We are all so proud of Brij Mohan. He graduated this year from school as the “Student of the Year.” Now he is heading off to Bangalore, India to go to a YWAM DTS (Youth With a Mission, Discipleship Training School). He will be training for 3 months and then go out on the field for another 3 months. He will be gone from his Asha House family for a total of 6 months, but they are all so excited for him to get this opportunity.
Here is a picture of Brij with a Thank You message for everyone who made this opportunity possible.
Here are some pictures from the evening that Brij left for Bangalore. A bitter sweet good-bye to Asha House’s Brij Baiyah.
Here are some pictures of sweet little Leah with Simini-Mommy:
A little Easter greeting from everyone at Asha House and Back To The Roots.
Rajina who is 5 years old has the nickname “Rabbit” (or “Cargos” in Hindi). She broke her arm a few months ago when she slipped on the stairs at Asha House. In this picture she still has her arm in the cast and sling, but she also has such a beautiful brave smile on her face. She is doing much better now and healing up just fine. Thank you to everyone who supports Asha House and contributes to the care of all the sweet children there.
Spring has rushed into Summer!
Many of us have had quite an early spring, but India is getting an even earlier summer. Already daytime temperatures are reaching 100 degrees. When the peak of summer hits those temps will reach 120+ degrees. Ouch!
So how in the world do people stay cool in India? There is rarely air-conditioning the homes in India. What they use instead are fans and swamp coolers to make the temperatures bearable. Quite an awesome invention, the swamp cooler is basically a powerful box fan that blows air over a pan of water. As the water evaporates it cools the air that is being blown into the house. These are a must for a hot and dry climate like the norther plains of India.
Everyone at Asha House and BTTR is so thankful for the new house and everyone who made that possible, but one thing that we still need in the new house are fans and swamp coolers. There are already some fans, but not enough to keep everyone cool. With the heat the way it is already we have to get them soon!
We need to raise $800 to cover the costs to prepare for the summer that is already upon us. If you want to make a tax-deductible donation toward this please click the link below, check Miscellaneous Needs and write “ASHA SUMMER” in the designation box. Thank you so much for helping us meet this need.
In India the beginning of the new school year is in April.
It is always exciting to see children who have never been to school get access to education, but this year we are especially excited. Jyoti, who has been battling health issues for many years (worms in her brain that caused dizziness, fatigue, and seizures), is finally healthy enough to attend school. We have been working with her at home, teaching her English and Math. She is very bright and we are so thrilled to be able to send her to school and see her flourish there.
Here are some pictures from Asha House of the children getting ready to go back:
Asha House celebrated it’s fifth anniversary this March. Here are some pictures from their celebration:
Consider giving a gift to Asha House as we celebrate this milestone. You can make your tax-deductible donation directly to Asha House at the Back To The Roots website by clicking DONATE
Ashish is the first baby boy born at Asha House. His name means “blessing” and he has truly been a blessing! Here is a video from Caleb, Simini, and all of the babies: Caleb and the Babies
Baby Leah was born on January 9th. She is now home at Asha House and doing very well. As you can tell she is quite a beautiful little baby and everyone at Asha House is so excited about her joining the family.
Praise the Lord! We just got news that there is another baby going to be born at Asha House in March. The pregnant mother has recently come to live at Asha House for the baby to be born.
Leah first opened her eyes to see Lincy Ma'am
Please be praying for everyone at Asha House as new babies take a lot of work and patience. If you want to help support either baby Leah or the baby going to be born in March you can do that here :https://donationpay.org/backtotheroots/ . Please put “Leah” or “March baby” in the Child Sponsorship box. Thanks!
Pictures from Christmas at the new home of Asha House. Thank you to everyone who has given to help us keep Asha House running this past year. We could not have done it without you!
If you have been paying attention to updates about Asha House the past month you will know that Asha House is moving!
The landlord has forced Asha House to move out of their current home by December 17th. At first they were worried about finding a new home and how they would be able to pay for it. When all of this was happening our partners at The Sound of Hope were visiting Asha House. They made a video about the situation (watch it here) and were able to raise a majority of the moving costs.
