Each morning, Aarush walked almost four miles to school. As the oldest child in the family, it was important for him to continue his education. If there was any hope for him to help his impoverished family or create a new future for himself, he had to get to school.
Aarush, the son of a daily laborer, grew up on an expansive tea estate, where his father worked on the plantation.
Poverty and lack of education shackled most of these people on the plantations. The only way out for Aarush was an education, enabling him to get a better job outside the tea fields. But there was one huge obstacle: There weren’t any schools near the tea gardens. The closest one was almost four miles away. With no school bus or public transportation for children whose families worked and lived on the estate, the only option was to walk.
Aarush’s father, Palin, was discouraged at the condition of his family. After working hard all day, he barely brought home $1.50. His physical strength was waning, and he worried about his family’s future.
A Bicycle – an Unexpected Gift
Pastor Duddu, a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor in the region, regularly visited the tea gardens to pray for the laborers and offer encouragement through the Word of God.
One day, while Pastor Duddu made his regular visit to the tea estate community, he met Palin and his family. Hearing of the family’s struggles, he thought about a way to help them, so they could see God’s loving care for them in a tangible way.
Pastor Duddu arranged for Aarush to receive a bicycle at an upcoming gift distribution to help him get to school. The family was stunned to receive the simple gift and became very excited to know the God who loves so personally.
Riding the new bicycle to school, Aarush meditated on God’s love, and praise filled his heart. His father even used the bike to go to the market to shop for the family.
Eyes Opened to a New Love
With curiosity pushing him, Aarush joined Pastor Duddu on a Sunday morning for worship. After each Sunday service he attended, Aarush would go home and tell his family all about it. Then, one day, his father decided to join him.
Pastor Duddu kept praying for Palin’s family, and slowly, one by one, they all came to worship God together.
After fully trusting himself to God, Palin said, “Not because of the bicycle we [embraced] Jesus Christ, but this gift opened our spiritual eyes, and we could see our Living God. I am very happy with this gift.”