Jesus told His disciples He chose them to bear fruit, fruit that would last. I would like to tell you about some fruit borne at the Lydia Home for Children in India in the form of two abandoned girls who came to the Home about six years ago. Chandralekha's father had deserted her family when she was small; then both her mother and grandmother died. Mageswari had contracted HIV at birth through her HIV-infected mother. Her mother died when Mageswari was nine years old, and her father left her alone.
But now, by the grace of God, we are thrilled to report that both girls have finished high school! Chandra is headed to nursing school, and Mageswari is going to Living Hope Bible College.
Most fruit does not grow quickly. If you plant blueberry bushes, apple trees or grape vines in your yard, don't expect to be harvesting fruit the first year. It takes time, and often a lot of work on the part of the gardener, to get that first viable crop.
In the same way, the lasting fruit of discipleship takes time and hard work to produce a crop. But Jesus promises that as we abide in His love, the harvest will come.
Chandra and Mageswari have overcome huge obstacles in order to arrive where they are today with the opportunity for higher education and the hope of living out their dreams. As they begin their studies this fall, they are thankful to the Lord and His marvelous mercy and grace in their lives. And they are grateful to the staff at The Lydia Home who loved and nurtured them and to the Fishhook donors who provided for a place where they could grow up safely, surrounded by the love of God's people.
You will gain an appreciation of how far these two have come as you read their stories:
I am Chandralekha. I was brought up in a Hindu family. My father left the family when I was a small child. Being a fatherless child was painful to my heart. My mother and grandmother took care of me. My mother worked as a housekeeper in a nursing home so she could feed me, but she earned very little money. My grandmother, too, earned very little. But in the midst of all this, my mother sent me to school regularly.
When I was ten years old, suddenly my mother was found dead in her bed. We do not know what caused her death. I cried and cried. My life became extremely dark. My grandmother was very weak, so I had to do all the housework like cooking and cleaning. After my grandmother's death, I didn't know where to go. My neighbors were looking at me and crying. Then one of my aunties came forward and took me to her house. I lived there for a year, but my uncle who didn't like me began to treat my auntie cruelly.
Every Sunday my auntie took me to church. After the service my auntie would talk with the pastor about me and about what she should do. That pastor knew about the Lydia Home, and he brought me here.
When I first came to the Lydia Home, my family worries caused me a lot of heartache. I felt alone. But then I started to get along with the other children, and my sorrows began to vanish. I started going to a new school which I really liked. I learned about Jesus and His love. I started reading the Bible, and I felt joyful when I sang songs of praise to God. I have found healing from my past in the Lord Jesus.
My name is Mageswari. My mother was infected with HIV. I got the infection from my mother. My mother expired when I was nine years old. Nobody in my family came forward to accept me. My father and brother are not affected by HIV, and they abandoned me.
I underwent sufferings because of rejection even by my maternal relatives. I had to discontinue my studies in 4th grade, and I was given medical treatment at Dawn and Dusk Home. I had home schooling for 5th and 6th grades. Then I came to the Lydia Children’s Home where I started 7th grade in a Christian school.
To me Jesus is my father, my mother, my everything. Our Lord saved me from wolves, snakes and other animals while my mother and I were living in a jungle-like area. Our home was in a remote place. But His protection was there for us. I have a dreadful illness but still He keeps me alive. He keeps me happy always in spite of my sadness. He has given me good food, shelter and other blessings at the Lydia Home.
My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 23:1 - "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." My prayer requests are to be joyful always, to have protection while going to and from school, to study well, for my health and well being, and for my father to come and visit me.
Thank You, Fishhook Friends!
We are deeply grateful for your support for the Lydia Home for Children through your prayers and financial gifts to Fishhook. You have helped rescue Chandra, Mageswari and others like them. May God be glorified in their lives always!