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July 2015

Barid watched as the little girl stood up.

“I do not have a father,” she said to the crowd. “With my mother’s petty work, . . . life is full of struggles and difficulties. But when I came to this Bridge of Hope center, . . . they provided me everything that I needed for my school. Apart from education, they have contributed so much to my life.”

Tears rolled down her cheeks. Her words moved Barid—she was talking, in part, about him.

July 2015

Bridge of Hope Staff and Their Simple, Extraordinary Love

Barid

Barid is a social worker at the little girl’s Gospel for Asia-supported Bridge of Hope center. He, along with the coordinator, two teachers and two cooks, spends hours a day pouring his life and love into the students so they can live better lives than they—and generations before them—could ever have hoped for.

“My purpose here is to help the children learn and change their lives,” he shares. “If I see a child who is not doing well in studies or someone who is always depressed or lonely, . . . I go and talk to those children.

“Apart from helping and encouraging children at the center,” he continues, “I also take these children in my heart. When I pray before I go to bed, I remember these children.”

The children Barid spends his days with at the center remind him of his childhood. He can relate to many of their hardships because those same hardships were once his own.

“I also come from quite a humble family,” he says. “My mother always struggled to bring us up and give us an education. I can feel and experience that pain when I see these children going through similar situations.”

Seeing the children’s lives change and knowing the Lord has used him to make even one child’s life better fills Barid’s heart with joy.

“Because of . . . God’s special grace, today I am so confident and so satisfied with what I am doing,” he says.

Bridge of Hope Staff and Their Simple, Extraordinary Love

Gandhali

Gandhali teaches at the center. She has been a teacher for 15 years. She serves in a local school in the mornings and at this Bridge of Hope center in the afternoons.

“Coming to the Bridge of Hope center and serving the children has changed my life and attitude toward serving others,” she says.

Gandhali grew up in a non-Christian home, seeing her family ask their gods only for their own needs.

“But when I came to know Jesus, I was changed,” Gandhali shares. “Here at the Bridge of Hope center, the staff asks God for others. They are so different, and it impacted me very much.”

A few years ago, a boy named Daarun joined the center. He was unruly and would pick fights with other children for no reason. Gandhali kept a close watch on the boy and prayed for him for four years. Today he is totally different.

“Seeing these changes,” she shares, “I am so happy.”

Bridge of Hope Staff and Their Simple, Extraordinary Love

Nadia

Nadia, a wife, mother and the coordinator of this center, has served these children since its opening in 2006. As part of her role, she goes with Barid to visit students’ homes each day.

“We counsel the parents,” she explains. “We assure them, ‘We will pray for you. We will help you.’ … If we speak two words of encouragement, . . . it can encourage them so much.”

When the workload wears on Nadia, she gets discouraged—at times, she has even wanted to leave Bridge of Hope. But then she thinks about her life and the ministry God has given her and the ways students’ parents respond to her.

“Madam,” some women have told her, “this is just because of you, because of Bridge of Hope, . . . that we are able to give education to our children.”

When Nadia hears things like this, she remembers why the Lord brought her here.

“Tears will roll down from my eyes,” she says, “and I give thanks to God . . . for the opportunity He gives to me.”

Bridge of Hope Staff and Their Simple, Extraordinary Love

…And the Fruit of Their Lives

Nearly every day, hundreds of Bridge of Hope staff members in South Asia watch children step across the threshold of their Bridge of Hope center. The work is difficult, but the children are changing—and it makes all their labor worth it.

“This is what Jesus did. He was with the poor, sick and downtrodden,” Nadia shares. “He helped them, and He was with them, and that’s the same passion I have. I feel that, yes, God is calling me for this, and I have to do it. I don’t have any [special] qualities, but I know this is my work.”

Learn more about Bridge of Hope.

Bridge of Hope Staff and Their Simple, Extraordinary Love

See more photos.


Read More Articles from GFA World Magazine:

More Than a Mother’s Love

More Than a Mother’s Love

A young boy and girl find refuge at Gospel for Asia’s children’s homes. Read Story.

A Heart Burdened for His People

A Heart Burdened for His People

A pastor sees the struggles of the people in his village and helps make their lives better. Read Story.

Bridge of Hope Staff and Their Simple, Extraordinary Love

Bridge of Hope Staff and Their Simple, Extraordinary Love

Meet three Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope staff members, and learn about their love for the children they serve. Read Story.

Come Die So You and Others May Live

Come Die So You and Others May Live

Gospel for Asia’s School of Discipleship celebrates 10 years of young men and women giving a year of their lives to pursue the Lord. Read Story.


*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.