"How can I not look at these guys and not see the example of what I've always thought Christianity should be? These men and their families walk in solid faith and amazing compassion that is challenged every day, even unto their deaths. I can only hope to one day be even one tenth of that." - Jeremy Brookins

i58 Children blog and volunteers' journals.

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Orphanage Updates

June 18th, 2009

South India Orphanage

1. Why did the leaders of the orphanages decide to care for children?

Ans: The leader of this orphanage has been born and brought up in a family where he has no care and concern from his parents. He led a life similar to an orphan because his parents has difference of attitude and used to involve in fights with each other. As a result there is no peace in the family. The children led an insecure life. Hence he know the care what an orphan requires.He has the dedication which one require to take care of an orphanage. He doesnt do it as a job but as his responsibility.

2. What difficulties do they face (other then financial support) on a daily, and weekly
basis?

Ans: The children are from different family back grounds and the leaders need to coordinate all of them. This would take few months for the leaders. And also Kids feel very bad and sad when they look at any children out side nearby orphanage who are under the care of their parents. This is really a great task for the leaders to console them. The main problem the leaders face is they need to replace their parents inthe area of love and affection and care.

3. In what ways do they want to make a difference in the lives of the children they care for?

Ans: As the children are away from their belongings and have been neglected there is a chance for them to develop a negative feeling against the society. Kids may grow cursing their birth having no parents and society treating them as untouchables and poor. At this instant the leaders need to develop moral values in the kids and show them love and affection.

4. What is there hope for the children when they are able to leave the care of the orphanage? (Try and express something other than ministry).

Ans: whenever they feel that they can live on their feet and they will find jobs and live by themselves.there is chance they keep in touch with the orphanage by visiting and if possible providing some gifts and meals.

5. A number of people in the United States have seen “Slum Dog Millionaire” – does the movie depict the trials of the children and young people in India ? (pick out one or two children and describe why they live at the orphanage instead of with their birth family)

The movie made it look like there are thousands of children without care – is this reality and why is this?

Ans: Yes slum dog millionaire movie exactly depicts trials and difficulties of children in India.

1. Yadagiri a boy from the orpahnge, his father is HIV infected He is too weak to work and feed the family, mother left the father went with another man. later father died. this little boy is left alone on the streets begging at homes for food,boy fills stomache with water if no food. Boy never experienced full stomache and parents love and affection. yadagiri is brought to Orpahange. After coming to orphanage ,now Yadagiri enjoys the food at orphanage,and he is happy with the love and affection from the orphanage

2. Srilatha is a girl brought to the orphanage after grand mother died. Parents got divorced 4 years back since father had illegal contact with another lady. mother remarried to another man leaving child at grand mother’s home.both parents had big fights and quarreling always at home which effected srilatha very badly. After divorce,girl spent few months with grand mother,Grand mother also died,Srilatha was working in a rich people’s house washing cloths,cleaning and washing vessels and child labourer by force. A pastor saw her misery as forced labour and brought her orphange. Now Srilatha is very happy leading cheerful life with all facilites at Orphange,she started forgetting about the agony and pain which she suffered with parents. She feels she cannot imagine the life without being at orphanage. Now she studies well and goes to school and happy with other kids at orphanage.

India Orphanage

1. Why did the leaders of the orphanages decide to care for children?

Ans: Pastor is hindhu convert.He lived his childhood as orphan since his father left the mother staying with another lady’s home. Mother was too poor to take care and feed 5 children. so Pastor has gone through all pains as an orphan working as slave in Rich man’s house. From then he had a desire to start an orphanage show the love of parents and love of jesus to orphans. He strongly believes the true religion is to feed and take care of orphans. he is dedicated man for orphan ministry.

2. What difficulties do they face (other then financial support) on a daily, and weekly
basis?

Ans: The children are from different family back grounds and the leaders need to coordinate all of them. This would take few months for the leaders. And also Kids feel very bad and sad when they look at any children out side nearby orphanage who are under the care of their parents. This is really a great task for the leaders to console them. The main problem the leaders face is they need to replace their parents inthe area of love and affection and care.

3. In what ways do they want to make a difference in the lives of the children they care for?

Ans: As the children are away from their belongings and have been neglected there is a chance for them to develop a negative feeling against the society. Kids may grow cursing their birth having no parents and society treating them as untouchables and poor. At this instant the leaders need to develop moral values in the kids and show them love and affection.