Construction has been going on at the new facilities which are right behind the school the children attend. Asha House just had a cleaning day to prepare the new home for when they move in within the next few weeks. We are all very excited about the new home which will have much more room for the children and will be much more cost effective.
Even though most of the moving costs have been covered there are still some monetary needs. We are still behind one month’s rent and there are always unexpected costs when moving. Also Christmas is coming and Asha House did not get to celebrate last year because finances were so tight. Please visit the Asha House donate page to give your tax-deductible gift.
Celebrating Onam this year at Asha House
Onam is a South Indian celebration not usually celebrated in Delhi, but the staff at The Asha House treated the kids to spicy South Indian feast served on banana leaves. YUMMY!
Our partners from Sound of Hope are in New Delhi right now visiting Asha House. Please visit their blog to read about how they are raising money for some urgent needs at Asha House and watch their video below.
Sound of Hope Blog
Asha House from The Sound of Hope on Vimeo.
At the end of October Lincy visited Andhra Pradesh. She got to visit many churches and share her testimony as well as pray for people. The Lord did many good things during her time there.
She got to visit Pastor Suresh and his churches. You can read about our trip there in September here. After our trip four people decided to get baptized (more about baptism). Praise the Lord!
Here are some pictures from Lincy’s time in AP and of the baptism.
Baptism is a beautiful sacrament of the Christian faith. It is a symbol which identifies you with Jesus Christ showing the world that you have accepted the free grace and love that is available in Him and have fully committed your life to following Jesus. Even Jesus himself was baptized right before his ministry was launched (Luke 3). Baptism for adults is basically being submersed in water and is usually performed by a pastor or mentor. Sometimes baptism happens in the context of a church service.
While I was in Delhi one of the team members, Julia Franzen, heard that there was a place near the church in the slums that the church used for baptism. She had been thinking about getting baptized for a long while but wanted to wait until the right opportunity. She realized that Asha House and the church in the slums was family and wanted to get baptized in India with them. So one day we drove to the slums and met Pastor L and followed him to the river. He found a quiet spot away from everyone, then he and Victor baptized Julia. There was no large ceremony just a simple declaration from a life dedicated to following Jesus to the ends of the earth. Afterwards we sang with and hugged our dear sister, and went back to Pastor L’s house for fellowship over a delicious meal.
What you have to know about India and its rivers is that they are a crazy mixture of the holy and the dirty. Many Hindu rituals revolve around rivers. Indian rivers are considered to be one of the holiest things in the world, but they are in truth the dirtiest things in the world. People bathe in them, wash in them, burn funeral pyres in them, and people dump garbage and sewage in them. The Ganges is so polluted that bacteria cannot even survive in it. Now the river Julia got baptized in was not quite this disgusting, but it still was dirty. It was such a beautiful thing to see this symbol of redemption take place in such a dirty seemingly God forsaken place. In a bog post Julia says:
He showed me that Baptism is just knowing that we have not a hope of being good on our own and it is an outward sign of something internal that God has already done, placing His spirit in us the moment when we called upon the strong name of Jesus to save us- He did. He already did it.
It is not about the cleanliness of the river or how put together our lives. It is about grace and the work that God has already done.
You can read more from Julia about her experience you can visit her blog here.
Just a few days ago I got an email from Victor and Simini announcing that there are three new children at Asha House! We are all very excited about welcoming these sweet ones into the Asha House family. Here are some pictures of them and a little bit of their stories:
Rekha- She is a five year old little girl. She is a true orphan from Bihar. Her father was an alcoholic and died about three years ago. Her mother had been suffering from jaundice and passed away soon after. Since then Rekha has been living with her grandfather. He sent Rekha to Asha House because he is getting old and cannot take care of her. He was also afraid for her to continue to live with him because she is a girl and it is not safe for her in the neighborhood where he lives.
Sandeep- This little boy is four years old. He is from Gharkhand, Bihar. He is also a true orphan. His father died from a really bad accident when Sandeep was just a year old. A year ago his mother became very ill and died. Since then he has had no one to take care of him until he came to Asha House.
