Dreaming of Food and Schoolbooks
Photo by GFA World
Angry shouts filled the room. The smell of alcohol clung to Kuwar as he yelled at his family. Kuwar’s youngest son, Bijay, hunkered down amidst the familiar scene. His schoolbooks lay abandoned—how could he study while his father was enraged?
Food was scarce in Bijay’s house, but the supply of his father’s strong drink never ran short. Although Kuwar had a job as a labourer in paddy fields, he relinquished very little of his income to provide for his family. His wife struggled to make ends meet, and her difficulty to provide food only worsened over time.
Living in the Wake of Destruction
Bijay’s family lived in a village riddled with poverty. Civil war had ravaged the region, and many lives remained shattered. Alcohol addictions gripped many villagers; Kuwar was not alone in his struggle.
While some families were financially stable, other families were unable to give their children proper food or opportunities to continue their education. Some children laboured alongside their parents to help earn money for the family instead of attending school. Their futures uncertain, they did all they could just to buy food for the day.
Bijay watched his parents struggle—one trapped in an addiction and the other caught in its wake—and worried about his family. Many other children in his village were poor, but Bijay saw some of his friends eating good food, wearing new clothes to school and studying with new school materials. The sharp contrast between his family and these other families made Bijay wonder when he would be the boy happily going to school with a full stomach and nice clothes.
Tears fell from Bijay’s eyes as he thought about his father and the condition of his family. Sorrow welled up in his mother’s heart, too, as she saw her inability to meet all of Bijay’s needs. They cried together many times, unable to do anything to change their situation.
Bridge of Hope Turns Dream into RealityThen one day, some GFA World-supported Bridge of Hope staff members visited Bijay’s home, conducting a survey to invite additional children to join the Bridge of Hope centre in the area. With so many children in need of assistance, Bridge of Hope staff members pray for wisdom and carefully interview families to determine which children need help first.
After the staff members talked with Bijay’s family and learned of his plight, they decided he should be given the opportunity to enroll in Bridge of Hope.
The day Bijay had always dreamed of finally came! Knowing the young boy’s need, the Bridge of Hope staff gave Bijay new shoes, school uniforms, school supplies and even a new backpack for carrying his precious books. Bijay also received a nutritious meal each school day and regular medical checkups, which enabled him to grow stronger physically. Bijay no longer cried for lack of food or clothing—his physical needs had been met.
Prayer, Counseling Transform Alcoholic Father
Yet even with these joys, the problems in Bijay’s family still burdened his heart. Worry held Bijay back in his studies, preventing him from being able to concentrate well.
When the Bridge of Hope staff understood what was troubling Bijay, they gently helped him let go of his worries. They visited Bijay’s father often and encouraged him to leave his drinking habit. The young boy learned that his teachers truly cared about his family, and even better, that Jesus cared about his family, too. Bijay faithfully prayed for his father, asking Jesus to help Kuwar overcome his alcohol addiction.
Gradually, through Bijay’s prayers and the consistent encouragement from the Bridge of Hope staff members, Kuwar stopped drinking alcohol, and his love for his family grew stronger. The money Kuwar would have used to buy his alcohol now went to meet the needs of his family, which made a substantial impact on their financial situation.
As Bijay’s worries faded away, he gained a new interest in his education. He diligently applied himself to his studies, thankful for the help he received at the Bridge of Hope centre. Bijay’s mother rejoiced at the changes she saw in her son’s life—and in her husband’s, too.
Peace and happiness entered the household, as did the knowledge of God.
God worked through Bridge of Hope to shine joy into the life of young Bijay and to also bring peace to his entire family.
Many Children Still Dream
Bijay’s dream came true, yet thousands more children in Asia are still dreaming of attending school and having their basic needs met. By linking your life with Bridge of Hope children, you can help them escape the cycle of poverty and show them how much God loves them.
*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.