Laymen Ministries

The Long Train Ride – Indian Orphans.

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Jeff Reich


Series Code: LM

Program Code: LM000150A

00:35 On this mission trip, we're going to take you
00:37 to the city of Chennai in South India.
00:40 Then from there,
00:42 we will be taking an all night train
00:43 to the town of Nazareth
00:45 located in the southeastern tip of India.
01:32 I haven't ride in the trains in India
01:34 for probably about 10 years.
01:37 We always drive where we are going,
01:38 so we decided we will take a train trip
01:40 down to southern tip, east tip of India
01:44 to see the orphanage.
01:47 I've been riding in the trains for almost 44 years in India.
01:51 I don't think these trains have changed at all
01:53 and I think this is probably the same ones
01:55 we used like about 24 years ago.
02:03 Riding on the train have some interesting features
02:06 like using the bathroom.
02:08 If you have to go to the bathroom
02:10 this is where you go.
02:12 Check it out.
02:20 Yeah, that's kind of, it's just a hole,
02:23 it goes down on to the railroad tracks.
02:27 These trains aren't very clean.
02:33 The train is a little bit crowded
02:34 but this is where you sleep for the night.
02:36 They have all these different beds.
02:39 They fold up sort of like chairs
02:41 but when everybody gets tired they unlink them
02:44 and it's where you sleep.
03:11 I have a feeling it's going to be a long night.
03:53 It's a long train ride last night.
03:56 I think we spent 14 hours on this train,
04:00 bouncing all over the place.
04:11 Traveling with my wife Christy and I
04:14 are Pastor Johnson and his wife Ruby,
04:17 plus Pastor Shadrach Samuel.
04:21 I found it strange that
04:22 there is a town called Nazareth in India.
04:34 This man must have been a parking lot employee.
04:57 It's a little bit crowded, just a little bit.
04:59 Not too bad.
05:03 We get on, only a five minutes taxi ride here,
05:06 so it's not too bad.
05:27 This is the hundred year church over here,
05:30 and I think we will be staying right here
05:32 for the night day before the weekend.
05:35 We were all amazed that this family
05:37 who are gone on vacation allowed us to stay
05:40 in their beautiful home for a few days.
05:42 This house had to be over 100 years old
05:44 and was built like a fortress.
05:47 In our last television program on India
05:49 called The Legacy Continues,
05:50 we shared with you about this Adventist church.
05:53 It's the oldest Adventist church
05:54 in South India.
05:56 On the same campus is a large fabulous church school,
05:58 and this is where the orphan kids
06:00 are going to school.
06:02 They have a chance to receive a quality education here.
06:08 It was early in the morning when we were there,
06:11 some of the students were cleaning the campus
06:13 before all the children arrive for classes.
06:15 This school is large and dates back decades.
06:19 We're so happy our orphanage is nearby.
06:22 This little van was donated to the ministry here last,
06:25 probably about 19 months ago
06:28 and they use it for shuttling the children back and forth.
06:30 Really a blessing, these people came from America
06:33 and they are an Indian and they saw the need here
06:35 and they helped us out with this.
06:46 We headed out to see the orphanage
06:48 which was about a 20 minute drive from the school.
07:28 One year ago, we produced a television program
07:30 about this building that was donated
07:32 to Laymen Ministries,
07:33 how we wanted to start an orphanage here.
07:35 While the orphanage is up and running,
07:36 we've added on some of additions
07:38 to the building to be able to comply with the government.
07:41 And we'd like to share with you about
07:42 what's happened with this exciting project
07:44 with the orphanage here in India.
08:32 These were the buildings as we receive them
08:34 one year ago,
08:35 in the front is a small church
08:37 and the rest was used as a community center.
08:40 We added a second story to comply with the government
08:42 to make the needed space for running an orphanage.
08:45 The government officials are praising us
08:47 for our standards.
08:49 Our director Moses Samuel grew up in an orphanage.
08:52 Here's a little bit of his story.
08:55 Some Christian people, they came to our village
08:58 to collect people, students for their home,
09:04 their newly started orphanage.
09:06 So, I also had an opportunity to join
09:11 that orphanage home.
09:14 And that is how I was brought up.
09:18 And when I was growing in that home,
09:22 I was taught about Jesus Christ,
09:24 His love, His dedication, His sacrifice.
09:28 And so, in that, my childhood age itself,
09:32 I had developed an idea to serve the poor
09:36 when I grew up.
09:38 So, I have been doing this service,
09:42 I have been doing this service for about 25 years.
