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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.

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.

A Thanksgiving Update

With the arrival of Thanksgiving comes an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved at Angels’ Place during the fall of this very challenging year and to offer our thanks for blessings in the face of the daunting challenges. We are so grateful for the community of support that has made it possible for us to provide shelter for the children and food for the children of Angels’ Place throughout the pandemic. As we mentioned in our recent letter, your donations have made an impact, and your continued support is needed as we approach the close of 2020.

Through the fall, children in grades 7- 12 have returned to Angels’ Place and resumed their education in accordance with public health guidelines applied through the school system. Angels’ Place also provides supplementary opportunities during the time of the pandemic: on-site tutoring and writing instruction, library access, and special counseling sessions to support the mental health of the children during a stressful time. The lemongrass cultivation has continued this year, and sales bring a stream of earned revenue that supports the expenses of the orphanage – and also supports employment for local farmers in the community.

We ask for your continued prayers for the children and the staff of Angels’ Place. The pandemic has presented challenges to us all, and The James Connection has been working diligently to keep the children safe and healthy during this time, to help them continue their education, and to provide them with secure shelter and a nourishing diet – all of which your generosity has made possible. We need your donations now - perhaps more than ever before. As you consider your year-end charitable donations, please take time to support us again.

We give our thanks for you, for the staff of Angels’ Place, and for these wonderful children; and we wish you a safe and healthy Thanksgiving that reminds you of the many blessings that we have even in difficult times.

With prayers of thanksgiving,

The James Connection

September Update

Angels showing off the masks they made

Greetings to the James Connection community.

Life remains active for the children and staff of Angels’ Place, and we have several updates on activity at the orphanage regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the academic progress of the children, and improvements planned for the orphanage.

Angels’ Place now has 50 children in residence, and the process of return began with the older children. They have a full schedule each day consisting of classes, time for study and homework, work in the vegetable gardens, and meals. The Angels’ Place staff members continue to keep the orphanage a safe space during the pandemic. The campus is restricted to the children and staff, children and staff are wearing masks, and the children receive a visit from Dr. Mang every Saturday.

We are happy to report good news on academic progress. Seven children from Angels’ Place participated in the Board Examination that follows the end of Grade 12, and all seven of the Angels’ Place children passed the exam. Often orphans lack the opportunity to attend school because of the difficulty of their circumstances. That fact that these seven completed their schooling successfully reflects their hard work, and the achievement has only been possible thanks to your generosity.

Finally, two initiatives are underway for improving the facilities at Angels’ Place. A recent grant of $27,000 from Toyota will allow for the construction of a new water collection system and cistern. Also, the orphanage is expanding its computer resources in order to support the increased demand for distance learning. We will let you know more as things develop.

As always, we thank you for your support of the James Connection, and your generosity has made all of this work possible.