THE WOMAN IN THE PURPLE SARI
Thank you for what you did seven years ago when no one was watching. You obeyed God’s voice and expected nothing in return. You transformed not only the lives of two small children, but also the lives of two girls from America. You are forever imprinted on our hearts. We promise to share your story and to never let our faith waiver when times are rough. You have inspired us beyond measure and we pray that this story will touch lives in the same way.
This is Jayamma’s story.
She is a part of the lowest caste system in India, living in a tribal village on the outskirts on Ongole. Most of her life has been spent in the streets sweeping up trash and removing human waste. In India, people who are born into this caste system are considered “untouchable”, tainted and less than human. They are not allowed to get their water from the same wells or drink from the same cup as others. They are segregated in temples and worship, and cannot wear shoes in the presence of a person from a higher caste. It is nearly impossible to break the cycle of poverty and move up in a caste that one is born.
When Jayamma was 18 years old, she got married to Ankaiah. For years they tried to have children, but all ended tragically with miscarriages and a stillborn. Jayamma wasn’t able to choose the hand she was dealt in this life or what caste she was born, but she was able to choose Jesus. She willingly placed all her cards in the hands of a good Father, who she faithfully knew was watching over her. A Father who could turn an ordinary day into a day that would change not only her life, but save the life of another.
Jayamma’s day must have started out like any other ordinary day. She probably awoke early, in her one room stone hut, to make chai and egg dosa for her husband. She probably swept the matted mud floors to create a seemingly clean atmosphere. Once she was done with her morning routine, she faithfully went to work. While sweeping the trash-filled streets of a slum village, Jayamma dumped the debris into yet another make-shifted “trash can” on the side of the road. It was then that she noticed something out of a place, that wasn’t trash at all. That early morning, Jayamma found a 17 day old innocent baby boy laying on a heap of discarded rubbish. Without hesitation she traded her dirt stained broom for a dying little boy. She brought his fragile body home and began nourishing him with the love only a mother could give. Jayamma let her husband name him, tying him to their family forever. Hanumanthu’s journey had just begun.
This is an incredible story on its own, but it was only just the beginning for Jayamma’s growing family. Six months later, after bringing Hanumanthu into their lives, Jayamma rescued another child off the streets.
Little did she know that while raising her new found baby boy, another precious little girl miles away was being neglected due to dying parents. At just over a year old, this sweet baby girl lost both of her parents. The next kin to raise her was her grandmother, but not being financially stable, she left her on the streets.
It must have been another ordinary day where Jayamma faithfully went to work. As she was sweeping, she noticed a naked, dirty, and malnourished toddler picking at scraps on the side of the road. It was then that she instantly knew that this innocent child was not being taken care of. Once again, without hesitation, Jayamma opened her heart to yet another dying child. Always wanting a daughter, Jayamma got to choose the name of the newest edition to the family. Like her brother, Hanumanthu, Anusha’s journey had just begun.
Jayamma’s family of two, quickly became a family of four. She had no doubt that her God was going to provide their every need.
Today, Anusha is a healthy eight year old girl who one day wants to be a teacher. She is only in school because of the help of CCDC, the organization we are partnered with this month. Her little brother, Hanumanthu, is a healthy (but scrawny) seven year old. He one day wants to grow up and break the cycle of poverty in his family.
While sitting on her front porch, with tears in our eyes, we heard this story unravel. We asked her: “if God could answer one prayer right now, what would it be?” While Jayamma eagerly thought of her response, we silently prayed that we could be the answer to her prayers. After what seemed like a long moment of thought and translation, Jayamma voiced her answer. She explained how she had taken out a loan to pay for her children’s education and has struggled paying it off. With a rising interest rate and a meager income, the chances of paying this off was next to impossible. The bank was now coming after her home, needing the money back within the year. We asked how much she owed, and our translator told us “10,000 rupees” which doubled because of the high interest accruing. Jayamma now owed 20,000 rupees. We quickly converted the rupees to US dollars, and found out it was only $312.29. Without hesitation, we looked at each other and knew why God had called us there that day. We asked our translator to tell Jayamma we wanted to bless her and pay off her debt. She surprised us with her confident reaction, knowing fully well that the Lord was going to provide. Come to find out, this wasn’t the first time a total stranger paid off her debt. She knew the Lord was going to send someone to help carry this burden, we are just thankful it was us!
A few days later, we eagerly awaited her arrival at the office to be a part of this amazing story. Thinking we couldn’t be surprised more when it came to this lady’s faith, we were told Jayamma only makes 3,000 rupees a month. Of this, she faithfully gives 2,000 of it to the church, which means her family of four lives off of the remaining 1,000 ($15.64 USD).
