The Girls Home of Pune provides shelter and a sense of security to girls rescued from the streets of India. The streets are scary places; with people racing to one destination or another, motorcars and scooters whizzing by too fast, men walking by with their eyes on the girls, being single-minded on sin, like a virus running through their veins.
The kids living on the streets should be thinking about playing with dolls, or kicking a soccer ball, or playing with their brothers; but instead, they wander and wonder, scared and frightened by the unknown evils of a bigger-than-life world. They are in need of food, clothing, a bath.
Instead of laughter, there is fear and sadness. In many cases, they are too young to put all the pieces together:
- They are lost but they don’t know it.
- They are in danger but can’t feel it.
- They have been abandoned but don’t understand it.
Their minds have not yet had the experiences of life to know the situation in which they have been placed. As they look up to the faces of those passing by, the heads turn and no one pays attention to the ones that Jesus made and loves.
A Hole Only God Can Fill
We have heard it said: there’s a hole in our hearts that only God can fill. As we go through life, that hole changes shape. Well before the tiny child is able to understand their sin and the need for a Savior named Jesus to reconcile them to God and become His children, that hole is filled by the love that comes from parents and family. Babies and young ones look for reassuring love throughout each day of their lives. Before they can talk or understand, their big eyes look for caring faces, their tiny ears listen for loving words, and their little arms reach out for tender touches.
There is none of that on the streets of Pune, but there is in the Girls Home. Women spend their time reassuring each girl that they are loved. The girls are fed, they are clothed, they are cleaned, they are groomed, their teeth are brushed, and their hair is combed.
When they scrape a knee, their bruise is kissed. When they are scared at night, they feel loving arms hugging them. When they are hungry, they are fed. When they need someone to play with, they have a partner. When they need to be disciplined, they are lovingly reproved. When it’s time to go to bed, they are tucked in. When they get up, they are met with a warm smile and a loving word to start a new day. It’s the love that the caregivers have for Jesus that prompts them to truly love the girls.
But there is more to the Girls Home than meeting their emotional needs on a daily basis. As important as that is, spiritual and practical things must also be attended to.
Poverty has a direct relationship with education. Those that receive a good education have a much better chance of avoiding a life of destitution and hopelessness. That’s especially true for woman in poor countries.
That’s why the Girls Home provides the teachings and practical experience that will help lift the girls from the kind of life that causes premature wrinkles and brokenness. They will all learn to read and write. They will learn how to use the computer and to do things with their hands so they will never be forced to depend on a man not necessarily of their own choosing, as so many woman are forced to do in India.
By the grace of God, the children are also taught about Jesus, the Lover of their souls. They learn that there is no one like our God; that He loves them more than they will ever know; certainly more than anyone on earth can love them. While at first they might find that hard to believe, having been rescued from the evils of the streets by the men and women of the Home, they will one day realize that there is no greater truth.