Seven-year-old Rajen slept nearly all day, every day. Neighbors considered him a hard, unfriendly boy. But there’s always more to what people see on the outside – no one knew the battles Rajen fought on the inside.
His listlessness and anger earned him a bad reputation, but Rajen didn’t seem to mind what others thought of him. At some point, a few caring people stepped in and began to dig into his life. They were shocked by what they discovered.
Rajen is the son of a commercial sex worker. At night his mother had nowhere to take him while she worked, so she made him crawl under her bed and stay there until morning. The sounds of men coming in and out not only kept him awake and in a constant state of anxiety, they also scarred him deeply.
After this revelation came out publicly, Rajen’s mother got him into a Christian orphanage. Faith-based orphanages often accept children of prostitutes even if they aren’t true orphans. They understand it’s better than the alternative.
For this young boy it turned out to be a lifesaving change. Rajen joined a David C Cook J127 Club at the orphanage. Here he’s introduced to God and discovers Bible heroes who overcame great challenges in life; he plays games and participates in innovative activities that teach character; and he learns basic life skills. This three-year discipleship program provides space for the Holy Spirit to heal trauma.
Rajen is shepherded by Club leader, Uncle Saji, a Christian from a local church. Uncle Saji says of him,
He has turned from stone to flesh. At first, Rajen had big problems with anger, often picking fights with others. But we’ve been caring for him and other boys and it’s really paying off. You can see it in their faces. Rajen is doing much better now – we have high hopes for this boy.
Uncle Saji also cares about Rajen’s mother. She was thrown out of her parents’ home at 13 after they discovered her pregnancy. She was quickly lured into prostitution. Once in that sex trade, it’s almost impossible to get out. You become virtually enslaved by a pimp who cares for your basic needs.
Not long ago, Rajen’s mother stopped by the orphanage to thank the staff for their good work with her son. Uncle Saji begged her to leave prostitution, offering her a new start in life. She just smiled knowingly and told him to look outside. Sure enough, two goons stood guard, ensuring her return to the brothel.
A third of the world’s poor live in India. Poverty creates desperation, hopelessness, and criminality that repeats in subsequent generations. Jesus didn’t come to eradicate poverty or suffering – He came to save; to impart His presence through the Holy Spirit; and to offer joy, peace and guidance as we pass through fiery trials. In essence, He is Hope for a broken world. Join the Lord in restoring the hearts of some of the most traumatized children in the world. Consider sponsoring a J127 Club and following a group through this life changing experience.
Update: In 2018, David C Cook transferred oversight of the J127 clubs to an in-country partner which continues to shepherd and grow this program. By supporting David C Cook’s Life on Life curriculum, you will be helping support this program as well.