again he was given the opportunity to be on the move again. He came to the United States to start life over. Arriving in Chicago, he secured a job at the bottom of the ladder in the travel industry. Yet this time, despite the comparative poverty – a dream began to form in his mind. It was during these years he met a beautiful Pakistani American woman, Naila, and soon he was remarried and his daughter had a mother. They went on to have two sons of their own. He dreamed of his homeland, the images of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ brought smiles. Could he create his own business that would one day send out missionaries to people just like those that served his own family? It seemed impossible; with no business background, no capital and yet the dream began to develop into a vision. The vision was cast from the Lord, and in fear and trembling in the early 1980’s Ashok and Naila opened a bank account, put a phone in the front room of their home under the name City Express Travel and started to contact churches about low cost missionary air fares. City Express Travel was born, and now more than 30 years later, thousands of short-term workers have been sent around the world bearing the Gospel message that there is only one God, and he has given reconciliation to sinful men and women by the Blood of the Cross of Calvary. As the years have gone on, City Express Travel has grown to become a successful, international travel agency. Today City Express Travel has emerged into a team of skilled travel professionals. Andy and his family live in the suburbs of Chicago. It seems a long way from a tiny hut, an open sewer and a life surrounded by extreme poverty and crime. His goal is to work with those that would go to the dark corners of the world, where little children and adults look to god, a god, any god in vain, and show them the Light Of Christ.