Monthly Archives: June 2017

Jun
21

20th Anniversary Celebration in the USA

Equip Asia celebrated its 20th anniversary in the USA on June 3rd at Levant Wesleyan Church in Falconer, NY. As the 200+ friends and supporters took their seats they were greeted with a special 20th Anniversary commemorative magazine. Click here to see the pdf version.

Local musician Will Lowry played classical guitar, Indian style, as guest enjoyed a delicious Indian banquet prepared by Equip Asia co-founder Aruna Swauger and a host of volunteers.

 

John Owens, Equip Asia board member and General Manager of Blue Ridge Broadcasting (the radio station of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association), was MC for the evening and interspersed his fond memories of India with his comic whit honed during his days as the radio host of the “John and Denny Show,” a popular morning show of the region’s largest Christian radio station, the Family Life Network.

 

 

Equip Asia co-founder, Tim Swauger, kicked off the evening’s presentations describing the roots of Equip Asia in the  rural regions of South India. He explained that services for children with disabilities from the villages were virtually non-existent in the early 90’s and there were no physical therapists or rehabilitation centers. Though Equip Asia has helped to improve the situation in the region of its outreach since then there remains millions of people with disabilities without services in India and across the subcontinent.

 

 

Joni Eareckson Tada sent her greetings via video and shared a touching word of encouragement to the Equip Asia team and supporters. Click here to view Joni’s video greeting!

Elish Kanthi, Executive Director of Equip Asia’s ministry in India, provided an update on the outreach in India and shared inspiring stories of how God is using those touched by our services to bring transformation to their own communities.

 

Kimi Archer, Equip Asia board member and volunteer team leader of Joni and Friend’s Wheels for the World outreach to India, shared about her experiences working with Equip Asia’s team in India and the incredible fruit that has come from  Wheels for the World’s fifteen year partnership with Equip Asia distributing 2,688 wheelchairs!

John Owens wrapped up the evening with inspiring words encouraging attendees to invest in the mission of Equip Asia.

We were so encouraged by the turnout which went beyond expectation! Over $8,000 raised through the faithful support of patrons, sponsors and friends who attended the event. We could not have pulled it off without the involvement of dozens of volunteers, our friends at Sound Reinforcement and our the church family at Levant Wesleyan.

We look forward to all God has in the future as we stay the course in faithfulness to God’s call to reach children, families and communities struggling with disabilities in India and across the Indian subcontinent!


Jun
20

Help Start His Business…

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Naresh is from a small village. His family owns a small piece of land, where his parents and three siblings work hard to cultivate food grains. It is barely enough to support their needs.

Naresh was affected by polio at as a child and lost the use of both his legs.

In fact, he was bedridden till he was thirteen and so never crossed the threshold of any school.

He is shy and a man of few words as he was often left alone, all by himself. He had only his thoughts to communicate with. Though life for such a kid would normally seem very dull and bleak, he never felt so. And that is because of the wonderful friends God gave him. They were like stars in the dark night sky. They would visit him as often as possible and teach him to read and write in Kannada. They often taught him all that they learned in school.

Despite knowing how to read and write, Naresh often felt he was useless and good for nothing. Little did he know there was potential in him that could be harnessed for better use. One day he was introduced to Equip Asia staff at an assessment program in his village. He came to the Rehabilitation Center and after much counseling, agreed to join the Computer and English language course.

To our surprise he performed very well in the certification exams. He was encouraged to join for an advanced course in Desktop Publishing (DTP), which covers graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop, Coreldraw, Pagemaker and a local, Indian language software.

Despite everyone’s skepticism in his village, he excelled as the best graphic designer.

Naresh also received a customized wheelchair from Equip Asia, which has increased his self esteem and confidence to move around independently.

Now that he has completed his DTP course, Naresh is eager to start a new venture in his own village as a graphic designer and lead a life that would not only benefit him but support his family too. He hopes to set up a training center to train other youth who are interested in learning graphic design for their livelihood.

To start Naresh’s new venture, he will need about $1,200 to purchase a computer, printer and an electricity backup system. If just 50 people donate just $25 Naresh’s business–and his new life–will be ready to start!


Jun
20

20th Anniversary Celebration in India

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On May 20, 2017, Equip Asia celebrated 20 years of ministry outreach at the Rehabilitation Center in Hubli, India.

It was a time of remembering and celebrating God’s faithfulness towards our ministry for the past 20 years, serving the people with disabilities. Our hearts were filled with overwhelming joy as we looked back at the wonderful things God has done through us to impact the lives of thousands of youth and their families.

“Inspiration, Empowerment and Abundant Life” was the theme of the occasion, and it was demonstrated live as hundreds of people with disabilities from the nearby villages were present to witness the Equip Asia’s successful journey. The testimonies of the youth at the program brought tears to many eyes.  One youth shared, “It does not matter if we do not have legs, but praise God we have Equip Asia as a crutch for our lives!”

Our Chief guests, Dr. Malathi Holla (a para athlete, Padma Shri and Arjuna Award winner) and the CEO of the District Council graced the occasion, sharing their empowered lives as women in the Indian context. Dr. Holla uplifted the entire crowd and the Equip Asia team with her motivational speech.

The event also included cultural shows by our special youth with disabilities and HIV/AIDS. There was choreography and contemporary dance portraying the life of a disabled woman from abuse to abundant, empowered and inspiring life.

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The event also incorporated the inauguration of our inclusive school, a new venture of Equip Asia that will bring high-quality, inclusive education to children with and without disabilities.

The program inspired us to take up greater responsibility and commitment to venture out and do greater things in our community.

Together we could say, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”