India (MNN) — Two weeks ago, the National Crime Records Bureau in India reported that the number of India’s human trafficking victims last year increased by 25 percent. Around 20,000 women and children were trafficked in the south Asian country in 2016 — up from nearly 16,000 cases in 2015.
It’s unclear whether the increased trafficking data is because there are truly more cases, or because greater awareness on the blight of human trafficking has led to more victims being reported. But one thing is certain — children in India, especially those in rural areas, continue to be at risk to human trafficking.
While there are many ways to combat trafficking directly and indirectly, one way to help kids in India is by supporting programs that get them off the streets and into community. The Children’s Bible Clubs with Mission India do just that — and all in the name of Christ.
Mission India’s Erik* explains, “We give them workbooks and other various literature…. They’re also helped with their schooling, so they’ll go through that; and in some cases, these leaders become tutors for the individual students that will be attending the program. There’s just a lot of social aspects these kids will be able to understand and be helped through, and then also the spiritual side of learning about Jesus through songs and skits and activities. We’re just thrilled that these Bible Clubs are just moving all across India.”
Normally, just $1 allows one child to attend a Bible Club. But right now, Mission India is running their India’s Children 2017 Matching Challenge, which means each dollar of your gift goes even farther.
“We run matches about twice a year — one in the spring and one in December. So this year, the India’s Children 2017 Matching Challenge has started on March 1st and it’s going to run through April 30th. So every dollar that is donated to Children’s Bible Clubs will be doubled during that time period. For example, if you gave $500, instead of reaching 500 children, you’ll be reaching 1,000 children.”
There’s currently a list of kids waiting to get into the Children’s Bible Club. Erik shares, “We just don’t have the resources. So running matching campaigns like this allows us to reach even more kids at a faster clip.”
It’s not just the kids attending these Bible Clubs who are reached with the Gospel. Often the children will go home to their parents and siblings and talk about what they learned at the Children’s Bible Club, including the stories they heard about Jesus.
“Sometimes, quite often, we see that churches actually get planted through Children’s Bible Clubs, and it’s just kind of a launching point from that.”
Click here to give to the Matching Challenge with Mission India. And then, commit to praying for the ministry this year.
“We just ask that your readers and listeners be praying for these leaders who will be going into communities that may or may not want the message of the Gospel to be there. Pray for the courage and the wisdom to handle all the situations that will arise,” asks Erik.
“Then also [pray] for the students and the children that will be attending these Bible Clubs, that their hearts will be open and their minds would be open to Jesus and what He brings. When they go home and they talk to their parents about what their learning, [pray] that their parents and their brothers and sisters would be open to listening to what their brothers and sisters are learning.”
*Name changed for security purposes.