In Delhi, I saw what God can do through one woman who said “yes”. Dr. Ananthi Jebasingh, a mother with small children, answered the door one day to find a child who asked “will you teach me?” Through that divine encounter, a new ministry to the slum children of India was started. Here is the link to her remarkable story:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycERNWFKCRY&feature=player_embedded#! Because she said yes, schools all over India exist for the “outcast” children who would never get an education, or hear about Jesus. I heard about her remarkable story 9 years ago when I attended Dallas Seminary. Her daughter Shalini Patras and I had several classes together, and became great friends. When this trip materialized Shalini and Vinay (her husband) arranged for me to visit the schools, as well as see Delhi. I will always remember the children, and the staff of Good Samaritan….these schools are God’s oasis in the slums of India! The first school I visited is one if the oldest Good Samaritan schools. I walked off the street into a building with about 5 rooms….I met children who were nicely dressed, who welcomed me in English, and who quoted scripture and sang songs for me. In India, learning English is essential for educational and business opportunities. After I left this school, we walked the streets of the slum….I saw a boy playing in front of a pig, who loved posing for the camera. I followed a group of women and also photographed 3 girls playing in the street with garbage all around. As always, cows were with us…they live with the families.
Sunday I went to another school located in a slum where church was being held. When I walked off the street into the school I felt like I had gone to another world. the area was clean, all the class rooms were clean, and there was a garden next to the building where church was being held. I LOVE gardens, and this one really touched my heart. It was so beautiful, with flowers and blooming vines. Next to the garden was a big yard with green grass where the children could play….no cows, trash, or bricks. What an oasis this place was! The Pastor asked me to share a message so I spoke from Hebrews. I know many of these Christians are persecuted when they leave the Hindu faith….their families reject them, as well as their friends. I wanted to encourage them to not go back to their former ways, but to stand firm in their Christianity. The Pastor spoke after I did, and expounded on what I had said. I was so honored to be with these Christians in their church, and saw first hand the work God is doing in India.
On Monday, I went back to the school where church was held. I visited most of the classrooms, and talked with all the children. They were very inquisitive, eager to learn, and just plain cute!!! The Principal was so gracious to tell me about the work they are doing with the families, and what they want to accomplish with the students. The teachers and staff are so dedicated and committed to the children and their families. After I left this school, I went to the big school that was opened in 2005. It is 4 stories high, and has 1,000 students K-12 grades. The feeder schools I visited prior, are K-5 grades. The students sang for me when I arrived..I felt like a V.I.P.!! The Principal escorted me throughout the school and I met with students of all ages. To see all of these children, and to listen to their dreams was such a gift to me. I want to thank Roslyn who was my companion and guide the entire time I was in Delhi. She graciously took time away from her family, and her school duties to make my time in Delhi so special; a time I will always remember.
This year, Vinay started a new ministry with the support of his wife Shalini, The Good Samaritans International. They want to expand, and grow the current ministry in India. They are starting Bible Study groups that will meet monthly to pray and talk about missions, and the role of missions in our world. There are so many opportunities for this growing ministry in India such as Midwife training for maternal and child health, leadership and pastoral training, and educational and literacy for all ages. If you would like more information about Good Samaritans International email Vinay at firstname.lastname@example.org