She is a 29-year-old widow with two daughters. Her husband passed away 6 years ago. Sujatha was deep in grief from her husband’s death and was not sure how she would continue to support her daughters. She knew her parents could only help for so long. She had a strong desire for her daughters to be well-educated, but they were barely surviving and the girls were severely at risk. Then she found ICM.
Sujatha was one of the entrepreneurs who went through our very first round of training at Rescue Pink center at Medak. Rescue Pink, a project of ICM works towards the betterment of women in rural areas. Sujatha has been one of the brilliant women who had come to our center seeking help. She had previous experience as a tailor and knew that she wanted to capitalize on that during business training. She was given a loan to purchase a sewing machine and several fabrics. She began to sell blouses and do some small embroidery work. Sujatha became one of the entrepreneurs from the first round that had some of the highest profits, so she was chosen to go through the process again with the second round of entrepreneurs and get another investment to continue to grow her business. With the second loan, Sujatha is now able to sew sarees and even more blouses for clients. And now she is training other women in sewing to make even more money. She learned these skills through our business training.
Sujatha wants her daughters to be well educated, which is why she says she will work tirelessly to make sure they attend the best schools possible. Sujatha has enjoyed the training and says she has learned to be bold in her life. She says that this initiative helped her to stand on her own two feet by giving her this opportunity. She now has no fear for the future because she can provide for her two daughters.
After completing training and receiving a second investment, Sujatha believes that she can do anything she sets her mind to. Rescue Pink instilled bravery in her, and she hopes to teach it to her daughters as well. She is also currently saving for her daughters’ education, and paying for private education school and bus fees, on top of providing all the basic necessities for her family. Sujatha hopes to one day own her own home and feels that she can dream of that now because of the hope she has been given.
In the month of May, ICM had gone to the village of Prasanthapuri, which is a Scheduled Tribe Colony. People belonging to the cast of scheduled tribe are considered the lowest among all other castes, untouchable and not worthy of a good life. Because of this, all scheduled tribe colonies have the worst living conditions. Prasanthapuri is one such colony. The people here have no proper access to a good lifestyle. Be it proper food, clothing or medical facilities, they live far away from them and are also not well enough to avail any of such facilities. ICM’s free medical camp was a huge relief for this colony. So much so that people from the neighbouring villages had come in auto rickshaws.
The people in this village live in unhealthy conditions. Not having access to a medical facility nearby adds to their woes. They don’t even have proper houses to live in. The old people suffer even more, because of their deteriorating health conditions and no proper medical facilities to cure their condition or offer temporary relief.
About 95 people attended the camp and availed their free check-up and also were given medicines according to their condition. Not just this, the villagers were advised about the necessary steps they have to take to clean their surroundings clean and make sure to do all things in a sanitary way, so that they will not be affected by various illnesses. The people were very happy for the free service and are hoping we continue these camps in their villages.
Just a few glimpses from the medical camp
Praise God for His amazing providence!
The church is called to be the light to the nations, a harbour in the midst of stormy situations and a refuge to the weary. We are called to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. ICM inspires the people to live by the word of God and to practice it daily in our lives; to reach out to the community with the love of Christ. One such village, which was touched by the love of Christ through the acts of the church was Kondaveethi.
The church at Kondaveethi is overseen by one of our missionaries. Most of the church members work small jobs as agricultural labourers, electricians, masons and the such. The income is not even enough to provide for their families needs. In spite of their shortcomings, they come together and help each other out. ICM taught this people to not just learn from the word of God, but make it practical in their lives. They were motivated to do something for their community. They immediately got to work. They recognized the need in the community.
There was a water crisis in the village. The borewells in the village that were installed long ago was in a broken state and needed repairs. Because of this, everyday, the women in the village, including the women in the church, walk several miles to get enough drinking water for their families for the day. They carry pots of water on their heads and travel several miles only for a pot of drinking water for the family. In rainy or summer seasons, this is a hard task, but they are allowed no respite even for a day, for the family will suffer.
