To house young widows who have only girl children and who are homeless, abused and/or at risk of sex-trafficking.
Towards the end of 2015 we raised over $55,000 within a few months! The momentum was accelerating, and we were planning on breaking ground to start the foundation for the building when we suddenly hit a political-religious barrier.
For 30 years the Indian government was run by secular leadership who did not oppose Christian work. In 2014, the tide changed as a radical Hindu party was elected into power. In 2015 the radicals in authority began an all-out attack upon Christian organizations, orphanages and church related-projects. Thousands of charities were cancelled, orphanages shut-down, and even some churches were bulldozed to the ground.
After meeting with lawyers, we discovered starting the project now would be risky to the long-term work we have envisioned. We were instructed to wait until the conclusion of the 2019 elections, in hopes the radical party would lose power and, under a secular government, we would have the freedom to proceed with our work.
The merciful heart of God was burning in our hearts so strongly we could not wait until the next elections, so we started supporting 8 widows and their children where they are currently living. Through supplementing their incomes to cover their basic needs and paying for their children’s education expenses, the beginnings of the vision began to take root. We are also in the process of starting up small micro businesses in efforts to make the widows self-dependent and self-supporting.
The land and donations are secure as we wait for the right time to break ground and begin construction. Until then we are committed to helping widows’ and their fatherless children where they are currently residing. Our vision has not changed, though our timing has been interrupted. Thank you for all your prayers and contributions!
To house young widows who have only girl children and who are homeless, abused and/or at risk of sex-trafficking. Each widow and her daughter(s) will be provided a personal room for family privacy. The purpose of the home will be three- fold: (1) to provide education and trade skills for both the widows and girls with the goal of becoming self-supportive, (2) provide a place of safety from predators and abusive relatives, and (3) create a spiritual environment where they can be trained up to be lovers and disciples of Jesus.
Our vision is specifically to help young widows and their daughters. Village women are usually married at the age of 14-19. The bride’s family is forced to pay a dowry to the groom’s family which would be comparable to an American paying about $120,000. Culturally, the bride must live with her husband’s family and take responsibility for the household work. If she is barren, the husband can legally file for divorce. If she does not bear a son, but only daughters, the husband will often file for divorce. Usually the entire family lives together; the husband, his brothers and their wives, and his parents and grandparents. In Hindu culture, if the husband dies, the society blames the wife for his death, and believes she is a curse to the whole family. If the husband dies and she has no son, the widow’s situation will become very dangerous. Domestic violence from the in-laws, becoming a household ‘slave’, and sexual abuse by the father-in-law and brothers-in-law is very common. Varanasi is one of several ‘drop-off’ points for widows, who either become prostitutes to survive, or get caught in sex-trafficking. Such widows are usually not allowed to return to their own family due to cultural pressure and traditions. Since the dowry costs so much, the family cannot afford to give their daughters a proper education. Therefore they are unable to support themselves and their daughters are at similar risk.
Abhilasha, prior to full-time ministry, worked for 5 years as a special government teacher teaching blind, mute, deaf and disabled children. She has a special educational degree in teaching disabled children from all background. She has a great heart for children, especially those who are less privileged. Abhilasha will oversee all the operations for the widows & girls home, including skills training, education, and spiritual growth. Robert has been serving full-time in India for over 10 years. He is fluent in Hindi and the author of several Hindi books and training curriculums. Robert has years of experience in training leaders and holding miracle evangelistic meetings, where many hundreds are healed and come to faith in Christ. Robert will oversee the church and training center.
We will do an extensive personal interview with the widow & her daughter(s) before we take anyone into our home. We plan to target the poorest of the poor through our established relational network of pastors & leaders throughout North India. We specially desire to target the needy widows from the state of Uttar Pradesh which is the most backward, oppressed and unreached area of India. Once we take the widows/girls into our home, we are committed to their educational and spiritual development.
An orphanage was originally in our hearts. Recently, however, the political and religious climate has been changing for the worse, due to a revival of interest in Hinduism. Several restrictive laws have been passed and many Christian orphanages are closing. Since this home will not require the guardianship of underaged children we can freely serve and minister to them unhindered. God has made a way!
The Building Specifics:
The home will be located in a developing village outside of Delhi, the nation’s capital. The building (1st & 2nd floors) will have a total of 15 private rooms. Each room can house one widow and 1-4 daughters. The 3rd floor is a multi-purpose hall that will be used for church services, a community outreach center, educational classes and a Bible training center. This spiritual atmosphere will be the backbone for the widows & girls spiritual growth. The church hall can seat up to 250-300 people. We will periodically hold trainings in this hall where pastors, leaders and hungry believers can be equipped for effective ministry. This will be a launching point for spiritual transformation all across North India.
The Building Project Costs:
The entire building will be 8,100 square feet. The land for the project is already purchased (see picture, right). Architectural drawings and building permits are already approved. All we need now are the funds to build and start this work! ￼￼￼￼￼
Cost to complete entire structure – $160K*
Cost to complete skeleton structure and finish only 1st floor – $115K*
*Budget is estimated on current construction prices. Amount can vary due to currency fluctuations, and inflation if construction is postponed.