About This Cause
During Mammen’s visits to the rural areas of northeast India, his heart was deeply saddened by the wretched condition of the children. Many were starving due to the pervasive poverty. They were deprived of the basic necessities of life. They lived in villages without toilets, transportation, proper roads, electricity, pure drinking water, hospitals, schools, police protection, etc. They had no hope or a future. God impressed it on Mammen’s heart to establish a children’s ministry in these rural villages.
PGT conducted a survey to assess the needs of the people. A large section of the population was illiterate and living in very poor and needy conditions. Over six hundred children in one of the villages either were not going to school or had never been to school. Any sort of development would be difficult to carry out due to the cycle of illiteracy that was being passed from one generation to another. In response to this great need, PGT started Child Blessing Centers.
In the child centers, Peniel’s staff partner with local churches to provide education, essential needs like clothes, shoes, and hygiene items, one meal a day, regular medical screening, computer skills development, and vocational training. Many of these children are now in college or finding success in carpentry, car repair, sewing, and other occupations. Children start attending at age five. Mammen and his staff hope to engage each of them for at least ten years. They also provide some educational programming for parents.
All the good work in the centers attracts attention and makes them a platform for the good news of Jesus. Both students and parents hear about Jesus’ life-changing love, often for the first time. This beautiful and effective ministry to children recently lost the significant financial support of one of its partners because of the Indian government’s changing policies toward non-profits. Until this recent development, the two more-established child centers were serving five hundred children and youth every day. The newest center served 75 students, with a goal of 250. They are strug- gling to maintain the work now.
Imagine the ground that might be lost for these hundreds of children. Some may have to discontinue school. Mammen and the rest of the Peniel Gospel Team staff are crying out to God to provide for these precious children. They are praying and believing that God will come through.