Our God who is a father to the fatherless, has called me to care for destitute children. He has helped me to care and provide for hundreds of kids over the years. I have always wanted to help people in need.
Growing up, I had to face a few challenges at school. A few Hindu teachers and fellow students used to bully me and call me names, because I was a Christian. If I, who have parents, was ill-treated that way, I was reminded of the life of orphaned kids which disturbed me, and left a deep impression on my heart to take a stand for them one day (Proverbs 31:8-9).
Some years passed and I finished my biblical education in the States. Returning to India, I heard the Spirit of the Lord saying, “I helped you through someone else to get your education and become what you are today; I want you to help someone back home in India.” A few days later, I went to minster in a fishermen colony and found four children in desperate conditions. So, I started the orphanage in 1993 with those four kids and the orphanage quickly grew to 500 children within a short time.
In the past 24 years, God has touched several hundreds of kids through our ministry. I have seen children who do not know what it feels like to be loved. I can tell you numerous stories of kids who came to us dejected, unhappy, heartbroken, and abandoned. Here is one such story of a brother and sister, who were ages 4 and 7 respectively, when they came to our orphanage: Their father was a drunkard who abused their mother physically every single day. After a heated argument one night, he hit her with an iron rod in a fit of rage. Blood oozed out of her head and she died instantly. He also killed himself afterward. The kids were suddenly orphaned and they began begging on the street to fill their stomachs. Being superstitious, their aunt considered them to be unlucky and cursed. So, she would not care for them, but brought them to our orphanage.
It has been 12 years since then and those children grew into wonderful Christian teenagers. Raji, the big sister says, “Every child in this orphanage has a sad past, but we all are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. He kept us safe, provided all that we needed, and has given us spiritual parents that care for us like their own.”
We do the best we can to serve the orphans and provide for them. I always want to help more kids if I can. Although there are numerous child support and welfare organizations in the world, millions of children are still orphaned and in desperate need of just a little care.
I pray the Lord burdens the heart of the church and raises defenders for the orphans, and that they would feel compelled to protect and provide for the orphans. I always seek the help of God to live out James 1:27 to the fullest. We must be burdened to pray for God’s provision for all their needs, to protect them, to care for them, to defend them, and to keep them safe.
Bishop Jyothi K Reddi
Founder President Jyothi’s Home for Children
Andhra Pradesh, India