As parents and stewards of God, it is our duty to provide for, care for and protect our children. We are to impart wisdom and knowledge to them that will keep them safe and grounded in a world where they will encounter hardships, trials, temptations and challenges. We are to teach, guide, counsel, encourage and support them.
Most mothers try to be positive examples for their children, teaching them right from wrong and to how to develop healthy habits. They teach them how to be kind, loving and considerate toward others. They help their teenagers with their studies and transition into young adulthood. In fact, they do their best to raise their children to be upstanding citizens of society. Unfortunately, this was not the case with Sahdev’s mother, Vahini who spent her time drinking with her son.
Alcoholism became Sahdev’s vice. It consumed him to the point where he spent all of his earnings on alcohol and it his habit grew with such force that his mother was disturbed by it. She began to wonder if a wife would temper his addiction so she set about looking for someone for him to marry. She kept his drinking a secret while she arranged marriage between Sahdev and a young woman named Tanu, however, the bride soon discovered the family’s dark secret. From the beginning of their marriage, she was victim of verbal abuse and brutal, drunken beatings.
Vahini’s hope that marriage would soften her son was squashed but, sadly, she didn’t support Tanu’s efforts to change Sahdev. This was the opportunity to do what was right for her daughter-in-law and the grandchild that was on the way but Vahini sided with her son. This only made his alcoholism grow worse, resulting in liver damage. While Tanu braced herself for raising her child with a drunken father, her mother-in-law tried to find proper treatment for him but two months after his son was born, Sahdev died.
Instead of taking responsibility for her part in her son’s death, Vahini blamed Tanu. Tanu, now a widow with a child, received no comfort or support from her mother-in-law. When Vahini ordered Tanu to leave the house and she refused, she was beaten. Then, faced with raising a 2 month old child and no other options, the young mother returned to her parents’ home in the slums. This was the last place she wanted to be but her parents comforted her and encouraged her to stay.
Things were tough for Tanu. She found it hard to find a job to support her son and her family’s social caste limited her to jobs with long hours and low pay. Thankfully, she wasn’t under any pressure. Her father was a real trooper, very supportive. He provided for her and his grandson by working as a daily wage laborer. When the time came to put Aakar in school, the cost of his education was too much for the family. And Tanu hadn’t found a good job. She and her parents struggled to make do with what little they had. Aakar was enrolled in a free city school but the costs for his supplies were tremendous. And there was the nagging thought that if anything were to happen to Tanu’s father, the family would have nothing at all.
Unless something was done, six year old Aakar would be forced to drop out of school. Help came when Tanu talked to her neighbors about their children’s education. She learned that they were receiving help from Bridge of Hope, a Gospel for Asia sponsored program. The program supported, educated, tutored, provided meals and medical care for children from needy families like hers. Not wasting any time, Tanu enrolled Aakar at the centre.
Their lives changed when the staff not only provided for Aakar’s needs but showed compassion and kindness to him and hope sparked in Tanu. She saw that there was a very great possibility that her son’s life would turn out very differently from his father’s.
“I can see that my child is improving in his studies and learning good habits through the Bridge of Hope center, ” Tanu said. “I only wish that my child will grow up to be a good companion and never ever become addicted to alcohol or any kind of bad habits.”
Aakar is off to a really good start. At Bridge of Hope, God is working through the staff members to give him a better future–one of hope. Surrounded by people who love the Lord, Aakar stands a better chance of growing up to be a good man who loves the Lord and others. He has a heavenly Father who loves him. He never knew his own father whose life was a tragic one because of an evil influence. Unlike his father, Aakar has a mother who wants what is best for him.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope – Jeremiah 29:11
Thank God for stepping in when things were looking dismal for Aakar and his family. Through Bridge of Hope, God has transformed their lives. Tanu didn’t know it at the time but the best thing she did was moving back home with her parents. It was while she was living there, that she experienced the love and mercy of God through a program which offered her son more than an education. It offered him a chance to have a quality life. Had she stayed at the home she once shared with her husband, life for her and Aakar would have been unbearable at the hands of her mother-in-law. God brought them out of that toxic environment and into a place where their lives have changed for the better.
Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You – Psalm 33:22
Tanu’s story has a happy ending but there are other mothers who are struggling to raise their children. Faced with extreme poverty, their lives are filled with hopelessness. And many children in Asia never experience what it’s like to have a normal childhood. Instead, they are faced with situations and decisions that we can’t even imagine or have ever had to deal with. Please pray that God will intervene in their lives as He did in Tanu’s. And you can help to Aakar and children like him by sponsoring a child. If you are interested in doing so, click here. Help to transform a family’s life.
Tanu and Aakar
Source: Gospel for Asia Canada