India, with a population of over 1 billion, is home to 400 million children, the largest number in any country in the world. One third of the world's children living in poverty are here, and it has the highest mortality rate for children ages 5 and younger than any country in the world - mainly due to malnutrition and sanitation issues. There are several factors that contribute to these problems, all of which are preventable. Additionally, access to a quality education is low and most of the children work instead of going to school, so they remain uneducated and the problems keep multiplying. Despite persecution, especially from militant Hindus, Christianity is fast spreading, and the opportunity to spread the Gospel is enormous.
Read the story of how GO partner, Paul, felt God's calling on his life to start a new ministry venture extending a loving hand to the children of India.
In April 2016, I was on an unreached mountain Gospel Convention for 2 days with my ministry team. After the first night of the Gospel Convention, I came out from my small tent made by palm leaves, and I found a bunch of children sleeping under the trees on bare ground, naked and uncovered. First, I thought they are animals, and, to my surprise, I found they are children without any parents, orphaned, not even named. I enquired the local ministers about the case and I came to know that they were nobody, they simply roam in the woods and live like animals. When the children heard the loud speakers on the mountain, they thought they may get some food and came to the Gospel Convention.
As the Gospel Convention finished that night, everyone went out to their villages, but these children had no one and no shelter to cover their heads. I came back to my tent and began to wonder, "What God is doing with these children on the mountain?".. Then the question came to back as, "What are you doing with these children on the mountain?" I had no answer.
After the convention, I was restless and felt that I could not answer God. I was convinced that I was a hypocrite by simply preaching the love of God and preaching the Good News of Jesus to many but not practicing this Good News with the children. I was reminded of the verse Matthew 19:14, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
I then shared my burden to my wife and children and they agreed that I should do something for the orphaned children on the mountain. So, with the passion and burden from the Lord, Bethany Mission Society's newest ministry to children began in June 2016 with the launch of Bethany Home for Children. The program has now grown to fully provide for 30 children.
Bethany Home for Children provides the following for each child:
- Safe Water
- Spiritual Training