MOTHER’S DAY IS QUICKLY APPROACHING. What better gift can you give than to sponsor a child for the mom(s) in your life?
Please help us meet our goal of 250 children sponsored for Mother’s Day!
What does this mother want most for Mother’s Day?
Hope for Her Child
In South Asia, Dalits are considered the lowest class of people. They face intense persecution and hatred. Dalit mothers watch as their children:
- Become beggars or daily wage laborers.
- Grow up without any hope for an education.
- Receive beatings from their employers.
- Live without adequate food or proper clothing.
A Mother’s Desperate Longing
Gayana was only 20 when her husband died, leaving her and their young son, Vikranta, alone in the world. Gayana despaired as she wondered how she would provide for Vikranta. She was no longer welcome at her in-laws home, and her elderly parents were unable to support her. Having nowhere else to go, Gayana moved in with one of her sisters. She was so distressed over her situation that she stopped eating and sank into a deep depression. Then a neighbor told her about a nearby Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope center, a place that offered help to poor children. Gayana visited the center and shared her desperate story with the director. To Gayana’s great joy and relief, Vikranta was enrolled in Bridge of Hope immediately.
Bridge of Hope Has the Answer
Bridge of Hope provided Vikranta with everything he needed to attend and thrive at school. Although Gayana found work as a daily wage laborer, she earns only about a dollar a day. Without Bridge of Hope, she would never have been able to provide her son with the education he’s receiving. Gayana is happy and grateful that her son has been given a chance — a chance that many Asian mothers only dream of their children having.
Thousands Ready to Receive Joy
20,000 children are still waiting to enroll in a Bridge of Hope center. All they’re waiting for is a sponsor. All they are waiting for is you. For just $35 a month, you can provide a mother with the hope she’s longing for. Her child will receive:
- A daily nutritious meal.
- The message of Jesus’ love.
- A quality education.
- A better life than she had.
To find out how you can sponsor a child today, visit www.gfa.org/bridge.
This Mother’s Day, sponsor a child in your mother’s honor, and bring hope to mothers who have no hope. Visit www.gfa.org/bridge to find out more.
RAJI OPENED HER EYES WITH DISAPPOINTMENT as the dark reality set in: Somehow she had survived her latest suicide attempt — and her family would never forgive her for it.
She had made many attempts on her life before. Like a cat with nine lives, though, Raji always managed to raise her mutilated body from the grave. With this latest failure, her family would only despise her more, but what could she do when even death wouldn’t take her?
Girl Grows Up in Poverty
Danger had followed Raji since childhood. Her father, Ednit, had a nice job in the military, but when he came home every night, he and Raji’s mother would drink and fight.
Listening to the drunken arguments, Raji and her five siblings could be happy only for the fact that when Ednit screamed at their mother, he wasn’t screaming at them. The alcohol was costly, however, and soon the family fell into desperate poverty.
After the sixth grade, Raji dropped out of school to support her family and found work at construction sites. After each day of toil, she came home to her father’s abuse, and as the years went by she could only dream of escape.
Marriage was the most likely route: Her new husband might be kind and her in-laws loving.
But when the time came to arrange a marriage, Raji’s father had none of these things in mind. Soon she was forced to marry a man who was anything but her savior.
Marriage Leads to Greater Oppression
It was as if Ednit had sought for his daughter the worst version of himself.
Like Ednit, Aadesh drank often and his physical abuse was even more brutal. He tormented Raji for no apparent reason, and his family did nothing to stop him because they hated Raji just as much. It soon became clear that the new bride had stepped from misery into torture.
Then one day, she made a decision. Without thinking twice, she doused herself in gasoline and set herself on fire.
Like many desperate young women who light themselves on fire, Raji hoped her death would be instantaneous, but she quickly discovered the horrible truth.
As the flames ripped across her body, Raji couldn’t help screaming in pain. Her terrified neighbors ran to her house and put out the fire, but devastating damage was already done. The woman writhing on the ground was disfigured beyond recognition. And her in-laws’ hatred for her only intensified.
Hated by Family after Failed Suicide Attempt
After the fire, Raji’s life was even worse than the one she’d tried to escape.
Throughout her painful recovery, her family demonstrated no sympathy or remorse at the way they had treated her.
They felt justified in their animosity.
Isolated from any form of love, Raji grew more desperate. Between her family’s scorn and her self-doubt, she heard a rough voice whisper in her ear, “Commit suicide and finish yourself.”
She tried to obey the voice once, twice — as many times as she could. Whether by the neighbors or bad planning, she was always thwarted as completely as on the day of the fire.
With each failed attempt on her life, her situation became more hopeless, as if she’d been condemned to live forever. And as long as she lived, Raji was certain, misery would follow.
But one day, one of Raji’s neighbors showed her a strategy she hadn’t tried before.
Finally, a Friend
The neighbor told Raji about Jesus, who loved everyone so greatly that He died for their sins. Raji could see for herself in a film the local pastor was going to show in the village.
The pastor explained even more that night about Jesus, and as Raji watched the movie, she could see the goodness of this Man.
As she watched the crucifixion, she realized how deeply Jesus loved her. And after a lifetime of pain, she was eager to embrace Him.
Soon after Raji chose to follow Christ, she began attending prayer meetings and Bible studies. To her surprise, Aadesh not only encouraged her — he went with her, and listened with an open heart!
With a new joy that seemed incomprehensible, Raji began sharing the Good News with her sister-in-law. Within a week, she, too, decided to follow Jesus. Suddenly, Raji’s worst enemies had become dear friends.
Now the trio regularly attends church together, Raji’s home is filled with harmony, and the life she used to dread has become a sweet gift.
