Category Archives: News

Executive Director Jan Swensen Returns from India

 

James Connection Executive Director Jan Swensen has returned from India, and he is very pleased with how things are progressing at Angels' Place. He reports that the children look healthy and well nourished, and they have a lot of energy for the many activities at Angels' Place. He also commented on the sense of community among the children, saying "It was wonderful to see how the older kids accept and care for the new children. There is a good family attitude among the kids."

The staff at Angels' Place continues to grow in positive ways, and Jan commented on the outstanding work done by the continuing staff and on the recruitment of committed and caring new staff. "I commend Englian and Siam on their fine work. Each year I see improvements in Angels' Place, which is good for the children," he observes, and then continues by saying that the staff in general "all appear well motivated and qualified." 

Jan met with the principals of the Hermon School and Rayburn College, in order to review the education being provided to the children of Angels’ Place and beyond. The children attend Hermon School from pre-school through class 10. If they qualify to continue their education, they go to Rayburn College High School for classes 11 and 12. Rayburn also provides a college education that many of the children have attended. Education for the children is a high priority for James Connection, and these visits monitor both current learning and future prospects. 

The trip also included a survey of the buildings and grounds, and a review of the children's activities while at Angels' Place.  The goals of these regular visits are to ensure the physical safety of the children, the progress of any construction, and a regular review of maintenance needs. Jan has prepared a maintenance task list and shared it with the staff of Angels’ Place. 

We will be sharing photographs from the visit over the coming weeks. Above you will see an image that attests to the success of Angels' Place made possible through your generosity: this year's graduating class. These are the children who have been shepherded through their childhood, nourished and sheltered at Angels' Place, and now ready to move on to their next steps as young adults. 

We thank you for your ongoing support to make possible this valuable work.  To learn more about ways to help the children in India, visit our Ways to Help page.

 

Angel of the Week: Lal

Meet Lal, a cheerful young boy who dreams of being a scientist one day.

You see, Lal loves animals and he wants to help protect them.  He also knows it takes hard work and a good education to achieve this goal.  It was an impossible dream two years ago before he arrived at Angels' Place.  Today, thanks to his sponsors and the loving support of the caregivers at the orphanage, he dares to consider such a path.

Two years ago, before Lal lost his father to cancer, he was living with his family in a small poor village near the border of Burma (Myanmar).  Food was scarce and Lal remembers often being sick from malnourishment.  Things were pretty bad.  They became even worse when his father passed away and his mother was left with no source of income.   She had no choice but to give up her son.  He had dreams and she could barely feed him let alone get him the education he deserved.

Flash forward to 2019 and Lal is thriving at Angels' Place and talking about his future in a way he would never consider before.  He loves to read and play with his new friends.  The caregivers know him as "a cheerful boy with good leadership qualities".  Most importantly, he is getting the education he needs to pursue his dream of becoming a scientist and helping animals.  His dreams are no longer just the wishful imaginings of a poor destitute child.  Today, thanks to the James Connection, they hold real possibilities and he has the support he needs to make them come true.

There are hundreds of children, just like Lal, on the waiting list to get into Angels' Place.  Children with big dreams but no resources to realize their true potential.  Won't you consider helping one?  Visit our Ways to Help page if you want to learn how.

To read more stories about the children living at Angels' Place, click on "Angel of the Week" under Categories to the right of this page.

Angel of the Week: Siam

Seven-year-old Siam has quickly become the “darling of the home” according to the staff of Angels’ Place. She is a delightful and cheerful little girl who made her way to the orphanage last February. Her mother had died in 2015, and her father was too poor to raise her, her sister, and her two brothers. Since coming to Angels’ Place, she has settled in nicely. She attends school, where her favorite class is math, and she loves to dance.

Like so many of our children, Siam’s favorite thing about her new home is the presence of friends. She remembers her old life as being lonely, and she had no one to play with. Now she has come to a place where she has community and a sense of belonging.

Like so many of our children, dreams of the future are limited, and their focus is only on getting to their next meal. Our “darling” Siam now has started thinking about what comes next, and though still young, she has set herself the goal of becoming a teacher.

Because of the generous support of all of the sponsors and donors of the James Connection, Siam has hope and possibility in her future instead of poverty and isolation. Please, help us spread the word so we can make room for the hundreds just like her still on our waiting list.  Visit our Ways to Help page to learn how you can help us reach more potential sponsors and donors.

To read more stories about the children of Angels' Place, just click on "Angel of the Week" under Categories to the right.

A Life Transformed: Goubiaksang

We are thrilled to tell you about another Angels' Place success story.  Jan, our founder and Executive Director, had an opportunity to interview some of the first graduates of the program when he visited the orphanage.  Here is the story of Goubianksang, told in Jan's words...

"Goubiaksang graduated from Angels' Place in 2017 after completing class twelve at Rayburn College High School. He enrolled at Churachandpur College last fall and is studying material science and hopes eventually to go to medical school. Churachandpur College is free to residents of the city, but he must work hard to afford his dream of  becoming a medical professional.   Though he lives with his mother, she is unable to support him, so he works on a farm caring for pigs to help cover costs of his education.

Biaksang had a wonderful time at Angels' Place. In his own words: 'my experience at Angels' Place was awesome.' He went on to talk about all the things he learned while there. He learned how to study the Bible and discovered a new passion and talent; painting.  When first given brushes and paints, he immediately became inspired to paint beautiful murals on the walls of the boy's dormitory.  He eventually went on to paint portraits and scenes that he gave as gifts to his friends and to faculty at Angels' Place. He still paints and still studies diligently. He is a true Angels' Place success story."

When you meet Bianksang, it is hard to believe he was so lost and broken just 10 years ago.  During this season of thanks and giving, we here at the James Connection feel such warmth and gratitude for our donors and sponsors who help us give kids like Bianksang a real chance in life.  He, like many others, has become a productive and caring member of society because of all you do.  THANK YOU!

If you want to learn more about the children at Angels' Place and how you can help make room for more, visit our Ways to Help page.  To read more stories about the kids, click on "Angle of the Week" under Categories to the right.