"We want to thank all of the sponsors of the children both for financial and prayer support. All of the children passed their exams and were all top 10 in their classes. Please pray for the children who will be starting school for the first time this July."
--Simini Prafulla, the mother of Asha House: the children's home I got to work with in India
I asked her which children would be starting in July: Jyoti, Malathi, Mary, Sunitha, Punitha, Mithulesh!
This is such a big deal because over there, education is setting the captives free. (Sound familiar?) At Asha they are taught basic English and math so that they can pass the entrance exam to get into a public school. Once there, education is continued and a more desirable future is offered. Without formal education, the future of these precious children may consist of begging in the streets or prostitution in the brothels.
But back to the good news: I am so encouraged and in awe at this! Let me share a little background on some of the kids.
Jyoti was born in the slums. Before she was even a year old, her uncle murdered her mom. Also, due to the filthy water in the area, she contracted worms that somehow made their way into her brain. Her aunt chose not to take care of her, and would only take in her twin brother. (In India, it is a big deal to not care for a family member.) However, the founder of Asha House had connections with the pastor that oversees the slums, and the Lord made a way for Jyoti to live at Asha. She recently turned three, and is one of the brightest girls I have ever met. Oh, and one more thing: "Jyoti" means "light" in Hindi. :)
Malathi is another miracle child at Asha House. I'm not sure about the details of how she arrived there, but I know it is rooted in the Lord's perfect care for and faithfulness to her. One morning in October, I arrived at Asha with my team to see this sad and shy little girl. We tried working with her to see where she was in her studies, and found that she knew some Hindi -- but wrote the letters backwards or upside down. She also knew a little bit of a tribal language spoken in the northern rural parts of India. It is assumed that she labored in the fields -- she has buff arms and a muscular stomach. We also think she was beaten. However -- after about a month of being exposed to the Light and love of Christ, she completely transformed and blossomed into a child who laughs and plays and wants her picture to be taken. :) At four years old, her handwriting is better than mine and her dedication to learning is astounding...that is, when she applies herself. :)
Mithulesh is a sweet, sweet boy who stole my heart in a beautiful way. One day he just wouldn't let me leave his side. We played hand games and sang songs together. My heart went out to him that day, and I've had a soft spot for him ever since. In his learning, he has struggled to understand. But he worked so hard! Apparently that hard work has led to understanding, because he's starting public school soon! I only wish I could praise his efforts in person. If the Lord wills...
My heart is swelling for these kids and their lives. They are the salt and light of India, and I am beyond blessed to have worked with them. Their suffering has been great, but it has been greatly surpassed by the grace that is given by Christ Jesus. He is gracious and compassionate, strong and victorious, merciful and sovereign. And He's in me!
Please pray for Asha House as they are always in need of financial support. Finances are needed to send these kids to public school in two months. If you're interested in giving, here's the link to their site and to each of their stories: