The trucks do not bring enough water to India’s Shahbad dairy village.
Isolated on Delhi’s west side, in an area known more for its cattle than thriving commerce, Shahbad lacks so much water that villagers must travel six miles to get the amount necessary for drinking and sanitation.
Overpopulation, inadequate infrastructure, and inaccessible education have caused Shahbad’s poverty and disease, and stunted villagers’ ability to find their own solutions to the problems that plague their daily lives.
These threats greatly impact this isolated community and increase the risk of children becoming orphaned. The existence of Hindu caste politics and oppression adds to the increasing level of despair and prevents the community from providing for the already growing orphan population.
Despite these obstacles, a spring of hope continues to gain strength and rush toward the Shahbad Dairy community.
Emerging from God’s concern for orphans — including children at-risk of being orphaned — and the responsibility God has given His children to aid the poverty and disease-stricken, Orphan Outreach looks to combine efforts with two other organizations to bring a cascade of love, education, and economic solution to an area thirsting for help.
Michael Douris, President of Orphan Outreach, says “There are approximately 143 million orphans in the world. You can almost look at orphans as a people group. They share so much in common around the world and face many of the same pain, hopes and dreams. When one considers that most people who are Christian accepted Christ as their Savior before they turned eighteen, it makes ministering to orphans a significant opportunity.”
While the ultimate goal of Orphan Outreach is to share the gospel, the reality is that orphans who accept Christ still go into the world without necessary life skills and endure crippling hardship. If the children are unable to provide for their own needs, the negative effect on their lives can escalate from poverty, to anger, to frustration and can ultimately fuel more instability within the country.
To help stem the tide of this damaging pattern, Orphan Outreach focuses on partnering with non-government, governmental organizations and churches to provide orphans with the tools necessary to live independent lives of emotional, relational, physical and spiritual health. If able to quench their own needs, the ability to pour education into others and into their communities overflows.
God guided Douris and Orphan Outreach Board Member Stephen Spencer to India when they began exploring countries with which to begin working.
Spencer became aware of the millions of orphans living in India while on a trip the prior year. Realizing the magnitude of the orphan problem and the increasing number of AIDS orphans, Douris and Spencer honed efforts toward India. Excited about the opportunities and overwhelmed at the size of the country, they saw God continue to lead.
Rodney Howell, Missions Pastor at 121 Community Church in Grapevine, Texas, assisted Douris and Spencer in meeting Steven and Stacey Russell, an American couple on the verge of completing a year of ministry in Delhi. The Russells introduced Douris and Spencer to their pastor in Delhi and arranged a meeting for them with Cooperative Outreach of India (COI), an Indian led ministry organization.
The local pastor served to help Douris and Spencer locate a potential director for Orphan Outreach’s efforts in Delhi while COI helped them observe and engage in ministry efforts within the Shahbad Dairy village.
Visiting a preschool founded by COI, Douris and Spencer saw the clarity of the situation. A small amount of education already trickled through the community. If Orphan Outreach partnered with COI to combine efforts and resources, the trickle could become a flood of God’s mercy and love to pour over the community. COI agreed, and a new partnership began.
Orphan Outreach now sponsors the existing preschool and has already begun implementing a community school replete with teachers, a government-approved curriculum, and the rental of a seven-room building. Soon, children from preschool age to 4th grade will have a chance to receive education within their own community. With the plans to add a grade-level each year, these children can continue to learn and equip themselves for life, growing proficient in the skills necessary to survive the social, economic, and political streams within their community, city, and country.
Orphan Outreach hopes to see more communities in Delhi impacted. As the tide of access to education rises in one community and spills into others, God may send a tsunami of change that improves conditions for orphans and those at-risk throughout India. According to Orphan Outreach, He has already left a watermark on one community.
“It’s amazing what God has done in a short amount of time,” said Douris.
For those wanting to help Orphan Outreach make a difference in the lives of the Shahbad Dairy community, you have many options and can find out more at http://www.orphanoutreach.org/involved/
Whether you want to lead activities for students, train teachers, or choose to support by prayerful, financial, and material contributions, you can play an important part in aiding Orphan Outreach to develop the best school possible.
Consider becoming a vessel that either carries or helps others carry an invaluable supply of living water to a people in need.
Unlike the trucks, God will provide more than enough.