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Sponsors and Friends,
Here we are at the end of the summer holidays, and I hope you have had
some happy times with family and friends.
What a joy it is to have visitors, especially when they come from
another country, and bring news of folk and events there. I had this
great privilege this summer of having 2 special people here from India.
JOY TILSLEY an her co-worker SANTOSHAM, and it was a very special day -
being Joy's birthday. Joy is like my sister, for her parents (Crawford
and Marjorie Tilsley, previous missionaries in the Godavari) were like
father and mother to me, helping and teaching me so much when I first
went to India. Joy and I have shared many happy times and also sad
Joy Tlsley (right) with Santosham
Joy was bom in India, having her early education there, then getting
her degree in Canada, and her M.A. in Oxford. While she was teaching in
England the Lord called her to work amongst the young people in
Narsapur so she came in 1956 (7 years after me!).
The Lord helped her to move to another mission property, where she was
able to erect and develop buildings,
now known as Holland Wharf Girls Hostel. There are now 350 girls living
there, and also an Industrial School for Training in Tailoring and
Needlework. This year they celebrated their Jubilee ( 50 years ) of
service and had a great time of Praise to God - Who is able to do
exceedingly more than we can ask or think.
Many girls have obtained degrees at the local college, and gone into
training for teachers or nurses, but more importantly many have found
the Lord Jesus as personal Saviour and committed their lives to Him,
witnessing in their own districts.
Joy is a fluent speaker in the difficult language of Telugu and a
gifted Bible Teacher. Although having difficulty with mobility, she was
able recently to travel around the U.K. to visit friends and sponsors,
and has now returned for a further term of service for her Master. She
is now the only remaining European worker in the Godavari Delta.
For the greater part of her time here, SANTOSHAM was with her.
Santosham is one
of my 'old' girls, and has an interesting history. She
was bom in a Hindu caste family, but with parents who had been
converted, and were true Christians, some years before. The mother
(illiterate) wanted her daughters to go to a Mission School or Hostel
to leam to read the Bible, so brought Santosham to Hebron Hostel
(against all family tradition). While Santosham was here, she also
trusted in Jesus as her Saviour and became a strong believer. Her 3
younger sisters also later came to the Hostel, and they too became
Christians much to the displeasure of their older brothers and
relatives, who are still opposed to anything Christian. Santosham went
on to High School, and then trained as a teacher, getting a post as
Handicraft Teacher in the Mission High School in Narsapur (50 miles
Although her relatives wanted her to marry one of their Hindu families,
Santosham very definitely refused, saying she would only marry a boy
who was a believer in Jesus Christ. Then she met Joshi, a keen believer
from the Christian community (and not from any caste). They were
married with a Christian wedding and now have a son and daughter who
are also fine Christians. But still the brothers and other relatives
will have nothing to do with them.
Santosham is a remarkably strong character, and now helps Joy in the
Hostel with accounts, and many other duties as Assistant
Superintendent, as well as teaching in school, and being involved in
many activities with young people. The Lord has indeed blest her for
making such a bold stand in her family. So we praise God that girls
from Hindu families have come to know the Lord first in Hebron Hostel,
and are now witnessing and serving Him in many parts of India. In this
way, sponsors have a great part in this work, and we are very grateful
to them and the Lord.
LATEST NEWS of our GIRLS:
Besides the 21 baptised in December 05, 11 more were baptised in June
06, after obtaining permission from their relatives, for which we
praise God. Special Bible Classes have been arranged for them with
local Bible Teachers.
Please PRAY that they will be good witnesses in the Hostel, School and
College, and that they may grow in the knowledge of the Lord and His
2. Problems of the College Girls
There was a problem last year about girls attending a Private College
in Nidadavol. The times of classes were most inconvenient, as the girls
had to leave early in the morning to try to catch a bus, and often
returned late afternoon, after dark, making it difficult for travelling
and for their meals, with often Sunday Classes. So some have left to
live in a separate room near the College, as they did not wish to
change to another College. This means that they are no longer under our
Supervision, and care, and will not have the usual help provided with
books, fees, food and clothes, nor have the spiritual help in daily
devotions. Their relatives will have to provide all their needs now.
We are so sorry as some were sponsored girls.
- That they
may be kept from danger and temptation.
- That they
may remember what they have been taught, and continue to
have Bible Studies and Prayer together.
- That they
may be a good Christian witness to other students.
- That they
may be able to attend Sunday worship at church as before.
3. Good Results from the March Exams
- All 26
girls in 7th Class (Final in Junior School) passed.
- 15 out of
16 girls in 10th Class (Final in High School) passed.
- 4 Seniors
have joined training in Multi Purpose Health Workers'
Course in Kakinada.
- 8 Seniors
have entered classes for Tailoring Training.
- 8 Girls
have been admitted into the Govt. Girls' College in
Nidadavol, where times are more convenient, so they can remain resident
in the Hostel.
There are now 130 little girls in Classes 1-5, with Teachers -
Prabhavati, Gracie, Hema Malini, Diamani, and Kasturi, with Jennie
Grace as Head Teacher.
Please PRAY that the teachers
may be given the needed wisdom and
patience in guiding these little ones, and that the girls too may leam
well and happily. We are glad that they can still have daily worship
and Bible Teaching, without any hindrance.
SPECIAL MESSAGE TO SPONSORS
After discussion with Jennie Grace, and noting the vast amount of
postage spent on gift parcels, it has been suggested that instead of
sending Christmas gifts by post to your girls, you prefer to send
money. Jennie Grace has a member of staff who would buy suitable gifts
for them. It is amazing how much can be bought for just £5
(equivalent in Indian Rupees now). I would be pleased to help in this
way, if you could send the money as soon as possible. Then I would
write to Jennie with names of Sponsor, Girl and Amount. You would later
receive thankyou letters telling you what articles had been bought. Of
course, if you prefer you could send direct to Jennie Grace.
As always, we send our very grateful thanks to you all for your
continued interest, prayers, and many
kinds of help, and pray for God's richest blessing in all you do.
Yours heartily, Joyce Harding