by Lorraine Francis, Mukti Mission Director
Multi-faceted ministry. Yes, that describes the Mission perfectly! We take care of needy ones—newborn babies, toddlers, growing teenagers, destitute women—up to the time they are ready to stand on their own feet and earn a living, even up to the age of 90+ until they embark on heaven’s shores. For over 128 years, the Mission has been instrumental in reaching out to the marginalized, giving them shelter, care, education, and empowerment, shaping their lives for a better future.
During the recent past, many visitors have flowed through our gates. Many of them are fascinated seeing the architecture and Cross-shaped design of our Church, located at the heart of the main campus. All rejoice to see the multi-generational flocks of residents receiving multi-blessings: a home, loving care, education, empowerment. Some are intrigued seeing the blind children studying Braille and blind ladies weaving beautiful, sturdy baskets popular all over the world.
However, there is one section of the Mission which is so special that virtually no visitor can leave the place unless they shed a tear or two. This is the Home for the special needs children/adults and the School adjacent to it. The warmth, love, and welcoming smiles soon attract every person who wants to catch a glimpse of what the Mission is all about.
People ask me what mandate/mission the Mission embraces. Without mincing words, I can say that it is taken from Is. 61:3 – “…To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”
Among the 60 residents in the Special Needs School, one of them recently caught my eye. Her name is Maanika. She ewHer was born with special needs and, because of this, her mother deserted the family a few weeks after Maanika’s birth, unable to cope. The father was also least interested in the welfare of this child. Little Maanika was under the care of her grandmother who loved her but could not give Maanika the attention she needed. Maanika would love playing outside her home and would invite the other children from the neighborhood to join her. However, her peers would tease her and some even beat her because she was different. Some of the village vandals would poke her with cigarette butts, inflicting pain and leaving scars on her body. She was unable to share her trauma with her grandmother.
However, Maanika’s calamity came to an end when a well-wisher of the Mission introduced to the grandmother a place that Maanika could find safe and secure. ‘Mukti,’ meaning freedom, truly gave freedom to Maanika. Here, her hidden talents came to light when she received the love and care she deserved. She is a well-disciplined student in the school and a good dancer. Her guardian, and teacher, along with her team of caregivers are investing time and effort to bring beauty and dignity into her dear life as well as others under the Mission’s wings.
Dear friends and prayer partners, your involvement in these precious lives will not go in vain. You are truly bringing a smile on their faces when the world considers them as nothing. I am confident that we will be able to reach out to many more needy ones who need love, care, acceptance and a place of freedom and joy to call ‘HOME.’ Glory to God!
“That is why I write this to make our joy complete.” (1 John 1:4).