Their Stories

February 2012
Greetings Family and Friends,

We would like to share with you Harika (Ha-dree-ka) and Aditya’s (Uh-dit-tee-ah) story. They are siblings who came to live at the Faith in Deeds children’s home in May of 2011. Harika is an 11 year old girl and Aditya is a 9 year old boy. They are from a middle caste, educated, Hindu family. Unlike most children here, they went to private school and their future looked bright. Four years ago, it became apparent that Harika and Aditya’s father was ill. The tests showed the most feared, HIV and TB (tuberculosis). Over the next year, the family tried to go on as normal hiding their sad news. There is strong discrimination against these diseases, no compassion, and most certainly no help. During this time their father became progressively worse until they could not keep it a secret any longer.

When Harika and Aditya’s grandparents found out they cut off all communication with their family, even though the live on the same street. The father was no longer able to work and the family struggled to have enough to eat and pay for necessary medications. The children remember their grandparents walking by their house eating right in front of them, when neither Harika, Aditya, nor their parents had had any food that day. The other children in the village were not permitted to play with them. Their sick father tried the best he could to play with and teach his children, while their mother tried to work. Their mother also was diagnosed with HIV. While both parents were in the hospital, Harika and Aditya went to live with their Aunt and Uncle who said they would put them in school. In stead the children were used as slaves around their house. Once the parents realized what was happening, they brought the children home where they would be loved. Even if that meant they all die, at least they were together.

During this time a local pastor took notice of their situation and started bringing them food, and he also started sharing Bible stories with them. He was the only person to show them kindness from the time their father’s illness was made public. The children’s father asked the pastor “Is there any place where my children will be taken care of and finish their education?” The Pastor prayed about the situation. Not long after, he saw a large group of children taking a boat ride and playing. He went and inquired about the group. It was the Faith in Deeds children’s home on a little summer vacation (some may have seen the pictures in the summer newsletter). The Pastor spoke with Vijaya, Thomas’ sister, and explained the situation.

Vijaya went to go see the children for herself and indeed the circumstances were desperate. She called Thomas in the U.S. and together they decided to take in Harika and Aditya. After speaking with the parents, they gladly sent their children with Vijaya. Two weeks later Harika and Aditya’s parents came to visit them at the children’s home. They saw their children were being well-cared for and had an opportunity for education. The FID staff also noted the parents dire circumstances and took up an offering for them and gave them food. The combined kindness of the Pastor and FID staff, and the returning smiles on their children’s faces was too much to ignore. “How can we also know Jesus?” the parents asked. Delighted, Vijaya and the older children explained how to know and trust Jesus as their personal Savior. They readily accepted and prayed. They also decided to change their names from Hindu names to Bible names: Thomas and Lydia. The children’s father, now called Thomas, was so relieved to see his children taken care of and to have assurance of his salvation. He went home to be with the Lord 1 month later with peace in his heart.

In January, Thomas and I had the privilege, along with our short-term mission team, to observe as Harika and Aditya accepted Christ as their personal Savior. Harika told us her story with many tears, but she also shared with us her hope and plan for the future. She wants to become a doctor specifically to help people like her father and mother. She saw many times over how doctors turned away her parents from proper medical care because they are HIV positive. Harika wants to serve these people who otherwise wouldn’t have opportunity for compassionate and competent medical care, and share Jesus with them. Aditya wants to be a pastor and help people in need just like that kind pastor did for them.

After sharing her desires to be a doctor, I asked Harika if she would like to help with some nursing duties around the children’s home and then I could teach her some basics about health care. Her eyes lit up and eagerly she answered “yes!” Harika is first in her class. She and Aditya both are quite intelligent and mature for their age and are determined in their studies. With the right education, discipleship, and encouragement, we trust the Lord will use them mightily in this community.

Thanks for sharing and taking part in this story through you prayers and support. We pray you recognize God's writing in your life today.

Blessings in Christ,
Dana & Thomas

Meet the Kids

The presence of the FID Childrens Home, and the process of the discipleship of the children who reside there, lends to an overall system of social development within the community in which it serves.

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