Archive for the ‘Program Updates’ Category
We are happy to greet you once again through this children’s ministry update and share with you the great things that our Gracious Lord Jesus has enabled us to do through the Child Cry feeding program.
After much planning and careful analysis the Child Cry feeding program was successfully launched in another location on Monday, February 1st, 2010 at one of our educational centers in the remote village of Milkopur in Varanasi district.
This exciting initial launch program was attended by 100 destitute children in the age group of 4 to 12 years from the local village as well as a few adjoining villages. This was a day-long event in which the children played games, saw cartoon films on TV and enjoyed a puppet show. The children thoroughly enjoyed the program never having experienced such kind of fun and frolic in their lives.
The Child Cry feeding program is helping us to feed 25 of the most destitute and malnourished children among the Musahar tribe of this village in the district of Varanasi, North India. The people of this tribe are usually employed as bonded labors and as hired workers in farms where they get wages equal to $ 2 a day. They are often exploited by their masters who sometimes may not pay them their due wages. Usually both the parents work in order to meet their family’s needs. They live in Igloo shaped houses made of mud, straw and hay. They usually sleep indoors in the winters but out in the open fields during the summer season as they cannot afford electric fans or coolers. They also have to go out into the open fields to answer the call of nature as they do not have constructed toilets in their homes. Usually the women rise up very early in the morning before sunrise to go to the fields for toilet and other needs.
Before the Child Cry feeding program was launched here, one of TellASIA’s study centers had already functioning in the village where about 30 children gather each day after their regular village school and are taught basic reading and writing skills. In addition to this the children are also taught stories from the Bible and about Jesus. In order to make the Bible stories more interactive and appealing to them, the children are given picture coloring books and crayons.
These children are also taught general health, hygiene and sanitation practices. The children had never washed their hands with soap. Instead they used to wash their hands only with mud and contaminated water. They had also never before used tooth paste in their lives to brush their teeth. Instead they used their fingers by rubbing their teeth with ash or mud. Now due to the efforts of the local church, the children are being taught oral hygiene and how to brush their teeth with toothpaste and a proper brush and how to keep their hands clean with soap and water.
A touching testimony!
Sangeeta, a 9 year old girl from the Musahar tribe recalls how she often used to go to sleep without having her meal in the night just by filling her stomach with water. Her parents could afford only one square meal a day. She was living a life of despair without any hope of a good future. She is the eldest child in her family with 2 more sisters and a brother. Both her parents leave their children at home during the day time to go out in search of work and earn for their livelihood for that day. Often they come back empty handed with not enough to feed and take care of the family. Though Sangeeta yearned to study like other children she used to see going to school with their school bags behind their backs, yet her dreams of education was a far cry.
We praise God for Times Square Church for providing us the opportunity to feed some of the most destitute children of this village with at least 2 meals a day where previously even one square mea l a day was uncertain. The children of this village are badly malnourished and some of them are anemic. Sangeeta, recalls how she used to have eggs once in 6 months. But now through the Child Cry feeding program, she is getting good wholesome and fulfilling meals two times in a day. She happily acknowledges getting eggs twice a week in addition to vegetables and Chapatis (wheat bread). She had never eaten pudding before in her life, but now gets to eat pudding, her favorite sweet dish twice a week.
Our deep thanks to Times Square Church and the Child Cry feeding program for helping us to put smiles back on the faces of these children. Assisting a child with a nutritious meal each day means the difference between health and malnutrition for these destitute children. Working in mutual partnership with Child Cry, we are thrilled that now we can help prevent unnecessary health problems of malnutrition and under-nourishment of these children while also sharing Jesus’ love. Soon we plan on opening a few more feeding centers like the one above where still a child goes to bed hungry and without hope of a good future.
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This past week we went to the kid’s schools to collect their report cards. Unfortunately, their results were not positive. Although they are well-behaved in school, their grades are very low. One student barely passed 3 classes and failed the rest. Our youngest, Audelia, made the best grades…and got a 93 in English. Maybe we’ll stop our Spanish classes and use her as our translator!
Starting tomorrow they will have a tutor come to the dorm every afternoon to meet with them and bring up their grades. If you think about it, pray that the kids work well with the tutor and that they will understand everything. They were very unreceptive to the idea of having a tutor, so we think they might be embarrassed by it. We’re hoping they will take advantage of it rather than waste the opportunity.
We’re also teaching them basic computer skills. The simple things we learned in grade school are monumental tasks to them…for instance, how to print a document. On that note, if anyone has a decent quality computer or laptop they’d like to donate, please let us know. There’s a short term team coming here at the beginning of June and it can be sent with them.
I received the above letter in late April from missionaries (Mel & Ant) in Guatemala who are facilitating the ChildCry feeding program. You can find out more by visiting their blog http://thebellersblog.blogspot.com/.
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