Gospel for Asia (GFA World), Wills Point, Texas – One young child’s journey from cowering in the corner.
Day after day, night after night, the scene was all too familiar. Bijay would withdraw to a corner of his home in an attempt to avoid becoming the object of the venting of his father’s drunken rages. It is a scene that is common in many homes where the family lives in abject poverty, and there seems to be no hope for today or all the tomorrows that will follow.
At his tender age, Bijay could understand the poverty. His family was one of many in the village whose fathers worked in the rice paddies to provide an income upon which they could barely subsist. For Bijay, poverty was ‘normal.’
What Bijay could not understand was the indignity that a life of poverty had heaped upon his father. Kuwar had once been a young boy like Bijay with hopes and dreams of a better future, but his dreams had dissolved into a wearisome morass of hopelessness. All Bijay could understand was that his father was usually drunk and angry.
This habit, too, was common among men in the village as many suffered the cycle of shame that entraps so many fathers trying to raise a family in poverty. Shame drove them to escape from reality in alcohol. Aside from the physical abuse, the expenditure of what little income he earned for drinking continued to exacerbate the family’s poverty.
Cowering in the corner, Bijay was already heading toward the path of despair in which his father was entrapped. In fact, the child was so traumatized that he found it impossible to concentrate on his school work.
That’s the way it was the day some Gospel for Asia-supported Bridge of Hope staff came to visit Bijay’s family.
Understanding the plight of Bijay and his family, the staff did what they could by enrolling him in their Bridge of Hope center, including providing him with new shoes, school uniforms, supplies and a backpack. Attending the center, Bijay gained physical strength from being provided with a nutritious daily meal and regular medical checkups.Yet, Bijay’s studies were not going so well. The experienced staff understood that there was a greater problem hindering his progress. The love of Jesus moved them to do something about it.
Staff members began to visit Bijay’s home on a regular basis. During those visits, they encouraged Kuwar to understand the problems his alcohol addiction were causing. When Bijay witnessed this care and concern that went far beyond his schooling, he witnessed the love of Christ. He saw that love flowing through them as they prayerfully counseled his father. Bijay, too, began to ask the Lord to help his father break his addiction.
Bit by bit, day by day, things changed. Bijay’s father stopped drinking. The daily fits of rage subsided. Kuwar’s income, once spent on alcohol, was now available to meet the family’s needs. Gradually, the family’s financial situation improved dramatically.
What is more, with the stress at home replaced by love and care, Bijay’s studies improved as he was able to diligently apply himself to his studies without having to worry about another dismal evening cowering in a corner.
When Bijay thanks Jesus for blessing his family, he is also thanking those who have responded to the Lord’s call to support children and Bridge of Hope centers through their gifts to GFA.
We have the privilege of helping others to reach others for Christ. Learn more about how you can help support the Bridge of Hope program.
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