Children's Home Offering Hope

I'll never forget today.

This morning started out pretty normal, if waking up in India ever could be. This was an errand day for the most part. We’re preparing for a team to arrive tomorrow night that we'll be hosting so we had shopping, reorganizing, laundry, all normal things.

This afternoon we walked down an old back road, through a gate, then another, around some new construction, under scaffolding then into a courtyard with a playground full of children. You might think, well that doesn't sound so bad and it wasn’t. What hit me like a ton of bricks on my chest and made me pray under my breath for strength from God to not burst out in tears and scare the children who were happily playing was, this was not like any playground I'd ever been to. The toys looked the same, the kids looked relatively normal & mostly happy, everything you'd expect to find in a playground, except parents. None of those babies were going home today. No one was coming to pick them up and take them to a sleepover or to get an ice cream. They don't have a place they can call home, where they belong besides that place, because they don't belong to anyone.

A little boy, barely 2 years old if that, walked up to me, a perfect stranger, lifted up his tiny hands for me to hold him and as soon as I did he wrapped his little arms around my neck, laid his head on my shoulder and closed his eyes. All he wanted was to be held and loved. So many other kids of all ages came up to me to be held or wanted to be pushed on the swings. I could barely contain my emotions at first then God reminded me that those babies are safe, fed, he loves them and has a plan for each of their lives. That gave me peace and for the rest of my time there I held, played with and loved them and I can't wait to go back.

This afternoon I had the opportunity to go to a place I didn't know much about. 700 people call this place home. This place is many things, one of them being an orphanage to 65 children. I've learned a lot while being here; I learn more everyday. God has given me the patience, grace, faith, hope and love I've needed to deal with the things I've seen and the people I've encountered. I've fallen completely in love with these people and I'm so thankful to God for bringing me here. Since I've been here there have been things that have tried and tested the list of blessings I mentioned above but none so much as that place.

I'll never forget today.

K – 2017 Long Term Volunteer

From a Short Term Volunteer

In June, I spent two weeks in Goa. I had never flown without my family. I had never met
any of these team members. I had never even been out of the country, so this was a major
jump, but it was so rewarding. I met some amazing people. I could not have asked for a better
team. I felt like I had known them for years. We laughed, cried, and stepped in cow poop
together, and with an experience like that, how could you not be close? We really connected
and had a phenomenal time with each other, but I met some amazing people with such strong
testimonies of faith. One teenage boy in particular literally hid from his Hindu father so that he
could go to a believer church on Sunday. That was so convicting. How often do we think,
“Maybe I’ll just sleep in and miss Sunday school, but I’ll try to make it to church.”? But this kid
was hungry for the word of God and the fellowship of other believers. That was so encouraging
but also caused me to take a look at myself and what I was putting first.
One thing that was so evident to me on this trip is that your joy should not come from
your circumstances. India is so different from America. There’s trash everywhere and wild
animals wandering in the streets. These kids don’t have the luxuries we do—the luxuries that
we don’t consider luxuries—but these kids are joyful. They are so happy, and love overflows
from their souls. I suddenly felt so guilty about every complaint I’ve ever uttered. I live in the
best country in the world. I serve the only true, living God. I live in a place where I have literally
every opportunity in the world. I have true freedom. I will not be forcibly married off to
someone I do not love. I am not stuck in a caste system. I have so many things to be thankful
for, but sometimes it’s so easy to make a tiny problem a big deal. It’s easy to get bent out of
shape about nothing, but these people reminded me what joy looks like.
I absolutely fell in love with this country and these people, and I can’t wait to go back. It
didn’t take me long to realize that two weeks was nowhere near long enough.
If you’re thinking about going to India, I highly recommend it. It was amazing. You’ll go
there thinking you’re going to change the lives of some women and children, but I promise you that you’ll come home changed, too.

K- Short Term Volunteer

Story of Piya

Piya is the daughter of a farmer, born and brought up in Bangladesh where she had three brothers and one older sister.  After her older sister married, Piya was required to work on the farm and in the home, but she wanted to do more to help her parents.  So, she went to seek help from one of her cousins, who had just arrived from Mumbai. He promised her to get a good job in Mumbai, and took her with him when he returned. Instead of helping her, though, Piya’s cousin sold her to a brothel and disappeared.  Of course, he had not told her what kind of job she would have to do but abandoned her to be forced into sex work.

8 years later, she is still in Mumbai, sending money to her parents and brothers.  Through Rahab’s Rope, though, she has now learned to make bracelets and sees that she can earn money doing good work. When she first received the payment for making bracelets, her joy was uncontainable, as she said, “this is the first good money we have earned.”  She then kissed her payment saying, “My heart is filled with joy as I am holding it.

Tears filled her eyes, as she said how much she wished she had known Rahab’s Rope earlier; if so, she would have learned something then.  Now, 8 years after she first was trafficked, Piya has returned to Bangladesh, armed not only with a skill, but more significantly, with the hope and dignity that there can be life outside of the brothels.  While leaving, she whispered to our staff, “I am going to start a new life.”