The Orphanage – The beginning…
The Pastor of the L.G.B.C. (The Living God Baptist Church), Suryapet, India started the orphanage in 2003 following God speaking to him through the passage in James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”.
The orphanage opened in 2003 with 35 children initially living there and this number quickly grew over the months that followed. There is now 100 children living at the orphanage from 3 years and older. Many more children would also live there if there were room to house them.
In 2006, a Minister from Earls Hall Baptist Church went to preach in the area and see first hand the work of the orphanage. In 2007, the Orphanage suffered a flood and is now located in even more humble rented accommodation nearby. At the end of February 2008, the Minister for Hadleigh Baptist Church visited the orphanage with a member of Earls Hall Baptist Church to see for themselves the current needs of the situation.
The Orphanage – Recent Times…
The orphanage itself was set on a scrap piece of land and consists of 1 brick building which was divided into 5 rooms each measuring 12 foot square. 1 room is used as storage for food like rice and vegetables and washing provisions like coconut oil and soap, and the other 4 rooms is where the children live and sleep, with each room accommodating 25 children. The rooms are bare brick and concrete and sleeping facilities is the concrete floor where 25 children lie together with no pillows or mattresses and with only 2 – 3 thread bear blankets covering them.
All cooking is done outside on an open fire which is a huge problem during the rainy season, and there is 1 outside toilet and 1 outside wash room for all the children and adults who help voluntarily in caring for the children. As far as the food for the children is concerned, due to lack of funds, the children can only be given what can be afforded which is rice and vegetables something which the children eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Running water is supplied but due to government restrictions it is turned off for most of the day, but as with most of the water in India it is often contaminated, and during the 2008 visit it could be seen that many of the children were experiencing stomach, skin and other health problems.
All health care and education needs of the children have to be paid for (from an income that is limited as they are reliant upon the goodwill of the local community), and unless funds can be found, then the children remain ill and uneducated.
Prior to the 2008 visit, the church’s at Hadleigh Baptist Church and Earls Hall Baptist Church raised funds for the orphanage through private donations and also through special fund raising events like an Indian meal at a local restaurant, car wash in the church car-park at Earls Hall, and a quiz night. Future events are planned and the support of the local community is very much appreciated.
The money will go towards feeding the children, and covering their medical and education costs but whilst this will help in the short-term, we are acutely aware of how desperate the situation is and how they need to put into place long term financial support.
The pastor of the L.G.B.C. is following the word that God gave him despite limited resources and in doing so is providing a lifeline for these children.
The Orphanage – Now and the future…
Everybody involved with the orphanage wanted better conditions for the children and the dream of a safe, permanent, purpose built orphanage has now become a reality. This work was being greatly helped by the fact that the UK based charity Mission Care partnered with Earls Hall Baptist Church and Hadleigh Baptist Church to achieve a new building for the children. Please read the ‘News’ section of this website to see how this progressed through to a completed orphanage. Everyone concerned is delighted with this accomplishment but very aware that there is still an ongoing challenge to raise sufficient funds to continue to feed and educate the children in a time of limited resources and rising costs.