They will remember.
They will remember it all. The loss. The loneliness. The hunger and the heartbreak. The soul-wrenching pain of abandonment.
They will remember the fear they felt sleeping alone in the dark. They will remember the impossible despair they experienced as they faced each new day without hope. They will remember the cold, hard ground in the black of night and the relentless sun and thirst of each day.
They will remember the feeling of being without value. They will remember the failed searched for food.
They will remember being beaten and abused.
Oh, the stories they will tell.
The stories of how their parents died. The stories of how their parents left them alone. The stories of being afraid of the sounds in the dark and how there was no one there to hold them and tell them it was going to be okay.
They will tell how they wandered the streets in search of food, digging through rancid trash as the sun beat down on their backs. How they begged on the streets and were chased away. They will tell of how they longed to go to school with the other children, but were turned away because they had no money. They will tell the stories of how they were mistreated, called names and bullied simply because they were orphans.
Some will tell stories of how they stole just to survive. Others will tell the stories of their harrowing escape from the police when they were caught selling drugs in exchange for food. Others still will look at the ground in shame as they recount how they sold their own bodies to keep from starving to death.
Far too many will simply not be around to tell their stories. The simple marker on their graves will do no justice to the lost potential story of their precious lives.
But for thousands of orphaned children, the story they will tell has been forever changed by one very special element in their lives.
That element is you.
One such story will be told by the children of CCIM Children’s Home in South India.
CCIM was the very first children’s home in India that Orphan’s Lifeline started helping. That was back in 2005, twelve years past. When we first learned about CCIM, they were about to close their doors for a lack of funding. The children were cared for with the limited resources available to the Director, but it was far from being enough.
The children were malnourished and sickly. The home they were living in was in tough shape as well, with needed repairs and a storage room void of food or much of anything for that matter. Simply put, this was a home in dire need just days from being closed forever. Once again, children who had been abandoned were about to be alone on the streets in the slums of India.
That’s when Orphan’s Lifeline stepped in. That’s when YOU stepped in and changed the story for the children of CCIM.
Over the next number of years, CCIM went from being a home on the brink of demise, to a licensed facility so admired and sought after, that orphans and social orphans were brought from many miles away to become a part of the home. The quality of care and education was such that even the Hindu Government sought to model their Federal Children’s Hostels after this Christian children’s home.
Those words speak to the quality of care and education, but there is far more to it than that. Far more. When you consider that it has been more than twelve years since we started helping, you begin to realize how many children have grown from childhood to adulthood in that time. Grown up being loved and cared for in a home in which they were taught the story of Jesus and the steps to salvation. A home in which they were told one very important thing. Why. They were told why you cared. Why you stepped in to save their lives. There can be nothing more powerful than seeing and experiencing the love of God in one’s life each and every day. For these children, that is exactly what happened.
But, life is uncertain for all of us. And in many of the places we work, it is far more uncertain. That uncertainty manifested itself late last year for CCIM, when the director of the home learned that the owner of the building planned to sell it. Once again, the lives of the children in the home hung in the balance due to no fault of their own.
The area the home was in is one in which there are very few buildings suitable for caring for that many children. The ones that were suitable were either not available or the owners were unwilling to rent the building for use by Christians to care for children.
The unwritten portion of the children’s life was about to take a very sad twist.
That’s when you stepped in. That’s when you stepped in to rewrite the next chapter in the lives of the children at CCIM.
Really, it’s an amazing chapter in the children’s lives for a number of reasons as the collaboration of efforts by Christians on two continents, Christians who have never met one another, resulted in something just short of being a miracle.
In India, a local congregation donated land for a new home. A Christian Engineer donated the design, materials list, required licenses and permits. The men and women of the local congregation donated ALL of the labor to construct the new home. They worked in 115-degree temperatures. They worked in torrential downpours. They worked without the modern conveniences of heavy equipment, using their hands and rudimentary, but effective means to build this large concrete structure.
Here on this continent, YOU made it all possible by generously giving financial gifts to pay for all of the costs of the building. Without you, nothing good would have been written in this chapter. Without you, these innocent children would no longer have a home.
Once again, they would have been on the streets. Once again, they would have been abandoned. It’s unimaginable.
But, that’s not going to happen. Not now. Not ever. This building is wholly owned by CCIM, a non-profit, and as such can only be used to care for the orphan children that call it home.
As of the middle of July, the new CCIM home was close enough to being finished to allow the children to move in. As of this writing, just finish electrical, plastering and painting remain to be done.
Just imagine the stories the children in this home will tell. The stories they will tell their children and grandchildren. The stories they will tell their friends and co-workers.
They will tell the story of how God saved their lives through the actions of His faithful followers. They will tell the story of how they were taken off the street and given a home. The story of how they were loved and cared for. The story of how they almost lost their home, but once again were saved by Christians who loved them from afar.
Just imagine the generational impact you have made by loving these innocent children.
Just imagine the stories they will tell…