In late November the Adventist church in Myanmar celebrated 125 years celebration. GC President Paster Ted Wilson & his wife Nancy visited for the celebration at the Myanmar Seminary located about 5 hours from Yangon. Child Impact International CEO Jim Rennie accompanied Pastor & Mrs Wilson for some of the trip. Paster Wilson was impressed that Child Impact sponsors about 20% of the children at the seminary which is key to the church in Myanmar. Pastor Wilson said “He is grateful to the work of Child Impact and its sponsors in countries like Myanmar”
In 2001, while on our 2nd Maranatha Missionary trip, we met Yoana Koto – a bright young 10 year old who needed a sponsor to attend Fjarli Adventist Academy. The principal of the school accompanied us to Yoana’s home where we met his parents and four siblings. The Kota family had lived in a mud brick home. However it started falling apart and was no longer safe for the family to live in, so the father built a small thatched hut home until they could afford something better. Yoana’s parents were day laborers and just barely earning enough to provide for their family. Paying school tuition was out of the question. Yoana desperately wanted to attend school. He wanted to read and write and to get an education. So we decided to sponsor him.
In November of 2015, we once again went to India on a mission trip. This time it was to Flaiz Adventist Academy and College. The weekend we visited happened to be graduation. The graduating class was large and ambitious. Over the weekend, a young man walked up to us and asked if we remembered him? We looked carefully, but could not recognize him. Imagine our surprise when he said,“I am Yoana.”
As soon as he said his name, we remembered that young ambitious 5th grade student we agreed to sponsor back in 2001. During the intervening years, we had received reports, and updates on his progress academically and letters from Yoana, but these had not really prepared us to recognize him personally. He had grown and matured so much.
It was such a delight to spend time with Yoana and to know that our investment in his education will give him a means to support himself and his family. Next year, Yoana will graduate 12th grade and our prayer is that he serves the Lord all the days of his life. We long for the day when we will spend eternity with him in the mansions that Jesus has prepared.
Written by Diane and Ivan Cowles.
Child Impact International continues to invest in the well being and education of orphans at the Sunrise Home. Right now there is an urgency to expand the school buildings to provide pre-school and vocational training rooms.
The pre-school is critical because the local government is asking Sunrise Home to help with very young children who have been abandoned by their families on the edges of towns and in the tribal forest areas. These children have been neglected and left to run wild. As such,when they arrive at Sunrise Home they must be taught basic hygiene, clothing, and even how to eat from a plate. Until life skills are learned, these special children cannot be integrated into the daily education programs of Sunrise Home. Right now, these 1-6 year olds are being housed and cared for in the small worship hall, but this cannot continue. That’s why your help is needed.
For many orphans, Sunrise Home is their only home. They have lived at the orphanage their entire life.
With Child Impact International sponsors, many of these students are now away at boarding colleges. However,during vacations and holidays,they return to Sunrise Home. Imagine thirty to fifty teenagers returning home and needing to be occupied! Sunrise Home staff would like to be able to provide these energetic young kids with vocational training during vacation times. A multi purpose room equipped with computers and other practical skill training equipment will help students improve their school performance and ready them to be responsible citizens.
Together, these two projects at Sunrise Home require a minimum of $30,000.
This is an important way that you can make a tangible difference in the life of a child.
Please consider making a gift for this important effort.
Want to read more about this project? Visit the Sunrise Home project page.
Lakshmi Alajangi has just arrived at Sunrise Orphange. Lakshmi lives with her mother and older brother in a government donated, unfinished house. Her father was a hair cutter and daily laborer; however he focused his time on drinking, rather than spending time working and with his family. Sadly, Lakshmi’s father died.
Soon after her father died, Lakshmi’s mentally ill mother became a beggar. Every day, she used to take the children begging to collect leftover food and rice from door to door. When her mother got sick, 4 year old Lakshmi use to collect food for breakfast and lunch for the family from neighbors, then she would eat on the side of the road or under trees. For dinner every day Lakshmi has to wait for her brother to get food, even if he came home late at night. All of the contaminated food and water led to Lakshmi staying ill a lot of the time. Thankfully, Lakshmi was brought to Sunrise and given medical treatment. As you saw previously, our CEO Jim had the opportunity to meet Lakshmi, saying that her smile and spirit were overflowing!
Child Impact International’s Sunrise Home in Bobbili, India, is already “home sweet home” to about 100 children who have lost parents, support, and love in their young lives. But despite their loss, through the ministry of Child Impact International and its supporters, they have gained parents (both in their home parents and their sponsors), the love and fellowship of more siblings than most children can imagine, and a home where they can splash in the river, harvest tomatoes from the garden, and sleep in a soft bed instead of a dirt hut floor. Just recently, these 100 children welcomed another 30 “brothers and sisters” to the Sunrise family.
