Five days a week she took care of the needs of her grandchildren. Each Sunday she used her gift of teaching, her love for children, and her commitment to the Lord to educate first grade students in Sunday School. Her daughter told me her family vacations were never more than six days. Her mother insisted they return home on Saturday so she could teach Sunday School the next day. Her name was Lois Cooper. She is now in her eternal home but her influence upon children continues today.
Visiting the Good Samaritan School, I noticed that many of the staff and teachers came to weekly church services held at the school. When it came time for the children to come forward to share memorized scripture and depart for children’s church, it was the teachers and staff from the school who taught them. They were extending love to the children not only at school but at church as well.
It is this kind of love that extends beyond what is “required” to a sacrificial giving of time and energy that communicates love to children. Growing up with teachers who love sacrificially is a gift that last through a child’s lifetime and transforms generations to come.
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
Recently, I was asked a question I have never been asked before. It does not surprise me when others ask about a favorite Christmas gift I received but this day I was asked, “What is the favorite Christmas gift you have given?”
After a few moments the answer came. When my father died, I wanted to keep his memory alive and I knew that Christmas would be difficult without him. After much thought, our family chose to sponsor a child at the Good Samaritan School. We knew that my father would love knowing that a very poor child would be provided with an education, nutritious food, health care and the opportunity to hear about his Savior and Lord.
We were matched with a student named Ankur and received his photo and biography which I gave to my mother with a note explaining that our family was sponsoring Ankur in memory of my father. Tears of gratitude came as she realized something special was being done in her husband’s memory.
Over the years, my mother and Ankur have corresponded. Although she is 91, she can still write encouraging letters and enjoys each note she receives from him. She is amazed at Ankur’s ability to write in English and comments that he must be “really smart” because he writes such fine letters.
This past November, my husband and I travelled to India and spent two weeks at the Good Samaritan School. There were many highlights, but one of the most special times was meeting Ankur. Currently in 11th grade, Ankur was full of confidence and poise as he introduced himself and was extremely polite as he expressed his gratitude for sponsorship. We shared photos of our family and had a few moments of conversation before he returned to class. As he walked away, I felt so grateful for the opportunity to support this young man knowing my father would be pleased that sponsorship is making a difference in the life of a child in India.
Recently, a monthly prayer group was formed in Lexington, KY to specifically pray for the school, children and staff. After relaying this news to Ananthi in an email, I received a remarkable reply. Ananthi explained that she was attending a meeting in Central India when she received my e-mail. While at the meeting, she had learned there was a prayer room in the building where the meeting was being held. When time allowed, Ananthi slipped away and found her way to the room of prayer. Upon entering, she found a man with an open Bible on his knees. He rose and explained to Ananthi that he was praying for a Christian ministry in India that prays 24 hours a day for the work of the ministry. Ananthi writes, “I was thrilled and thought for a moment that if we had one like this, the ministry and the children would flourish!”
Ananthi was very encouraged about our new prayer group, but her statement made me think, “What would happen if more people consistently prayed for the Good Samaritan School?” Remembering that India is #15 on the list of countries in which Christians are most persecuted, I was reminded of the importance of consistently praying for the school, the teachers and staff, the children, and Ananthi. Each month I look forward to gathering with others in my Lexington, KY home to intercede on behalf of the work of the Good Samaritan School. I keep a list of prayer requests on my bedside table to remind me to pray each night for the work being done in India.
Please join me in lifting up the Good Samaritan School, starting with these prayer requests:
*Praise God for the amazing work He has done and continues to do through the school.
*Ask that God would help the students excel in their studies.
*Request that God would fill the teachers and staff with wisdom and insight as they teach.
*Pray for protection from accidents, disease and harm for the students, their families, and the teachers/staff.
*Request that God continue to make financial provision for the school.
*Ask that each month there will be an increase in the number of children sponsored.
If you are interested in learning more about the prayer group in Lexington, please contact Leslie at LLittrell@fotgs.com.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful
and thankful. Colossians 4:2
It was a Saturday morning.
I was 8 years old.
My mother was gone for the day.
Upon her return, she called me into our living room and began to tell me about her day.
I listened, expectantly, to her words and my heart changed…forever.
My Mom told me that she had been to the home of a very poor family in our town. She and two ladies from our church took the mother shopping for new Easter clothes. The family could not afford new clothing for the children and they had outgrown their spring clothes. Until that moment, I did not know there were children who did not get a new outfit each Easter. As I listened to her story, tears began to flow. Those were not the last tears I would shed for children in need.
As a child, shopping for a new Easter dress, new shoes, and even new underwear was always a special event! When we returned home, I always inspected my new clothes with growing excitement. After getting up early and having my mom fuss with my hair, I dressed in my new Easter outfit and would go to find my father who always told me how beautiful I looked! I felt like a princess presenting herself to the king!
New Easter clothing leads me to think about the day when the children at the Good Samaritan School are presented with their new school uniforms. Twice a year they receive two sets of clothing – light weight clothes for the warm months and heavy clothes and a wool coat for the cold season. New clothing is a rarity for the children who live in the slums. Receiving new uniforms not only fills the governmental requirement that all school children wear uniforms to school but it gives the child a sense of dignity and worth having nice, new clothing to wear.
I imagine that many children go home, dress in their new uniforms and model for their parents who make them feel special like my parents did on Easter morning!
Clothing over 2000 children is a large expense for the Good Samaritan School. Please consider donating to the uniform fund as another way to support the children and the work of the school.
Provide a child with a uniform shirt and pants/skirt……..$20
Provide a child with a warm winter coat……..$25
Provide a child with a full uniform……..$45
The words sit on the dresser in my bedroom and I read them often, “The power of one”. Four simple words that hold deep meaning to me. I often feel overwhelmed by the needs of others, world poverty, homelessness and a list that goes on and on. What can one person do?
This spring as I accompanied Dr. Ananthi Jebasingh during her stay in the U.S. to multiple events where she shared the story of the Good Samaritan School, I realized more fully what one person can do. As Ananthi shared the amazing story of how she responded to God’s call to teach one beggar boy in her home that ultimately grew into a school where over 2000 students are taught, I stood amazed at what God did with one child and one obedient lady.
At each event, I stood praying that one person would come to the sponsorship table and sponsor one child followed by another prayer for God to send someone else so one more child could be sponsored. I rejoiced over each and every child that was sponsored and each and every person who said “yes” to sponsorship. I knew that both would be blessed. The sponsor receives an amazing gift of joy knowing their special child is receiving multiple blessings that come with sponsorship. The sponsored child receives the gifts of a quality education, medical care, a daily meal and the amazing opportunity to hear the good news about Jesus Christ in a land where there are fewer than 3% Christians. One sponsor, one child, it is a beautiful example of the power of one.
To view the power of one, click here. It may change how you think about the difference that one person can make in the life of another.