India: Happy Home
In 2003, we started children’s Bible camp program inviting neighborhood children to come to our house, where we lived with my grandmother, to play games and hear the gospel. Soon a vision for something greater, a home for handicapped children, grew in my mom Irene, and I’s hearts.
Amidst India’s poor there is a great struggle to care for, feed, and raise a child with special needs. How does a family leave a totally dependent child, who cannot feed themselves, move independently, or complete any basic personal care tasks home alone all day in order to work to provide basic needs for that child? And how does a family provide for that child if they cannot go to work? Not only do families struggle to decide between earning their daily bread or staying home to take care of a disabled child, they also have to deal with the social implications and cultural disgrace of having a child with special needs. We saw the struggles of children with special needs born into poor families and desired greatly to fill a gap in our society with compassion, therapy, and services for these children.
Realizing this need, we moved forward and by the grace of God, in October 2003, we were able to lease a rundown British hostel property built in the early 1800’s.
With what little resources we had, we cleaned up the overgrown property removing vines and weeds that had taken over the inside and outside of the property growing through the cracks in the concrete walls. We repaired broken roof tiles and bathrooms, and prepared to welcome those who could not care for themselves.
We named our home and charitable trust, Happy Home for the Handicapped, and we started taking in children with special needs right away. To date, we are unable to count the number of lives God has put before us to minister to, and we continue to care for those who cannot care for themselves.
Happy Home has been and is a refuge for children and sometimes adults who have been orphaned, plagued with disease or disability, abandoned, prostituted, widowed, rescued from child slavery, and those who simply come from destitute situations needing food, shelter, and education. At Happy Home we desire to be the love of Christ to this community of people.
In India, special education in public schools does not exist. There are no student helpers, special learning classes, or social programs for these children except in private institutions, which are very expensive. We do not charge anything to the families of the children we serve.
We have a daily school and play home for children with learning disabilities and other special needs. This program is not only for our residential children, but also those in the community who have parents and resources, but need social interaction and educational training. These children come in the morning, socialize, and leave in the evening.
The children living with us who are capable of learning in a traditional manner are sent to primary schools, high school, college, and vocational schools around the city.
Our goal is to give these children a healthy future, by teaching them life skills and self sustainability, to help their bodies grow and gain strength, by providing food, physical and occupational therapy, and giving them confidence in Christ by teaching them that they are capable, they have a purpose, and they are loved.
Locally, we are working to love the people in our city by hosting community events for young people and college students, including community social awareness programs and cultural events. We host an internship program with college students from the local universities earning their Masters of Social Work degrees to try to increase social justice, and care for the underserved people in our country.
God has given us favor among many city leaders, police, and people of influence. We continue to give God thanks everyday for the work He has called us to do, and hope to become even more obedient and useful in his calling despite our own fallibility, continuing to look for ways to impact our community with the skills God has given us.
After our marriage in 2013, my wife Rose joined us full time in ministry. Her skills as a nurse have been a great help and answer to my prayers. Our mission as a couple is to help raise up a generation of people who experience freedom from the spiritual and emotional bondages that have disabled this country for centuries. Some of these bondages include: blind beliefs, jealousy, witchcraft, cast and religious discrimination, emotional manipulation and irresponsibility, mob mentality, religious disputes, a shaming culture, and corruption and crime in every nook and cranny of society. Please pray that God will show us how to facilitate His work in these areas.
Beyond this, our future hope is to acquire a piece of property to build a home for these children with proper facilities to accommodate their special needs, and give us freedom to help and love more people.
We have been running this organization for the last 13 years but we have not been granted permission to do any new construction or modern renovations in the property we lease to facilitate our needs. We are constantly under surveillance by the church that leases the property to us, who are trying to acquire it for their own commercial use. We keep a very low profile in everything we do, to protect or ministry from those who wish to discredit us out of jealous ambition or religious persecution. We have overcome many obstacles and false accusations to police from people attempting to discredit our name. It is important to know that India is oppressed by jealousy and gossip even within the Christian community and we have faced this time and again.
We cherish your prayers over us and know that God is mighty to fulfill what he has called into being.
Please go to our website to read a more in depth of how God turned mourning and ashes into a beautiful story.
Grace and Peace