Imagine yourself as an 11-year-old child with three younger siblings. You’re abandoned in a railway station, surrounded by thousands of strangers. You’re alone with no one to help. Think about how hopeless and scared you would feel.
These were the heartbreaking circumstances that my friend and World Help partner, Trevor DeLinares faced as a young boy. Trevor’s father was an alcoholic who beat Trevor’s mother every day when he came home from work. The children grew up in constant fear of him.
When Trevor’s mother abandoned her family, his father quit his job and began drinking even more. One day, he told the children to pack their belongings; they were all going to live with a close relative. He took his four children to one of the most crowded and dangerous railway stations in all of India and left them there alone, promising to return with tickets—but he never came back.
The children stayed at the railway station for three days . . . waiting. They were stranded with no money, food, or water, and surrounded by a mass of people. Finally a policeman came to their rescue and they were eventually taken to a Christian orphanage in Northern India where they received the care, education, and love they desperately needed.
As Trevor grew up, he knew that God had a plan for his life, and a passion grew inside him to help children who had no hope. It was the beginning of a vision . . . Trevor was seeing the invisible and making it visible.
Today, our team is in Jaipur, India at Trevor’s home for 61 abandoned little boys. The facility is called “Maru Asha,” which means “Desert Hope” and was generously provided by the congregation of Maranatha Bible Church, led by visionary pastor Butch Pursley. This home is a place where restoration and healing have reclaimed the lives of some of the most vulnerable children on earth.
As we passed out school supplies to each of these incredible children, Trevor told me about his vision to add another floor to the home, making room to accommodate 120 more boys who are waiting for someone to rescue them.
These children have been through unimaginable circumstances.
One child saw his parents, who are church planters, murdered at the hands of anti-Christian militants . . . he witnessed them being slaughtered right in front of him.
Another boy arrived after years of being beaten by his stepmother. To escape the abuse, he left his home and went from orphanage to orphanage but never stayed any longer than a few days. He’s been at Maru Asha for six months now . . . he’s found a home here and experienced the love of God for the first time in his life.
Shakeel’s father has leprosy, and as an outcast of society, he has no way to provide for his son. Sakir’s mother abandoned the family, his father is deaf and mute, and his grandfather is a leper.
Almost every child I spoke to had a horrifying past . . . but they are being restored by the hope of Christ through the gift of Child Sponsorship. It’s an escape from poverty, abuse, and despair. Sponsorship isn’t just another project . . . it’s an investment in a child’s potential . . . and many times, it’s freedom from the clutches of poverty and suffering.
In addition to the home for boys, Trevor is passionately committed to educating India’s the next generation. His school currently accommodates 220 students from the surrounding community. With a recent second floor expansion, 180 more will now be able to receive an education. Our vision is to see 1,000 children from the streets of Jaipur have the opportunity of a lifetime . . . an escape from poverty, and the chance to hear about the love of Jesus.
Part of our plan for Maru Asha’s expansion includes the implementation of sustainable, long-term projects.
Because of the generosity of donors like Skip and Diane Taylor, the campus now has its own clean-water well. Along with improving the health of the children, this well will also help irrigate Trevor’s fruit and vegetable plots, providing nutritious food and added income for the program.
Here’s a brief video clip from the well dedication:
But Trevor has experienced more than his fair share of obstacles . . . he risks his life every day for the sake of these children . . . for the sake of the Gospel. Maru Asha is in an area of India that is notorious for its anti-conversion laws—a place where believers are persecuted, beaten, and humiliated every day for the sake of Christ.
Instead of hiding, Trevor willingly and courageously preaches Jesus in nearby villages. Recently, while he was preaching at an evangelistic meeting, he found himself surrounded by militants with swords and guns . . . they had come to kill him. By the grace of God, the police intervened just in time.
Trevor and our network of church planters in India face threats on their families’ lives, imprisonment, and beatings for sharing the Gospel. But they refuse to stop.
Senior Vice President Tom Thompson and I had the honor of speaking at a worship service held in the church on the campus of Maru Asha. There were over 200 people in attendance and several of the boys from Trevor’s home were leading worship. It was absolutely incredible—I was speechless. The construction of this church was made possible through the faithful fundraising efforts of two teenage girls, Hope and Carrie, just a few years ago. And today, it’s a beacon of hope to the community.
Take a few moments to watch this video clip of the orphans leading worship:
Last Christmas, the students of Maru Asha put on a Christmas program, presenting the Gospel to 500 people in the surrounding villages. They are unashamed of the hope they have and are willing to give up everything so that people who are far from God may hear the life-changing message of Jesus.
I’m sure that years ago in that filthy railway station, Trevor had no idea he would be raising up a generation who is transforming India with the Gospel. But God had big plans for Trevor . . . and through his partnership, World Help is impacting thousands of lives with help and hope like never before.
Today, I invite you to open your eyes to the invisible of this world. The millions of orphans whose suffering has gone unnoticed. The thousands of communities where no one has heard that their sins are forgiven. The people and the places that no one sees . . . that’s where God is moving.
He wants to use us to carry out his vision of seeing the invisible and making it visible—a vision of redemption, restoration, and hope.