Bill, President of Childcare Worldwide, returned from his first visit to India, Sri Lanka and Thailand last week. We wanted to share some highlights from his trip to Asia!
What a blessing it has been to be in Chennai, India to visit our Childcare Worldwide programs! It has been so wonderful to meet our CCW leaders and witness the ministry being provided to the children.
It was a privilege to meet a woman who has been serving needy children in India for over 55 years! Dr. Colleen Redit is the founder of Christian Missions Charitable Trust. While visiting, I heard so many stories of how God has provided for this ministry through the years. From feeding and caring for extremely poor kids, to building hundreds of small houses after the 2004 Tsunami, Colleen could point every time to the moment the Lord provided the funds and people to bring much needed aid. What an inspiration, and I can only hope that I am able to serve as many years as Dr. Redit.
Later in the day I attended a Medical Camp. I was blown away by how wonderful it was to be able to provide the support to put on this camp. There were so many women and children who we served. There were 4 doctors at the camp who have donated their time to provide health care for this community.
After an examination and picking up their meds and before they left the tent, they met with area pastors for counseling and prayer. CCW would love to help provide these medical camps every month. With your help, I know we can do it!
On Sunday we attended church and visited Life Centers. The kids were so great! They sang songs and recited Bible verses from memory. One very important thing struck me – many of these kids come from Hindu families, who typically are not excited at all about their kids hearing the gospel and being taught biblical principals. In recent years, it has become more difficult to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ openly, and as a result, our Life Center work is constrained by this. Still, our leaders do a great job and find just the right ways to teach the kids that Jesus loves them, and they can find forgiveness through faith alone.
I was really touched by the smiles and joy in the faces of these kids. Even though they can’t regularly attend a Christian church, at this Life Center they hear about how they can have a personal relationship with Jesus. I am so happy to be able to represent a ministry that provides this life giving message.
CCW has had a partnership with Community Concern Sri Lanka for over two decades, so it was great to meet the founders and staff of this amazing ministry. I was so impressed by their work. They serve many locations on the island.
During our visit they shared inspirational stories of their ministry work, including their efforts to help local residents after the great Tsunami of 2004. So many people lost their homes, which were nothing more than shacks built on the sand along the coast. In fact, I met many people who were displaced by that disaster, and their stories, while terrifying, all ended with praise to God who brought help through the support of Community Concern. I’m very proud to partner with this great group of servants.
Later that afternoon I got to do something I like very much – visit with kids! I had a fun time talking to them while they were having lunch. It’s so great knowing that children from struggling families can get good nutritious food each day.
After lunch I met and listened to very inspiring stories from teenagers who have been sponsored by CCW for many years. First thing I noticed was how grateful they were. Through sponsorship, they’ve come to know Jesus. They’ve received food and clean water. They have gained valuable skills through education paid for by sponsorship dollars. Now they have hope. They have an amazing future in front of them. I was emotionally moved by these great young people!
Still, these people need our prayers. Buddhism is the predominant religion in Sri Lanka. There are temples and idols everywhere. I even saw them in some of the homes I visited. While I was so happy to know that their children were meeting Jesus through CCW programs, the temptation to adhere to alternate religions practiced by their ancestors is very strong. Please pray that the power of the Holy Spirit will fill these homes!
I feel like I got on so many airplanes during this trip. I boarded yet another plane to travel to Khon Kaen, Thailand where CCW partners with a school there. It was a pleasure seeing the kids and observing a time of praise and worship. Although I couldn’t understand the language, I could feel the love and adoration for Jesus in that classroom.
Once again, I got to visit with young people who have spent many years in sponsorship. Their accomplishments were so impressive. This one young man taught himself the English language and to play guitar by watching YouTube videos! Now he plays that guitar in the worship team at his church. While we were visiting, he must have thanked me two dozen times! He wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for generous sponsors who have given him so much opportunity!
While I was meeting with this young man, his friend walked up. He’s also a sponsored kid. He couldn’t speak English, but his friend translated for me. This young man comes from a family of unbelievers who pressure him every day to follow the Buddha. They ridicule him often. He said he has been threatened many times with banishment. I could see the hurt in his eyes, yet, he stands today for Jesus! His friend calls him every Sunday and takes him to church. He looked at me and said he can’t wait to meet his Lord and Savior someday. I was overcome with emotion by this guy. Such a strong commitment to Christ. Such an example for us all!
I really loved visiting these kids in Thailand. They didn’t want me to forget to thank their sponsors in the USA for helping them. I could see the genuineness in them, and I promised I would tell many people about my visit.
I can’t wait to visit Sri Lanka and Thailand again so I can follow up with the children in CCW programs in these countries to see how they are being blessed by the graciousness of our sponsors. More importantly, Jesus is being proclaimed in these places. Hallelujah!
Childcare Worldwide is grateful to partner with generous people all over the world to build a better life for kids in need. If you’re interested in tangibly improving the lives of kids around the world, click here.