Going into each village, we expected to impart just a bit more faith to the people we came across. Little did we know, that one of those people would give us a lot more faith than we could have ever given in return. This was the day that India changed the hearts of two American girls.
And we will never be the same.
I’m so thankful that CCDC is part of my life! It has been a great joy for me to be part of the transformative work happening in rural Andhra Pradesh. When I stop and think about what CCDC is doing and the generational impact on that it will have on poverty, trafficking, child labor, and just the well being of the people involved, it overwhelms me!
For those that don’t know me or my story, I want to share a little about how I got here and why I am working with CCDC. I made this video in between running my kids around, so please forgive the “mom” van. I have four wonderful children of my own, besides the 544 children that we care for in our centers.
I would much prefer being behind the camera, but this is a small step in sharing the story of CCDC through sharing how it is woven with my story. I would love to hear how it is woven in with yours!
All the difference.
When you started school, did your parents have to choose between a free school with no building, books, or teachers or a well-run private school that could give you a chance at life, but cost more than their monthly wages to attend?
In rural Indian villages, government-run schools are available to all, with the hope that most will reach literacy before leaving school for good to go help the family, usually about age eight or nine.
Child labor laws are in place, but usually not enforced.
Covenant Child Development Centers (CCDC) provides educational assistance, a meal, emotional support and guidance to 25 select families in a village. This ministry is run through the local village church and is meant to lift up the village in the long-term future.
CCDC provides a way and a reason and accountability to keep the child in not just a good school, but the best college prep school in the area.
Partners like you keep children like these on the road to dignity and a future.
CCDC is a long-term solution through education and discipleship, that aims to bring transformation to the local community.
Become a partner with us today through a gift of any amount! Every dollar makes a huge difference.
Who knew $30 was worth so much! For me, a married mother of four, $30 seems to disappear very quickly. It’s enough to take our family through the drive through (one of my kids is a teenage boy). For a child living in rural India, $30 is life giving.
CCDC has kicked off a new child sponsorship program and it’s only $30 a month. That is enough to provide educational opportunity, nutrition, and an after school program. It is enough to provide safety from traffickers and child labor. It’s is enough to teach families about child’s marriage and why they shouldn’t force their children to marry so young. It’s enough to provide support to father’s struggling with alcohol addiction. It’s enough to give mothers the peace of mind knowing their child will have a better life and have the chance to move beyond poverty. $30 is a huge amount of money for a child in CCDC!
If $30 a month seems like a small price to pay to support a family and prevent trafficking, find out more about the program and how to change a life.
Meet Vishnuvardhan. His parents could not get work in or near the village where his family is from. They went to another city to get work, so Vishnuvardhan lives with his grandparents. His parents send enough money for food, but not enough money for his education. Vishnuvardhan never attended school before CCDC. Through the help of tutors, Vishnuvardhan has been enrolled in 6th grade and is doing quite well. He hopes to be a teacher when he finishes his education. It is only $193 for the year for Vishnuvardhan to go to school. We need to pay his school fees by the end of this month for him to be allowed to take his final tests of the year. Please support Vishnuvardhan and his education.
Nikitha is part of a CCDC Center named Kothapatnam. There are 25 children in this CCDC Center that are now attending school where otherwise they would just be in the village playing in the streets. Streets to Street Campaign is trying to raise $16,055 to cover school fees in 4 of our 16 CCDC Centers. Nikitha has not attended school before now and through CCDC she has learned to read and write. Please consider supporting Nikitha as she continues to learn English and do well in school. Donate now to help Nikitha
This little angel’s name is Gowtham and he is from the village of Annagi. His parents are day laborers and would take Gowtham to the fields with them. While they worked, he would play in the streets nearby. Now Gowtham is a part of CCDC and spends his days learning and preparing for a bright future. We need to raise money for his school fees! He wants to be a Police Officer when he grows up!
Would you like to help Gowtham become a Policer Officer? Give now!
Streets to Seats campaign begins today! We are going to be introducing you to new children each day for the next 21 days. CCDC does an amazing job taking kids from playing in the streets all day and placing them in seats in a classroom that gives them a chance to learn their way out of poverty. Without CCDC and the education we provide, children often end up either wasting their days playing in the streets, vulnerable and alone or following their parents into the fields.
Please follow along over the next 3 weeks as we hear their stories, discover who each one wants to be when they grow up, and realize that we can be a part of their new story!