Missionary Work at Prema Vasam Orphanage - Chennai India
Our Sister in Christ Joleana, a member of MCF Life Church and her friend Maneesha recently arrived at the Prima Vasam Orphange in Chennai India in order to provide help and support wherever they could. They plan to remain at the orphanage for approximately three months and return to the UK near the end of November.
PREMA VASAM is a home for the Mentally & Physically Challenged and Less Fortunate Children. It is the only home of its kind that caters to the needs of a large number of special children along with the less fortunate normal children. It aims to work with these special children and their families irrespective of caste, creed, religion and financial background. As the name Prema Vasam means, it is a place of love or where love resides. Prema Vasam provides residential care to the children who are differently abled, mentally challenged and less fortunate. It renders relentless service to these children to realize their potentials and to enable them to serve others. It is registered under Charitable Trust Act, Registration No.419 of 1999. Further it is a non profitable organization
Together with MCF Life Church we would ask you to pray for Joleana, Manesha and all of the people who work and support the orphange in their work. Please also pray for the 200 or so children who are provided with food, shelter, support and crucially love. May God bless everyone connected to the orphanage.
Click the map to find out more about the work at Prema Vasam
Click the map to find out more about the work at Prema Vasam
Mark 9:36-37 'He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them 'Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me'
Jomani - 2 days old
Jomani just after birth
An update from Joleana - 30th October 2018
Today is 30th October and I can't believe that four weeks today we will be back in England. It has gone soooo quickly! Days, dates and times here all merge into one and you completely lose track.. one day you think its Monday but its actually Friday and it's the same with dates and time.. In fact today I was so shocked to be told that 'four weeks today we are going home'. Where has 2 month's gone?! This realization brings very mixed emotions for Maniesha and I. While there are some things we really want to come home for.. family, friends, cleanliness etc we are desperately going to miss the amazing beautiful children we will leave behind.
Prema Vasam is home to over 250 children and apart from some school children who live here
the majority are all severely mentally and physically challenged. In fact it all started when
Selvyn (the administrator) found a small boy completely deformed and dumped at a train
station and from the moment he knew he wanted to give children like this a home, with love
and care. This little boy he called Prem and is part of the Orphanage's name.. PREMA VASAM.
This little boy is now 22 and is still here! This is Prem... (photograph on the right hand side)
A few years later a boys home was built which housed 50 boys.. then they created a cancer home
and last year a girls home was started. Two weeks ago we visited the girls home and upon our
arrival a baby calf was being born and they named it after me and Maniesha. You can see Jomani
in the photographs below
This week we visited the boys home and the cancer home which was lovely to see but there was so much unfinished work at the cancer home as well as the girls home which we really want to raise money for to bring back. Everything is ran on donations.. It is amazing how much God is working here and although He provides for the homes there is still a HUGE need. The cancer home needs a treatment building/hospital, which has been started but they are unable to finish. The girls home needs clean water and a second level needs to be built to house more children.
The team here who run Prema Vasam absolutely LOVE each and every child. They know them all by name and have a relationship with them all.. It's beautiful but there are still children being left here or people/government asking Selvyn to home more for which they never say no. As you can imagine the increase in the number of children means more children having to go to the other homes which means the urgency to get buildings finished.
I thank God that He is in complete control and that He is above and over each and every situation. Things to us that seem impossible He makes possible. I know that God works all things out for good and I know He is working here at Prema Vasam.
Proverbs 3:5 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding'.
God Bless. Jo x
An update from Joleana - 04th October 2018
We are now into our second month here at Prema Vasam located in a little village with next to nothing here.. and I have come to realise that we are sooo rich in the UK but compared to the people here we are truly poor.
The children, despite being fed three times a day and having shelter, literally have nothing, not even a bed to sleep on yet they are genuinely content infants and truly happy. In one very small room we were horrified to learn that 30... THIRTY teenage girls sleep on the floor in there yet when asking one girl "do you want to visit England? you'll have a bed?" she said "no I love India I love my families here... and the children"
They have so much genuine love for each other. Every single person here regardless of gender or age truly look after one another and have such a unique bond of love its not only beautiful but emotional to see.
No matter what we have to offer them from the UK (games, toys, chocs etc) though they are keen to indulge they actually only want your time. If anything you offer doesn't include 'you' with it then they are happy playing in rubbish or with stones and not having any treats.
'Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have' (Hebrews 13:5).
These amazing people have welcomed us into thier family and here i'm not Jo i'm 'Jo Akkar'! Akkar means sister here and that's how they see and treat us: as family. In fact its all about family here.... there is NO want need or desire here for any material possessions, no greed for money or status in society and with that there is just so so so so much love and community.
We have so much in England yet there is so much conflict, unforgiveness, judgment, depression, loneliness.. I could go on and on! Most of these children have awful backgrounds... some children were dumped in bags at train stations yet they are the happiest most beautiful and most kind children you'll ever meet, brought up in a culture of such genuine love... In many ways this community and family reflect Jesus more than many of us in the UK...... as 1 Corinthians 13 says: 'and now these 3 things remain... Faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is LOVE'.
We met a lady from the UK last week called Stella. She only visited Prema Vasam for 24hrs but she was overwhelmed by the love and 'feeling' here and she said 'if only we could bottle up what they have here and take it back to England'!!!
Be blessed everyone Jo x
An update from Joleana - 17th September 2018
WOW: We woke up this morning and realised that we are now starting our third week here... this in itself is a testimony to the power of prayer and the strength we have in God. Here at Prema Vasam, I have truly realised that I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME (Philippians 4:13).
One of the biggest challenges here is the poor (non-existent) hygiene......next being the feeding.. Three times a day we have to feed children Watery Samba (curry) with our hands. This in something I've really struggled with but praise God He turned it round and I now quite enjoy it. Then there's the smells.. it's very difficult to find words to describe the smells here.. everywhere you go theres a stomach turning smell.. but again praise God we are almost getting used to some of them. There's also the intense heat, lack of hot clean water, massive language barriers (no one speaks English), insane levels of mosquitos and flys- I could go on and on but despite all this the amazing children make it worth it. The smiles on their beautiful little faces when they see you and the child that wouldn't feed for you but now lights up when you go to feed them makes it ALL worth it.
I miss everyone soooo much.. actually I miss a lot of things.. mostly a shower to be honest. ohhh to be clean!!! however I wouldn't change being here for the world. We popped out yesterday and actually missed everything at Prema Vasam even our dirty room but we desperately missed the children. It is so challenging but yet so humbling and rewarding. Children here have very little/nothing yet they are soooo happy and have so much love to give it's truly beautiful.
Unfortunately I fell ill last week and missed church but we made it this Sunday.. .. it was bit earlier than ours it started at 6am, a congregation of around 50 people but mostly mosquitoes ☺
God is truly amazing and if He calls us to do something He will equip us to do it.
God bless Jo x