Child Care Update
Independence Day and Sports Day
Every year IGL carries out an annual Sports Day in celebration of India’s Independence Day. This year it was held on August 14th and all our children’s homes participated. The children played many sports, games, and contests. They enjoyed the day so much, many of them enthusiastically competing in these activities. It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents and give them a platform to overcome their stage fright.
After the competition all the children enjoyed a delicious lunch and received prizes. Together they thanked God for the wonderful day of fun and praised Him for the independence that they now enjoy and remembered those who fought for their freedom.
Many children at the Sharon Home and the Chettichavadi Evening Study Center had the opportunity to visit with their sponsors. This time is precious for both the child and the sponsor, meaning much more to the children than the sponsor will ever know. The children love their sponsors and meeting them helps the children understand how someone halfway around the world could care for them. Many sponsors bring small gifts and candy to give the child which they greatly appreciate.
When a child meets his or her sponsor it is always a joyous occasion. While many children are shy upon first meeting their sponsor, after spending time together they will open up and play with them. With the help of a translator, they share about their family, their interests and their recent activities with their sponsors. As for the sponsors, this interaction builds a closer relationship with their sponsored child. They enjoy playing and sharing with the child about their life and how much they love them and care for them. The sponsor touches the child’s heart by getting to know them personally. Even simple things like learning the pronunciation of their child’s name means so much. It helps to develop a meaningful bond between the sponsor and child. It is at moments like these where sponsorship is a mutual blessing and encouragement to both the sponsor and the child.
Children Wellness Center: Hope for a Future
However, all that is changing. Manikandan is receiving therapy at the Sharon Children’s Wellness Center and is now integrated into the Sharon School with the help of a therapist and special educators. The Wellness Center staff are working on his behavior and helping him learn new ways to interact socially. With these inclusive strategies the staff is hopeful that he will do well. His family, particularly his mother, is very grateful for the changes they are witnessing in Manikandan.
The theme for Star Fest was “Come to Worship Him” from Matthew 2:2. Children were given the opportunity to showcase their talents on a beautiful stage which is set up specifically for them. The children performed dances, songs, mime, speeches, and memory verse recitation. They also participated in drawing competitions and Bible quizzes. The children thoroughly enjoyed these programs and it was a great opportunity to discover their hidden talents.
This year the child care staff performed a nativity play from the Bible. We praise God for such a meaningful play about the birth of our Savior and are thankful to the staff who did a wonderful job performing it! We also invited previous students to watch the performances who greatly enjoyed the show.
On Sunday, December 3rd, the children took part in a worship service. Children from each home took turns participating in various parts of the service. Some read the Bible, others sang songs, led worship, shared testimonies or gathered offerings. After the service over 150 people participated in Holy Communion. God spoke through the Pastor’s message and it helped everyone more clearly understand the meaning of Christmas.
After all the competitions were over prizes were distributed to the winners. Everyone praised God for allowing us to conduct the program this year. It proved to be meaningful and memorable for the children.
Testimonies after Star Fest
Two children from Elizabeth Home, Jeyashree and Lavanya, expressed their heartfelt thanks to God for the opportunity he gave them to attend Star Fest this year. They learned to develop their competitive spirit and helped them further their talents. More importantly, they committed their lives to serve the Lord and to share the true meaning of Christmas to others!
Pastor George, the superintendent from Rebecca Home, expressed his thanks to God for this time of celebration. He expressed that he was happy to see the children use their God given talents. He added that the nativity play put on by the staff was a wonderful way for the children to learn about the Christmas story according to the Bible.
Praise God for:
- All His provision and protection through the last three months.
- For the Children’s Wellness Center and for the staff there.
- For the success of the 16th Star Fest event.
- For the sponsor visits.
- God’s protection and guidance of the children in the homes.
- The house parents and superintendents.
- The children to excel in their education.
- The needs of the children in the homes to be met by God.
- The children who participated in Star Fest to continue to develop their talents for God’s glory.