09:48 After school was dismissed that afternoon,
09:51 the students return back to the orphanage.
09:54 Prayer is made a center part of their lives.
10:00 We were excited about meeting the children
10:02 and we found out
10:04 they were excited about meeting us,
10:06 but before we could get to know each other
10:08 they had responsibilities.
10:10 They have to put their backpacks away
10:12 and prepare for their afternoon chores.
10:15 What's your name? Santosh.
10:17 See, Santosh.
10:23 Each child has a locker,
10:24 tub or bag to hold their personal belongings.
10:28 They are taught orderliness, cleanliness,
10:30 and to keep their things well organized
10:33 and their clothes folded.
10:35 Right now, they have to change
10:37 from their school uniforms into something more casual.
10:42 These boys had laundry hanging on top of the main building.
10:49 Before their afternoon chores, they were given a snack.
10:52 We have a nice clean kitchen to provide nutritious meals.
11:05 Ruby, Pastor Johnson's wife
11:07 share some special healthy treats with the boys.
11:20 After their snack,
11:22 they all have their designated responsibilities.
11:25 Work is essential to learning good ethics.
11:30 We were told a number of orphanages in South India
11:33 were recently closed down due to poor hygiene,
11:37 uncleanly conditions, and even abuse.
11:40 The government officials told us
11:42 how our facility was one of the nicest they had seen
11:45 and that we were doing things the right way.
11:50 Agriculture is a big part of our plan.
11:52 We had one donor give money specifically for trees,
11:55 shrubs, and flowers.
11:57 He said he wanted the kids to have a little taste of Eden
12:00 at our facility.
12:02 All of those items are now planted.
12:05 We are also preparing to grow a lot of our own food.
12:08 We find the children are happiest
12:10 when they have responsibilities.
12:17 Our Director Moses Samuel shared with us
12:19 the orphanage's meticulous book-keeping
12:22 and how every rupee is accounted for.
12:25 He told us government agencies watch very closely
12:28 the financial operations of orphanages.
12:30 He showed us the various licenses
12:32 we had to obtain
12:34 from different departments of the government.
12:36 Besides running the orphanage
12:38 we have community outreach programs
12:40 such as tailoring courses for the poor women
12:42 in the local villages
12:44 and computer classes for the youth.
12:46 These courses are held at various times of the year
12:49 and draw a lot of people to our project.
12:58 Sabbath is a high time for the kids
13:00 as they get to lead out in worship services.
13:04 Every Sabbath, adults and children
13:06 from local villages come here to worship God.
13:09 We have an interesting mixture of people, some Adventists,
13:12 some of other Christian faiths and even some are Hindu.
13:24 Children will sing a special number.
13:56 The Sabbath school class is full of young children.
13:59 Sabbath is a special time for all involved.
14:12 I have three of the boys
14:14 that are staying here at the orphanage
14:15 and we're going to go visit a village
14:18 where the mothers of these boys live,
14:20 and one of the boys here named Santosh
14:23 and Santosh's mother is living in a village right now,
14:27 it's kind of an interesting story
14:28 but we want to just kind of give you an idea
14:30 where some of the children have come from
14:32 that are going to the orphanage here.
14:33 So we're going to head out right now
14:35 and try to find his mother if we can do that.
14:39 Okay.
14:41 You're ready.
14:43 We're ready.
15:10 Okay.
15:13 This is supposed to be the village.
15:17 You ready to get out?
15:19 Are you?
15:22 We are going to try to find Santosh's mother.
15:24 She had to actually flee from the village she was in,
15:27 and I'll explain that in a little bit,
15:29 and she ended up moving to this area.
15:33 And these two boys are from this village right here
15:35 and Santosh's mothers in this village now too.
15:37 When pastor is trying to get in touch with
15:40 where the mothers at
15:41 because I've read the history of each one of the children,
15:43 it's really heartbreaking,
15:45 each one of them has a story of their own.
15:46 Some of the parents have HIV,
15:49 one parent is illiterate and sick
15:50 and the other parent is dead.
15:52 And with Santosh,
15:53 here his dad was a professional coconut tree climber
15:56 and he was climbing up on a coconut tree
15:58 and fell out of the tree and landed on some power lines
16:01 and he was electrocuted and killed,
16:04 and the sad thing was is that
16:06 when the news got back to the village
16:08 where his father was from that his mother
16:11 and the children had to flee from the village
16:13 because the villagers were going to ransack the house
16:15 and take all their personal possessions
16:16 because the father was dead,
16:18 so she had to flee from the area.
