Since December of 2005, when the Tsunami lashed the coastal areas of Asia, we have been able to provide 48 villages in the affected areas and coastal towns with aid in the form of food, clothing, and basic supplies as well as other relief items, which were desperately needed. Since that time, our teams have continued to work in the villages in Tamil Nadu that were affected, and are helping to rehabilitate the villages and families who suffered and aid them in getting back on their feet. Over 100 boats were distributed to fishermen who had lost everything and had no means to earn a living. We also procured sponsorship of the building of 30 houses as well as several other community halls and tuition centers in villages in seven different districts.
It has been truly fulfilling to see the resilience of many communities and families who had lost everything they owned, and yet were so eager to make a fresh start at life. More important than providing them with material aid, we were able to provide these needy families with hope by praying with them. These villages have made surprising progress in the past year, and are well on their way to becoming self-sufficient communities once more.
Youth Leadership Training
At Family Services India, our primary focus is on training and instructing the youth, which we feel is investing in the future. Since the past 5 years, we have been conducting regular training camps, seminars, and motivational workshops for young people. These teenagers have all expressed a desire to engage in full time missionary service for the good of their fellow man, and have been helping out in the community whenever they can. We do our best to provide them with specialized training programs to help them fulfill this objective.
In January 2006, we held a month long, intensive training seminar for thirty-five young people, who had all committed themselves to a life of full-time missionary service. The effects of the seminar exceeded our expectation in every way. We are thrilled to see the lives of these young people change for the better and the positive side effects of this program are visible to us in many tangible ways they acquired practical skills, which will go a long way in enhancing their ability to approach their work with a high level of professionalism. They have also grasped the essence and meaning of life at a deeper level, which in turn has caused them to be more active in ministering to the underprivileged and helping to further the cause of the needy. Several of these young people have now joined our mission work in Mumbai.
The Add Program
Our latest training program launched in May this year is called “The Add Program.” We have found through experience that one of the best ways to reach the youth is by empowering other young people to reach them. Keeping this in mind, we have created this program for teenagers to not only enhance the quality of their lives, but also to motivate them to reach out to teenagers in the community at large. The goal of this program is to add other young people to an already existing positively motivated group or teenagers. Hence the ‘Add Program”
The teenagers receive points for distributing the Activated! magazine as well as for giving classes and saving souls. They must gain a minimum number of points each month in order to be eligible for certain incentives such as day camps and outings which we organize for them.
This program has proven to be highly successful thus far, and within the last 3 months, the young people in India who are participating in the program have won over 8,789 souls, distributed 9,490 Activated! Magazines, subscribed over 1,120 people to the Activated! Magazine, and given 312 Bible classes to businessmen, students, and people new to the faith.
From Volunteers with Family Services India
While on the train to and from town I often bump into folks that I am able to give tracts to or else give the salvation message to. Recently while traveling on the train, this time in quite an uncomfortable position due to so many passengers and the hot humid summer in full bloom, I was inspired to sing and so I did. Shortly thereafter a young woman said “You sing so nicely!” I looked over at her and she began to tell me that she knew me. I questioned from where and she explained that some weeks back I had offered her a lovely tract. I asked her if she liked it and she went on to explain that she liked it so much that she prayed the prayer on the back to receive Jesus into her heart and then passed it on to a friend, who passed it on to another and yet another. What an encouragement and joy, to see and know just how far a little love and message in a tract can go! Thank you for making this possible and supporting out outreach!
— Premika, India
About eight months ago we met a very sweet man, someone who wanted to help our work by donating dining tables and chairs. We met with him from time to time but it had been some time since we had been able to see him, so we kept him in our regular prayers. In meeting him again, he shared a miracle that had taken place in his life and his gratitude and knowledge of our prayers for him. He had received threatening phone calls and notes, stating that unless they received a certain amount of money his two teenage sons would be killed. In order to prevent this he would need to put forth this amount at a certain time and date. Of course, this added much stress and strain to his life and he prayed desperately for help. Miraculously the police were able to catch the men who were threatening him just in time as this man was about to hand over the ransom. The men were detained, leaving our friend and his boys safe. So as much as this was a difficult situation, this Lord used it as a wonderful opportunity to rejoice and thank Him for His miraculous answer to prayer and protection in time of need.
— Maria, India