Milind- He is a two year old little boy who is also a true orphan originally from Bihar. He never met either of his parents. His father passed away when his mother was only 7 months pregnant and his mother died from childbirth. Milind’s grandmother has been caring for him since he was born, but she is now very ill and is not able to give him the care and attention that he needs.
Please keep these little ones in your thoughts and prayers as they adjust to living at Asha House away from everything that they have known. Everyone at Asha House is so excited to have these new children, especially since they are true orphans and have nowhere else to go. Some of the children at Asha House do have living parents but they are too poor to be able to care for their children. It is a wonderful things to know that there are now thirty children being loved, fed, and educated instead of facing a life of begging on the streets or worse.
- Happy Babies
Sweet little Mandeep, more affectionately known as Mannu, is one and a half years old. She is walking but has not started to talk yet. Victor’s sister, Sapna, who is staff at Asha House has a very close relationship to Mannu. They sleep together and Mannu always wants to be held by Sapna. She also has a close relationship to Nazma, Sonu, and Jyoti. At meal times Mannu will eat from their plates.
When we first arrived in August she was very shy of us and would not play with the foreigners. By the time we left two months later she had warmed up to us. Sapna taught her to give us kisses and high fives. She would also play and laugh with us. She loves to play in water and is always wandering into the washroom to get wet.
Just a few days ago she fell and had to get three stitches inside her mouth. She is on many medicines now to prevent any infection and also because she has a cold.
Both of Mannu’s parents are living. She was left at Asha House because they were not married, the father was gone, and her mother wanted to marry someone else. The same day Mannu fell and hurt herself both of her real parents came to Asha House to get her. They are not married yet but want to take Mannu back. Victor and Simini have told them that they can only take Mannu back if they get married and prove they can provide for her.
Please be praying for Mannu’s health and also the situation with her parents. Victor, Simini, and Sapna want to do what is best for Mannu. Please pray that they will have wisdom about what they should do. It would be very hard for Sapna to see Mannu leave because Mannu become like her daughter.
Prayer is a focal part of daily life at AshaHouse. The children take turns leading prayer before each meal. (This is a precious site for visiting mission teams.) The staff are acutely aware of the physical and spiritual threats all around them so they have appropriately placed prayer and fasting as a priority. Each day of the week, one staff member is scheduled to fast and pray for AshaHouse. Please join AshaHouse in prayer and fasting for their safety and freedom to share the gospel with the children in their care and with the local people they come in contact with every day.
everyone having Diwali fun on the roof
Today, October 26th, is Diwali the Indian Festival of Lights, which also means that the cold winter season is coming fast. Delhi summers are very hot and Delhi winters are very cold. There is not much in between. The kids have already gotten out their wool sweaters, hats, and gloves. When they return to school after their Diwali holiday they will be wearing their winter school uniforms. With the changing of seasons there is always a possibility of children getting colds. Please pray for the health of the kids and that God would protect them from illness.
Martha, Sarah, and Abigail
If winter is coming that must also mean that Christmas is coming. For Christmas, if they have the funds, the children all get a new set of clothes and a special meal. The children also put on a program with songs and dances. Christmas at Asha House is such a magical time. It is a season that they use to pause the normal routine and celebrate Jesus.
Brittany and Monica
Winter also is bringing with it an exciting new addition to the Asha House familiy. Monica is the pregnant woman who is staying at Asha House. She is due in January and will give the baby to Asha House once it is born. This will be the forth baby that will grow up from birth at Asha House. They do not know if it will be a girl or a boy but the baby is very healthy and so is Monica.
With the beginning of winter Asha House has many monetary needs:
- More warm clothes
- Medicine for wintertime colds
- Christmas gifts and celebration
- Monica and baby’s medical expenses
Thank you so much for everyone who is already giving to Asha House regularly. It is hugely appreciated! We just want to make everyone aware of the upcoming needs. Please pray about how you should be a part of supporting the Asha House family.
