Forgiveness is a well-covered, often visited issue in the J127 Clubs and the Children at Risk lessons and for good reason. The root of not forgiving poisons relationships, families, communities, and nations for generations.
Learning to forgive is a process. It can heal the deepest wounds and unleash the greatest freedom. The Lord uses the power of story to help children become receptive to this healing. Throughout Scripture we see stories of forgiveness in the face of horrible offenses—and entire nations at war when vengeance, instead of forgiveness, is the cry of the day.
Through J127 Clubs and Children at Risk, the Lord heals and changes kids through story, prayer, discussion, and confession. Needa, age 13, and Padma, age 8, are sisters at an orphanage. According to their Club leader, Auntie Ganga, they are bright, cheerful, and mature for their age. Both of their parents are alive and live in a nearby village. Their father is a daily laborer and their mother is a housewife. Their mother visits them every couple of months.
Most of the children at the home are orphans and do not have any visitors. Sadly, however, the girls are never happy when their mother comes—they only feel hatred and resentment. Their mother is likely mentally ill, and leaves home for days at a time. She is known in their village for having affairs until men tire of her. Needa and Padma’s father couldn’t manage the girls and manage his work, so they were sent to the orphanage.
The girls have bad memories of fending for themselves when their mother would leave. And though they love and follow Jesus with passion, each time she visits they express bitterness and hatred. However, the lesson “Love Forgives” became instrumental in changing Needa’s attitude toward her mother.
Through the life of Stephen from the Bible and other stories, the children learned about those who’ve been hurt, and how and why they forgave. Needa raised her hand and said she wanted to speak: Then recounted her own story and how she hated her mother for being unloving and careless. She said she wanted to forgive her mother and try to love her with all of her heart.
Auntie Ganga is amazed at how the lesson has impacted Needa. And she is not the only one; others like Kirti, Nisha and Santosh from this J127 Club have also forgiven their parents. Please pray for Padma, Needa’s sister, that she, too, would know the freedom of forgiveness.
Finally, please consider sponsoring a J127 Club.* India has 18,000 Christian orphanages. Our Clubs are housed in a small fraction of them. The more Clubs adopted, the more children can be reached. As a sponsor you’ll follow a group of children through this unique three-year program.
*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.