4. What is there hope for the children when they are able to leave the care of the orphanage? (Try and express something other than ministry)

Ans: whenever they feel that they can live on their feet and they will find jobs and live by themselves.there is chance they keep in touch with the orphanage by visiting and if possible providing some gifts and meals.

5. A number of people in the United States have seen “Slum Dog Millionaire” – does the movie depict the trials of the children and young people in India ? (pick out one or two children and describe why they live at the orphanage instead of with their birth family)

The movie made it look like there are thousands of children without care – is this reality and why is this?

Ans:

Raghu is the boy,father is drunkard and beats wife and kid every day very cruelly.Once he beat his wife till she was at the edge of the death. he was arrested and imprisoned for murder attempt on his wife. Raghu’s mother lost her mind since her brain was badly damaged by husband. She is mentally handicapped. The littel boy raghu has no body to take care of him. he was begging and sleeping on the streets. pastor found him with filthy cloths on streets begging and brought him to orphange. After coming to orphange,he was completely all right .he is very smart at studies and singing. He forgot the past and leading happy life going to school with fellow kids.

Praveen is a boy. He lost his parents at the age of one year only. During this instant one of his relatives adopted him since they had no children after many years of their marriage. Within two years they had children. Since then they started neglecting him. His condition became so worse and he was sent away from home by his adopted parents. He started taking shelter in busstand and railway station and begging for food. In such a critical condition pastor v. Pastor was moved by his condition and brought him to the orphanage. From then he is growing with discipline and joy. Now Praveen is experiencing love and affection at the orphanage which he missed from his his parents and adopted parents.

India Orphanage

2. What difficulties do they face (other then financial support) on a daily, and weekly
basis?

Ans: The children are from different family back grounds and the leaders need to coordinate all of them. This would take few months for the leaders. And also Kids feel very bad and sad when they look at any children out side nearby orphanage who are under the care of their parents. This is really a great task for the leaders to console them. The main problem the leaders face is they need to replace their parents inthe area of love and affection and care.

3. In what ways do they want to make a difference in the lives of the children they care for?

Ans: As the children are away from their belongings and have been neglected there is a chance for them to develop a negative feeling against the society. Kids may grow cursing their birth having no parents and society treating them as untouchables and poor. At this instant the leaders need to develop moral values in the kids and show them love and affection.

4. What is there hope for the children when they are able to leave the care of the orphanage? (Try and express something other than ministry)

Ans: whenever they feel that they can live on their feet and they will find jobs and live by themselves. there is chance they keep in touch with the orphanage by visiting and if possible providing some gifts and meals.

5. A number of people in the United States have seen “Slum Dog Millionaire” – does the movie depict the trials of the children and young people in India ? (pick out one or two children and describe why they live at the orphanage instead of with their birth family)

The movie made it look like there are thousands of children without care – is this reality and why is this?

Ans:

Poojitha is from the orphanage. She lost her parents at her early age. Since then she has been in the protection of her grandmother. Within two years her grandmother fell ill seriously and expired. She had none to take care of her. In this pitiable condition her relatives started taking care of her on monthly basis. But she was treated as a slave at every house. She was vexed with their ill treatment and ran out of home. From then she was roaming on roads. she has no proper clothing. The leader of this orphanage went to her and asked to come to the orphanage. But due to her previous experiences she first denied to come. Anyhow he convinced her and took to the orphanage. From the day she joined the orphanage she was leading a secure life. She also stands first in studies.

Vinay is from the orphanage. He came to a fair with his parents. but he didn’t go home with his parents he was missed at some place. we came to know that this boy is missed by his parents intensionally since parents didnot come to take him. We felt that His parents didn’ mind that he was missing. When the boy was asked about his details he was able to tell only his parents names. as nobody came for him one of the villager came forward to take care of him. But his idea was opposed by his relatives hence he left him. And the boy is staying in the bus station. he is not begging food but is depending on the gifts given by the passengers voluntarily. In this condition our leader brought him to the orphanage and the boy was so lean and proper medication is provided to him. Now he is leading a very happy life.

Update from South India Orphanage

June 11th, 2009

My precious Brother Rick Frantz & Pam Frantz

Greetings to you wonderful name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is able to do great and might things.

Last two months children enjoyed in summer holidays, again next week onwards school are going to reopen. All the children getting ready for school, I request please remember in your prayers.

By Gods grace children home construction work was going on, along with this mail I am sending update construction pictures, I request please go through it.

For the children home construction as you know, we need lot of money. Our God is great big God, we all are continually praying and looking for the great showers of blessings from Almighty god.

