Pushapa Raju comes from a Christian family, although he lives in Vijayawada, India, where the predominant religion is Hinduism.
Pushapa Raju participates in the Santosh Club, a J127 club held in a slum colony where people live in extreme poverty.
Because of their faith, Pushapa Raju and some of the younger children from their community are bullied by Pushapa Raju’s older brother and his delinquent friends. But the lessons from the club, specifically the story of Vasanthi, who was also bullied, have taught Pushapa Raju how to stand up for himself.
Although Pushapa Raju is only 12 years old, he is learning to be an advocate for those who are being bullied. Together, Pushapa Raju and those he advocates for are learning to put their confidence in God. Because of God’s strength, they no longer fear the bullies that threaten them.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
God, standing up for ourselves is never easy — even when we are adults. We either over correct by getting aggressive or we allow people to walk all over us. But your way is different. Your way is peaceful and strong, bold and courageous—yet always loving. I pray that we would remember your ways instead of our own and know that you are always with us.
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.