Sunrise is located in an area where there are multiple tribal groups who live very basic and fairly primitive lives by scavenging in the forests for their sustenance. Many of them make a meager income by harvesting tamarind fruit to sell in the market. Climbing the tall trees, however, can be extremely dangerous and many fall to unfortunate deaths, leaving behind a spouse with no way to support the family or orphaned children.
The life span of those in the tribal groups is only 30-40 years old, often a result of alcoholism due to a fermented drink made from different types of tree flowers. Young men and women marry early, have children, and when a spouse is lost due to a falling accident, alcoholism, or some other unfortunate fate, the children are often left to grandparents while the remaining parent finds another spouse and disappears. Young children are left stranded and girls are often sold as child labor or for prostitution. It is a sad and desperate state for the innocent left with little hope and no support.
This is where Sunrise Home has stepped in. Communities, government workers, and child welfare agencies have come to know Sunrise Home as a shining light of hope for abandoned children in the Bobbili area. Children are brought to the door of Sunrise and given a new life of laughter, acceptance into a family, and a future through an education.
When a child is brought to Sunrise, welfare workers visit the child’s village to obtain a comprehensive report on the child’s situation and any necessary legal paperwork (such as death certificates for parents). During this time, the children are able to stay at Sunrise Home supported by Child Impact International’s Operation Child Rescue fund. Once they are confirmed as orphans and/or that there is a necessity for them to live at Sunrise, Child Impact International then is able to find sponsors to support their stay and their education.
Please pray for the 30 new children at Sunrise Home as they adapt to their new life and await to see what the future holds for them.
The 60th General Conference Session in San Antonio was an amazing experience and opportunity for Child Impact International. Not only were we able to share with thousands of individuals from around the world about the ministry of Child Impact International, but we were also able to sign up over 100 new sponsors! We praise the Lord for such a successful event.
However, one of the highlights of the conference was reuniting with those who are currently or were in the past involved with Child Impact International in India, Myanmar, and Nepal. One of these was Dev.
As a young child, Dev was able to attend our Adventist schools in India through Child Impact International sponsorship. After graduating from Adventist high school, he went on to take a B.S. degree in Microbiology and then a graduate degree in Biotechnology at the University of Hyderabad. After working in various levels of research and science, he is now a businessman and corporate head for a major international company in India.
What a blessing to see the results of sponsorship! Dev is only one example of the thousands of lives who have been given a future because of the generosity of an Child Impact International sponsor. Thank you for helping young men and women like Dev!
Durga and his brother Rajesh woke up everyday to the blaring of train engines or the screeching halt of its iron wheels. The buzz and the hustle of the street near the train station at Vizianagaram was their shelter. The boys earned some money selling fruit – hardly enough to buy them one nourishing meal a day.
The boys’ mother, Sirisha, was still in her teens when she became pregnant with Durga. She was living with her boyfriend. When her parents discovered her out of wedlock pregnancy, they quickly arranged her to be married to her own uncle to cover up the disgrace it would bring on her and her family. Soon she gave birth, and a year later she gave birth to another son, Rajesh. When Durga was three years old and Rajesh was two, their father died. Sirisha decided to return to live with her boyfriend along with her two boys. However, she discovered that he was already married to another woman and that they also had two children. Her boyfriend started an affair with Sirisha and then forced her into prostitution, living off her earnings from her work. He would beat her when she protested and started beating Durga and Rajesh. Worried about her boys’ safety, she lodged a complaint with the police. Although her boyfriend was arrested and put into jail, he was released two days later.
Durga and Rajesh were forced to beg or steal. When they refused, their mother’s boyfriend hit Rajesh with a bottle causing a bloody head injury. He was rushed to the local hospital for treatment, and thankfully for Rajesh, the injury wasn’t fatal. A local government child welfare institution heard about this incident and took Rajesh and Durga to Sunrise Home. Lalitha Varma, Director of Sunrise Home, states that their mother doesn’t know the whereabouts of the boys. “It’s for their own safety”, she explains.
I had a chance to meet Durga and Rajesh in their classrooms. For the first time in their life they are attending school. It’s no wonder their faces are beaming with smiles as they are now living a new life in a new home. “They are very good in helping others”, Lalitha says warmly. “When they wear new clothes, they are very happy”. Because of your support of Sunrise Home, each new sunrise brings a new and better life to a young Indian man or little Indian girl whose life depends on you.
By: John Alfred, Asian Aid India Correspondent