Victor Spreading the Fire
Light in the Darkness
Sparkler Fun with Aunties and Uncles
Pastor Suresh is one of the first staff at Asha House. About three years ago he went to Andhra Pradesh in South India to work as a pastor. Now he is married and pastoring three churches in three small farming villages there. He is a part of the Asha House family and society. Asha House is supporting him in prayer and friendship and would love to be able to support him financially but is unable to.
A few weeks ago Victor, Simini, Laura, and our team were able to go visit Suresh, his family and these churches. After spending 8 hrs waiting for our train and 30 hrs in the train we arrived to a huge welcome. We were all amazed at their hospitality, faith, and love. It felt like the early churches from Paul’s letters.
The villages we visited are tucked in between rice paddies along roads lined with coconut and banana trees. Most of the people live in houses made of mud and banana leaves.
The first night we got to do a program with the children. Then we had a meeting with the adults from the church. After that we prayed with anyone who wanted prayer. Many people came for prayer. Three or four people dedicated their lives to Jesus and many were healed. We prayed for one pregnant woman, who was very scared to have the baby. The next day she had the baby with no problems. We got to hold it after feeling it kick in her belly the night before.
One of the other churches we visited was held at the house of a family who was the first of their village to come to Christ. Once there is about 35 members they will try to construct a building. For the meeting we all sat on the front porch in the dark because the power was out. As we sang, prayed, and shared the gospel more and more people came to see. It was such a beautiful time.
This is just the beginning of the many good things that God did while we were there in Andhra Pradesh. We all could tell that the Holy Spirit was really there and doing beautiful things. I believe that the Lord has many more amazing things planned. None of us wanted to leave. Victor and Simini are excited to take more team here in the future. Please be praying for Pastor Suresh, his wife, his family, and his churches.
Aksha and Abigail, affectionately called Akshu and Abbu, are both doing great. Aksha has mostly recovered from her episode with a lung infection a month ago, but the doctor is requiring her to be on medication for a little while longer to prevent a reoccurrence. Abigail is staring to get over a faze of spitting up all the time (it has been nice to not get puked on everytime you hold her). They both are loved by all of their didis (“older sisters”) and biyahs (“older brothers”). Everyone loves to play with the babies.
Both Abigail, who is 7 months old, and Aksha, who is 8 months old, are becoming more and more mobile. Aksha is crawling like a pro and Abigail is almost getting the hang of it. It has been really wonderful to watch their progress.
When Aksha is happy she will become especially vocal. She says “pa pa pa pa,” “ba ba ba ba” and “ma ma ma ma.” Once she starts you can’t stop her. She will talk all the way through prayer time or bible study at night.
You can tell Abigail is happy when she gives you a huge open-mouthed-grin and turns her sweet sparkly brown eyes to look at you. You can’t deny that she is happy to see you. She also loves to imitate people. The didis have taught her to growl by first growling at her. Her little growl sounds like a little purr.
Please be praying for these little ones as they are growing, especially Aksha and her health as she continues to recover from the lung infection.
From Victor at 11:40 PM Central Time:
Baby Akhsa is admitted in the hospital from last night because of the lungs infection, vomiting and loose motion. Please pray.
This week we heard that there might be another baby at Asha House soon. There is a young woman from Bihar who is pregnant and cannot keep her baby. She does not have funds to take care of the baby once it is born or get good medical care now. Just a few days ago she came to stay at Asha House and visited the doctor for a check up. They both are doing well. She is getting a lot of rest.
playtime with happy baby Aksha and Manisha Didi
I love how Asha House is such a refuge for not only children but everyone who needs it. They are all very excited about having another baby. Babies bring so much joy!
Please pray for the health of this young woman and her baby. Also pray that God will provide all of the money needed for their medical care, especially the cost for the hospital when the baby is born. We do not want to see what happened a few months ago happen again.
Thank you so much for your prayers. I am seeing with my own eyes the difference prayer makes.
Last Sunday during church at Asha House Simini Ma’am shared a testimony that I want to share with you.
