A Visit to Mahanaim Care Centre, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
If you visit Mahanaim Care Centre, you would be welcomed to the center through a beautiful fenced front yard that provides a large play area for the children. It also contains a stage (which is actually a water tank), which is used often for dramas and dances performed by the children. The ground floor of the house is used for the care center, and the upper floor for a women’s empowerment program. Three teachers, a cook who prepares their meals and snacks, and a helper care for the children throughout the day.
The 35 young children in the early childhood program (ages 3-5) begin arriving at 8:30 am, bundled up against the morning cold. Every day begins and ends with prayer. The children are taught scripture verses, action songs, Bible and morality stories and how to pray. During the course of the day they also learn discipline, basic hygiene and correct social interactions with staff and fellow students as well as numbers and the alphabet. Play is included as part of their days, with dancing, music and drama being their favorites. They are fed two nutritious meals every day along with healthy snacks. When the children’s parents pick them up at 4:30 pm, they are so grateful that their children have spent the day in the protective care of Bethania Kids.
As the children graduate from the early childhood program and begin school, they attend a Bethania Kids’ after-school care program held in their local school from 4:30 to 6:30 pm each day. This ensures they continue in the healthy habits they learned as young children and that they succeed in school. They are fed a snack, get help with their school work, play music and continue to hear of God’s love for them.
Hold the Hand of a Child in Need
Mahanaim Care Centre Offers Hope for the Future
At Mahanaim Care Centre, these precious children are given hope and a chance for a better life. They will have a head start when they begin school with the education they have already received. With the socialization skills they have already learned they are on their way to becoming well-mannered and valuable citizens of their communities. And they walk with greater confidence through the difficulties they face in life as they carry with them the assurance of God’s love.
The children at Mahanaim Care Centre come from impoverished families. While our women’s empowerment programs allow some of the mothers to earn better and more consistent incomes, typically the parents of these children are day laborers. This means they find temporary jobs wherever they can, working in the fields, collecting firewood in the forests or performing other menial labor. Most of their homes are made of mud walls with tin sheet roofing and usually lack running water and sanitary facilities. Malnutrition and upper respiratory infections are common physical ailments from which they suffer. Additionally, the alcohol addiction prevalent among the men causes family dysfunction and trauma. When the parents go to work, if it were not for Mahanaim Care Centre, the children would be left unsupervised to wander the streets and get into trouble, often going without food or fundamental guidance and care.
Although poor, Ashwin’s family was happy until his father was killed in a motorcycle accident when Ashwin was two years old. Without the father’s income, Ashwin, along with his mother and seven-year-old brother, had to leave his rented home and move in with his grandparents. His mother works as a day laborer and struggles to provide for her children. Ashwin, who is now three years old, was teased by his neighbors for having no father, which affected him deeply, adding to his grief. Now the attention, unconditional acceptance and love that he receives at the Early Childhood program at Mahanaim Care Centre are healing his inner wounds and giving him strength to face his father’s death. He shares the strong spiritual foundation he receives at Bethania Kids with his family, setting a good example by his behavior and insisting that grace is said before meals. Every day the children, their parents and the staff at Mahanaim Care Centre pray for their sponsors, expressing gratitude to God for the enormous difference they have made in their lives and the hope now possible for their future.
May your support of Mahanaim Care Centre bring you into a closer relationship with your Lord as you provide love and care for His children.
History of Mahanaim Care Centre
The Mahanaim Care Centre, located in Gurusamy Methu, was donated by a family friend of Dency Michael to Bethania Kids in 2007 to be used to teach young children. Dency Michael, a long-time board member of the Bethania Foundation Board of Trustees, was instrumental in starting the care center.
The name for Mahanaim Care Centre was based on Genesis 32:1-2 and suggested by Dency Michael and Todd Heidelberger, then president of Bethania Kids.
Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.”
How Can You Help?
- Pray for the children and staff of Mahanaim Care Centre. They pray for you daily and give thanks to God for your love and generosity.
- Make a gift of $35/month or $420/year to Sponsor a Child (one or more) at Mahanaim Care Centre.
- If you are a church or an individual, it is possible to sponsor the center for a week, a month or a year, covering all the expenses required.
Make a difference in the lives of our children today!
There are countless ways to participate in this vibrant ministry and share God’s love with the children at Bethania Kids.