2019 Child Care Update
Children’s Gospel Clubs
2019 was a busy year and full of God’s amazing movement and provision. One of the biggest ways we saw God move and provide was in our Children’s Gospel Clubs. This past summer, CGCs played a vibrant part in educating Christian morals to the children. The theme was “My God and Me”. All throughout the clubs, the work of God was deployed through 160 Directors, 1,591 leaders and 97,000 teachers. This year CGC materials were published in 11 Indian languages. 1 million books were distributed to children. These children were discipled through the clubs and taught through small gatherings and many lives were transformed and equipped. The goal of Children’s Gospel Clubs is to disciple and nurture children constantly through God’s word.
Life at a Love One More Children’s Home
In almost every state in India, the academic year begins in June. It is a time of great excitement for the children but a time of great burden for parents especially in rural India. Parents from economically recessive families struggle to provide for their children’s education. Many of them are daily wage-laborers or migrant workers, traveling to neighboring cities to work as part of the unorganized labor force earning inadequate wages. These hard circumstances offer very little hope for a quality of life for their children. Most of the time, their only opportunity is to place their children in the care of a Children’s home. Many children who are admitted to an IGL Children’s Home are admitted under these circumstances. For us at IGL, it is a bittersweet time. While we are able to take in some children, we often have to turn so many away. But it is such an honor when we are able to help, for me when I look into the children’s eyes, hear their stories of struggle and experience their joy when they are admitted, it is a powerful reminder, that “whatsoever I do to the least of these, I have done it unto my Lord”. It is a time to reflect on my calling and renew my commitment to the ministry. All of this is not without its reward. Jesus says that there is a reward for even a cup of cold water given in His name. My reward has been the opportunity to give that cup of cold water again and again to many more. My reward has been a heart broken wide open for His children so I can Love One More… a Hundred more each year. What joy!
My name is Hariharan and I am in the 4th grade. I have 6 siblings altogether. My father works in a workshop for daily wages and my mother stays at home. As my father’s earnings are very low, they were not able to care for all of us. My parents often argued because of a lack of money and that created an unpleasant environment in our family. All of us were sent to work to make an income so I discontinued my studies and was working for mere wages. Since I’m a minor and our laws don’t allow minors to work, I was caught by a Child Welfare officer of my region and for my benefit they sent me to the IGL Sharon Home. I joined this home when I was in 3rd grade. When I joined, I was very homesick. Even though I had better food, an education and a good environment, I wanted to go back to my parents. My House Parents comforted me and took care of me like their own child. I believe that I am here because of Jesus who is always good. Now I am regularly reading the bible and praying every day. I thank God for providing me this good opportunity through IGL and I kindly request for prayer for me and my education. Praise God!
Every quarter IGL organizes Medical Camps for the Children living in the homes. This helps monitor each child’s health and is an immense benefit to each of them; Many of these children would have never met a doctor while living in their own homes. Few would have been living with sickness for many days as many parents would not think about taking their child to a doctor due to the expense.
In the Children’s Homes, however, health records (growth and development) are maintained regularly for every child. Last month medical camps were conducted in Love One More Homes.
House Parents Training
Every year house parents from Love One More Children’s Homes come together for a week-long training. This year the training was held May 14th–18th. Over 35 House Parents from the Love One More Homes came from different parts of India. They came to re-commit, reflect and learn more about the vision and responsibilities as House Parents. This training included topics such as Role of a House Parent, How to Counsel the Children, Helping Children with Learning Disabilities, Anxiety and Depression, Arts and Crafts and Home Maintenance which includes Registration & Records maintenance. Each day included time for Bible reflection and prayer.
Love1More organizes a “Leadership Training” once a year for the children who stay in Love1More Children Homes located in various places of Tamil Nadu. The purpose of this training is to ”instill leadership in every individual child. 53 students participated in the training that started May 2nd and lasted 18 days. Children who have little or no opportunity were provided with outstanding resources to sharpen their skills and enhance their outlook. Each morning, children were led in devotion on topics covering sin and the consequences of sin, redemption, the gift of salvation, eternal life, Kingdom values and principles. Spiritual development was the central point of the training.
During the first week, children were involved in a Children Gospel Club in which they heard more about Lord Jesus and His unconditional love. They enjoyed singing, listening to Bible stories and memorizing scripture. Many children committed their lives to God wholeheartedly when they heard stories from visiting missionaries and their special calling towards perishing souls.
Children’s day, one of the best days of the year for kids is celebrated on November 14. It’s the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru and is celebrated in schools across the country. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of the country and Children’s Day is celebrated on his birthday because of his love and affection for children. He once said, “The children of today will make the India of tomorrow.”
Children’s Day is celebrated every year in our Children’s homes with an organized drawing competition and few other activities for children. This year we organized a drawing competition across all the Homes. Three best pictures were awarded with a prize in December. Children enjoyed these special competitions.
The annual ‘Star Fest’ was held December 7-8, at the Carmel Conference Center in Salem. This Christmas event brings together children from different Love One More Homes. This year 700 children participated in this special event. This year’s theme was “The Lord Reigns” (Isaiah 9:7). Children were given an opportunity to exhibit their talents and they presented dances, speeches, charades and memory verses as well as participated in drawing competitions and a Bible quiz. The Child Care staff also performed a Christmas song for the children.
On Sunday, December 8th the children took part in the worship service and children from each home participated in different parts of service. Communion was also served. God spoke through the pastor about the Christmas gift.
- This has been an exciting, yet challenging year in ministry. We have experienced God’s faithful provision and guidance. We praise Jesus and give God the glory for all that has been accomplished.
- God’s help in conducting CGC, Leadership Training and House Parent’s
- For all the new children admitted into the children’s homes.
- For the Children’s Wellness Center and the children receiving therapy and care.
- Praise God for His grace, protection and provision over all the children and staff.
- Praise God for the dedicated team both on the field and in our administrative office who serve in the children’s ministry.
- The children who attended CGC for the first time and for the children who attended the Leadership.
- Please pray for the Children’s Gospel Club Programs which will start back up in April.
- The House Parents and Superintendents to continue to serve faithfully.
- Children in IGL’s homes, daycare centers and after school programs, that they may grow in favor with God in wisdom and stature.
- Many of our children’s homes face scarcity of water, especially through the summer months. Please pray that God would provide rain or additional wells to the Homes.