Victor Sir was out on business. Simini was cooking in the kitchen with one of the staff and baby Mannu. They went to change the propane tank and it did not work correctly. The connection tube came unattached while she was cooking and caused a small explosion. Simini’s clothes caught on fire. The staff swept up Mannu and ran to safety. Victor returned just at the right moment and stopped the propane tank itself from exploding. Simini had no burns at all, even though she should have gotten very badly burned.
It is God’s protection that Victor arrived when he did. Many of the children cook and help out in the kitchen. We are all so thankful that no one got hurt, especially that Simini did not get burned at all. Praise the Lord!
Everyone at Asha House is very excited about the next few weeks because two teams are coming to visit. There has not been a team at Asha House for while. It is always encouraging for the visitors, the staff and the children when people come to visit.
Right now there are three young babies living there Akhsa, Abigail, and Mannu. Having more people around to hold and care for the young babies is going to be a great help.
As well as updating you I want to introduce myself. My name is Sarah Swartz. I was part of the AIM team that came in the fall of ’09. It has been two years since I have been back and I am thrilled to be returning. A part of me feels like I am coming home, returning to my Indian family. What I love about Asha House is that when you walk into the gates you feel like you are entering a sanctuary, a haven, a refuge. There is an undeniable bubble of the holy spirit that encloses that place protecting it from the darkness that surrounds it. I will continue to post updates during the six weeks I am going to spend in India.
Please pray for the teams. Pray for unity among the teams, safety traveling, smooth culture shock, and that God would use us mighty for his Kingdom and Glory.
He is in 10th grade and has much to study. He is little worried about final exams and needs your prayers to complete his school. Pray for him to pass the 10th grade with very good marks so he will get admission into a good school for the 11th grade next year.
She is in 4th grade and very brilliant student. She got first prize in singing and we are very happy about it. Pray for her bright future.
He is in second class and very good at studies but he does not take care of his books and belongings. The school complains about this issue with him. Pray for him.
She is 6 months old and is very lazy. She wants someone to carry her around. She is always hungry and wants more milk. Even after drinking one full bottle she still cries for more. We are waiting for the mission team to come so they will carry her around. She loves Heena because she always takes her. When she smiles she looks very beautiful.
Doctor said she does not have a heart problem but she has an infection in her lungs and she needs your prayer. She is 7 months old and she is trying to sit up. She is a very cute baby who always has a smile on her face. If the music is on she is very happy. Thanks for your prayers and help.
Please pray for more consistant funding.
Victor and Simini have been caring for a destitute woman who was pregnant. Here is the email we received today about her baby. The circumstances are very sad.
“Yesterday night we have to take the pregnant lady to the hospital, because of not having enough money I took her to the government hospital but doctor was not available at that time, we have only one government hospital near by and I was taking her to another hospital in Delhi which is 2 hours away from here, but because of not getting proper care on time the baby died, lady is safe. It was 1.30 am. to get admitted in a private hospital I had to pay Rs 5000 advance because she need to be operated immediately, but I did not had that much money and because it was night I could not arrange the money. I am sorry, I could not save the baby.
Victor & Simini Prafulla
House Of Hope Ministries Society
Updates on some of the children! Quotes from Victor.
SABITHA – She is very happy that she will be going to school soon,
even though she is 12 years old she never been to school before.please
pray for her as she will be starting from the 4rt class.
MANDEEP – She started adjesting in asha family, She is always hungry
and love to eat any thing we give her, she dont care even if that is a
very spicy green chilly. She turnd one year on the 5th of this month. She loves Sapna very much.
JYOTI – She is again sick from last few days, her old doctor told us
to take her to a new doctor, we are waiting for the money to be
provided, please pray.
AKHSA – She is 3 months old and started recognizing the faces. her
smile is very cute and she is very beautiful. please keep her in your
prayers because of the over heat sometimes she get sick.
SURAJ – Last week we took him to the dentist because he had two teeth
in the same place and one tooth was remooved by the doctor, now he is
Akhsa is ill in the hospital and could have a hole in her heart.
Victor wrote yestderday about Akhsa, one of the new babies.
