WILLS POINT, Texas -- Gospel for Asia-supported workers shared the love of Christ with more than 1,000 children in northern India during the country’s annual Children’s Day celebrations recently. Workers organized several special programs to recognize and honor the importance of children of all ages, celebrating their extraordinary abilities while highlighting their eternal value to God.

Children’s Day, also known as Bal-Din, is celebrated in India in honor of the country’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, to pay tribute to Nehru’s love and passion for children throughout the country. Nehru is widely admired in India for his efforts in the welfare, education and development of children and young people.

The Children’s Day events were sponsored by Gospel for Asia-supported workers, including the Bridge of Hope project centers. These centers provide humanitarian outreach for more than 75,000 needy children and youth with a daily meal, regular medical checkups and education assistance to pursue their God-given skills and interests. In this region of northern India, more than 1,700 children and youth receive free tuition to school, a daily meal and a hygienic item every month through one of 13 Bridge of Hope project centers.

“Through Children’s Day, we can demonstrate our love for children not only with fun activities and celebrations, but by sharing a meal and meeting physical and emotional needs,” said Gospel for Asia Founder and Director, Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “While they are our greatest treasures on earth, they can learn their lives have eternal value to Jesus and they are greatly loved by Him most of all.”

Adorned in vibrant-colored clothing, children and youth performed cultural dances and songs for parents and regional officials. Programs included puppet shows, games, skits, award presentations and a nourishing meal. GFA-supported leaders shared Bible stories and invited the children to learn more about the life and love of Jesus. Local leaders spoke to the children regarding their value to India and the importance of education.

“I really appreciate the great effort and self-sacrificing life of Rev. Dr. K. P. Yohannan, who is helping the underprivileged children of our country by giving them proper education and helping them to lead a good life,” said one Family, Women and Child Welfare official. “It’s a great move, and I will extend my full support to them wherever possible for such social causes.”

In addition to the festivities, eight older students were recognized for completing vocational training at the Bridge of Hope project center. During the program, leaders presented each graduate with a new sewing machine to assist them as they start their careers.

One leader summed up the importance of Children’s Day, saying, “The future of our nation is our children. Children have priority in the sight of humans as well as in the sight of God. That is the reason Jesus spoke wonderful words about children in Luke 18:16, when he said, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.’”

Learn more about helping children that are part of Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Program at gfa.org/info/children.

Photo Cutline: Children receive awards for Children’s Day performances as local officials look on.

GOSPEL FOR ASIA (www.gfa.org) has – for more than 30 years – provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.