Thank you so much for all kinds of your support and encouragement, we all are continually praying and looking for your visit.

Street children project is going on, I request please remember in your prayers. We all are very much thankful to you for your great heart and kind concern.

We all are praying and looking forward to hear from you.

Thank you
Pastor
Truthful Gospel Ministries Society

Quick Update…

January 24th, 2009

This past week we have been in a East and North-East India where construction is beginning on a new church. KK plans to move his base of operations here as it is centrally located within a major citry and has easy access to neighboring states. KK plans to construct an orphanage, school, and medical clinic this property. The area feels pretty dark, KK informed us that there are no Christians in the area and there is a large Hindu temple nearby. But the property is nice, it is outside of the city a bit surrounded by fields of rice, mustard, and other vegetables. Unlike the city, the air is good there. We arrived in East and North-East India on Monday afternoon after spending 6 hours in a very bumpy jeep ride, I don’t think that KK’s jeep has any shocks. KK had to be there to coordinate the beginning of the construction project, purchase raw materials, and oversee the beginning of the foundation work.

Construction projects here are significantly different that at home. The holes for the column foundations are dug by hand using a tool that is more like a hoe than a shovel. The dirt is loaded into baskets and tossed out of 4-foot deep hole. A group of ladies have been hauling this dirt to construct an access ramp for the site. By hauling I mean that they load the dirt into baskets and carry it across the site to the ramp location and dump it. The rebar for the foundations is all cut, bent, and bound together with wire by hand. The concrete is mixed by hand on a brick platform. I was asked on multiple occasions if this is how we do ti in the States and could only smile and answer “kind of.”

So on Thursday, they had sufficiently completed the prep work to being the foundation. They have a ceremony for the beginning of a building construction. Village people came out of nowhere, snacks were brought out, we sang a hymn, read Psalm 121, and prayed over the building and the land. The three primary laborers were honored with a small gift and shook everyone’s hands. And everyone was given something to eat, a pastry filled with curry, a Bengali sweet (dough soaked in a cane syrup) and another sweet sugary thing. It was a good little ceremony and was definitely the highlight of our week in East and North-East India. It is pretty cool though to be part of building a church in a place where there are no churches, a place that desperately needs light and hope.

On Friday night we returned back, that drive is not fun, but we were all very excited to come back and see the kids.

We are with KK!

January 19th, 2009

15 hour flight highlighted by great spicy food. Lots of time to sleep, well mostly me sleeping, time to talk and pray with each other. We finally made it to our destination but could not find KK. The decision to jump into a cab of sorts came after a while. The ride was intense. The hotel is nice. Sam was under a little pressure as our number for KK was incorrect. After waking up Ben to dig up one of Sam’s old journals to find KK’s number we felt a bit of relief. Just as that happened the door rang and as we prayed KK appeared! We will be traveling by train through the night.

There is very little I can put into words about how tight our team is. It is wonderful experiencing this with close friends.

Please continue praying for us as divine appointments are the theme of the trip thus far.

First Blog

January 19th, 2009

I spent the first ten minutes of this blog staring at the computer screen completely blank. At breakfast today Sam asked who wanted to write the first blog, I answered before I even thought about it. I find I do that often. Words come out as if someone else spoke them and I look around for who the noise came from. I would sound great for me to tell you that this tendency is me acting out of the unction of the Holy Spirit but I know that I am, in general, an incautious creature. If immediate retrospect is possible I am a pro.

Several times yesterday I courted the thought of “what am I doing” which instantly made me feel faithless. I said I was going to India and then I looked around for who made the noise. I know in His divinity, God wove it into His plan for me to come to India but still I doubt. Not so much Him as me. My disbelief is so much easier to entertain than His sovereignty. I am daily acquainted with my unqualified human state. We have become good friends if you define good friends by the amount of time spent with another and not necessarily by the relationship being mutually beneficial. I am little acquainted with the sovereignty of the Lord. Not because it is not everyday around me but because I do not take enough time to dwell in it, to hang out with Him, if you will. But there is hope yet for me, because whether I believe it or not God is who He says He is. And so when my what am I doings arise I am only bringing worry to myself. God is not concerned with my incapabilities. He embraces them for there He can truly be glorified. I am sure this is a lesson I have heard either at church or in some counseling session with a friend but hearing does not mean understanding. Oh, would that it were that simple.

