The current Home of Hope building is 20 years old, and it was time for a reunion! Samson and Alfred grew up at the home and both are now serving in director positions at the home. They have become amazing adults that are showing what great leaders they are for Christ. It was such a blessing that Samson and Alfred planned, organized, budgeted and invited approximately 160 children that had grown up in the home to the reunion. 72 ‘older siblings’ were able to come home and enjoy the day with the current 106 children at the home.
The day started with breakfast followed by worship and dancing by several age groups of the current children. Tiffin was served – a snack break. Sharon made 200 carrot cupcakes for all to have along with their somasa.
Then we spent time taking pictures; pictures of whole groups, of each graduating group, and pictures of all former and current children. What a special memory!
Then it was time for games. They are great at creative games and relays here and even got Sharon and I to participate in one of the relays.
Lunch was a special occasion. Pilau rice, fish AND chicken, and a bottle of pop. The kids are not used to that much food and were fun to watch. Little Ripna came up to me after lunch with a smile on her face rubbing her tummy sticking out saying, “Oooooh, so full!”
After lunch, everyone sat in a circle around Larry, Sharon, Rick and I. The older siblings shared what they are successfully doing now. Many are in school, working in businesses, some in NGO’s (Non-Government Organization). The older siblings were able to give the younger children advice, and we, as leaders were able to gain insight on what would have helped them more when they graduated. We were left with good ideas to develop to help our current and future children. This was the beginning of an ongoing network that we know will be used by God.
At the end of the day, Larry and Sharon were presented with an incredible gift. It was a framed picture of the entire reunion group that we had taken that morning. The children sang a song with the lyrics, “Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed. I’m so glad you gave”. There was not a dry eye in the house. Then they presented Rick and me with the same framed picture! It was such an exciting and humbling day.
One of the neatest things from the day was hearing the older siblings talking to the current kids about giving to the Home of Hope and supporting the work that is happening. They do not make much, but they gave ideas of walking instead of taking a rickshaw or skipping tiffin a couple of times a week. An account has been started and each month the kids are adding to it with the goal of turning it into an interest bearing account. It is incredible to see these kids accept responsibility for themselves and catch the vision of their Home of Hope!
I was so proud and humbled to be a part of this reunion day!
Elaine Pardee, Project Director (with Rick Pardee)