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Bikram and Najina are two of the happiest and brightest students in their Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope Center in Karnataka, India.
But it has been a long and difficult road to such joy. Nishok, their father, had been an alcoholic who was driven from his village for constant fighting.
With few skills other than farming, he had little opportunity when he moved his family to another village 30 kilometers (19 mi) away.
Unknown to the children, the seeds for a new life had been planted before their move, when a GFA-supported national missionary named Lona visited them and shared the Good News about Jesus.
When they arrived in their new village, they discovered that Lona was serving there in the Bridge of Hope center, GFA's ministry to children.
Soon, Bikram and Najina were attending the center, then coming home and singing songs about Jesus and saying their prayers in front of the family.
When Bikram's younger sister, Hanka, came down with tuberculosis, Nishok was devastated. He turned to his old gods, but they failed him again and again.
Encouraged by Lona, Kodhai, Nishok's wife, began to pray to Jesus for her daughter. As Hanka's health returned, both Kodhai and Nishok placed their faith in Jesus as their Savior.
Today, Nishok's home is host to a weekly Bible study led by GFA-supported missionary Kamal Nigam, pastor of the local church where Nishok and his family are members. And he has a good job as a bus ticket taker in Bangalore.
Thanks to Bridge of Hope, Bikram has gone from being an average student to one of the best students in his class. His grades have gone to A+!
He has also brought home trophies for his achievements in sports.
Most of all, Bikram and his entire family continue to grow spiritually and are an active part of a growing GFA-supported fellowship.
date posted 05/10/2011