I felt truly handicapped as I was preparing for this trip. Questions of what I had to offer to the team and to the people we will be ministering to entwined themselves around every thought I had about going to India. I even doubted whether I would actually go even up to the week before we left. I woke up early Thursday morning before we flew out of the states and spent the first few minutes lying next to my sister crying into her shoulder asking myself “what am I about to do?” We were on the plane(s) yesterday and I couldn’t keep the questions quiet. It’s amazing what thoughts roll through your head when you are barreling through the air miles above the earth, like there is anyway of getting off or going back. My ipod broke months before we left and I never brought myself to get it fixed so in substitute for not having music readily available (we are so spoiled) I believe the Lord put one song in my head that has just completely lodged itself there, If You Say Go. The lyrics are more than poignant and the Lord is slowing healing the parts of my mind that were preoccupied with the questions and my incapabilities. The chorus is “Your ways are higher than our ways, and the plans that You have laid are good and true, if You call us to the fire You will not withdraw Your hand, we will gaze into the flames and look for You.” For me the country of India is a fire and I haven’t stopped looking.

A Safe Return

April 20th, 2008

It is Sunday night, and by now we have each reached home and, no doubt, had some joyful reunions with you all, who we have deeply missed during our two week trip. When Eric and I left Rhode Island, the grass around our house was dead and we had to wear jackets outside. Now, it is a rich green everywhere, and even some daffodils are blooming in our yard. It is absolutely beautiful here.

We came home yesterday morning and found wonderful “welcome home” surprises on our coffee table from our Sherpa Family: a beautiful Indian patterned card, an album containing all of the blog postings and comments, a bottle of wine and pack of Red Bull (guess which one Eric snatched immediately? :-) ) Thank you SO very much! We love you and missed you, and we can’t wait to see you tomorrow…

Part of my mind and heart is still back in India. This was such an amazing trip, and one that was drenched in God’s grace. Looking back at the amount of miles we covered, the things we were able to see, the safety, health, laughter and friendships we enjoyed - it is nothing short of a miracle. We were planning to see 7 or 8 orphanages; we visited 11 orphanages, 3 slums and a leper colony. We had no travel issues - no lost luggage, no flat tires, no accidents and no scheduling problems. Most of all, we come home with tons of information about the children, orphanages and pastors, having conducted countless interviews and taken hundreds of pictures.

And we have memories in our hearts that will never disappear. I am so thankful for each child I met, for each hand I got to hold, and each smile exchanged. Here are some moments, both joyful and heart-breaking, that I pray will always stay with me:

The laughter of a 2 year old village boy as he sat on my lap outside the church
Praying together with a mother for her blind 5 year old son
Shaking the fingerless hands of a man living with leprosy
Having a 14 year old orphan girl ask me to take her to America
Hugging the pastors good-bye
The singing of the children at an orphanage, who sang the following song:

I have a maker,
He formed my heart.
Before even time began
My life was in his hands.

He knows my name,
He knows my every thought,
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call.

I have a father,
He calls me his own.
He’ll never leave me
No matter where I go.

He knows my name,
He knows my every thought,
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call.

I am so grateful for all of your love, support and encouragement. Eric and I could really feel your prayers during the trip. Whether or not you ever step foot in India (and I hope that you do), I hope that the orphans’ and pastors’ stories have stolen a piece of your heart. Who better to lose it to? :-)

God Bless,
Allison

renewing of the spirit

April 16th, 2008

Yesterday was by far the hardest day of the trip for me. Lack of sleep, a mild concussion and a hotel room that should have been condemned were beating down my spirit. It was hard to smile. We arrived at the Church last night totally drained… we were all worn out. I had nothing left to give until we sat down and were swarmed by all of the smiling little faces.

Children truly are a gift from God aren’t they? As I got up and began to play with the children there for the service I felt a renewal of spirit, it was like I was being recharged. I forgot all about my throbbing headache and began to take pictures.

“One more photo please!!” rang out over and over and over…. they love the camera. It was just what I needed.

This morning I woke early and watched the sun rise from the roof of the hotel. It was quiet and as I was praying a monkey decided to join me. He just came right over and checked me out. I am getting used to the stares so it didn’t bother me. I gave him an orange. :)

We are off to the airport for our flight back. We will see all of you very soon.

