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I was born in Tamil Nadu, South India. My parents were missionaries there from 1953-1978. India has and continues to be a big part of my life. India is a beautiful country, and in the middle of this country is a beautiful jewel called Bethania Kids. But there is something even more special about Bethania Kids. It is the jewel that is shining the light of Jesus and providing hope for many children who could imagine little more than begging on the streets or being abused just for being handicapped or outcast. Bethania Kids is a home in India where children are loved and cared for. It’s a home where Jesus is present.
In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
About 10 years ago I traveled to India for the first time with David Granner. This was a defining moment for me in my faith walk. I committed myself during this trip to do everything I could to help the children in Bethania Kids. I have gone to India each year for the past ten years or have sent a team from my church, St. John’s Lutheran. I pray for the lost in India, that the kids will marry and that India will become a Christian Nation, one child and one family at a time.
I thank my wife for allowing me the blessing to go to India to see my dear children, despite the difficulties she faces with my son’s needs when I go. God has called me to go and care for the children of India!
“After growing up in India as the child of missionary parents, I have had a life long interest in helping underprivileged children in that country who in many cases are desperately poor and do not know the love of Jesus Christ.”
Bethania was first introduced to me when I was a child. My mother recruited my siblings and me to fold Bethania newsletters on our dining room table. As a sophomore in high school, I spent one semester studying at Kodaikanal International School. Fourteen years later, I was able to return to India and witness the growth of the Bethania Kids Ministries.
I am inspired by Bethania’s passion to share the gospel with the children of India. Real transformation is happening, not only in the lives of these children, but in their families and communities. The light of Christ shines so brightly in the midst of these dark circumstances.
Susan and I are lifelong Lutherans, and our first introduction to Bethania Kids was in Laurel MD with Our Savior Lutheran Church. At that time, OSLC supported the construction of Bethania’s first ministry facility. OSLC and our family have been supporters since then and are pleased to be in Service to our Lord, who works through us in to the Ministries in Bethania Kids. I am amazed where God has guided and blessed Bethania Kids for the last 26 years. I am glad to be working with our Brothers and Sisters in India who nurture, educate, care for, and bring the love of Christ into their lives. There is no more noble cause.
I was introduced to Bethania Kids through long-time supporters, Terry and Renita Wold. They had traveled to India to visit the Bethania sites and, upon their return, gave a presentation about their experience to our church’s congregation. That’s when I became hooked and wanted to be involved. My husband and I began donating to Sponsor-A-Child and we’ve had the privilege of hosting home gatherings, as well, when our Indian partners have visited the United States.
In February 2014, I traveled to India for the first time with a group led by David Granner. What an amazing experience! The greatest defining moment, for me, occurred at the special needs center in Kodaikanal. That’s when it hit me. . . a moment when I felt God’s overwhelming presence and the life-changing power of His love. Jesus, undoubtedly, shows himself to us through Bethania Kids. The wonders of His love radiate in the smiling faces of the children and the compassionate, nurturing staff. God has also drawn me into a deeper relationship with Him through this ministry. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I’m so grateful to serve our Lord and know Him more profoundly by being involved with Bethania Kids.
Growing up in south India has given me not only a profound awareness of the desperate needs of so many but also an understanding of what a huge difference just a little can make in the life of one person who has been helped. I was privileged to see the founding members of Bethania Kids reaching out to those in need even before Bethania Kids was formed; to witness the results of their vision and their faith in what has now become Bethania Kids begs for a deep commitment to continue God’s work as first inspired through them.
What makes Bethania Kids so extraordinary is that they care not just for one, or two, or a few, but at this time, 986 children. They provide care not just for their immediate physical needs like food, clothing and shelter, but for all their needs–emotional, spiritual, educational and health needs. And the commitment to each and every child in their care is not just for the present but from the time they come to us until they are ready to stand on their own and become independent, self-sufficient members of society with the belief and confidence in their own value as learned through the care and nurturing of Bethania’s incredible staff. It is a humbling honor to be a part of Bethania Kids. This is unquestionably God’s work here on earth.
Board Member since 2017
- S. In Management – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
- S. in Management Information Systems – University of Missouri, St. Louis
- Solution Architect at Grant Thornton
Since I was a child, I have been mesmerized about India through my Aunt Polly and Uncle Al Hennig. I loved hearing about the time they spent there and the people they met. I finally was able to visit Southern India in 2014 and see the children’s homes. It was quite astonishing the work that has been completed in 30 short years! I also am very inspired that children of all faiths are welcome.
When meeting with the children and teachers at the Bethania schools and homes I was impressed by the cheerful spirit of all there. I saw the joy that permeates throughout Bethania Kids. I can’t wait to go back!!