16:21 It turned out why did it happen as his mother got in touch
16:23 with an Adventist pastor somehow
16:25 and they found out about our orphanage
16:27 and he became eligible to actually come here
16:31 and go to our school, so he's going to have an opportunity,
16:33 all these children are going to have an opportunity
16:36 to be able to have a much better life
16:38 because they're going to be able to have an education
16:41 and they're going to have somebody
16:42 who cares for them, takes care of them,
16:43 and it's a lot of really hopeless situations here
16:47 in India and this, their stories
16:49 are just a fraction of the kind of stories
16:51 that happen in some of these remote village areas.
16:54 So let's go see if we can find your mom.
16:57 This is where your mother's been living?
16:59 Here?
17:03 Santosh just found his mom pastor's bringer
17:06 and he hasn't seen her for a while.
17:09 Unfortunately the mother's illiterate,
17:11 it's really common in a lot of these villages.
17:13 Some of the students
17:14 when they came to the orphanage,
17:16 they were illiterate too
17:17 and already they're starting to learn how to speak,
17:18 not only how to read and write in Tamil,
17:21 but they're speaking some English.
17:24 This is his mom.
17:27 Got a chance to meet her.
17:31 How are you?
17:33 Nice to meet you.
17:34 This is your boy, huh?
17:36 Yeah, are you happy that Santosh is going to our school?
17:46 She says she is very happy.
17:48 Oh, good.
17:51 So where are you living now?
17:56 Okay, you want to go to your house?
17:58 Okay.
18:00 Oh, yeah, yeah.
18:02 Just rented the house, huh.
18:07 How old are your sisters, Santosh?
18:10 How old are your sisters?
18:16 Eleven. Eleven years. Very good.
18:19 Are they twins?
18:22 Seven and nine.
18:27 Are they here?
18:30 Let's go back.
18:35 Your sister? Yes.
18:37 Hi, I'm Jeff.
18:40 How are you? I'm fine.
18:42 Yeah. Hello.
18:44 How are you?
18:48 My sister. Your sister, huh?
18:51 That's pretty good that you got to see your sister.
18:54 Little sister. This is the little sister here?
18:56 You are the little sister? I'm Jeff.
18:59 How are you? I'm fine. Thank you.
19:02 Welcome. Nice to meet you.
19:06 A lot of these houses belong to people
19:08 who would have more money that are working in Chennai
19:10 and so she's caretaking this house right now
19:13 and this is not her house.
19:15 A lot of these other houses belong to people
19:17 who apparently go up to the bigger cities
19:19 and get employment,
19:20 so it opens up opportunities for people
19:22 who don't have much money to be able to caretake
19:24 and have rent for really cheap, so...
19:31 Hi, I like your flowers.
19:35 So let's have a word of prayer.
19:38 And then we're going to...
19:40 Are we going to try to find the other boys' mothers?
19:43 Yes. Okay.
19:44 Pastor, would you like to pray or you want me to pray?
19:46 Okay. You pray.
19:47 Okay, I'll pray.
19:50 Father in heaven, Lord, we just thank you
19:51 for this opportunity to be here.
20:16 Next we're trying to locate the mother of Ajay Raja
20:19 who is ten years old.
20:21 Some of these children are what we call semi-orphans.
20:24 They have lost a father
20:26 and the mother is not able to care for the child,
20:28 or in some cases both parents
20:30 while living are not able to care for the child.
20:38 We're trying to find the other boy's mom.
20:41 He's saying that she lives somewhere in this area.
20:44 This area is pretty interesting,
20:45 there's a lot of churches all over,
20:49 the old colonial style churches
20:50 because the Scottish and British
20:52 made them back in 1800s,
20:55 early 1900s trying to Christianize this area
20:57 so there's quite a number of different
20:59 Christian Tamil people in this area.
21:01 And then you drive down the highway,
21:03 you come to an area where there'd be like
21:04 an enclave of Muslims
21:06 and then another area would the Hindus.
21:10 See, if we can find this boy's mom,
21:12 the story of this boy's mother
21:13 and father that we're going to...
21:15 we're finding right now.
21:16 The father died of AIDS, HIV positive.
21:20 The father died when he was 8 years old.
21:24 And the mother is there,
21:25 she is working for a pharmaceutical shop.
21:29 And she doesn't have any house,
21:33 she's living with her mother,
21:36 he's an only boy.
21:40 And the boy's name is? Ajay Raja.
21:42 Ajay's mother, okay.
21:45 Where they able to get in touch with her?
21:47 Yeah. Okay. So she's coming?
