KERALA, INDIA – January 26 is celebrated annually as Republic Day in India. The holiday observes the anniversary of the date in 1950 when the Constitution of India became law. Although the actual document was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on the 26th of November, 1949, the effective date was purposely set as January 26 to coincide with the anniversary of the 1929 Declaration of Indian Independence.
Republic Day is marked by parades and special events across the entire country. For Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers in India, Republic Day offers a unique opportunity to serve and bless their countrymen.
This year, representatives from Gospel for Asia-supported Sisters of Compassion teams chose to observe the day by aiding fellow citizens in need and demonstrating the love of Christ.
Reports from the field are replete with stories of these women’s acts of kindness and of the grateful responses from those whom they served.
One of the most compelling stories discussed a service project undertaken in a slum area.
The Sisters of Compassion, along with others from the local Women’s Fellowship, spent their day among the slum dwellers, teaching them about the importance of cleanliness to help protect them from diseases that spread in an unclean environment. Their explanation helped the people to understand the “why” of the project. But that was just the beginning.
After teaching the “why,” they demonstrated the “how” by spending the rest of their time actually cleaning the slum area they were visiting. They began by cleaning the areas outside of the homes and around the exteriors of the slum.
Finally, they helped some of the older women by cleaning the inside of their houses.
Needless to say, the slum dwellers appreciate the kindness bestowed upon them by these godly women who, instead of celebrating the day with rest or festive events, observed the day by demonstrating God’s love to others.
In a separate but similar venture, the staff of a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported Bridge of Hope center and believers joined a group of Sisters of Compassion in cleaning the area around a district headquarter hospital.
The grateful hospital officials invited the team into the hospital to thank them. During that time, the local Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor received the opportunity to pray for the entire hospital staff.
The hospital administrator told them,
“We requested the municipality to help clean up the surroundings of the hospital earlier. We are happy that the church could do this noble work on the occasion of this national holiday.”
These demonstrations of kindness are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In other areas, Sisters of Compassion and Women’s Fellowship teams distributed food to the poor and conducted special programs for children.
One of the women served in another part of India expressed her personal appreciation, saying,
“Every time, you conduct various programs among us, and you always consider us one among you without any discrimination . . . Thank you very much for your love and care for us.”
Pray for the Compassion Services ministries supported by Gospel for Asia (GFA), and their Bridge of Hope centers.
Pray for the people who receive help through the Compassion Services ministries, that they will experience fullness of hope in Christ.
To read more news on India on Missions Box, go here.
- Gospel for Asia, Field Reports
- Wikipedia, Republic Day (India)
- MissionsBox, To Mark Global Handwashing Day, GFA-supported Teams Hold Good Hygiene Classes, Press Release