Since May 18th, 2017, I have been absent from this blog. I have constantly reminded myself to “get around to blogging.” I could just never seem to have the time to sit down and write like I had so longed for.
However, three days ago, I received an email from my Gospel for Asia blog team with a new blogging assignment, and this morning the Lord came a-knocking on my heart. He reminded me of all of you readers, of the countless precious souls of Asia, and the length of my hiatus. Basically and simply, He told me I could not get away with it this time. The hounding was hard – the disobedience would be transgression. Thus, today, at 10:25 p.m., I have come to tell you a story. A true story. Frankly, I think true stories are the best. It is the story of a drunkard, a widow and her son, and the peace they found.
The man cackled and nearly collapsed in drunken stupor. His mother watched him helplessly. She knew it was her doing. She had often encouraged drinking and enjoyed a few drinks with her son, Sahdev, but she, Vahini, never imagined consequences this horrendous. The old woman pitied her alcoholic son, who spent all he had on the poisonous liquid.
Vahini knew she was obligated to put an end to Sahdev’s alcoholic rages, drunken shame, and endless addiction. When an idea finally lit up her mind like fire crackers on a moonlight night, she set right to work seeing it through: her son must have a wife. Surely a wife would force him to put aside his useless and ridiculous past time! Yes, a wife must be the answer. Maliciously concealing her Sahdev’s treacherous addiction, Vahini found a young woman named Tanu who, blind to the truth, married Sahdev.
However, much to Vahini’s horror, Sahdev became a violent man, abused his new wife, and his drinking did not cease as hoped. Instead of defending the helpless bride, Vahini sided with her son and watched in silence as he beat her daily. In the midst of this desolation, Tanu became pregnant. When Tanu gave birth to a son, Aakar, her husband died of alcohol poisoning two months later.
Free of her chains, Tanu hoped to live in precious peace, but no peace came. Vahini became the villain of our story and mercilessly blamed Tanu for the death of her son. Tanu, afraid for her child and her life, resisted and begged to remain in Vahini’s home, yet in response to her helpless plea, she was beaten for simply asking for help. Fleeing desperately, Tanu returned to her mother and father’s home: in the slums (pictured left – photo credit: http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com). Graciously welcoming their daughter and grandson, Tanu’s parents brought a smile to Tanu’s weary face.
Due to India’s cruel and unfair “caste system,” Tanu and her family were classified as “dalit” or “untouchables.” Essentially cursed by their fellow man, it was difficult for Tanu to find a job to help support her family. Acting as any kind-hearted father would towards his little girl, Tanu’s father, Chandrakiran worked as a daily wage laborer, a job someone of his social caste is confined to.
When Aakar became old enough to go to school, Tanu and her parents simply could not pull enough money together to give the child a proper education. Even when enrolling Aakar into free public school, the cost of the supplies crippled their finances. Heartbroken for her little boy, Tanu was desperate.
Seeing one of her neighbors sending her children to school one day, Tanu demanded to know how they managed the costs. The neighbor explained that her children attend Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Sponsorship program. Feeling a wave of relief for the first time in many days, Tanu enrolled Aakar in the program in June, 2013. For the first time, Aakar received a birthday gift, school supplies, and an education of which many children his age of dreamed (from my resource I learned only forty percent of all people in India can read). Tanu and Aakar (pictured right – photo credit: Gospel for Asia Blog Team) continually receive God’s love, compassion, and redemption everyday from the Bridge of Hope Program. Tanu says that she has the biggest hopes in the world for her son. She believes he will grow to be a kind man who loves others more than himself and will choose a different path than his father, Sadhev. “I can see that my child is improving in his studies and learning good habits through the Bridge of Hope center. I only wish that my child will grow up [to be] a good companion and never ever become addicted to alcohol or any kind of bad habits,” said Tanu after she enrolled her precious son.
The courage of a mother determined to fight for her son and for her life, the acceptance and love of grandparents who had a heart to give the willingness of sponsor in a different land who brought joy into the life of this beautiful child, and the love and care of our Lord Jesus who never lets go, gave this story a happy ending.
“But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
– Luke 18:16
I look at the world around me. It chills my bones. It breaks my heart. It makes the hair on the back of my neck prick up.
Then I look at a child. I see the little girl: ribbons in her hair, pigtails flying, and her cheeky grin making her eyes disappear beneath the ear to ear glee. I see the little boy: laughing at a joke that was not even funny, climbing to the top of the playground, and yelling for all to hear. I see the infant giggle for the first time. The gloom in my heart scatters. I see the little girl beg me to come to her tea party. The despair fades. I see the little boy ramming his truck into your shin. The depressing reverie turns to abundant laughter.
When Jesus told the world that the kingdom of God belongs to the children, He told us that the kingdom of God is full of laughter, light, innocence, joy. It is seething with belief, trust, and dependence.
The kingdom of God does not belong to the adolescent or the adult. The kingdom of God is not full of worry, concern, depression, cynicism and independence.
It belongs to the children.
Children like Aakar who need the love and care God designed them to receive.
I believe that God created children to be bundles of joy that would even out the worry and concern of two grown people.
The children of the world, the beautiful children of the world need us.
The little smiles of the world need us.
The minds who believe they can do anything need us.
The ones who make us smile and forget everything during tragedy need us.
The ones who laugh at the simplest things need us.
And from the arguments I just raised, I would say that we need them just as much.
Maybe even more so.
To all the children of the world,
Emily 🙂 – signing off
P.S. You can help a little one in need by sponsoring a child, donating to crisis funds, or whatever means you may feel God is calling you to give via one of the following organizations (these are ones I know of) and many more around the world:
Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope
P.P.S. I promise that by the end of this week I will hopefully have a post regarding my absence since the beginning of May and the lessons I’ve learned. I hate leaving everyone hanging for two months. I will talk to you soon! Sending you much love 🙂