By Todd Guckenberger
On my recent trip to India, I won the lottery in regards to timing. Like all construction projects, deadlines are not a science, but a random uncertainty. I had the fortunate timing of arriving the very day the first India Hope Education Program home was completed and ready for move in on the new campus in Hyderabad, India.
Creating a Back2Back designed Hope Program in Hyderabad allows for individualized family-based care for the children, rather than institutionalized orphan care. Similar to the Hope Education Program in Monterrey, Mexico, we established this campus in order to provide a high standard of holistic orphan care for children who had no other options. Building a full-blown Hope Program campus with four homes, with ten children per home, outside of Hyderabad became the best possible solution to meet the needs of 30 children who were going to be turned away from an existing orphanage in the area.
The morning of the move, the children had woken up in temporary housing that Back2Back provided until construction of the new home was complete. The children went to school with their belongings packed neatly on their beds hoping to return from school to their new home.
We worked quickly, packing an open-air truck with their mattresses, personal belongings, a stove, pots and pans, and other miscellaneous items. Truck filled to the brim, we arrived at the new campus alongside caregivers and a few extra hands to help move in. As we toured the newly completed building, we prayed out loud for Jesus to bless the home.
Like most moves, as we began unpacking the truck we felt overwhelmed. As we unloaded and inserted the mattresses on the frames, life came to the bedrooms. V Bindu, who had stayed home sick with a bellyache, helped decide where each child would sleep. We labeled the beds so each child’s personal belongings could be placed on the correct mattress, but what really brought the rooms to life is what happened at 4pm when the children arrived home from school! The children were absolutely overjoyed, squealing and jumping up and down. The girls were giddy as they marveled at the personal details. Later that evening, the children were still so excited they could hardly sleep.
There are some programs in which bricks and mortar are optional for success, but the basic need for a sense of permanency and a home to belong is foundational for child development. Thank you for praying and partnering with us to fulfill that need for the children we serve in Hyderabad, India!
Todd Guckenberger serves as the Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries. He is passionate about providing deep holistic care to orphaned children around the world.