If you had met Ratan 11 years ago, you would have seen a skinny 5-year-old boy who had no friends. He would likely have been too shy to speak to you. You might have even noticed a slight scowl on his forehead indicating the headaches, fever and joint pain his young body frequently suffered.
If the rest of Ratan’s life was to be as difficult as his first five years, his future would be bleak. But God reached down and transformed this little boy, who today dreams of serving his nation and aiding his fellow countrymen.
An Unpromising Future
An addiction to alcohol kept Ratan’s father from working to provide for the family, so it was up to Ratan’s mother, Sarla, to meet the family’s needs. Although she had never received an education, Sarla managed to run a shop and keep her family out of deep poverty. The income helped, but it stretched thin among her three children and five other family members living in her small house.
Young Ratan struggled with physical weakness and faced challenges socially, too. He struggled in his studies and spent much of his time at home, too fearful to speak to others or make any friends. At this rate, a bright future seemed unlikely for the scared and sickly little boy.
Receiving Education, Courage and Joy
But then Ratan was enrolled into a Gospel for Asia-supported Bridge of Hope center in his village. The Bridge of Hope staff had recognized Ratan’s need for assistance and decided to give him the opportunity to participate in the activities at the center and receive help with his education.
Ratan flourished at the Bridge of Hope center. Through the daily meal and the hygiene items he received, his sicknesses faded away, and he gained the strength of a normal young boy. He also grew stronger academically and improved in his studies.
The Bridge of Hope teachers and staff invested in Ratan’s life, encouraging him to take part in extracurricular activities. The teachers’ caring involvement in his life touched Ratan’s heart.
Soon after joining the Bridge of Hope center, Ratan was dancing, singing and playing with the other children without hesitancy.
Faith also blossomed within Ratan, and he diligently hid God’s Word in his heart. He understood the power of prayer and began praying for anyone in his family who fell sick.
A Brighter Future for the Whole Family
As Ratan attended the Bridge of Hope center, his mother observed her little boy making progress in his life and watched his attitudes change. Sarla saw him praying to Jesus with a heart full of love and faith. Witnessing all God brought about in little Ratan’s life, Sarla also began loving Jesus.
Even Ratan’s father experienced transformation. His alcoholic lifestyle changed, and later he found a job as an electrician to help provide for his family’s needs.
“I would like to thank Bridge of Hope,” Ratan said, “because it changed my life by giving me every [opportunity], and more thanks for uplifting my life.”
Ratan—once too shy to talk to strangers—now aspires to serve alongside his countrymen. He admired the love and concern for others that was demonstrated at the Bridge of Hope center and embraced those same values, laying a foundation in Christ that can guide him wherever he goes in the years to come.