Herb

Little Fingers, Big Smiles

April 16th, 2008

We have had a busy couple of days. On Monday, we took a 16 hour train ride from to our destination, arriving at our hotel at 6 am on Tuesday. After resting for a few hours, we went to the Pastor’s home for a great breakfast. Then we went to his orphanage, which now has 7 children. Six of the boys were there for us to play with, while the only girl was back at the house to help prepare lunch and dinner for us with the Pastor’s wife, mother and grandmother. We noticed right away that there were no toys on hand for us to play with, just one flat soccer ball. So, Mike, Herb and the pastors headed out for some sports equipment while Mat and I came up with some silly games. The boys now know how to limbo, play musical chairs, and (of course) play slaps. When the rest of the team returned, there were soccer balls everywhere and a cricket game began. Adam also played some indoor badmitton with a boy for at least an hour.

I have had so much fun with the kids over the past days… The girls I’ve met have been teaching me Indian dance moves, we’ve been spinning til we’re dizzy in the yard, they’ve been braiding my hair and pinning in flowers, playing Simon Says and collapsing on the grass in laughter. It’s been a blast. So, at the Pastor’s orphanage, I found myself looking out for the little girls again. And then there they were, on their knees peeking into the orphanage hall where the guys were playing with the boys with their faces and fingers pressed against the entryway steps and stoop. They were the extended family of the orphanage’s watchman, and lived in the run down “house” adjacent to the orphan hall. This was just what I needed!

I spent the rest of my time on the front porch with these 13 people, 6 of which were little girls ages 1 to 6. I got to paint their tiny fingernails pink. Their hands were so small that only 2 light touches of the brush covered their entire nail. It was so sweet to sit with each of them, and then to watch them move into the shade afterwards, with their fingers spread wide apart, and sit still for the polish to dry. It was fun to see their mothers pushing the babies toward me and to have them help hold the little ones still. It was very special to hold the girls’ little hands, see the dirt caked under their nails, and see their smiles as they felt they were becoming more beautiful with each brush stroke. I’ll never forget it. :-)

Now we are going to check out of the hotel, have breakfast at the Pastor’s home again (our 4th meal there - excellent food!), and ride 4 hours or so, where at 4:30 this afternoon we catch a flight. Tomorrow we are visiting our last orphanage before boarding the plane back to the States. This was not a planned stop, but will be amazing, I’m sure. It is an orphanage with 130 children run, almost single-handedly, by a woman.

We will blog more tomorrow! We love you, miss you and can’t wait to see you next week! Oh, also today is Mike Clowe’s birthday! Send him an email or post a Comment - he is turning 22!!!

Love, Allison

sad Goodbye’s to new friends

April 16th, 2008

Today was the last day we had our guardian angel, the Pastor, with us. He was such a blessing, he strengthened us with his laughter and dedication to the ministry here. He approached the request to guide us with a servant’s heart and worked non stop to make us as comfortable as possible. We just prayed over him and sent him back to his village with many new memories and well wishes. I know that I will see him again and when I do I look forward to seeing the growth in his orphanage and Church.

We are in a very small, poor city. The entire area suffers from a huge water shortage and the heat is stifling. My watch read 108 while I was playing cricket with the orphans today. Yes, 108 degrees.
Mike and I went with the pastors this morning and bought badmitton rackets, birdies, soccer balls, cricket bats and balls and an indoor board game called Carams for the boys in this orphanage….. they had absolutely NOTHING prior. They loved the carams game and flocked to it quickly…it warmed the heart to see having fun.

My prayer prior to coming was that I would have the strength to hold nothing back but would pour myself completely out on these people and as we slowly wind our way back I feel I am almost there. I am emotionally drained but in a strange way full of new strength. I really could stay. Part of me wants to.

Until tomorrow,

Herb

Hilarious Quotes from the Trip

April 15th, 2008

Hello all. After a 14 hour train ride, we are all safe at our destination to visit our last orphanage before we head back. So just as a quick entry, I thought I would list several quotes by various team members that have kept our spirits up and laughter loud:

1. “How far? Just five minutes.”
2. “tii…This is India.”
3. “Yee Haw…hooh doggy” (from our Indian tour guide)
4. “Pastor, you just took a dirt nap”
5. “Can I have my cipro back”
6. “But I don’t want to put a cork in it”
7. “Have you seen the chickens around here?”
8. “What movie?”
9. “Is that pee?”
10. “Is that pee, again?!”
11. “I shaved so you didn’t think I was a terrorist.”
12. “What big city do you live near in Ohio?” “Columbus.” (thinking) “What NFL city do you live near?”

More quotes to come, which all will be explained in our post trip out-takes.

Sincerely,

Spicy Spice

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