21:48 Yeah, she's coming.
21:53 The boy's father died from HIV
21:57 and so the mother now is living with her mother
22:02 and can barely provide for herself
22:05 let alone provide for, taking care of the kids.
22:08 She came. Hi.
22:11 Are you Ajay's mom?
22:14 Give you kind of an idea where they live here.
22:18 This is the rented house for the mother,
22:22 Ajay's mother, Ajay's grandma.
22:25 So she's living with her mother.
22:28 Okay, for protection.
22:30 She's a lady, single lady, husband died,
22:34 so she cannot live alone.
22:36 So she is living with the mother.
22:39 Does she have other children? No. Only one.
22:41 Just only Ajay, and the father died of AIDS.
22:46 Before he went to the home, he was an undisciplined boy.
22:52 What was he doing?
22:54 He was going street by street.
22:57 He's kind of running around?
22:58 Yeah, he was running and by cycle
23:01 he used to go around the streets.
23:03 And making bad friends.
23:04 Using abusive words.
23:09 And she says, "He was using abusive words,
23:13 bad words, and filthy words. "
23:18 And now, he's very good now.
23:22 And he's obeying the mother.
23:27 Earlier they say...
23:36 She says that she didn't believe
23:38 that this boy will become like this.
23:41 She says when he was one-year old,
23:44 his father died, her husband died.
23:47 And Ajay had a problem where he had to have
23:49 a tracheotomy done on his throat.
23:51 Four years, when he was four years old, he had...
23:54 Had the tracheotomy? Yes.
23:58 Now when he grow, everything the doctor said,
24:00 when he grow, everything will be all right.
24:02 So it's slowly healing up here, still small hole?
24:05 Yeah.
24:06 That is why he has a bandage on his neck right here,
24:08 is because he had a tracheotomy done.
24:11 Ajay, Ajay's a really good thumb wrestler.
24:14 Watch this. Shake hands.
24:16 Could you corner? Okay, go.
24:18 Go on, let's do it.
24:24 You got me.
24:28 So, now, we're gonna try to find his mother?
24:29 Yeah. Okay.
24:35 Dear Father in heaven...
24:37 Okay, it's nice meeting you, ma'am.
24:40 God bless you.
24:55 We were now going to visit the parents of Jaigeeth.
24:59 The father has polio
25:01 and the mother recently had open heart surgery.
25:09 Hello, nice to meet you.
25:12 Good evening.
25:18 This family had no idea we were coming
25:20 and I'm sure they were wondering
25:21 what this visit was about.
25:24 I found out that the only income
25:26 this family has comes from the raising a poultry.
25:36 It was explained to the family that we were there
25:39 to better understand the circumstances
25:41 as to why the children are in our orphanage.
25:44 So, was it a difficult choice
25:46 to have him come to the boy's home?
25:50 Pastor Johnson translates for us
25:52 and explains the circumstances of this family.
25:55 We have a strict examination process
25:58 on what children qualify to attend our orphanage.
26:01 Right, Pastor Johnson, you get to sit there.
26:25 Oh, there we go.
26:27 She even taught him how to hug. She wants to give a hug.
26:48 When I look at the life of the boys
26:50 that are here at this orphanage,
26:51 I often wonder what would be the future for them
26:54 if it wasn't for the fact that we're giving them
26:56 the opportunity for a place to live
26:59 and a good Christian education.
27:01 Moses who is our director here,
27:03 actually grew up in an orphanage,
27:05 and one of his best friends from that orphanage
27:06 is our graphic designer today doing the design
27:09 for the Amazing Facts Bible lessons
27:11 and a lot of the books and things that we publish.
27:13 What we'd really like to do is move the existing kitchen
27:16 that's downstairs to the upper floor
27:17 by adding on to it,
27:19 and then we can put a proper cafeteria
27:21 and kitchen on the upper story.
27:22 That way we could use the space
27:24 in the lower part for girls' dormitory.
27:27 Next year, we really hope that we can report to you
27:30 that we have 16 young boys and girls here
27:33 having a stable home environment
27:35 and providing a Christian education for them.
27:37 If you'd like to get involved
27:39 and like to help sponsor a student for one year
27:41 or six months or even a month,
27:43 contact our ministry
27:44 and we'll tell you about a program
27:46 that we're putting in place to be able to explain
27:47 exactly the cost that it takes for them to be here,
27:50 to be housed and to provide for their education.
27:53 Thank you so much for this,
27:54 your prayers and support the projects here
27:56 at Laymen Ministries.


Revised 2022-12-12