While the community was waiting for some hope, the church decided to take a stand and decided that this is the need that should be met, to show how much God loves the community. They decided to install a borewell in the middle of the village, to make water accessible to all and within their reach. But even the members of the church could not afford this. As they were praying, the Holy Spirit inspired them to drill a water bore manually. They decided to save some money from their income and they also requested the elders of the village to contribute for this. Once the money was gathered, the members of the church got to work to drill the bore. They built a bore well in the middle of the village. The community was astonished by the work of the church and understood that the church really wanted to help people. Not just this, they even make sure that it is kept very clean for the community’s use.
During the work, the church too was astonished by the work of the Lord. They found water at a depth of just 50 feet. Everyone in the village is elated to have this new borewell. The entire village has only praises for the church. ICM has made an impact in the surrounding villages and churches by this act. The relationship of the church with the community has become better. The community saw that the church was gathering in a small temporary shelter. Out of gratitude, the community gifted the church a land to hold their services. The church was overjoyed to receive this land for the church building. They are grateful to God for His amazing love.
God took God’s time to build creation. God took time to step back and look at God’s work and say, “It is good.” Jesus took time with us, by speaking to us in parables, so that we would have to consider some of the possibilities of what he was trying to teach us. I want to suggest to you as we begin to consider where ICM has been, and where God wants ICM to go in the future as we seek to continue to serve God through this project, that you too allow yourself to take the time necessary to reinforce, to rebuild or perhaps even begin to build a solid, firm foundation of faith. This church has a very strong foundation that will withstand the tough times that may come. We trust and seek God for His favour in all that we build for His glory.
Discernment takes work and we are working over the next period of time to draw closer to God. We will work to ensure that our foundation is strong, our spirituality is deep and our reasons for building this church forward into the next part of its life, are based in a discernment process that brings us closer and closer to God. Then, we as ICM will be able to stand back and say “It is good.” Amen!
The girl children were given awareness on their rights and the importance of equality in education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care and protection from discrimination, violence and freedom from child marriage etc.
March 3rd – April 3rd, 2014
During this season, many agricultural labourers in Andhra Pradesh are at risk of starvation because there is no work. To help them, ICM, along with Paya Lebar Methodist Church of Singapore and Communion of Covenant Churches, held an emergency rice distribution.
Communion of Covenant Churches identified the highest-risk families in the slums and villages of Krishna District, Paya Lebar Methodist Church raised funds, and ICM facilitated the distribution. Each 25-kg back will feed a family for a month, and 400 bags were distributed, feeding around 2400 people. These were the villages that received rice: Nehru Pet, Potharra Padu, Nagvarappadu, Sobhanadhri Purnam, Kothuru, Ganguru, Uddhandarayuni Palem, and Ibrahim Patnam.
An excerpt from a World Race blog by Ken Betancourt. Read full blog here.
These children’s faith is so great. In the evening right before leaving, a small boy approaches me. He says “Please pray for my mother. She has much pain in her body.” At the time I thought his mother was nearby so I tell him “one of the sisters can pray for her”. I ask him if he wants prayer and he say’s “of course!” As I’m finishing the prayer he starts to whisper “my mother, my mother, please pray for my mother”. Then I realized that he understands that God can hear our prayers whether we pray for them in person or in spirit!
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them (Mark 10:13-16).
This is a quote from a World Racer, Nathan Hauser, on his expectations of India and what happened when he actually came. Read the full blog here.
India originally held the top spot for countries on my route I was least excited about. In fact, I sometimes selfishly prayed for it to change, so we could bypass India altogether. I wasn’t excited about the environment, the people, the culture, and especially not the food. Yet, from the moment our plane landed on Indian soil, I felt a strange sense of peace. In an inexplicably surreal sort of way, it felt like home.
This is an excerpt from a blog written by a World Racer, Sha’terika Perkins, on her experiences in India praying for people. Read the full blog here.
Being someone who has always strongly believed in the power of prayer, I am usually excited for every opportunity I get to pray for someone. I admit that for the past few weeks I was deceived. I chose to believe the lie that only certain acts of God counted as important or significant and that I wasn’t really being used by him if I was not a part of those things. The truth is that Jesus & the apostles both proclaimed and demonstrated the kingdom of God through preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, and casting out demons. These same manifestations of the Holy Spirit are expected and available to Jesus’ disciples today. I’ve learned it’s not wrong in itself to desire to be used in those ways. But the heart behind it, as in all things, is of utmost importance to God.