Category Archives: The Children

A Busy Summer at Angels’ Place

The summer has been a busy time at Angels’ Place!

India continues to face the Covid-19 pandemic. The rate of new cases has declined since the worst period, which was in May of this year, but the disease remains a primary concern for the nation and for managing the community at Angels’ Place. Manipur, the state where Angels’ Place is located, has had lower occurrence of Covid-19, which is fortunate for the staff and children. All those over the age of 18 have received at least one vaccination, and all of the children remain protected by the measures taken by the staff: masking, daily temperature checks, and a no-visitor policy to the campus.

To date, no child has contracted Covid-19, a blessing for which we are thankful.

The state education department decided this summer to cancel board exams for the older children in order to reduce transmission risk for Covid-19. The staff has been working hard to keep the children involved in activities and to support education during this time while the school system has been suspended. Earlier this year, a number of the children participated in a painting competition, and staff has presented a number of presentations geared toward learning professional skills and cultivating a healthy work-life balance as the older students approach adulthood. We also are pleased to share news of several programs held over the summer:

  • Core Classes: In order to keep children on track with their schooling and keep them engaged in studies, the staff started to teach regular classes for all children from nursery school through Class 10. The on-site instructors have divided the responsibilities for teaching writing, communication skills, and reasoning skills. Additionally, students in Classes 9 and 10 are also taking classes in social science, science, English, and mathematics.
  • Bible Study: In July staff had Bible study, which was divided into two groups: nursery school through Class 6, and Classes 7-12.
  • Sewing: Eight of the students participate in vocational training in sewing, which had been suspended because of the pandemic. The program resumed this summer, with modifications to protect everyone’s health.
  • Online Painting Class: A weekly online painting class was organised for interested children ages 9-12. A professional designer, Mrs. Smriti Ahuja, taught the course titled “Healing with Paint.”

Finally, we are pleased to report the graduation of 12 children from their schooling and from Angels’ Place. Sanga and other staff members held a ceremony on July 2, to congratulate them and offer encouragement as they enter their independent adult lives. During the program, the children expressed their heartfelt gratitude to James Connection sponsors and the staff of Angels' Place for all the years of love, care and nurturing that they have received. Their successful transition into adulthood has come due to the generous support of all the James Connection sponsors, who have provided them with a safe and secure home, nourishment, education, and spiritual enrichment.

May Update from Angels’ Place

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to bring much suffering to India as a nation. We pray for comfort for those who mourn so many lost and pray for hope as vaccination efforts continue. We are grateful to report that the children and staff of Angels’ Place remain safe, and we bring this update in the context of a nation experiencing tremendous hardship.

As we reported in past updates, the state of Churachandpur has not seen the same sort of rapid spread of the virus as elsewhere in India. Vaccination distribution has been steady, and healthcare centers have vaccination clinics twice per week, with 150 slots available. The appointments fill rapidly, and Angels’ Place works to get as many appointments as possible when a new drive begins. At this point the majority of staff and children at Angels’ Place have received the vaccine, and the staff anticipates that the rest will receive the vaccine very soon with the next phase of distribution.

We are happy to report that all the children are healthy, and none have shown any symptoms. Schools in India remain closed, and the staff will provide education to the children in the meantime. The campus of Angels’ Place remains under lockdown. The children have their temperature checked regularly, and as a precaution, the staff created two isolation rooms, one for boys and one for girls. In the event that someone shows any symptoms, they would remain in the isolation room until they are tested. Due to the successful quarantine process at Angels’ Place, the children have the opportunity for physical activity, a social community, learning, and spiritual nurturing within the safe environment of the campus.

We continue to be so grateful for the ongoing support of our James Connection community in helping us weather this crisis. The children are healthy and happy because of the resources and services we are able to provide. If you are not part of our community and want to learn more about what you can do to help, visit our Ways to Help page for information about the different ways you can get involved.

A Letter from Sawmi

Sawmi is one of our greatest success stories! Read her personal testimony below of how her life has been transformed by the work we do at Angels' Place.

Hello Everyone!

