I think I will never be the same.
I am in India, helping to teach a coaching resource for women, equipping them to disciple women God brings to them. That has been a satisfying blessing.
But God had another blessing for me—to see what happens when the fire of God’s Spirit ignites the hearts and minds of His children.
Meet Reny and Teena.
Reny spent years in prison, where he met Jesus. He was born again and a passion, a fire, was born in his heart: to care for the children of prisoners. Most of these children would end up in poverty, many living on the streets. But Reny and Teena became God’s instruments to make a difference through Prison Fellowship Blessed Children’s Home.
They started small—just a few children, that grew to 40 living in their home. They provided safety, shelter, food, clothing. They enabled education and health care and introduced them to Jesus. And they gave loving touches for every child.
A gift of a spacious place and new facilities, plus a few helpers, has enabled them to now care for 140 children. As I walked through the compound, I saw healthy, active children playing sports—netball, cricket, badminton, soccer. Equipment was minimal and not new, but they were joyful and exuberant. They smiled shyly at me and my friends. They shook hands when I approached them, politely giving their names.
I was appalled at the thought of what their lives had been, could have been, if not for this place and some loving people.
This is Reny and Teena’s life. It is a 24-7 responsibility. Resources are always needed. Yet they have, with joy, given themselves fully to this calling.
The media call him an angel. God has called him to care for truly the least of these.
Sometimes in this nation of India the terminally ill or the crippled or otherwise unwanted are tossed out on the street. Family no longer wants to care for them. They have nothing—no shelter, no food, no clothing, no hope.
Raja and his friends pick them up and carry them to Home of Hope, where more than 200 such cast-offs find love and care and a future. Their bodies are cleaned, the maggots are washed away, limbs are set, nourishment and clean clothes are provided.
I walked among the people, many unable to stand, others obviously ill or blind or crippled. I shook hands and asked names. Some spoke quietly, others boldly. I have never before seen so much suffering. Yet there was hope.
Many of these residents are terminally ill, and at Home of Hope they are able to die in peace and dignity, and hopefully with Jesus. Others, who would have died, are restored. They recover, find work, and discover Jesus. Weddings have been held at the Home, uniting two who were previously not wanted, but were found and renewed.
Why does Raja live here with his family, also serving these hopeless ones 24-7? Once again, God has put a fire in his spirit, a calling he can’t resist. Because he has said yes to this calling, many are redeemed now, and for eternity.
The needs, the pain, the neglect, the lack of love in the lives of those children and those cast-offs were overwhelming. But the fire of God’s Spirit–poured out on and through his servants, giving their hearts, their time, their resources, their love to rescue and restore those with no hope—has rekindled my passion, my heart for those the world rejects , but God treasures.
I ‘m sure I will never be the same.
c Judy Douglass