A Place To Call Home
James came to us when he was just 3 years old. He was referred to us by his local village pastor, he and his older brother were left homeless and neglected, forcing them to wander aimlessly around the village. At times, the pastor and other villagers would generously give some food to the brothers, however no one was able to care for them fully as it was beyond their capacity. The two brothers were helpess as they were without anyone but themselves.
In 2008, Tasnee received a call from the village pastor, who reached out to her for help to take in the two young boys. Tasnee was left perplexed, she was unsure whether she would be able to take the two boys in, as she was already preoccupied with caring for the other children and running the homes. Nonetheless, Tasnee decided to take a trip down to the village to meet with James and his brother. With her, she brought four children to James' village. Upon arrival, James and his brother were nowhere in sight. The pastor then explained that some villagers reported to him that James' older brother had been taken away by another organization a few days before, leaving James behind. It took a long time before James was spotted roaming around the village, and a villager brought him to the pastor’s house to meet with Tasnee.
Dressed in extremely filthy clothes, barefooted, and with an empty stomach, James entered the pastor’s house. The children immediately took to him, exclaiming how adorable he was as they started interacting with him. Tasnee tenderly asked James if he had eaten, and he replied that he has not yet had any food for the day. With his reply, Tasnee’s heart welled up with compassion for the little guy, yet she still had some hesitation on taking him back with her. She said a prayer and asked God if it was His will for her to take the boy under her care and if was to do so, that He would have to give her a clear sign. Time flew by quickly and it was almost time to head back, yet she was still without an answer - on whether James should head home with them.
“He is so cute, please take him back home! We will take care of him!” one of the children exclaimed loudly, just as it was time to leave. “Yes, we will take good care of him like a little brother”, another child added. Those words resounded in Tasnee’s heart and it was those words that gave Tasnee the assurance that James would be well taken care of under her care, with the help from the older children. She made the decsion and announced to James that he was going home with them. As they filled up the truck, James boarded while holding tightly onto a plastic bag of snacks that was given to him, as all he had was already on him.
When they reached House of Hope, James was introduced to the other children and the older girls were delegated the task to care for him. He was given a good bath and new clothes, despite his expressionlessness character, he gave out a little smile to show his happiness. James was home, he had found a place to call home, to be loved, nurtured, taken care of, and a family to grow up well with. When he turned 4, he was enrolled in kindergarten; given a new set of uniform, a school bag and new shoes, and that little smile came back across his face.
Today, James is 14 years old, and growing up well. He is a strong individual, who takes joy in taking care of his things, enjoying his friends, and is an out-going cheeky fellow who smiles very frequently now. God has definitely been working in his life and transforming his once cold and hard heart. 11 years ago, Love was something that was unknown to him, something that he never really experienced - he had to harden his heart, to be strong and to fend for himself, while out on the streets. Everything he once had was taken away from him, he had nothing, but now he has. He has found a home here and he will be here for the many years ahead, but we know that one day James will step into the world to share and bless others with his personal story and encourage people; reminding them that God’s love brings people together. He will grow up to do great things.