In the fall of each year, Calvary Church provides an opportunity to support specific outreach partners, here in our own community and around the world. We call it our Open Door project. One partner from our 2012 Open Door Project was the Faith In Deeds Children's Home in India, where a young couple, Thomas and Dana, selflessly share their lives with around 50 orphans and street children. Here's a beautiful story of Christ's redemption from their latest newsletter:
This is a story about a girl who could have easily faded away into one of the thousands of nameless trafficked children, but she didn't. This is Amrutha's story.
There are children in this world who are simply raised for work and nothing more. Amrutha was one of them. She was an illegitimate child with 3 half siblings. There was no place for her in her family. Her own birth mother used Amrutha for work starting in her toddler years. Amrutha recollects that she never received any love or affection when she was little, but if she did a job well she was told that it was good. This felt like love to her so she became determined to work the hardest and best she could in order to feel that love. By the time she was 5 years old her mother sold her as a house slave. She worked long and hard, washing dishes and cleaning. She was beaten if the job was inadequate and given food if it met her owner's standards. Given the awful living conditions, Amrutha soon became sick and was unable to work. Her owner would no longer let her in the house. Providentially a social worker saw her outside one day. When the social worker heard her story, she immediately brought her to the children's home.
It was 2006 and the children's home was just beginning. Thomas and his sister Vijaya were caring for a hand-full of kids. They gladly took in Amrutha and gave her the medical care and nourishment that she so desperately needed. When Amrutha began to feel better she went to do the only thing she knew how to do. She went to the kitchen and began washing dishes. Thomas and Vijaya stopped her. "You don't need to work like that here. Your job for right now is to be a kid; learn, play, and laugh." It took Amrutha some time to understand what being a kid meant. She had never had the freedom to play before. She soaked in every drop of love and affection that the children's home could give all the while learning about that never-failing love of Jesus. "I don't have to earn love! Really?" This was sweet music to Amrutha's ears.
When I (Dana) first met Amrutha 6 years ago, not knowing her background, she got on my nerves. She was always clinging to me and wanted to be so helpful that it was smothering. I wanted to be kind, but I also needed space sometimes. I began praying for her. Then God changed my heart. The Holy Spirit helped me to step outside of my own world and see her for who she is, a beautiful girl who really needed a loving mother-figure in her life. She has been like a daughter to me ever since. I really love this girl.
Amrutha is athletic (a unique quality for a village Indian girl), fun-loving, and not afraid to try new things. She is great with little kids and has a good work ethic. She is in 10th grade this year which for Indian schools means she will graduate from high school this April. She wants to be a nurse. She really struggles with book learning, but is great at hands-on learning. Thomas and I are determined to do what it takes to help her complete nursing school. We are so proud of our girl from where she has come, what she has learned, and what she desires to do. Please pray for Amrutha in this pivotal year that she will make wise decisions. She tends to be a follower not a leader. Pray that she will follow the Lord.
Amrutha wanted to share this with you: "If it weren't for Faith In Deeds, I don't think I would be living. I learned about Jesus here. Now I have hope and a future."
Amrutha plays with younger children at the Faith In Deeds Children's Home