Arvan’s son caused many arguments and severely troubled the family through his alcohol addiction and subsequent illnesses, but his death only brought more misery. Arvan watched his widowed daughter-in-law discard her responsibilities, leaving her three sons behind to start a new life with another man. How was Arvan, at 70 years old, supposed to provide for his grandsons?
Grandparents Labor to Provide for Grandchildren
To help their needy grandchildren, Arvan and his 65-year-old wife, Anita, stepped into the role of parents. Although they worked hard as laborers in a nearby vineyard, the loving grandparents were unable to meet the diverse needs of their grandsons.
The two younger boys, 8-year-old Sahil and 5-year-old Hiran, were scarred by the many quarrels and sorrows they had witnessed in their family and had retreated emotionally. Rachit, the eldest at only 10 years old, had no arms, which meant he required continual assistance. He spent the weekdays at a boarding school, where his needs were met, but providing for Sahil’s and Hiran’s education stretched Arvan’s finances extremely thin.
“Whenever we had no work, we struggled a lot to provide their food,” Arvan shared.
Bridge of Hope Workers Minister to Needy Children
Arvan wasn’t the only man in his community who struggled to provide for his family, which is why a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported Bridge of Hope center opened to help needy children in the area. Most people in the community normally disapproved of work led by Christians, yet they gratefully sent their children to Bridge of Hope to receive the food, tutoring and love provided through the program.
One day, Arvan and Anita received a visit from the Bridge of Hope staff, who had heard about the family’s troubles. After pouring out their sorrows to the compassionate staff members, the discouraged grandparents heard amazing news: Their grandsons could be enrolled in Bridge of Hope!
Now, every day after school, Sahil and Hiran attend the Bridge of Hope center, where they receive help with their studies and emotional support from their loving teachers. The Bridge of Hope staff encourage and counsel the young boys, drawing them out of the self-protecting barrier that surrounded their wounded hearts.
Touched Lives, Both Young and Old
Through their Bridge of Hope teachers’ influence, Sahil and Hiran now possess an interest in school and actively participate in the fun activities at the center. Joy has made its home in their hearts, and respect for their elders and other good habits have taken root in their lives from the examples of their teachers. And after experiencing Christ’s love, they’ve even begun praying to Jesus.
“We are so happy that their educational needs, food, uniform, etc., are now easily met by Bridge of Hope,” Arvan says. “Every evening, our grandchildren share about new things they have learned from the center.”
As Arvan and his wife observed the genuine love of the teachers, they grew to respect the Christians who served their grandsons in such significant ways. Now, whenever the Bridge of Hope staff visit their home, the elderly grandparents request prayer and eagerly listen to their words of encouragement.
“We have no words to express our thanks,” the grateful grandparents shared. “We are getting old and are worried about [our grandsons’] future . . . but now we have a kind of peace in our hearts.”