A Visit to Angel Home – Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh
Welcome to Angel Home, located on the outskirts of Rajahmundry in the state of Andhra Pradesh. If you arrive when the boys are playing a game of volleyball on the court just to your left, they will ask you to join them. Chickens are likely scratching in the dirt as the cow munches on banana leaves in the corner. As you get out of the car, the boys may be shy initially, but in no time they will take you by the hand to show you around. There is a beautiful open porch in the front of the U-shaped single-story home where the boys like to play carrom and stage dramas and musical events. The bedrooms, equipped with bunk beds and cubbies, are behind the front porch. On the left are the kitchen, dining room and an apartment for the caretakers of the children. On the right side is a large assembly room used for studying, devotions and indoor group activities. You can imagine how quickly the boys can run from the assembly room across the courtyard to the dining room when they are called for meals. There is no better place to watch the sunset than from the flat rooftop with the evening light shining across the rice fields surrounding Angel Home. The boys also use the rooftop for drying their laundered clothes.
The 45 boys at Angel Home are all there because they had no one who could care for them. Some are orphans, some are semi-orphans and others came from family situations where poverty and trauma left them struggling to survive. The transition to the disciplined, structured life at Angel Home is sometimes difficult but made easier by the support and encouragement from the other boys who come from similar situations. With the loving care of the staff and the daily provision of nutritious meals, health care and hygienic living, these boys soon flourish. They are full of energy and fun but also show great respect to the staff and to one another.
Hold the Hand of a Child in Need
Important Elements of Days at Angel Home
Can you imagine growing up with 45 brothers, all trying to figure out life and our future? Angel Home is a refuge for the boys as they grow up and prepare for lives on their own. Before they came to Bethania Kids Angel Home, they had little hope for the future. Solomon and the staff at Angel Home take care of them and prepare them for a life of hope, prosperity, service, and love. When the boys reach the age of 11 or 12, they begin to realize the opportunity they have at Angel Home to advance through education. Education is one of the key steps out of poverty, and study and education are part of everyday life at Angel Home.
The boys work very hard to succeed academically at the local public school they attend. With the help of tutors before and after school, they study diligently with excellent results. The staff help them achieve good marks in school and prepare them for post-secondary education, giving the boys hope for a good future! Many of the boys who have graduated from Angel Home now work in IT or as engineers. Your sponsorship helps support graduates of Angel Home who are now in Polytechnic College or extended education by paying for their books and incidental expenses.
Spiritual life at Angel Home is also very rich. Each day begins and ends with devotions in which the boys read scripture verses, sing and pray together. Because they are filled with gratitude for the love they experience at Angel Home, they are anxious to share that with others in their community. The boys often make and sell handicrafts, using the money raised to buy school supplies for other orphanages in the area.
The Staff at Angel Home
Meet Solomon Mungamuri, the Project-in-Charge, and the staff, Sathya (Undru Sathyanarayana) and Mani (Undru Mani), and Kapavarapu Veeraveni. Mani and Santi, husband and wife, and their two children also live at Angel Home and help care for the boys.
Visitors to Angel Home
The boys at Angel Home enjoy hosting visitors from the United States, Canada, and other places. They give them an “Angel Home welcome” (like a parade with flowers and signs of welcome). The boys like to spend time with visitors and learn about their families and why they choose to support the home. One of the boys asked a visitor why they cared about him when he lived so far away? The guest replied, “because you are children of God.” It gives the boys great comfort to be loved from afar.
Mark Lee, a Bethania Kids Board Member from Colorado, has visited several times, and the boys love playing cricket with him. Mark works for Solix Technologies, with operations in Hyderabad, a nearby city. The company recently awarded scholarships to two of the boys for higher education.
Recently, several board members from the United States along with donors Kraig and Elizabeth Olejniczak visited to share about their careers in America. They were joined by Angel Home alumni, who talked about their experience growing up at Angel Home and their own careers after leaving Angel Home. The boys appreciated the opportunity to learn about various career options.
Daily Life at Angel Home
What do the boys enjoy most? They love sports as they need to run around and have fun. They are very active and good athletes, often winning contests for races at school. They also win prizes for schoolwork. Some days the boys put on skits and plays about the Bible. They study the Bible for 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening. It is the “Book of Love” to them because Christ lived a life of love for each one of them.
Each boy at Angel Home takes care of a fruit tree on the property! They help plant it and are responsible for watering and pruning. When the fruit ripens, they bring it to Santi, their staff Mom, who uses it for their meals. The boys love the sweet mangos and other fruits.
Each day, the boys rise early in the morning, dress, bathe, and get ready for the day. They have tutors who check and help them with homework, then they go to Bible study and then have breakfast. They brush our teeth and hair and then go off to school. When they return to Angel Home after school, they have an hour to play and then they go to study hall with tutors to go over school assignments, have another Bible study and then dinner, sitting on the floor while they eat. Then they brush their teeth before going to bed.
They staff know their emotions, their aptitudes, and their talents and strengths and encourage them for a future life. Sometimes a very young new boy will join them. The other boys understand his pain. They welcome into the Bethania Kids family and help him adjust to this new life.
The Nearby Town of Rajahmundry
Rajahmundry is a town of about 210,000 people. It is a center for computer technology in the state of Andhra Pradesh, about 400 miles north of Chennai. This location allows many of the home’s graduates to able to attend post-secondary and university programs in the vicinity.
Angel Home is adjacent to a rice field. From the roof, the boys can see the water buffaloes working in the fields. There is an abundance of water as Angle Home is close to the Bay of Bengal. The home has a compound wall around it for security purposes.
Gautam’s story is an example of how Angel Home has made an enormous difference in the life of a child and his family. when Gautam was about 10 years old, his father, a truck driver, passed away due to an illness. Gautam said that when his father was alive they had enough food to eat and all the relatives used to visit them often. But after his father passed away, his world turned upside down. His family’s relatives abandoned them, and they had to struggle to afford one meal a day. His mother was a housewife before but starting working as a maid, trying hard to support her family of three children (11, 9 and 4) with her meager earnings. Fortunately, one of her relatives saw their desperate hardship and recommended Angel Home. Today, as a result of loving care from the staff and daily nurturing of his body, mind and spirit, Gautam is very active and learning well. His contagious smile reflects how happy he is to be at Angel Home.
History of Angel Home
Angel Home was started by Solomon Mungamuri’s family as part of a social services group they founded. The home was named for his mother, Angel. They joined with Bethania Kids in 2004. Two of the staff, Mani and Santi, have worked with Solomon for 16 years overseeing Angel Home. The current facility was built in 2008 and has room for 45 boys, a field for cricket, volleyball, and soccer games, playgrounds and space for trees. Most of the boys come from poor local villages.
How can you help?
- Your prayers are really appreciated. We are so thankful you know of us and care about us.
- Sponsor a Child at Angel Home with gifts of $50 per month or $600 per year.
- Churches or individuals are invited to fund the monthly or annual expenses of the Angel Home for Boys.
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.