Bethesda

Orphanages and churches in southern India

Photos from the April 2008 and 2010 trip

These trips have been really exciting for me as I had not been for 6 years and I saw a great deal of the fruit of the work that Sam & Laisha have been doing. I saw children who are no longer children but now have their own kids. I saw children who came to Sam destitute and are now so, so, so happy!

Also, on the 2010 trip we visited a tribal church near Erumad that was started on the back of outreach meetings that we did in past years. It was an amazing experience to see this small, devoted, vibrant group of believers who live in the fear of persecution and rejection from their culture and family and friends, and yet who just love Jesus!

In 2008, I was asked by a friend to interview some people whilst I was there. I tried to interview some of the children but Jeswin (Sam’s son and my translator for the task) spent ages trying to explain what we meant by “poverty” but many of them just could not understand it. Of those who did, all of them spoke of what their life had been like but that now that they were at the Bethesda home, their life was great!

One child said, “I do not know what poverty is. I have been here for all of my life. I have everything that I need and I am really happy. What is poverty?”

That is why we are involved with Bethesda Mission!!!!

Jamin being mobbed by some the Erumad children.

Sam (with his new t-shirt) and Laisha. We love these guys SO much! They are double, double great!

More of the Erumad kids.

The Coonoor kids!

We were guests at the opening (dedication) of the newly finished Coonoor Church. For this occasion, we were all given outfits, as seen here.

L-R Matt, Lou, Rob, Jim, Nicki, Jamin, Simon, Nick, Sarah, Becca, Anne.

The newly finished Coonoor Church!

On our first trip, in 2000, Sam showed us the house that he was buying to move the orphanage into. On our second trip, he was in the house and the church met in the garden. He showed us the new orphanage he was building. He moved into there and then knocked down the house and built this. Its holds around 500 in the main room. There is a large room downstairs where, at the dedication, they fed around 1000 people! There are six shop units along the side which, when rented out, will pay the mortgage on the building!

We don’t call him Del-boy for nothing!

This is Praveen in 2008. He very nearly died in Christmas 2007 from “Brain fever” and the doctors said that he would not make it. He is a bundle of mischief and cheekiness and a testimony to the awesome healing power of our God!

This is Praveeen (centre) in 2010, with his brother Malikandan (left as we view it). He now lives in Erumad and not Coonoor but he is still a bundle of cheekiness!

Pradap & Sadeesh, in 2008. In 2002, Sam found these two brothers (aged 3 and 4) on the side of the road, eating dirt because there was nothing else for them to eat and they was so desperate. We visited at that time and I remember these two. Nothing that anyone did could make them smile. Now, you just cannot stop them!

Here they are in 2010, aged 11 and 12. Life is good for these boys and they have hope. It is truly amazing what God has done in them both.

This is Mala and her two children. When we first came, she was one of the children in the Coonoor home and now she is married to the pastor of the Mussabberry church and really happy! This church was planted out of the outreach meetings we did on our first visit which is really exciting.