India (MNN) — The streets of India are some of the most unforgiving places to grow up, places where the selfless love of God is a completely foreign idea to most families and individuals trying to survive another day.
Gary Bishop, President/CEO of Far Corners Missions, elaborates on the plight of Indian children. “They really learn the hard lessons of life of how to get by by scheming and finagling and even cheating or stealing–whatever they have to do to get by.”
That’s why Far Corners encourages child sponsorship and establishes children’s homes where they’re most needed. “They have 39 children there at the home right now,” Bishop says. They work to teach the children the selfless love of Jesus while caring for the kids, and it’s all worth it when they see it reflected in the lives of the children they pour their hearts into.
Bishop recalls just such an occasion. He received a report from the director of one of the children’s homes about a little girl who exhibited the love of Jesus better than most adults. As the director observed the children from the home playing together, “He started seeing an additional young girl amongst all the kids.”
She kept returning, and the director was puzzled. He wondered, “’Who was this child, and why was this child in the group of kids from the home?’” Finally he decided to simply ask.
“As he approached the young woman, he noticed that the little girl had a dress on that belonged to Shanti.” Shanti is a young girl at the home who “is nine years old.” Confused about this, “he addressed Shanti and he said, ‘Is this a friend of yours?’”
“’Well, yes she is! I invited her to come.’”
The director asked Shanti how she knew the girl, and Shanti looked at him and beamed.
“’Well, you’ve always told us that we should love others with the same love that Jesus has shown to us. I met this girl at our school, and she really didn’t have anything but one pair of clothes to wear. So I just thought I would share my clothes with her. I wear them one day, and she wears them the next!’”
Astounded, the director listened as she continued with the touching story.
“’She really doesn’t have enough to eat, and so we get a snack in the afternoon after school. I said, ‘Just come home with me to our home, and I’ll share my snack with you!’”
The director admitted in his report to Bishop that, “NEVER have I seen the love of Jesus expressed so perfectly by a heart so young as Shanti’s.
“It simply is a child that is in the school where our children from this home go, and Shanti simply invited her to come home after school to share her snacks in the afternoon, and then figured out she could share her clothes with her, too.”
And yet, as simple as it might seem in a world where life is so grounded in personal survival, these selfless acts are “the difference that being in the children’s home makes in the life of one of those children because they truly are reflecting back the love of Jesus.”
Now one more little girl is “seeing the love that Jesus reflected to her through the life of one of our kids there.”
So what can we do? Bishop says there’s a twist on this particular story! “This young lady is one that my wife and I actually personally sponsor.”
Sponsoring a child means giving a child hope and showing them that you care. More importantly, it gives them a chance to learn that God cares, and as Shanti proves, they can share that love with someone else and start a ripple effect that could touch an entire community.
Bishop closes by saying, “We know that Jesus pushes His love out to other people as we show it to others.” Join that push here.