Category: Stories

Jan
15

WANTED: Hubballi International School (HIS) Elementary Teachers

Hubballi International School is unique: the only disability-inclusive school in our region of India. We are looking for qualified Educational leaders, Teachers and Volunteers from abroad for the academic year starting June 2018.

The main requirements are:

  • A committed, practicing Christian
  • Fluent in English
  • Hold a Bachelors degree
  • Relevant teaching experience/or teaching certification
  • Willing to raise a travel and living expenses (housing in India and a small stipend is provided)
  • Willing to participate fully in the life of a school including extracurricular activities or support.

Please contact Aruna Swauger at (716)456-1553/ aruna@equipasia.org for more details.


Jan
15

Sponsors Needed for Our Community Outreach Team

There is so much work to do beyond what we can do in our Center. Our Community Outreach Team’s vision is to reach the villages and the people with disabilities in them with spiritual transformation, physical rehabilitation, education, and socio-economic development.

Our team will implement a holistic disability ministry plan that provides a myriad of community-based rehabilitative services in 12 villages during the next three years. This will act as a launching pad for discipleship and the formation of house church congregations. The team will then assist the congregations to multiply their own discipleship and holistic ministry efforts in the village. It is our prayer that within three years the house church congregations will stand on their own two feet, carrying on the Kingdom work of ministering to one another, the marginalized, and the disability-affected in their community.

We are asking you to partner with our team and the people of these 12 villages to see God’s Kingdom’s light in their communities. We are looking for committed, long-term partners to help us make this vision a reality. To donate, please click here, or send a check to our Wheaton address at the bottom of this email. Please make sure to put COT in the memo!


Jan
15

Child Trafficking Racket Busted

Equip Asia field staff uncovered a child trafficking racket in the last week of November in one of our target villages. A 16-year-old girl in the village was about to be married to a stranger from Mumbai. Her father, an alcoholic, was given money and so he was willing to marry her off against her will.

One of our House Church leaders (whose name we cannot say) sensed something fishy, and with the help of Equip Asia field staff, she raised the issue to a Child Development Project Officer. Immediately the police were informed and came to investigate. As the girl was about to be taken in a car by the middleman, the police took control of the situation and arrested the mediator and the girls’ parents.

Meanwhile, the mediator confessed that the girls were taken to Mumbai and sold. She would have been the thirteenth girl taken from this village and police had already started the search for other girls who were previously sold in different places. Eight more child traffickers were arrested through this incident, and the investigation continues.

We really thank God for His divine intervention and guidance. Also, we do appreciate our House Church leader and Equip Asia staff who stood boldly against such heinous crimes.

Jan
15

Nov-Dec 2017 News in Brief

Family Camp

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: On Sunday, Dec 3, we conducted awareness programs and sold handicrafts at six churches. It  gave us the  opportunity to share the role of the church in bringing transformation in the lives of people with disabilities.  These churches also collected special offerings for Equip Asia’s ministry and the church members encouraged us by purchasing Equip Asia Handicraft products.

Family Blessing Camp:  The Family Blessing camp was conducted from December 9-11, 2017 at the Equip Asia Rehabilitation Center. It was a platform for families who came from different villages. The purpose of this camp was to give the families an opportunity to discover the real truth for themselves about the One True God as a family and to take the responsibility of sharing the truth to their people group. A total of 151 participants, including 41 children, took part in the program on various topics like moral values, 10 seed techniques, family values, and leadership. This camp not only concentrated on individuals but also on their family members and their people group.                         

HIS

Hubballi International School (HIS) Update: Faizal is a lovely toddler who joined Hubballi International School (HIS) in the month of August for lower kindergarten. Before coming to HIS, he was shy and fearful. His family lives in the city and is from a Muslim background. His father, Imran, was worried about Faizal’s behavior at his previous school. He was not able to recognize letters, and was scared and unhappy to go to school. But two months after joining HIS, the teachers can see a lot of improvement in him!

Faizal seems very happy and excited coming to school; he is open with teachers and the children around him and able to communicate and participate in learning. A few days ago, his father visited the school and expressed his gratitude to the teachers, as he could see visible changes in Faizal’s behaviour and learning. He said, “Faizal is now a very happy boy, enjoying his books and activities and ever ready to go to school.”


Praise & Prayer!