“My burden is rolled away,” she says, “and I feel peace in my heart.”
You can bring peace to lives of turmoil by showing them Jesus’ love on film.
Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
COMPASSION SHOULD ALWAYS DRIVE US TO DO SOMETHING, because God’s love can’t flow through us unless we ACT. How do you spread God’s compassion on a daily basis? First, we have to assume that the people in our lives are there because God has placed them there. And He has placed us with them. We don’t need to look far afield for a “ministry” or for opportunities to love others. Let’s face it – there are people in need in ALL of our lives, whether they’re family members, co-workers, students or friends. I believe that these are the ones to whom God has called us first.
Farther away – all over the world – there is tremendous need, but how do we meet that need? How can I possibly minister to someone who has been left homeless because a flood washed away her village? How can I put clothes on the back of a young man who’s all alone in a refugee camp? How can I feed starving children in a famine-ravaged country? How can I reach across the miles, through impenetrable barriers, over mountains and valleys and political walls?
How can I?
How CAN’T I?
God has provided many ways, and here’s just one. Remember that 100% of your gift to Gospel for Asia goes to the field, which means that you CAN cross all barriers – you just might have to do it through someone else. Please read about GFA’s slum ministry, then pray how God’s compassion can best flow out from you.
Gospel for Asia’s Slum Ministry
Rapidly growing slums, with millions of people living in extreme poverty and struggling for survival, are a huge problem for South Asia’s major cities. Up to 25 percent of the population of these urban areas live in slums. Thousands arrive daily from rural areas in search of jobs and a better life, only to become trapped in desperation and hopelessness.
Open sewage, polluted water, lack of health care, illiteracy, superstition and diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS are just some of the threats all around them. Every day is a new battle to somehow find a job — or keep the one they have — as laborer, porter, sweeper or house servant. If that’s not possible, they must resort to begging, scavenging or prostitution to be able to eat. If they get too sick or too old to work, there is no social agency to help them survive. No wonder many slum dwellers drown their fears and sorrows in alcohol.
But wherever the love of Christ is shared, people find new hope and a future in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel for Asia’s ministry to the slums began in 1999, with outreach to four major Indian cities. Today, our missionary teams serve in thousands of slum neighborhoods, bringing hope in a two-fold manner — through the message of Jesus’ redemption and through living out His sacrificial love. They conduct free medical clinics and teach basic hygiene and preventive health measures. They provide literacy classes for adults, conduct tutoring classes for children and hold weekly Sunday schools. They have planted hundreds of churches, and thousands have heard the Gospel.
GFA also has a Bible college in Mumbai (Bombay) designed to train future missionaries for slum ministry all across the Indian Subcontinent. In addition to the study of God’s Word, classroom training consists of practical instruction in the various aspects of slum ministry. The obstacles are many, but our gracious heavenly Father has great plans for the poor: “Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom …?” (James 2:5).
Our slum ministry is different from other outreaches because we deal with masses of desperate people who have no means whatsoever to better their situation or escape their surroundings. It takes tremendous self-sacrifice and patience on the part of our native missionaries to work among them, win their trust and lead them to Jesus. It also entails meeting urgent and often unique needs.
It’s incredible to encounter believers from our slum fellowships.
It’s incredible to encounter believers from our slum fellowships. You can easily see by the sparkle in their eyes and the joy on their faces that Jesus has brought light and hope into their lives. And their testimonies tell of the love and power of God that set them free from bondage and sin, and even healed many from sickness. Most of all, through the Lord Jesus Christ, they are now part of the family of God and have become our brothers and sisters.
We want to continue taking Christ’s message of hope to millions who are outcasts of society and invite them to become sons and daughters of the living God.
Please prayerfully consider how God might use you to reach the millions of slum dwellers of Asia. Your prayers and gifts can transform thousands of lives, both now and for all eternity.
If you’d like to meet someone who lives out the compassion of Christ every day in the slums of India, go here: http://www.gfa.org/videos/real-life-hero/
Please take a moment – look into the lives of these precious children. Then ask God how you can help.
This month’s mission is going to take us all on a journey to a place most of us would never want to go – the slums and Dalit villages of Asia. We are going to meet some children and hear their life stories. And it won’t cost you a cent.
Please order – then read – K.P. Yohannan’s FREE book No Longer a Slumdog. Go to www.gfa.org/book to order your free copy. You can also visit www.nolongeraslumdog to watch the video stories that accompany those in the book. These resources will take you into a world you may never have heard of, but one that is more real than these “slumdogs” would like. They live it every day.
Here’s a short excerpt from the story of a boy named Nadish, who was abducted and sold into forced labor:
“He would lock me in a small room with the animals. Days turned into weeks, and my stomach would growl. He never gave me enough to eat,” said Nadish. “Weeks turned into months, and my body would ache. The work was hard, and there was never enough time to rest. Months turned into years, and I began to think that this would never end.”
But through a miraculous event, Nadish found his way back into the loving embrace of his mother. Dr. K.P. Yohannan’s newest book, No Longer a Slumdog, unveils the true-life accounts of many of South Asia’s children, like Nadish. The message hits hard. He speaks of “winds of change” and a powerful move of God.
The children’s stories tell of going from a life of heartache and poverty to finding joy, laughter and a bright future. Despite the affliction these children face, Yohannan shows us there’s opportunity for change as many find new life in God‘s redeeming love.
No Longer a Slumdog inspires faith that a better tomorrow is truly possible. Order your FREE copy today, and allow God to take you into a world where pain, hunger, slavery and hopelessness abound. This is where Jesus walks every day, and brings hope to forgotten people.