Child Lost
in a Sea of Faces

Child Lost in a Sea of Faces

Photo by Gospel for Asia

July 2016

Three-year-old Jishan felt his grip on his father’s finger slip as the crowd jostled them in the marketplace. Suddenly, his father was gone. Strangers surrounded him.

Crying helplessly in the midst of the crowd, Jishan had no idea he would never see his father, mother or sister again.

July 2016

Child Lost in a Sea of Faces

Jishan is only one of many children who have been separated from their families at bustling marketplaces, such as this busy street. Parents can quickly disappear into a crowd, accidentally or intentionally, and never be seen again by their children.

In the years that followed, Jishan spent many days crying at street corners, hoping his family would find him. Instead, he found disappointment day after day.

Train Ride to a Life of Begging

When a kind man saw little Jishan crying in the market, he took Jishan home to care for him as his own son. Even at such a young age, Jishan’s religious beliefs were strong and contradicted those of his new family. The family treated him very well, but their different beliefs bothered Jishan deeply. Eventually, 9-year-old Jishan ran away and boarded a train bound for a major city.

Upon arriving, Jishan didn’t have a friend in the world. He had nothing to eat for the first two days in the city. To survive, he slept in the train station and partially appeased his gnawing hunger by begging.

“I used to miss my home,” Jishan remembers. “I used to think, What happened to my father? Where is he? I used to cry all alone at the station.”

Jishan is only one of many children who have been separated from their families at bustling marketplaces, such as this busy street. Parents can quickly disappear into a crowd, accidentally or intentionally, and never be seen again by their children.

Child Lost in a Sea of Faces

Jishan grieved the loss of his parents, much like this young boy did. Jishan tried to survive street life on his own, but he was helpless against attacks from older boys.

At one point during the two or three weeks he spent on the streets, a group of boys beat Jishan in the middle of the night and stole the few coins he had earned through begging. Wary of everyone after the attack, Jishan isolated himself from others. But he did not go unnoticed—a loving eye spotted him among the multitudes packed into the city.

A House of Hope

One day, a lady approached Jishan. When she asked what his name was or if he was hungry, he barely answered her. The lady told Jishan about a place he could call home, and after listening to her for a little while, Jishan decided to trust her and accept her help.

The lady brought Jishan to a Gospel for Asia-supported home for street boys. When Jishan arrived, he met the men, women and other rescued boys who would become his family. The staff gave Jishan a bath, tasty food and his very own cot in a room shared with other at-risk boys.

The environment was new for Jishan, but he embraced it. The rooms were kept neat and clean, and there was structure to the days’ events. Jishan had fallen behind in his schooling since running away, and he earnestly wanted to catch up, so the staff arranged for him to receive extra tutoring.

Jishan grieved the loss of his parents, much like this young boy did. Jishan tried to survive street life on his own, but he was helpless against attacks from older boys.

Child Lost in a Sea of Faces

Boys and girls at Gospel for Asia-supported children’s homes receive education, food and genuine love from the staff, as well as help to heal from emotional and physical trauma from turbulent childhood experiences.

One Big Family

The men and women serving at the boys’ home truly love the children they minister to. As new children enter the home, the staff recognize each child’s individual needs.

“[The children] are already depressed, they are downtrodden,” explained Manik, the project coordinator for the Gospel for Asia-supported boys’ home. “They are not happy, and people despise them in the world outside. If we are not kind to them, if we do not show love to them, they will lose hope . . . and I don’t want that to happen to these children.”

Boys and girls at Gospel for Asia-supported children’s homes receive education, food and genuine love from the staff, as well as help to heal from emotional and physical trauma from turbulent childhood experiences.

Child Lost in a Sea of Faces

Jishan (center) and the other boys sheltered at the children’s home see each other as brothers and view the staff as aunts and uncles, in place of the voids left by their own family members.

The atmosphere in the boys’ home is that of a big family, with many “uncles,” “aunts” and “brothers” to learn from, play with and cherish. Children who are sullen or dejected when they arrive at the boys’ home soon learn to laugh again through the love shown to them day after day. Jishan quickly recognized this genuine love.

Jishan (center) and the other boys sheltered at the children’s home see each other as brothers and view the staff as aunts and uncles, in place of the voids left by their own family members.

“Everybody here is my family member,” Jishan shared. “I don’t feel that this is an orphanage; I feel this is my own house.”

Once, when Jishan experienced trouble with his legs and became weak and tired due to illness, the staff ladies cared for him and served him in many ways. They provided medicine for him and even massaged his weak legs.

“I will never forget the way they have cared and loved me,” Jishan said. “They have served me more than a mother would do to her children.”

Positive Role Models for Life

Jishan, now 16 years old, is a testimony of the love and encouragement the Gospel for Asia-supported staff pour out for the children at this children’s home. Their lives demonstrate gentle yet strong character, and Jishan values their direction and counsel.

“Had that sister not come to the railway station and not met me that day,” Jishan shared, “my life would have totally changed. I would have become very bad and rogue. If I had not met that sister, I would have been into criminal activities, drinking, consuming drugs, maybe stealing, even murdering. Who knows?

Child Lost in a Sea of Faces

Gentle guidance and counsel from the staff helped Jishan (pictured) cultivate positive character qualities that will benefit him and those around him for his entire life.

“One of the reasons I like the staff here at [the boys’ home],” Jishan continued, “is because even if I do [make a] mistake, they correct me . . . and I don’t feel bad when they scold me because I know that they are trying to correct me. They are trying to teach me what’s right and what’s not right. . . . I know they do it out of love and concern to make my future and my life [better]. I am very grateful and thankful to them.”

Jishan might be miles apart from his biological family, yet he has joy in his heart because of the love showered upon him in Jesus’ name.

Helping Abandoned Children Flourish

Gentle guidance and counsel from the staff helped Jishan (pictured) cultivate positive character qualities that will benefit him and those around him for his entire life.

Child Lost in a Sea of Faces

The smiles of these two boys tell of the hope and love they discovered through the boys’ street children’s home supported by Gospel for Asia. Through this boys’ home, hundreds of children have been cared for, and many have even been reunited with their families.

Through the kindness and care Jishan received at the Gospel for Asia-supported children’s home, his ambition changed from simply finding some food to fill his stomach to becoming a cricket player and completing his education. What’s more, God’s love has been demonstrated in ways Jishan will remember the rest of his life.

Give other children the same opportunity to receive care and love by donating to the Abandoned Children Fund.

The smiles of these two boys tell of the hope and love they discovered through the boys’ street children’s home supported by Gospel for Asia. Through this boys’ home, hundreds of children have been cared for, and many have even been reunited with their families.

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*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.