Monthly Archives: October 2013

All Around India: Dalits

Dalits

This morning, our Sunday School teacher took us to a farm in a rural part of India, far away from the big cities. There were men and women working on the farm. They were hot and sweaty, and they were very tired. One of the women was pregnant, and she seemed very sad. Her name was Lakshmi. We imagined we got to follow her home when her day was done.

When we got to her home, there were two little girls there. One was very sick. I wondered why Lakshmi hadn’t called a doctor. That’s when the teacher explained that there was only a tiny bit of money. Lakshmi couldn’t afford to buy food and pay a doctor, so she had chosen food so they wouldn’t starve. She was hoping her little girl would get better.

Suppertime came and the whole family shared a small pot of soup—except it didn’t look like any soup my mom makes. This soup was really watery and it didn’t look like it would taste very good. The next morning, Lakshmi wasn’t feeling well either. She was afraid not to go to work, but she could hardly stand up. She’d never be able to work in the field all day.

Later that day, the farmer who owned the field stopped by. I was excited because I thought he’d help. But do you know what? He was mad at her for not coming to work! He started saying all sorts of terrible things. He told the mother she was a worthless Dalit and he didn’t care what happened to her or her daughter. I know our teacher told us last week about how badly people treat the Dalits, but I never imagined it was this bad! How could the farmer not care that Lakshmi and her daughter were sick?

That’s when there was a noise outside. A van had stopped just outside the house. Some men and women got out. As they talked to the neighbors, everyone got very excited. They started running and bringing everyone to the van.

The van was full of doctors and nurses who had come to help the village! Lakshmi started to cry. She said she didn’t know why anyone would care about her and her family, but she wanted to find out. The doctors helped her and her little girl and told them that Jesus didn’t care about the names people call each other, like Dalit or worthless. Jesus loved them and so did the doctors and nurses.

I wish the people who sent the van could see how happy it makes people like Lakshmi and her family. One of the doctors said it only costs $2.85 to help one person. I’m going to pray that many more doctors and nurses get to help people just like Lakshmi, and that Lakshmi and everyone they help will learn about Jesus.

“Dear God, please help every person in India and every person who feels worthless to find out that You love them and want to be their friend. Help them believe in You and understand that Jesus has already paid for their mistakes and wants to save them. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Download a printable version of All Around India: Dalits.

Download a notebooking page about India and the Dalits with questions for additional exploration.

To learn more about a medical ministry serving Dalits in India, visit my Parents and Educators page.

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All Around India: Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh

The next place our Sunday School teacher took us to is Chhattisgarh! Chhattisgarh is hard to spell! It’s also one of the newer states in India. Up until the year 2000, it was part of Madhya Pradesh.

Chhattisgarh has lots of beautiful forests and trees. The timber from the trees, especially the teak and the sal, provide income for some of the people. There is also a lot of bamboo that grows in Chhattisgarh, and people use it to make all kinds of things like furniture, things to cook with, beautiful baskets, and tools for farming.

There are national parks in Chhattisgarh to protect some of the exotic animals that live there—including tigers. And, there are lots of valuable minerals that people mine there that can provide income, such as copper, coal, iron, and even diamonds.

Chhattisgarh is also home to many Ganda (or Gond) people, who are part of the Dalits. Do you remember the last time our teacher told us about the Dalits? She told us that many of the people of India look down on the Dalits. They treat their animals better than they treat Dalits. It is also dangerous for a Ganda to accept Jesus as their Savior. Do you remember the story she told us about what life is like for Ganda people who choose to believe in Jesus?

I’m going to pray that all of the people of India would understand that people, including the Dalits, are more valuable than any animal, mineral, or resource. Will you pray with me?

“Dear God, please help the people of Chhattisgarh and all over India to understand that every single person is so valuable to You that You would rather die than live without them. Help them hear how Jesus came to Earth to pay for the mistakes we make and how He was stronger than death and came back to life. Help each person to know how much You love them and trust in You for the life that never ends. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Download a printable version of All Around India: Chhattisgarh

Download a notebooking page about India and Chhattisgarh with questions for additional exploration.