Praise God for:
  • His faithfulness and manifold blessings through 2017 in the ministry of Equip Asia. He has been “Jehovah Jireh” in providing all our needs and has created an effective ministry that brings holistic transformations in the lives of people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and leprosy.
  • Enabling Equip Asia to celebrate 20 years of fruitful ministry. Praise God for all the faithful support and prayers of all our partners and foundations.
  • His help in reaching people with disabilities and their families in 15 villages during 2017.
  • His help in the successful implementation of Equip Asia’s programs in the villages and at the Rehabilitation Centre.
  • Committed leadership, staff, volunteers, and donors who have put in valuable time, talents, and resources for the ministry.
Prayer Needs:
  • Pray for God’s counsel and direction on upcoming ministry plans. We have adopted 43 new villages for the next three years (2018-2020).
  • Pray for God’s provision for the Equip Asia ministry, for all donors and volunteers who sacrificially give their money, time, and talents for the ministry, that they will be blessed for what they sow in God’s kingdom.
  • Pray for the 16 year-old-girl who was rescued from child trafficking last month, who was in a child protection cell and has now been released. This has been very difficult for her, so please pray for her health, safety, and mental peace. Also pray that love for God and their daughter would replace any fear, worry, or negativity in the hearts of her parents.
  • Pray for the 11 people who have undergone acts of obedience–for their spiritual maturity, God’s strength to overcome the temptations, to see house churches in their houses.
  • Pray for the people who attended Equip Asia Family Blessing Camp last month. Pray for the follow up visits, their spiritual growth, and for new House Churches to be formed through these families.
  • Pray for all the 15 new House churches–for their spiritual maturity, for leadership, for ownership (that they should depend on God), for multiplication, and that God’s hand should be upon them during opposition and persecution.

Jan
15

Akshata’s Story

I want to become a doctor and give relentless service to my community,” says Akshata.

1Akshata

Eighteen-year-old Akshata is a perfect example of someone who has turned her disability into an opportunity. She comes from a small village and her father is a bus ticket collector and her mother a homemaker. She grew up with the loving care of her parents and siblings in her village. Despite their hard work, it was always difficult to meet the family’s needs.

At the age of six, Akshata’s right foot was injured and she contracted a bone infection, Chronic Osteomyelitis. Not only was the injury painful, the infection caused a terrible odour. Her friends distanced themselves from her because of her sickness and she started losing interest in going to school. The years rolled by, and when Akshata was in fifth grade the infection got so bad that her toe had to be amputated.

Despite all the pain and loneliness, Akshata took courage and kept up her schooling. Even after years of physical pain and humiliation, she completed her education with excellent grades, and was accepted to the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) on merit.

Just as everything was turning out right in Akshata’s life, the infection started to spread to the other toes on her right foot–they all had to be amputated. Her disability on one side and her financial constraints in getting treatment on the other made her helpless and disappointed. But her zeal of becoming an orthopaedic doctor and serving the poor and rejected has not ended.

Akshata knocked at the door of Equip Asia with the hope of getting assistance for her education and medical care, as she is working hard towards her first year at KIMS. Equip Asia seeks people who can pray for her and assist her to complete her studies and get the medical treatment she needs.  If you would like to help her pursue her dream of becoming an orthopaedic doctor by supporting her educational and medical needs, please donate here and mention Akshata’s name in the notes.


Nov
16

November News in Brief

House Church (2).jpgDisability day was observed by one local mainline church as “Equip Asia Sunday” on October 15.  A special time during the Sunday service was given to Equip Asia to present the work and the need for Church response.  It was a time of sharing the Great Commission, the Church’s response to taking the gospel to the unreached and the vision of Equip Asia among the people with disabilities and their communities. Two staff members (both with disabilities), previously served by Equip Asia, shared their testimonies on how Equip Asia’s intervention transformed their lives. The church took a special offering to support the Equip Asia ministry and a few individuals pledged to become regular donors.

Two new house churches were established in two different villages led by the youth leaders themselves.

A career guidance and personality development workshop was conducted at the Equip Asia Rehabilitation Centre on October 11. Thirty-eight youth with disabilities participated in this day-long workshop. Different sessions on goal setting, visions for the future, and personality development were conducted by our specially invited experts. Equip Asia alumni were invited to share their testimonies and challenged the youth to take up various career options available to them. The youth also enjoyed the games and the fun time and left the Centre with lots of conviction and encouragement.

Career_Guidance_Program.jpg

Computer and Conversational English Graduation: seven boys and three girls graduated after successfully completing their four-month Computer and Conversational English course. “I can see amazing changes in my son’s life. He has become responsible, and by staying at the Equip Asia Centre, he has gotten a new zeal to study further and to become independent. I will be thankful to Equip Asia for bringing huge changes in his life,” says the mother of one of our graduates.

Wheelchair distribution at Christian Mission Hospital: A one-day camp was organized by a Christian Mission Hospital in partnership with the Equip Asia Rehabilitation Centre.  Nineteen persons with disability received thirteen customized wheelchairs and crutches. Prakash, our Equip Asia staff member, assisted in customization and also counselled the clients and parents for the first time during the wheelchair distribution. He says, “It was a time of joy and fulfilment for me as I saw children joyfully sitting on their wheel chairs with a beaming smile on their faces. It is a new found mobile vehicle for these children.”  18-year-old Megha’s mother was in tears of joy as she saw her daughter on a wheelchair for the first time. She said, “All these years I carried her on my back, which was very tiring, but now it is easy for me to take her to different places.”

