Above & below: some of our orphans in 2014
As of 2018 we are caring for 45 orphans
Since the beginning of The Elijah Challenge, our emphasis has been on training disciples to preach the gospel with power like the believers in Acts as evidence to the lost that Jesus is the only way to the Father. We have never been involved in what might be called the “other” facet of the Lord’s ministry—compassion and ministering to people’s physical needs.For a long time, however, we have desired to do this.
Demonstrating compassion to the physically needy alongside demonstrations of miraculous healing power will bring great glory to the Lord. Such love and compassion show the lost that our God is a God of love. And the accompanying miracles of power which they have never seen before convince them that our God is in fact the only true God. The miracles “seal the deal” for the lost and bring them to Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Opportunity in India
In December 2012 we heard from our co-worker in India, Brother Subodh Jena Kumar, who has been exceedingly effective and fruitful through Feeding Events in Orissa where the gospel is preached and the sick are healed. He wrote us:
“Pastor, we have a special request for you. As you know, the state of Orissa is the poorest in India. According to some reports in November 2011, Orissa is the poorest state in world. I have visited many remote villages in this year and I found many orphans and semi-orphans, especially in Gundripanka and Dasingbadi.
I found that there are many poor families who are not able to send their children to school. These uneducated children’s future is nothing. They can only work as what amounts to slaves in a hotel or watching after cows and buffaloes, etc. For such orphans, the future is especially dark.
At Dasingbadi, some people came to me and asked, ‘there are some orphans, and nobody is there to take care of them. Would you please help them by providing them a place in a children’s home’?
If it is possible to take 10 to 15 most needy orphan children, it would be better for their future. Please pray…if the Lord leads you please let us know.”
After prayer and receiving feedback from our partners, we have decided to move in this direction.
Brother Subodh will be renting a house for the orphans. There will be a caretaker as well as a cook. Subodh’s wife Rosy, who has several years of experience in children’s ministry as well as Master’s of Divinity and M. A. degrees, is supervising the hostel.
Regarding education for the orphans, Brother Subodh said:
“Our orphans will be taught the ABCs and will learn about the Lord. Every morning and evening there will be a devotion with a Bible story. Also we will be teaching them in Sunday school frequently. The details curriculum we will prepare as we bring the orphans and will send it to you. I would love to teach them the Elijah Challenge as they grow up and prepare them to serve the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah.”
Subodh’s February 19, 213 Update
“Greetings to you in the matchless name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you so much for taking a great compassion work for the needy orphans of Orissa. We believe it the Lord who led you in this wonderful work. There are thirty districts in the state of Orissa and the orphans are from a few districts.
The last few days we were a little busy shopping, doing some formalities and the necessary work for orphans. The orphans are from remote villages and they have never been to town and never even to school. For a few days they had problems adjusting. But we tried our best to make them happy and comfortable.
We are very glad because they are calling us father and mother. I believe they were orphans, but now we (with The Elijah Challenge) are their parents.
I am attaching here the orphans’ photos.
Their schooling will begin on March 1 according to the headmaster.”