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All Around India: Bihar

Bihar

This morning, our Sunday School teacher took us to another state in India. Bihar is a state in the northeastern part of India, right beside Nepal and the Himalayas. It is the poorest state in all of India.

Most of the people living there are farmers. They raise animals like cows and buffalo and grow crops including rice, wheat, sugarcane, and potatoes. But the farmers have a big problem. Bihar has two major rivers running through it—the Ganges and the Kosi. Both rivers tend to flood a lot, which can destroy the crops. When their crops are gone, the farmers have no money to plant new ones.

The floods bring other problems, too. All the dirty water that rushes in destroys the clean water that is stored and ruins everything it touches, like all of the food in your house and the seeds you have to plant next year’s crops. The dirty water carries diseases and can make many people very sick. It can even be deadly. And the floods often kill the livestock that the farmers need to survive.

Of all the states in India, Bihar has the second-highest number of people living in it—approximately 100 million people. Of all those people, less than 1% of them know Jesus as their Savior. Most have never even heard of Him. Bihar is where the religion of Buddhism began, but most people living there today believe in Hinduism or Islam.

One of the many groups of people living in Bihar is the Yadava people. Some of the Yadava are doctors and politicians, but others are very poor. In some places, if you are a boy, you might get to go to school, but you will probably be needed to work on the farm and help take care of the animals and crops. If you are a girl, you have an even smaller chance of going to school than the boys. Many of the children’s parents do not know how to read or write. But if the children don’t go to school and their parents can’t read, who will teach them?

There are lots of different ways we can pray for the people of Bihar.

“Dear God, please help all of the people living in Bihar, including the Yadava, to learn to read and write. Please help each of them to have the chance to read Your Word and trust in You to rescue their hearts no matter what floods come to their homes. Help them to build their lives on You, the only solid foundation that cannot be washed away. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

I have a special prayer request this week, too. On Saturday, a terrible cyclone hit Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. There will be an awful lot of people who are hurting and who will go home only to find that their homes, their animals, and their belongings are all gone. Please say a special prayer this week for the people hurt by this cyclone. Please pray that they will have what they need to take care of their families, and please also pray that the Christians who are serving them will help them understand the truth about Jesus. Thanks.

Download a printable version of All Around India: Bihar.

Download a notebooking page about India and Bihar with questions for additional exploration.

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All Around India: Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh-watermark

Our Sunday School teacher said she’s going to take us to India! Well, we can’t really go there—though I think it’d be a great place for a field trip. We’re going to go there by learning about the people who live there and finding out how we can pray for them.

India is a BIG country in lots of different ways. It is the seventh largest country in the entire world, but it has more people living there than any other country on earth except China! There are more than 2,500 different people groups living in India, and they speak more than 400 different languages.

There are twenty-eight states in India, plus seven places they call “union territories.” We’re going to start exploring India by meeting some of the people who live in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh is the fifth-largest state in India, and it is the home of the Deccani peoples.

For hundreds of years, the Deccani people were in charge of this part of India. They were princes and royalty. The country became independent in 1947, and everything in the government changed. By 1948, the Deccani people were no longer the rulers of Andhra Pradesh. The people who were used to being in charge suddenly had to work alongside everyone else.

There are more than 87 million people living in Andhra Pradesh, but most of them do not know Jesus.

“Dear God, please help everyone living in Andhra Pradesh, including the Deccani, to hear about You. Help them understand that even though Jesus was the most special Prince of all, He came to Earth to live and work alongside people because He loved them so much. Help them know that He died for them and is alive today, and that they can live with Him if they trust Him. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Download a printable version of All Around India: Andhra Pradesh.

Download a notebooking page about India and Andhra Pradesh with questions for additional exploration.

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