A Smile Worth a Thousand Words

Did you ever wonder how the kids at Angels’ Place react when they get letters from their sponsors? Well, a picture is worth a thousand words so we wanted to share a few that might inspire you to write your child if you haven’t. Or, write again the next time letters go to India. For those who are not sponsors yet, perhaps they will move you to become a sponsor yourself. There are many children waiting!

Times are particularly tough for our Angels right now. There is so much hardship in their lives to begin with. Add uncontrolled violence in their community, restrictions on food and health care and disruptions to their education and it can be overwhelming. The loving words, photos and stories are small but powerful treasures of joy in lives otherwise flooded with chaos and uncertainty. They lift them up and give them hope in a world that often feels unbearably cold and cruel. They show them the power of love through words.

We can tell you how much these letters mean. The children themselves can tell their sponsor when they write back. But the looks of excitement in these pictures are the real story ...the story of pure joy a small gesture can bring to a child who really needs something to smile about.

Letters will go out again in February. Mark you calendar now for the February 1, 2024 deadline!

September Update On Angels’ Place

Baking with new improved kitchen equipment!

Hi all,

I wanted to share (below) a moving memory and an excellent status report from Siam. (Siam is R. Sanga's son who works and lives at Angels' Place.) They are succeeding despite dangerous difficulties.

It is important to note that the government has established restricted areas based on district boundaries. The boundary that affects Angels' Place is approximately 20 miles north of Churachandpur. The Meiteis stay north of that and the tribals stay south of it.

If someone flies into the airport in Imphal, our people cannot come there to pick us up. We would have to take a taxi south to the boundary and walk about a mile where our people could pick us up, but we have no plans to travel there at this time.

The children are safe but restricted in their movement.

Jan Swensen, Executive Director

Greetings from Angels' Place!

I remember what happened 22 years ago in Imphal and the US. In the run-up to the foundation day celebration of the Imphal School of Preaching, observed on the 12th of September annually, there was a gospel program organized in a makeshift hall on our rented building in Imphal. That day was September 11, 2001. I was just 12 years old back then as I glanced at our television set telecast of the BBC showing live visuals of two identical high-rise towers, one of which was up in flames. Years later, I learned that those images were of the World Trade Center.

Today, as we are currently facing ethnic violence in Manipur and what happened to the WTC 22 years ago, I am reminded that human tragedy is universal. I am also reminded that we are blessed here in Angels' Place because of the love and support received from all of you in the US. The children and staff express our heartfelt gratitude for your benevolent work.

Best wishes,

Help is Needed

The children of Angels' Place are safe from the violence that has gripped the state of Manipur this month. Others have suffered much. Over 200 churches have been burned. People have died. Homes have been burned. The situation remains tense.
Our partners there (principally three families and several students), led by R. Sanga, suffered the loss of their homes, church, school of preaching and their cars. They fled with just what they could quickly assemble which was not much. They have lost all furniture, clothes, books, records, electronic equipment and all the things they have collected over many years. They need our help to begin to rebuild their lives.
If you wish to donate to help our partners in India please send checks payable to Holiday Park Church of Christ - MANIPUR FUND to the Holiday Park Church of Christ, P.O. Box 14, Monroeville, PA 15146. The money collected will be sent to India by way of the Manassas Church of Christ in Manassas, VA . That church has been supporting the Imphal School of Preaching for many, many years and they are best positioned to distribute funds by their missionaries in India according to the needs of Sanga and his team.
The mission of the James Connection is to care for the children at Angels' Place and we cannot divert any funds given for the children to a different charitable cause no matter how grave or worthy the need.  Therefore, this request is separate and apart from support we will always seek for the children of Angels' Place.
If you have questions, please send them to me. The situation in northeast India is complicated and confusing. I will try to explain it further as needed.
Jan Swensen
Executive Director of the James Connection

Update on Angels’ Place during the Manipur Crisis

Image courtesy of The New India Express

The rioting in Manipur has subsided, and while the situation remains a concern, the children at Angels’ Place are safe. The rioting has affected both Imphal and Churachandpur, where Angels’ Place is located. In Churachandpur, the rioting stayed in the business district of the city and did not reach the residential area around Angels’ Place. The campus of Angels’ Place remains secure and undisturbed by the rioting. All children have remained on the campus throughout the recent events, and on-site staff care for their needs. Food delivery has been a concern, and delivery from Imphal has not been possible. Staff have had to make arrangements for food deliveries from the more distant city of Aizawl, Mizoram, and recent delivery of rice, potatoes, and dal has reached Angels’ Place. The schools have been closed throughout the time of political unrest. Internet communication remains restricted, but we are maintaining phone contact with our partners in India.
The rioting has displaced a number of our friends in India, those who provide for the children and manage Angels’ Place. Sanga, the Director of Angels' Place and our primary contact in India, was in Imphal where much of the rioting occurred. He and his family have relocated to the city of Aizawl, Mizoram. Others in his Imphal School of Preaching, like many in the area, have left to stay with relatives in nearby villages. Many of our friends have suffered substantial loss, including the destruction and looting of homes. The violence has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries, and tens of thousands have been displaced. While our friends and colleagues are among the displaced, we are grateful that all have relocated safely. Yet their losses have been great, and many of their homes, cars, and items of personal property have been looted and destroyed. We ask for your continuing prayers for the safety of the children, the staff, and all of our friends who make possible the work of Angels’ Place.
We are working with the Church of Christ in Holiday Park PA and Manassas, VA to set up a fund to help Sanga and his people. Raising funds for their losses is a separate mission from the James Connection but we will keep you posted on how to help if you feel called to do so. More information to follow.