On the surface, India seems like a culture of close-knit families, but in reality there is an enormous need among the multitudes of elderly who are treated as a burden by their children and grandchildren. With few nursing homes and little government assistance, many widows are forced to live on the porch of a relative's house. Often times they are fed sparingly in hope that they will die sooner. There are, of course, some family members who struggle to feed themselves and simply are not able to provide for their aging parents.
In 2006 God led us to begin the HOPE Manna program for widows. We started with a group of 10 widows who received one meal a day. We currently (2015) have 29 widows (one a widower) and provide two meals a day. These elderly also receive blankets and hut repairs as needed. Most importantly, the able bodied attend morning and evening devotions at HOPE for fellowship and spiritual growth.
Since the start of the HMP we have begun similar programs in other areas. In the village of Alluru a pastor named Joseph, along with his son and daughter-in-law, gather with 8 elderly for a daily meal and prayer.
The Manna Program at Krupa colony (click here to read more about village ministry) began in 2014 and provides for 16 men and women. This program is overseen by Pastor Prabhakar Rao.
Kondu Botlavaripalem MP began 2013, is overseen by Pastor Boaz, and has 8 members.
Subba Reddy MP has 13 members and is overseen by Pastor Parishudha Rao.
Reddipalem MP is the newest program and has a total of 13 elderly at this time. Many of these individuals are handicapped and survive by begging.
We constantly pray for wisdom as we hear the stories of those asking for help and try to discern the actuality of their need as well as their commitment to following Christ. We depend on gifts designated specifically for the Manna Program to fulfill our ongoing commitment to these elderly.
There's a lot more to the Manna Program than just locations and numbers. Click here to view the photo albums and see the faces and stories of those that we serve.
"Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them." Psalm 10:17
A small amount can make a world of difference! $15 per month helps us provide a widow two meals a day, blankets, clothing and more.