Self_Help_Group.jpg


Two new Sustainable Livelihood Groups (SLG) were established in two different villages in the month of October.

Position Opened For: We are looking for ESL and Preschool teachers, OTs , PTs, and Handicrafts volunteers.


Nov
16

Call for Support

NishaNisha is an 18-month-old baby girl who lives in a small village. She is born to a poor father who is a daily waged laborer and a mother who is a housewife. Her father works hard to take care of his family of three children.  Nisha was born blind.  To add to her woes, she suffers with multiple disabilities and does not have strength below the waist and so needs her mother’s constant attention. Her birth itself dismayed her family members; it was considered as a curse by the family and their village community.  

Adding to their poverty and debts, Nisha’s disability has worsened the family’s financial condition even more.  Due to poverty and lack of medical facilities in the village, they were unable to give her any medical care or nutrition. Because of this condition,  the child is getting weaker day by day. Her mother stays back at home to nourish her children, and especially Nisha as she is completely dependent on her mother while  her two other siblings go to school.  The doctors have advised a scan for further treatment, and they need money on a regular basis for checkup and medications. The whole family is desperate, eagerly waiting for helping hands to support them.

Looking at the condition of the child and the family, Equip Asia has taken the initiative to intervene and provide medical care and to also include child’s mother in sustainable livelihood group (SLG).  We are looking for sponsors to support Nisha’s medical needs to help her family.

Click here to learn how you can help!


Nov
16

Menaka’s Success Story

 

MMenakaenaka comes from a small village. She was affected by polio at a very young age and lost the use of both her legs. She is presently a handicraft home worker for Equip Asia. At home she moves around by crawling on all fours, as her house is not suitable for using the wheelchair given to her by Equip Asia.

Though it is such a joy to talk to her, for her life is filled with laughter and joy, and she gives thanks to the Lord Jesus for being in her heart. In her own words, “I just have to ask Jesus in prayer and instantly I get answers. Jesus is everything to me. I do not know what I would do without Him.”

She was once filled with remorse and bitterness because of her disability, but after she came to Equip Asia and underwent training in tailoring and embroidery her life was totally changed. At one time she was confused and incapable of looking after her own needs. But, now, she is a major contributor to the family.
She has saved little by little, and very soon she will be able to buy a small piece of land and build her own house.

“Equip Asia,” she says, “has changed my whole outlook in life. I have become bold and confident. I am capable of taking care of myself and have the confidence that Jesus will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you, Equip Asia.”


Oct
09

News in Brief (October 2017)

  • A Health and Hygiene program was conducted in two villages; 58 people attended. They were given awareness on health & hygiene, cleanliness, women’s personal health issues, unsafe and unhygienic environment, etc.
  • An Income Generation program was conducted in two villages.  A total of 36 people were trained to make dish cleaning powder, soap powder, liquid cleaning products, aromatic incense sticks, etc. With these skills they will improve their ability to earn their livelihood and support their families.
  • A Disability Management Training program was conducted for 27 people in a small village.
  • Business Start-up funds were given to 10 people to start their own businesses.
  • New staff joining: Mrs. Seema joined as a Manager for Equip Asia Handicrafts and Ms. Reeta as an Admin Manager.

 


Oct
09

Standing Tall

 

Ravi_Beforepict

Raju has a speech and hearing impairment and comes from a small town in South India, about 20 hours train ride from our center.  Because of his physical limitations he went through a lot of hardship and was even considered a burden by his family members.  Eventually though, he started working in a local government office as a bill collector. Steady work was a huge relief, helping him be independent and keep busy.  But life brings unexpected twists. One day, as he was walking by the roadside, he was hit by a bus. He couldn’t hear the honking horn warning him out of the way. His left leg was crushed. He was taken to the hospital immediately and they found that the wound was beyond repair and the leg had to be amputated.

Raju’s family members visited Equip Asia Rehabilitation centre and learnt that prosthetic legs can be manufactured right at the centre. Later, Raju was brought to the center and stayed with us for a month. He was provided with physical therapy before he could be fitted with a custom-sized prosthetic leg. Now, by the grace of God, with his prosthetic leg, Raju is able to carry out his routine works by himself.

Staying at the Rehabilitation centre was much more than a home for him. He forgot all his worries and tensions and was able to find peace. Throughout his stay, he was able to get closer to the Lord and was able to study God’s word every day.

We praise God for this success and we wish him all the best for his life!