India (MNN) — There are more orphans and unwanted children in India than any other country. In most cases, kids will end up on the streets and won’t have hope for a promising future.
On their own, children can be forced or easily persuaded into a life of alcohol, drugs, and violent gangs. Many will be pushed into forced labor and experience some type of abuse. Girls as young as 7 or 8 years old will end up in the sex trade. And nearly all of the 20 million children on India’s streets will fall into extreme poverty.
But Jonathan Bollback of Help India Kids explains their mission homes exist “to attend the needs and hurts of those kinds of kids.” Their mission homes have made extreme differences in kid’s lives and reintroduced a hope that has long been forgotten.
Manushri* is one example of the many children who have grown up with Help India Kids to succeed.
At four years old, Manushri witnessed her father’s death. At nine years old, she became an orphan when her mother passed away from aids. Her mother had always wanted Manushri to become a doctor, but without an education and no one to look after her, she’d lost hope.
Relatives brought Manushri to the mission, where at first she was frustrated but eventually found comfort in her housemother.
Bollback explains mission homes focus on becoming a family that surrounds kids with love. For girls, “when they come into the mission, they are put into what we call a Flower Family, about 15 to 18 girls with a house mother, and then there’s a married couple who also help oversee. They’re welcomed in and they become a family, and the other girls become their sisters.”
Flower Families work as one to clean the house, make meals, and sisters go to school together. Bollback explains it’s all the things a family would do together. As the girls grow up, they’re helped to deal with the loss and rejection they’ve felt by depending on each other and on Christ.
At first, when Manushri came to the mission home, she didn’t know who Jesus was. But after months of hearing the truth, she began praying to Him and knew she was brought there for a reason.
Now at 23 years old, Manushri is shining bright and has grown. She has become infatuated with education and received the highest marks of any Mission girl on her 10th standard exams. And, just as her mother had hoped, she is now working toward becoming a doctor, believing God called her to heal people.
“The desire to get involved in healing people through medicine became a drive for her so that she’s actually achieved that goal at least as far as in her educational pursuits at this point. She’s pursuing being able to give into the position where she can actually help people through medicine,” Bollback says.
Manushri’s story is just one of the 700 girls Help India Kids is providing for, and they could use your prayer and support that they will succeed and keep their eyes focused on Jesus.
*name changed for security purposes