Ashish [ah-SHEESH] and Preethi [PREE-thee] live with their parents in one of the largest cities in India—Mumbai [moom-BAI]. Their home is a single room made of tin—tin walls, tin roof, and dirt floor. People call the area where the children live a slum. What is a slum? [Let children respond.] Do you think it would be fun to live in a slum? Why? [Let the children respond.]
Ashish and Preethi’s mother cleans other people’s homes to earn money. Their father works when he can at any job available. The family is very poor.
One day an Adventist pastor visited their home. He became their friend, and when he invited the family to visit the Adventist church, the family went. The children and Mother enjoyed worshipping every Sabbath. The joy that filled their hearts made them forget their poverty. They prayed that their father would worship with them, but Father wasn’t interested.
One day the pastor visited Mother and Father and asked them a question. “Would you like to send your children to the Adventist boarding school at Lasalgaon [LAH-sahl-gawn]?”
Mother had dreamed of sending her children away from the noisy, dangerous city to study, but they didn’t have the money. A look of hope and despair crossed Mother’s face. The pastor asked another question. “If we found sponsors for your children, could you pay part of their tuition?”
Mother wanted to try. She would work harder and eat less food if her children could study in a good Christian school. At last she smiled. God would make a way, she was sure of it.
Ashish and Preethi took the train to their new school. They studied extra hard to learn English, the language that the school uses for its studies. And they are doing well. Every day they pray for their parents. They pray that their mother will remain strong so she can work to pay their tuition. And they pray for their father as well. He eventually stopped drinking and gave his life to God. Now he goes to church with Mother whenever he can. But he has a serious illness in his lungs that keeps him from working. The children pray that God will make their father well so he can support the family too.
“We love our school,” Ashish says. “It’s so peaceful here compared to the city where our parents live. Here we learn about Jesus and learn how to live for Him every day. Mother wants me to become a pastor. I’m praying that if this is God’s will, God will permit it. Preethi wants to be a doctor. I think she’d be a good one.”
Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering this quarter will help three schools in India build additional classroom blocks to provide an education to more students. One of these schools is Lasalgaon.