As the day for my college graduation is getting closer, I would like to thank everyone of you who has been with me through this journey. Without the help of each of you, I would not be where I am today. I would like to tell you all how grateful I am for everything you have done. Also, I would like to tell you a bit about my time here at Ohio Valley University as well my plans for the future.

I will graduate from OVU on the 8th of May, 2021 with a BA in Business. I am fortunate to have the love and support of my sponsors the Minsker Family, who will be by my side to witness the fruit of their investment in me over the past few years. They have been there for every important moment of my college life. This achievement is not just my achievement alone. I share my success with every person who supports the work of James Connection.

After graduation I plan to pursue my MBA at Oklahoma Christian University with a focus on either Human Resource Management or Health Care Administration. I will be working hard to prepare myself for future job placement. My long-term goal is to start an organization to help my community in India and Angels’ Place where I was raised. However, right after college, I will be looking for a job more in line with my degree so I can gain practical experience first.

I’ve had my share of challenges over the past four years. Everything was new for me. New friends, new food, new language, and different studies. I had to switch my major several times to find the right fit for my interests and passions and finally decided on Business. With time, I’ve made good friends and learned to adapt to all the new things. Through the process, I learned a lot about life and people and I’ve grown into a more mature and understanding person.

I love being involved in campus life. During my time at OVU, I was part of the Student Government Association, Steppingstone Student Chapter, Alpha Chi, the Social Club, and with my best friend’s encouragement, a club called Kappa. Being part of these groups, I have learned a lot about friendship and college life. I’ve grown to appreciate how much the university helps us, as students, grow spiritually. I also became aware that many international students did not get involved in social activities on campus. They didn’t have a place where they could build friendships on a deeper level, learn about each other’s cultures, and support each other while being far away from family and loved ones. So, during my Junior year, with the help of our International Director, Sally Massy (who was like a mother to every international student), I started a new club for International students within the larger Social Club. Being able to do that for all my international friends is one of my proudest achievements and brought me great happiness.

I know deep down in my heart, no matter what I do with my life, God had a purpose for me by bringing me to the United States and OVU. I want to continue to use my voice to make the world a better place. Above everything, I am excited and looking forward to how God will shape me and use me for his purpose in the months and years to come.

Love,
Sawmi

The Children are Back!

We are happy to report that the children have returned to Angels’ Place. Throughout the months of quarantine, Angels’ Place provided rice and dal to the families of the children, so that they would have nourishment while away from the orphanage. Their return has progressed gradually, and as we wrote earlier, the older children came back first in order to resume school as soon as possible. The younger children have now also returned, and Angels’ Place now has 145 children, who all are eating well, learning, and receiving regular health monitoring.

Angels’ Place continues to observe public health protocols. Students and staff wear masks at all times, practice disciplined hand washing, and maintain social distancing. The children's temperatures are taken regularly to monitor for any signs of fever. Also, admittance to the grounds is restricted and closely monitored. The Coronavirus has not significantly affected the area of India where Angels’ Place is located, which is relatively rural and remote, and this is a significant blessing. We remain in constant communication with the staff, and they report that the children are healthy and active.

The James Connection continues to work hard on behalf of all aspects of supporting the children at Angels’ Place. The production of lemongrass remains ongoing, and DoTerra continues to purchase the lemongrass oil. Members of the team in both the U.S. and India are also investigating ways to expand our service to the children as they transition into adulthood. Angels’ Place has steadily built programs in vocational training to provide job skills and prepare the older children as they begin their independent lives, and we look forward to growing these efforts.

Throughout the time of the quarantine, Angels’ Place staff have maintained the facility and kept in contact with the children, to ensure their well-being. We thank all of our supporters for making it possible to sustain operations, provide food to the children, and nurture their health, education, and spirit through this difficult time. These children all had great needs before the pandemic, and your generosity has made it possible for us to help see them through the additional strain of a health crisis. Your sponsorship has kept them fed and kept the orphanage in excellent condition to welcome them on their return.

If you would like to learn more about the many ways to support our work, visit our Ways to Help page.