Quarterly Report of April - June 2020
COVID 19 Relief Work
We are really thankful for those who sent gifts toward the needy here in India during the early days of the Covid pandemic. I just wanted to give you a brief report on how Shining Stars (SS) was able to reach out.
We were able to give some food supplies to about 85 families (primarily SS children’s families) and also soaps and face masks to 120 people.
During our first outreach many other’s in our community came forward and asked for help. Consequently, we were compelled to help by providing some food supplies to 150 more families. During this time, we were put in touch with two social service organizations, one reaches out to migrant workers, and the other to women with disabilities. We were able to provide some dry groceries for almost 70 families through them.
Within our SS circles, we short-listed 12 needy families. We thought that we could help them for a little longer and deeper. We purchased and gave them food supplies to last them throughout the month of May, we also bought vegetables on a weekly basis for the same time period.
We decided to support 12 of our partners and some families in their circles. Consequently, we gave each of them a cash gift for their own families and asked them to provide food supplies to some of their SS children’s families. They were able to reach a total of almost 90 families with this amount.
These were our costs: Phase 1 (Rs. 85019); Phase 2 (Rs. 102500); Phase 3 (Rs. 36000) and Phase 4 (Rs. 66000.00); Total Rs. 289519.00 (approximately USD 3860).
We are thankful to God and blessed with this opportunity to serve and provide for others in small ways. Thanks again for being a part!
Our Main Office
Though we had to close our office for some time in April, due to the lockdown, but we were utilizing our time towards other important things (including some SS work and family time). Most of the summer (we had to cancel all the summer programmes) our staff were sitting at home and/or office and working towards putting a three month quiet time (QT) book together for the SS children. We are also working on a training manual for our partners. This will have a 3 year rotation teaching plan for the development of the partners and their teachers.
Bommakal, our Village Centre
During the lockdown period we did not run the centre, but we have done some disaster relief work. In the 1st phase of lockdown, we distributed some masks and hand sanitiser to some children in the village. We also distributed some food to 5 needy families.
In the second phase, we distributed some dry groceries to 8 households.
During these three months Laxminarayana (LN) also spent time with a select group of children preparing them for an important entrance test, MS Office.
Some of our staff attended two of our Alumni’s weddings during the summer too, out in that area (most wore masks and maintained distance).
Isaac & Premdas got an opportunity to attend a training on Programme Management Development for Professionals organized by one of our board members, Mr. P. Seenivasan. Mr. Premdas also attended a 4 weeks Youth Mentors pre-foundation course online, which is in preparation for a 3 days full-fledged Youth Mentor’s Summit in October 2020. We also engage in weekly Bible Studies together as a staff at the office. Laxminarayana (LN), our staff at Bommakal, is also further equipping himself by reading a Paul Washer book, and a Christian counselling course through Person to Person Counseling.
Our SSC 2020
We have 13 children who appeared to write the SSC final (high school board exams). Though there was a big dilemma about the exams, and a huge gap due to the COVID 19 pandemic, by the grace of God all 13 of the children passed with good grades (GPA).
Present (ongoing) ministry plans
As the schools are yet to start due to the COVID effect, most of our centres are not running. Many of the centre leaders are encouraging the children to, either work from school text books or worksheets that we are preparing for them. This will help the children to spend their time wisely and will allow the centre leaders/teachers to stay in touch with the children and their parents, weekly once, to keep up on their situation.
A couple of centres, where there is less effect of COVID, and more opportunity to gather the children, we are planning to run in a way that will be safe (i.e. social distancing, more than one session to keep numbers down etc.). We are trying our best to guide them, and give support from the office.
Finally, we are planning to encourage all of the children from our present centre’s in Telangana and Odisa to learn some Bible verses during their free time. They will be given a prize depending on how many they learn!
We are also in the process of training some of our old, and new potential partners through online Zoom meetings, which will eventually give us an opportunity to serve in new areas in three states, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Testimonies from Bommakal
- This is about the father of two of our students, Chandu, in 9th class and his sister, Bhavani, in 7th class. Their father (Laxamaiah) had an accident on May 29th, 2020. He was drunk and was driving his motorcycle, and hit a tractor that was full of sand. His head was severely injured, he fell unconscious on the side of the road. The people who saw it thought he was dead. His nephew (Harikrishna), who was also with him, on another bike, immediately called an ambulance and took him to a private hospital in Nalgonda. Looking at him and knowing that he had lost a lot of blood, performed some first aid on him, then sent him to major hospital in Hyderabad the next day. They did surgery on him, but the doctor did not give any hope that he would live. The doctor told the family that we did our best and only God has to do a miracle, but we have no hope. LN visited him in the hospital about a week later. He spent some time with Chandu and his family and comforted them. They kept him in an intensive care unit for 5 days. We, as SS staff, our children and our relatives also prayed for him and his recovery. Yes, the miracle happened, and God is healing him. On June 6th he was discharged from the hospital. Now he’s at home and recovering.
- We’re so thankful to God for 10th class (high school) results. There was so much uncertainty about when and how the exams would be conducted. Finally, the Government declared that all of the 10th students who appeared to write the exams would pass, based on their school performance.
Shiva Sai is a 5th class student, and Chandu is 7th class student. Both were playing on the roof of the school building, in June, with some other children. While they were playing a monkey came onto the roof because they had snack packets in their hands. The children were scared and started jumping off the roof. Chandu’s face hit the ground and his lip was cut. He lost 2 of his upper teeth and his chin was broken. As Shiva Sai jumped down, his left elbow was broken. Please pray for these 2 children.
Also pray for the tuition centre children. They just restarted the centre from the 9th of July, after the COVID19 lockdown. The school may not start until late August (which is still unknown).
Please pray for all of those who finished high school, to make right decisions for their future’s, college studies etc.