|Crossroads, Mumbai: Update|
|Crossroads, Mumbai: Update|
Crossroads, Mumbai India
Alpha Care Update
Six months have passed since we started the Crossroads, Mumbai’s Alpha Care Ministry. Currently we have 11 children attending. Over this short span of time we have seen tremendous changes in the lives of these children.
As you know the Alpha Care Ministry is a preschool educational program for the most underprivileged children from severely poor backgrounds. As a part of the Alpha Care Program children come free of charge and receive not only an education but also food, clothing, medical attention, and yes spiritual instruction. We are teaching these children English, their ABC’s, the basics of writing, self-discipline and cleanliness – a very important issue for children coming from the slums where they have never experienced the comforts of life we all take for granite. We do this to tangibly express the love of Christ to these children who have never felt this kind of love. Our goal is to open hearts and minds previously closed to the gospel and to show the message of God’s love and forgiveness.
To many these may seem to be small “victories”. But in this country with staggering populations of poor and oppressed people even simple things like proper hygiene require great change. Yet Crossroads isn’t about teaching English or helping children learn their alphabet; it’s not about feeding the hungry, thought we do these things. Crossroads is about changing lives – on the outside as well as on the inside.
But bridging the issue of spiritual matters and particularly the gospel of Christ is a lot more difficult in India than in South Africa. So although we’d love to share with you that dozens of children have come to faith in Christ – we can’t, not yet anyway. What we do want to do is give you brief excerpts about certain children so you can join us in praying for each child; pray with us for open doors, open minds, and open hearts – not only of these children but of their parents too.
Below are brief stories about 2 children in our Alpha Care Program who we ask you to pray for:
Pooja: Pooja lives in the slums of Mumbai and comes from a very poor family. Pooja’s parents are to busy with issues of surviving another day, doing their best to provide their children with something to eat, and protecting their children from the rampant child exploitation which is common within the slums of Mumbai to be concerned with, let alone understand, the importance of an education for their children or how it could provide the ticket out of the misery they have endured for a lifetime. Yet in spite of this Pooja has been at “school” every day since it opened and she has learned a lot. Pooja is an intelligent young girl, eager to learn, always the first to master the lyrics of a song, the steps of a dance or the lessons from the subject being taught. Pray with us that this eagerness to learn will translate into an eagerness to know Christ. Pray too for open minds and hearts with her parents as Crossroads builds bridges to her parents too.
Sonu: Sonu doesn’t “officially” attend our Alpha Care Program; she is a bit older than the other children. Instead Sonu attends a Marathi school (government school) in the neighborhood. We got to know Sonu because each morning before heading off to school she walks her younger sister to our Alpha Care Centre.
The last number of months our teachers began noticing that Sonu lingered for some time after dropping her sister off, well after our program had begun, quietly observing what was taking place. Sonu’s periods of lingering turned into longer and longer periods – waiting around to listen to that mornings bible stories and participating in the Christian songs which told of God’s hope and forgiveness – before heading off, now late, to her regular government school.
When asked why she lingered so long at the Alpha Care she responded that the teachers don’t teach like this in the government schools and that she wants to come full time to the Alpha Care Program. Unfortunately Sonu is too old for the Alpha Care Program but it does make us wonder what God might have us do if the funds were available for children like Sonu who hunger for something more, not only in life but of God too. Pray with us for Sonu; pray that we will use the moments God grants us each morning to speak to her about Christ; pray too that her heart and mind will be open to the truth of the gospel; and finally pray too for the funding of this Alpha Care.
We are so excited about the amazing things God is doing through this ministry. But the reality is that without the prayers and financial support of people like you this wouldn’t be possible. Last month we lost our largest contributor to this ministry and its having a serious impact. We believe in what God has called us to do in Mumbai India and believe in his provision for it. Please pray with us for the continued financial support that is needed to feed, clothe and educate these children.
Bands, Worship, and Music as Ministry:
Reaching non-Christian young people with the gospel of Christ and challenging Christian young people to give their lives in service to Christ are key components of the Crossroads Youth Ministries in Mumbai, India.
We understand that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow – not only of the nations but of the Church too. Therefore reaching out to young people is crucial to us in Crossroads if we want to impact a nation.
To facilitate this goal Crossroads, Mumbai formed a band, in joint partnership with Radiant Assembly of God, for the sole purpose of evangelizing and challenging young people for the kingdom of Christ. Olem Jamir, Director of Crossroads, Mumbai, who served for many years with Youth With A Mission before joining Crossroads heads up this ministry endeavour.
Recently the Bible Society of India asked the Crossroads band to lead worship at a special event they were sponsoring for the young people of Mumbai. Olem wrote the following about the impact of that evening “It was a remarkable time for many youngsters and hundreds were blessed through this. As we were singing and praying for them, challenging them to commit their life to Christ, we saw many responded to Christ. It was a great moment and time of refreshing with the Lord”.
Join us in praying for the Youth of India, for an outpouring of the Spirit of Christ amongst the Youth of the churches of Mumbai and for this new ministry music within Crossroads.
If you would like to donate or receive more information about this ministry please visit us on our website www.crossroadsinternational.org.