From our children and staff, thank you for your generous support!
“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.’’ (2 Cor. 9:12 NIV)
Last month, we mentioned Karunakar, whose life was forever changed after coming to DEWS Sweet Home Children’s Village in India. You may recall that Karunakar completed his bachelor’s degree in nursing and soon after spent many months back at Sweet Home, tending to the children’s medical needs. We are now delighted to share Karunakar’s story with you that it may be a blessing and testimony of what your love and support can do.
“I came from a very poor background. From my childhood I didn’t get my father and mother’s love. Because my father was a drinker, he used to quarrel with my mother. My mother left me. From then, my grandmother cared (for me) and she is a good believer in (Jesus). My grandmother and church pastor [brought] me (to Sweet Home). After I joined, my entire life was changed with the blessings of God. I learned so many things spiritually, mentally and physically,” Karunakar recalls.
Karunakar often visits Sweet Home even now. Whenever he comes, he brings sweets for the children, provides special meals, and leads worship services giving his testimony to encourage the children to utilize the great opportunities Sweet Home has to offer.
“Now I am very happy,” says Karunakar. “It’s all because of my Heavenly Father, sponsors, Sweet Home, and my ICC family. With my whole heart, I thank ICC for giving me shelter, food, clothing, and life.’’
Joshua is another member of the ICC family whose life was drastically changed after entering Sweet Home.
He shares, “I was born in a small village in southern India. My two older brothers and I lived in a small, thatched roof house. This roof had to be changed after heavy rains to avoid heavy leakage. My mother left for work early each morning in a nearby rice field. Without a husband, she fervently tried to provide enough food and clothes for her three growing boys. Our days were filled with idle hours, trying to find food. Our nights were often cold and wet from the heavy rains. Our village did not have proper roads or sanitation.”
In their village at the time, education typically ended at the fourth grade. Joshua remembers his older brothers being gone for days at a time, trying to find work to support the family.
“One day my mother heard about ICC’s Sweet Home Children’s Village where children could have enough food to eat, learn at a school with good resources and be dry at night. She was pressured by her aging parents and friends to refuse this idea since I was the youngest at home, being about 5 years of age.
“She decided to sacrifice her reputation with the villagers and send me to the children’s village. The distance from my hometown is nearly 140 km (about 90 miles) to Sweet Home Children’s Village. She knew she wouldn’t see me very often, and that I would be alone in a new place and that it would be hard. But she loved me and knew she couldn’t provide for my basic needs. She was tired of seeing me shivering, hungry and without purpose. Her sacrifice that day has allowed me to be what I am today.
“I immediately found almost 50 brothers and sisters. I was taught lovingly by the staff to help catch me up to my age group in school and then enrolled in the local church school, Flaiz. My friends back in my village dropped out of school, got into drinking and smoking and other bad habits. Sweet Home helped me learn to refrain from those bad habits and bad language. The most important thing I learned about was the love of Jesus by learning chapters from the Bible. I was taught many life skills to help me become a responsible adult. My house parents cared for me in a way that made me want to make them proud. We learned to dress properly, keep our house and personal area clean, garden and cook.”
A key lesson learned for Joshua was the importance of the Sabbath.
“When I came near college graduation, one of my ICC brothers and I realized that a few of our final government exams were scheduled on Saturday. When we asked to take them on another day, we were told we would have to wait until the next year and hope they wouldn’t be offered on a Saturday. It was tough for us to watch our fellow classmates go write those exams and graduate. We waited nearly 6 years to take the last exam that finally was scheduled for a Friday, not a Sabbath. God is good, and honors those who honor Him!”
Joshua is now teaching at a Seventh-day Adventist school in upper India where his students learn the same life skills and hope and trust in the Lord that he learned at Sweet Home.
“I have gotten married to a wonderful person, named Mamta Pani, and I believe God is leading our lives.
May God bless each of you this season. Thank you for all you do to support “His Kids’’!