Akhsa is having high fever and vomitting, she was sick from last few days and I took her to a government Hospital because we did not had money to take her to a good hospital and she was taking medicine but last night she become very sick and admitted now in a private
hospital, doctor also said she may have some problem with her heart may be a small hole, but he is not sure about it and ask us to take her to a heart doctor after she is dischared. Please pray for her. Also baby Abigail and Mannu are started with fever and they are also taiking medicine. please do pray for the health of all the kids. Thank you.
- Power Supply System at AshaHouse needed to keep the fans blowing in the extreme heat.
As mentioned before, it’s HOT in New Delhi India and the power system that keeps the fans turning in the 110F heat needed replacing. It took funds from the tuition funds but it was an immediate health issue so it had to be done. Please consider helping to replace the funds for the battery system.
AshaHouse Kids Start School July 2011
The school year has started in New Delhi and the AshaHouse kids are ready.
Victor just emailed me and asked me to post it right away. I’ll quote him directly below:
Few weeks before one lady came to us and she was 5 months pregnent, she is
a sex worker so she told me that she want to give the baby to us, but
because of the financial problem I told her about our situation and
send her back, but I was really feeling very bad about her and we ware
praying for her. Yesterday again she came and she was sitting at our
gate and started crying so I could not stop myself and I took her in
and took her to the doctor because she was very week, doctor said she
will be having the baby in two weeks time or may be before that, Now
she is with us. its true that we have no money but I felt that we
should take care of her. please pray for her and ask people to pray
for all the financial to be provided for her hospital bills. Thank
Victor reported the most recent funds have arrived and would have been enough to send everyone to school this semester starting July 4th. However, the New Delhi summer is hitting hard and their battery system has failed and they had to use some of those funds to buy the battery system. Why do they have a battery system? India’s power grid is limited and unstable at best. If you want constant power, you install a battery (of batteries) with an inverter to trickle-charge the batteries from commercial power. Their battery system supplies power to the ceiling fans. If the ceiling fans don’t run, the air is stiffling (speaking as one who has been there in 110F heat). It’s as if a noose is around your neck. Sleeping becomes impossible; passing out, likely. Now imagine that heat while serving 30 children including 3 babies. In short, they need $700 more before next week to send all the kids to school. The $700 includes the expense to transfer the funds to India.
Thanks to All,
Victor reported they are having trouble with their inverter. Their inverter takes commercial power (when it is on) and converts it to DC to tricle charge batteries. Their batteries then run fans to allow them to sleep in the sweltering heat at night. If the inverter doesn’t work, they can’t sleep very well which is especially tough on the babies (and those who take care of them). Please pray they will be able to fix their inverter soon and that the heat will subside. But we know that they are now in the beginning of a very hot summer. Please pray for them to be able to sleep comfortably.
She loves her new school and new friends and she loves to study but little upset that she is not getting enough time for playing. remember her in your prayers. Thanks to all who are praying and sponsoring her.
Sunday, 18 July 2010 21:58
Mary was very exited to hear that she will be going to school this year like her other friends, But now she is very sad to know that we do not have enough money to send her to school and admission will close by the month of July. Every day she ask her heavenly father to send money for her studies and she needs your prayer and help.
Friday, 21 May 2010 22:38
Mary has been with Asha house for about a year now and is going to begin going to school this new term. She has been doing very well with her studies at Asha house and is now ready to take the next step and begin going to school. Thank you so much for you continued prayers as we see this child prsosper into all that God has called her to be.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010 04:37
Manisha has been acceling at a wonderful pace. She was placed in first class because she had never been to school, even though her age should have put her in a higher class. But she has done so well in first class that the school has decided to have her skip her second class and go straight into third. Please pray that she makes this transition smoothly and comfortably. She has been doing so well lately and we continue to expect great things out of her.
Jyoti is such a wonderful and joy filled girl. Due to a problem with her brain she has been on medication for almost a year now. Just recently we have noticed that she is not feeling well and will more than likely be taking her in for a check up. Jyoti is also planning on beggining school this term so it is crucial that she is feeling well enough for this next step. Please pray for her health and wellness as she begins this new journey. Thank you all.