INDIA: AGAPE LIFE LINE
A LIFE LINE FOR THE LEAST
Sam and Beena Gilbert are parents to the nineteen children in Chennai, India, loving and caring for them in a family atmosphere and raising them as Christian children.
Impact supports Agape Lifeline Children’s Orphange. The story of Beena and Sam and their children continues to warm our hearts. Each child in the home has a different story; some have come from families that abused them; some where the father has left; others abandoned – each child with a story but now in the
loving care of Sam and Beena.
We support the family in many areas – food when needed, a projector to show movies, a family vacation and so much more.
After the school exams are over we send the children on a vacation to enjoy themselves with Sam and Beena.
We have hosted Beena several times in our home here in Florida. Carol has taken her to World Thrift which turns out to be Beena’s favorite store. New and gently used clothes at huge discounts. Impact
has been able to give Beena enough money to fill two suitcases of clothes and personal items to take back to the children. WE ARE TOUCHING LIVES!
COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION IN INDIA
Impact was able to do a test run of our legacy program for children (based on Alastair’s legacy teaching and adapted for children by Matt Stuffel and Coastal Community Church in Hampton, Virginia). The children loved it, the adults loved it – it was a SUCCESS!
The legacy program teaches the children in our Legacy Family Homes why Impact involves itself with children around the world – to leave a legacy for future generations! Our goal is to see thousands of children around the world leave a
legacy for the generations to come – isn’t that what discipleship is all about?
On our return from India and through discussions with Beena and Sam (the parents in the orphanage) we agree that Impact has a role to play with the children. Sam and Beena had been praying and asking God for help with their children. In a wonderful and miraculous way we were brought together.
Impact has funded Agape Lifeline’s house building project, as well as funding vacations!
IRULAR - CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Irula is a native tribe that used to live in the forests of the mountains of south western India for a long time. “Irul” means darkness and in several respects their life was in darkness. They preferred to stay in small hutments and wait in ambush for rats and snakes and other animals in bushes be it day or night to make a killing for food and livelihood. In the past century they slowly migrated down to the plains. Changing forest cover due to human greed and climate change are cited as the main reason for their relocation. Now they live in small groups in settlements in different parts of the state and a few groups live in the outskirts of Padappai town.
Due to their past they do not mind living in poor unhygienic conditions. As they have to readjust to a totally new lifestyle, their income earning capacities are limited though some of them are engaged in odd jobs. Their caste, habits and lifestyle are some of the reasons for them to be away from the general public and as they are not serious about improving their life, the concessions and facilities given by the Government remain unutilized. About 90%
of Children below 5 years are victims of malnutrition due to their lifestyle and meager income .They seldom go to a hospital or send their children to school as that has not become a part of their thinking. They are mostly ‘non-existent’
people who rarely register their birth, death or marriages. Development may be still far away from them as they distance themselves from it.
Agape concentrates at a small cluster of eleven families and provides them with nutritious food such as milk, bread, egg and a fruits, once a week. A barber is taken along to provide haircut whenever necessary as many have disheveled hair. Blankets are provided in rainy and cold seasons. Repeated attempts are made to teach them hygiene, value of education to change their style of living and to improve their standards so that they could be brought to the mainstream society some day.
AGAPE FAMILY - CHILDREN'S HOME/ORPHANAGE
This is the flagship ministry of Agape and much has gone into the making of it. Agape family - the children’s home is the product of the vision of its founders. AGAPE lifeline family, as the name suggests is the lifeline that helps children of the bottom rung of the society i.e. orphans or semi orphans or deserted children from broken or burdened families, to elevate themselves to higher levels. Agape family, is not just another orphanage or children’s home but like any other normal middle class family. Here, the children are placed in an open atmosphere, given freedom and independence to express their needs, aspirations and feelings, helped to make
their own decisions and choices to carve a pathway of progress for their career. Above all they are given a sense of worth, belonging and freedom and everything required to be physically and emotionally healthy. It helps them stand tall, walk in dignity like anyone else and deal with others on equal terms. This is achieved through a combination of factors such as parental love and care, decent living conditions, choice of clothing, and good education. At Agape, we have children from the age of 5 to 18 years.