I'm sitting in my warm comfy house, drinking a cup of hot tea, my beloved pups laying at my feet, and reflecting back over the last 2 weeks and trying to decide what to write at this point. There is so much information that I've tried to cram into this blog while we were in India and I truly pray that it has touched you in one form or another. I think about how I tried to capture the days events as I would write well into the wee hours of the night...and why I would do that. Of course one of the primary reasons was to keep our family, friends and supporters back home up on what we were doing, however my true prayer was to touch hearts and open eyes to the magnitude of this ministry in the hopes that it might drum up the much needed support to keep it going.
In a nutshell, Joyful Journeys is a 501c3 organization that is run out of Immanuel Church in West Bend. I rejoice in the fact that our congregation is full of generous individuals who give of their time, talents, and financial support to a ministry that most will never see in person, but trust and believe in the good that it is doing. But it's not just our church family who are committed to empowering the people of Madhavapatnam; three fourths of our pledged funding comes from Immanuel contributors, the other quarter comes from friends, our family members, and people who have simply heard of what we are doing and feel the desire to support it. When this ministry started 15 years ago, our monthly budget was $450, currently we send approx $9,000+ every month to cover things such as teacher and staff salaries, school supplies, hostel children needs, food for Lunch Bunch program, support for Oma's Oldsters, and fuel for the vehicles, just to name a few expenses. With the growth that has taken place over the years, we have recognized that we are to a point where in order to maintain the good works being done, WE NEED YOUR HELP.
Support can come in many different forms, the primary way is through our Student Sponsorship Program. A pledge of $20 per month / $240 per year will cover a students educational needs, including uniforms and teacher salaries, for a school year. When you commit to sponsoring a child, you are given a photo of one of our students; we can pick one for you or you can stop in at Immanuel Church and check out our India Wall and choose one for yourself. Below are a couple of the kids I sponsor...
|I met this set of twins before they even started school; 💕|
|and have had the joy of watching them grow over the past couple years!|
|It was fun showing them the photos of us! 😊|
|Here I am showing him our pictures together. 😂 I can only imagine what must be going through his young mind!!|