Our Church Family in India
In May of 1965 I saw a short item in the paper about an Indian Priest working in the states who had set up an agency called Save A Family Plan to help people in India have a better life. The cost was $5.00 a month.
Shortly after I adopted her first family, Jean Haywood, who was president of the Ladies Guild asked if I would speak to the ladies about the plan. Shortly after, the Guild decided to adopt also. About that time the S.A.F.P. decided to offer what they called a Burse, a sum of $200.00, which would cover monthly payments for 20 years. If I remember correctly, it now costs approximately $200 a year to adopt a family or $2000.00 for a Burse.
Over the years, as experience has been gained, new ideas and practices have been put in place. When a family is accepted for assistance, they are given six years to become self sufficient. Each village is encouraged to work together to learn how all levels of governments work, health, sanitation and women’s rights.
Some of the options open upon acceptance are: small business loans, goat, cow, chicken and rabbit rearing, agriculture, rice growing. In one sea side community, a group of women banded together and made a roaring success of making and repairing fishing nets.
At the end of their 6 years, Peter and Lini have graduated the program and are growing rice, have a cow, goats, chicken, and yes, even a dog!
Which brings us to our new family, Stephen and Reena.
I was moved and distressed to see 8 year Libina in her mothers’ arms. I phoned S.A.F.P. And learned that the family were in a car accident in Feb. And that Libina was severely injured. The Doctors at the hospital wanted to operate, but the parents couldn’t see their way to pay for Libina’s surgery. There are enquiries being made to try to get an idea as to how to proceed.
All in all, I’d say we at Epiphany have received good value for our $200.00 investment, helping approximately 7 families over 49 years.
When they write and say “Thank you for your love and kindness, may God Bless you, I am humbled. It is the giver who receives the blessings.