Rupal (right) with her mother and sister. Praise the Lord, Rupal now has a brighter future through the help of Bridge of Hope.

February 2018 • Vol. 14, No. 2

No Longer Watching

The fields were on fire. Little Rupal watched the spectacle with weary eyes. She was hungry, and following her mother, Vanhi, around the fields all day was hard on her young, malnourished body.

Rupal also watched as her friends went to school without her. She had asked her mother if she could go, too, not understanding the extent of their financial troubles. It broke Vanhi’s heart every time Rupal asked her about an education, but there was nothing she could do on her own to provide. She needed help. She needed hope.

A Widow’s Woes

As a recent widow, Vanhi struggled to provide for her two young daughters. Like generations before her, Vanhi got involved in slash and burn agriculture. She kept her girls with her during the day, while she labored in the fields—Rupal and her little sister watched their mother toil to cut down trees, shrubs and grasses to burn—and spent many sleepless nights worrying about their future.

Vanhi wanted to feed her girls well; she wanted to clothe them properly; she wanted to send them to school, but it was beyond her means. Adding to her anguish, Vanhi faced criticism and harassment instead of help and love from neighbors and relatives.

It seemed impossible for her children to have a future any better than their dear mother’s ... but our God is the God of the impossible.

While Rupal was still 4 years old and malnourished, Vanhi heard about a place where children could find free tutoring and help.

A Longing Fulfilled

Vanhi quickly approached a local GFA-supported worker and poured out all her struggles. He had pity on the suffering woman, and the very next day, he talked to the Bridge of Hope center coordinator about Vanhi and Rupal’s situation. Together, the two men and some other GFA-supported Bridge of Hope staff visited Vanhi at her home, where they encouraged her and witnessed the extent of Rupal’s need. It didn’t take long for them to recognize her pathetic situation or to enroll her in the center.

Feeding children nutritious meals helps their bodies and also gives many an incentive to feed their minds as well. Numerous Bridge of Hope children come from backgrounds where going to school seems unnecessary when a child could work instead. By providing a steady, delicious meal—which children might not get at home—GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers encourage children to pursue an education.

It’s not hard to imagine how joyful Rupal was when she could finally attend school. There was food—good food—provided for her and the 89 other children every school day. Rupal stopped getting sick so often, and her overall physical health improved. There was tutoring to help children with difficult subjects, and Rupal began to grow mentally as well.

Rupal didn’t have to go to work with her mother anymore.

Her mother was delighted. Their dream had come true.

‘I Saw God’s Nature in You’

One day, the Bridge of Hope coordinator asked Vanhi a question.

“It has been more than one and a half years that your child Rupal is regularly attending the classes in our Bridge of Hope center,” he said. “Tell us, how do you feel? Is Bridge of Hope center helpful for you and for your daughter?”

“I am really grateful, to the leadership for helping me in the time of my depression.” Vanhi responded. “For years, nobody has come and helped me. Instead of showing me love and care, people hated and criticized us.

“You helped me,” she continued. “I saw God’s nature in you, and that made me happier.”

Vanhi hopes her daughter will grow up to be a teacher someday so she can help other poor and needy children find a better future.

Thank You!

Through this Bridge of Hope center, God has touched the lives of many children and their families, giving them an opportunity to receive an education and ultimately break out of poverty. Thanks to the donations of GFA friends like you toward our Bridge of Hope Program and Unsponsored Children’s Fund, hundreds of Bridge of Hope centers are able to bless more than 82,000 children throughout Asia. That’s 82,000 children who are no longer watching their futures waste away.

Thank you so much for making a difference in the lives of needy children, like Rupal, through your prayers and by supporting the work of the Lord through GFA World!