"For the Least of These..."
International Children’s Care (ICC) is located in Lakpahana, Sri Lanka.
Yomali, 14, remembers that when she was young, her family was happy. But then her father had an affair, and the peace and harmony in the home was shattered. Her parents were always fighting. One day Yomali watched in horror as her father pushed her mother down the well. To try to cover up his deed, the father and relatives decided to tell people that Yomali’s mother had gone for a long trip abroad. But sometime later the police came looking for her. As the police kept questioning Yomali’s father, he became frightened and tried to jump into the well, but then decided to run. He was successful in his escape from the police, but that left Yomali without a mother or a father.
The police took Yomali to a children’s home, but there were no children her age, so they took her to another home with children her own age. Although scared, Yomali acted out her frustrations by not obeying the rules of the children’s home. She wouldn’t come in at night and would sometimes hide up in the trees. The house-mothers simply couldn’t control her.
They had heard about an Adventist-run service named International Children’s Care (ICC) and how well disciplined the children were there. The housemothers decided they would try sending Yomali there to see whether ICC could manage this “out-of-control” girl.
From the moment she arrived at ICC, Yomali noticed that there was a big difference, and she liked it very much. They began telling her about Jesus and teaching her Bible stories. She enjoyed all of the stories, but the one about Job really spoke to her.
Over time, Yomali’s heart softened and she grew to love God. Now she enjoys gardening and has her own patch of ground that she tends. She believes that gently and consistently caring for the plants will help them to produce a wonderful harvest. She also has come to learn that in the same way, Christ’s love nurtures our hearts so that we, too, can flourish for Him. Yomali hopes to one day become a missionary and go wherever God sends her.
A Better Life
Chathua was born with a deformed arm. Rather than take him home, his mother instead left him with an aunt and uncle. They happily took in Chathua to join them and their two sons.
Things were going fairly well for him. He loved his aunt, uncle, and cousins and going to the Lighthouse Adventist church together. He enjoyed living in the beautiful city of Kandy in the central hills of Sri Lanka. Hi uncle and aunt also helped him get treatment for his arm so he could begin to learn how to use it to accomplish the everyday tasks that he needed to do.
All seemed well for Chathua until tragedy struck his new family: his uncle passed away. It was a terrible shock for everyone, and his aunt felt it was too much for her to handle three growing boys.
It was about this time that they met a gentleman who told them about ICC in Lakpahana. The aunt decided that it would be best if she sent Chathua away so that she would have only two boys to care for. There was a mixture of feelings in Chathua’s heart about this decision, but he had to obey his aunt and he thought it would be better to go to ICC then to have no one to care for him.
Little did Chathua know that when he came to ICC, that his life would change for the better. He gained full use of his poor arm, and as he learned about God, he began to give the glory to Him.
Chathua now loves to work with his hands. He takes scraps and turns them into beautiful things with his creative mind. He dreams of teaching the skills God has given him to others. He also enjoys watching birds and he marvels at their intricate designs and colorful patterns. His favorite text in the Bible is Psalm 23 where it says that God is his Shepherd. He has learned to trust in God as his Shepherd and to provide what he needs. He believes that God looks after him just as a shepherd looks after his sheep.
Chathua has adjusted well to ICC and to school. “I want to study hard, be a good student, and get good grades,” he says. “This has been one of my prayers for a long time. I pray for wisdom and that God would bless by studies. I have noticed that over the time I have been here, my grades continue to improve and that the Lord is answering my prayer.” The most challenging classes Chathua has taken are the math classes, but he continues to pray for that wisdom every day, and the Lord has helped him—even with math, he says.