Annual Report 2019
During the year under review, the focus of our work was unchanged on our core activity: India. The work can be divided into spiritual and social work. Although this dichotomy already existed, we now name it by name.
India is increasingly showing itself as a Hindu state, with a strong aversion to other religions. This attitude has been reinforced by the re-election of Narendra Modi as President of India. According to the World Watch List, India is now ranked 10th in terms of Christian persecution, sandwiched between Syria and Iran. This has meant that foundations with FCRA status – including our partner organization in Odisha – may only receive and spend money for social projects. Funding for missionary activities is excluded, but we believe there is a solution to this problem. Furthermore, each of the directors must sign a statement that they will not engage in religious activities. This means that from the coming year we will face major problems in continuing our work in full.
In Andhra Pradesh (AP) we endured a crisis due to the sudden death of our managing pastor Samuel. The work is continued at the express request of all pastors by the widow and oldest daughter. She is the only one who speaks the English language. Despite her youth, her leadership is accepted. We will guide her in her further development.
Projects in India
We manage three children’s homes, namely in Gajuwaka AP (18), Chintapalli AP (22) and Nabarangpur OD (23).
Gajuwaka (Andhra Pradesh)
In the home in Gajuwaka (see photo) we accommodated 18 orphans from the village of Maduthuru. The reason for the move was insufficient cooperation from the village to provide the children with decent housing. The children were transferred to Gajuwaka, a suburb of Visakhapatnam where we rented a house for them. It is not ideal, but there is care, our manager lives nearby and the children receive clothes, regular and sufficient food and go to school. Despite their disordered past, they seem to adapt well. Neighbors do not complain, and the teachers are satisfied with them. Due to the deplorable educational situation in public schools, we have sent the children to a private school.
Chintapalli (Andhra Pradesh)
The home in Chintapalli has existed since 2012 and the children are – with a few exceptions – teenage. They go to the nearby St Anna school, where they can continue learning until +1. The home is absolutely too small by our standards: it was built for ten children, and the current number is more than double. But here too, the children are raised in a loving environment with regular food, clothing, good education and, if necessary, medical care. The government has now obliged us to enclose the site with a more than man-sized wall – especially to protect the girls. Costs: € 10,000.
Our beautiful home in Nabarangpur is currently unoccupied. For the third time, youth care has decided to use child exchange, and this time for all children. They have been taken and transferred to children’s homes elsewhere in India, in places far away where other languages are spoken that the children do not speak. In return, we would take care of 23 “new” children, and the home parents refused. It hurts too much to always have to part with the children, children who have our care as the only anchor point in their lives. The authorities were shocked by the unwilling attitude and sent the police on our roof to change their minds. The home parents have been kicked and beaten, but have not admitted. No one can explain why these crazy measures were introduced.
We provide education to children in eight villages in OD’s Remote Area. Education is provided by our pastors who use minimal tools. Education involves more than 500 children, and it is clear that even a small investment per child represents a sizeable total amount. There is a great need for community houses, which can also be used for educational purposes. We were able to finance two, the other six are still waiting for sufficient financial availability.
We currently have two sewing schools in AP: one in Gudam and one in Sanikulova. We have 30 students at both schools who are following a two-year course. The village elders and the ladies are very happy with the education. In Gudam (tribal area), we can expect that the government will make funds available to purchase a sewing machine or even start a small workshop after it has proved suitable – our diploma. Such an arrangement does not exist for Sanikulova. The school also offers the peace and space to discuss the problems and questions that exist with women.
Leprosy village Indravati Colony
The leprosy village Indravati Colony was founded thirteen years ago, and in the meantime the population is changing. People have died and others have replaced them. On balance, the population has fallen from 70 to 56, partly due to insufficient financial resources. Care is unchanged, as residents have no way of generating income to earn a living. From the establishment of the camp until this year, the costs have been borne by two donors. However, they have indicated that the support will end.
Support of pastors
The number of pastors we support is 76 people. We also support a number of widows of pastors. The benefits we pay are not considered to be salary. It is approximately 50% of the minimum income required for a family of six in the Remote Area. The pastors know that we will no longer pay: they must be at least partially self-sufficient. The number of pastors with support will not be increased.
Missionary work has been concentrated in the Khond area for the past two years, centered on the village of Kalati. Before that, missionary work focused on the border between OD and AP near the village of Deomalli. Under penalty of execution by the Naxalite insurgents, our managing pastor is prohibited from showing up there. He is now “talking” and has been escorted blindfolded to the jungle headquarters, where he stayed for three days to speak to the leaders. He said he wouldn’t resist if they executed him there: others would come after him to continue the work. He was granted permission to re-enter the Deomalli area after the visit. It is going too far to say that the Naxalites are now our friends, but they do offer some protection. On the first visit in November, he was robbed of the car by RSS terrorists under threat of firearms. The car was found later – but without an engine and without wheels. It was a car less than 2 years old. The Naxalites then informed the RSS that they should stay away from our manager in the future!
In 2020, four two-year Bible schools will be operating in Vepada, Chintapalli, Deomalli and Dasamanthpur. The total number of students is more than two hundred. In OD there is an urgent need to establish a medical post in the Remote Area, far away from civilization. This is a subject that is not yet on our way, but we think we have a contact that can set it in motion. Our managing pastor urgently asks for prayer for this need.
Last year we mentioned our aim to make our work partially self-sufficient. This requires quite a bit of preparation, but it looks set to take concrete form in 2020. The same applies to our plans to establish a craft school in Chintapalli, and discussions on this will take place in early 2020.
Our guesthouse in Hoenderloo serves workers in God’s Kingdom who need a short stay. It concerned 128 overnight stays; calculated based on the number of people who spent the night, we arrive at 258 nights. We have received workers from America, Kenya, Hong Kong, France and the Netherlands.