Orphanage home: Caring for precious children abounded by Indian society...
Sinai Home for Orphans has been running for 30 years and we are very aware that this is only by the grace of God. The home was started with only five children and we now support 25 children from the age of 3-8 without any official funding from the government or any other organization. Many children have grown up with us and then settled into their own lives after leaving the orphanage. We also employ staff members in the orphanage; 1 Warden, 2 Cooks, 2 Watchmen and 2 teachers
which we employ to give the children extra lessons in maths and English.
The children arrive at the orphanage at different stages in their lives, some as young as three days old. On these very rare and special occasions in the past we have chosen to officially adopt the children as opposed to them being cared for in the orphanage only. One young baby, David, was left with us 6 years ago and was adopted by our warden, Elizabeth. However we see all of the children as our own, entrusted to us by the Lord. The children come to us from many different backgrounds also, the vast majority are Hindu’s, a few are Muslim and even fewer are Christian. No matter what the child’s background is, all the children are treated equally and are encouraged to follow the same routine.
6am: The children wake at 6am because this is the coolest part of the day in our climate and the best time to prepare ourselves for the day ahead. The first thing they do is pray and thank the Lord for the day ahead and what blessings are to come. We believe this is very important because it teaches the children discipline and how to grow in God’s wisdom as well as understanding his Devine protection and provision in their lives.
7am: After their morning routine of shower etc, the children have one hour of study which gives them a time to complete any homework for the day and prepare their minds for school.
9am: School starts at 9am; the children all attend good schools, mostly within walking distance of the orphanage. Some of the older children, however, take a bus to get to their school.
1pm: Some children return to the orphanage for lunchtime and others remain in school, it depends on the time it takes to travel back and their age.
4pm: The children return from school at 4pm and pray before they enter the orphanage, they then have time to relax and play until 6pm.
6pm: We employ special teachers for the children to be able to get ahead in their study of maths and English during this time.
7pm: The children pray again before dinner at 7.30pm, they thank God for his provision for them. The children then relax until bedtime.
Every weekend is different for the children and is generally a time of relaxing and, of course, attending church. We take the children either on Saturday or Sunday afternoon to the nearby beach which gives them an opportunity to play football, cricket or other ball games. This time is important as it is the only large place they have to play. On School holidays we love to take the children on special trips to the zoo, park or theme parks but these trips are often limited by our financial situation.
Christmas time is also a special time at Sinai Home for Orphans, as well as all over India. Similar to English tradition, Christmas is the only time people buy gifts, especially clothes. We do not wish to make our children feel that, because of their situation in life, they must be treated differently to the rest of society. We therefore aim to buy every child a new set of clothes every year. We also encourage the children to take part in dace festivals and we put on a show for their friends and other children in the area. These activities provide a wonderful way for the children to celebrate Christmas and they always look forward to getting their new clothes and other small gifts. However, Christmas is always a difficult time financially for the orphanage and all we can do is our best to provide as much as possible for these special children. On the whole, it costs around 60,000 to 80,000 Rupees to keep the orphanage running well in one year. This translates to roughly 8,000 to
10,000 pounds or 12,000 to 14,000 dollars.
Most recent of all the works of Sinai Ministries is the nursery and primary school which has been built on our fore-fathers land near a small village where Pastor John was brought up as a boy. The children of this village (Mullipakkam), and five surrounding villages (Reddikuppam, konerikuppam, etc...) were forced to travel 15km to school and another 15 back. The Children in Mullipakkam must walk 5km to the bus stop and travel the remaining 10km by bus. This means that children as young as 4 years old have to walk 10 km a day. Because of both the school fees and the bus fees, many children in Mullipakkam cannot afford to go to school and so simply stay at home and learn whatever little they can from their parents. This fact simply broke our hearts. Work started on the building in 2004 and we were filled with hope at what God would provide for the surrounding communities. We began with a one storey building which was long enough to hold 5 classrooms, 2 offices and a small library/resources store room. By God’s grace we have been able to keep building and the school now stands at two storeys with a science lab, computer tech room and large library. As well as many standard classrooms and offices. There are now over 150 students aged from 4-8 years old attending our school every day and, thanks to the donations which keep the school running and the staff paid, they have a bright future ahead of them filled with job options and potential. At our school we provide these children with the highest standard of english education which includes the normal lessons of tamil, maths and science, but also includes english, computer studies and physical education. All of these are usually only taught at the best english education schools which would ask for very high enrollment fees. But they are included in their education at Sinai School for a cheaper enrollment fee than the government would ask them for a low level tamil education which they provide in the state schools. We are so very grateful for the support of all those who donate, even if it seems only a little, because by working together we are able to create an oppourtunity for these children to learn subjects and skills which they would just not achieve without the help of all that happens at Sinai Nursery and Primary School.
Teaching that Jesus Loves us and has a plan for our future:
Sinai Ministries is a Christian organization; the main part of our ministry, therefore, lies in the churches. Our first church, Sinai Prayer House, began 30 years ago as a small house church consisting of mostly our family members. Since then the Lord has miraculously and graciously grown our fellowship to many people.
The first church was built on our fore-fathers land and still stands very close to our house in Mamallapuram, there are about 100 members. We have also built two other churches which are now flourishing in a nearby rural villages called Reddikupam and a larger thriving city called Chengelput.
It is always good to plant new churches in un-churched areas as it means we can also begin our social work in those places. In this way we can meet the spiritual and physical needs of the people. For example, we use our church buildings to run night schools, children’s events and also as medical dispensaries.
We currently have pastors working for us in our churches and we pay a monthly salary of about 70 pounds and also provide them with a place to live. This is of course difficult because we are not funded by the government or any other organization but we feel that it is very important for our pastors to be looked after as well as possible.