A Place to Call Home

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Children cheering on a friendly arm wrestling match

A Place to Call Home

- by Rachael Athearn
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When our team recently arrived at the Home of Hope in Hyderabad, India—a home for children who are HIV positive—it felt much like a family reunion. It was a wonderful gift to see the kids again—so many we’ve come to know and love since they were small.

Over the years, we have watched them grow up, and our family of partners have all played a part in caring for them through this Joyce Meyer Ministries, Hand of Hope outreach.

You may even remember hearing stories about a sweet girl named Roja, who we first met in 2008, when she was just a young child. She had lost both of her parents, and because of her HIV status, people in her village were afraid and no one was willing to take her in.

Roja became the inspiration for the Home of Hope. She’s a part of our beautiful family—we love her and we celebrate with her today that she has finished medical school and is on her way to becoming a doctor. What a truly amazing accomplishment!

You may remember Samuel, the bright young boy who was raised at the home and is studying to be a pharmacist…or Ashwini, the girl with a beautiful smile who loves to paint and is today pursuing a career in digital marketing. They—and many others—were all there to greet us.

That’s because the Home of Hope is a place where, even when the kids are old enough to leave the program and live on their own, they still return sometimes for special occasions, holidays. It’s the place that brought them refuge, healing, provision, love and hope through practical help like food, education and medical care and the teaching of God’s Word.

And for 32 children, it’s home.

On this visit, we got to know 17-year-old Reshma, who shared about the gut-wrenching struggles of being a girl in the village where she’s from. She is one of four daughters in a family that wanted sons.

“My dad was angry that there was no boy child,” she said. “So someone approached him who didn’t have children and he gave away my baby sister.”

For a while, that trauma left Reshma disliking who she was, wishing she had been born a boy—the child her father wanted. After all, not only was Reshma a girl, she was the only daughter who had HIV.

Her mother could relate to her in that way; she was also HIV positive, and was very ill because she didn’t have access to medical treatment. When she heard about the Home of Hope, she arranged for Reshma to be brought there. This way, her daughter would have the chance to survive and manage her HIV.

As Reshma grew up at the children’s home, she became healthier physically and learned about a Heavenly Father who loves her, who is proud to call her His child.

“Me being here is a miracle in my life,” she said. “I got to know God after coming to Home of Hope. I received Christ as my personal Savior, asked him to wash up my sins. My home parents led me to salvation, and I gave my life to the Lord completely.”

Kala is another child we talked with whose life has been transformed. She’s lived at the Home of Hope since she was 6, after her father found that her stepmom was mistreating her because of her condition.

She used to frequently come down with fevers and was sick most of the time, keeping her out of school, but today she’s much stronger and getting an education.

“I didn’t know what HIV/AIDS was before. After coming here, I got to know what that is,” Kala said. “And the way God’s taking care of me here…proves that God loves me.

“The very reason He placed me here in this home is because of God’s love.”

The gratitude each child expressed to the ones who, with God’s help, have made this outreach possible is unmatched. From our hearts, we want to thank you for helping give these children—and so many others around the world through our Hand of Hope outreaches—a better life. You are extending Christ’s love to so many and giving them the opportunity to be a part of a great big family—the family of God.

Three children eating a meal