A Promise to Keep

Tanaya’s husband had already died of HIV; now it was killing her. Stricken with the life-arresting virus that was ruining her immune system, Tanaya had to do something. She didn’t have the strength to watch over her little ones, Sachiv and Rukma, anymore, so the young widow packed up their things and moved in with her mother.

A Promise to Keep

After 7-year-old Sachiv enrolled in Bridge of Hope, a heavy weight was lifted from his uncle and grandmother who were struggling financially to care for the family. Sachiv had a steady education and received many helpful school supplies and a daily nutritious meal.

A Perpetual Financial Struggle

Tanaya, Sachiv and Rukma now lived under the shelter and provision of their relatives. But life was not easy. The financial strain was a heavy burden for their hardworking uncle and grandmother. Though they worked daily labour jobs, they were barely getting by, and now they had three more mouths to feed. Then there was the issue of Sachiv’s and Rukma’s education. The family knew how important that was, but it was a perpetual struggle to keep both children in school.

Secured Education Through Bridge of Hope

Then, in 2005, a GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centre opened in their village. The staff invited Sachiv to enroll, and his family joyfully consented. Now they didn’t have to worry about Sachiv’s future. Through Bridge of Hope, access to education was secured, and he received the attention he needed to excel in his studies.

After Sachiv joined the program, the staff began visiting the family, learning more about their precious student’s family life. They saw the hardships the family endured, especially the suffering of Sachiv’s mother from HIV.

Tanaya was now unable to walk, and talking was labourious and painful. As she laid in bed, her life slowing ebbing away, Tanaya desperately pleaded with the staff during one of their visits.

“I am helpless,” she said. “Please take care of my children.”

The Bridge of Hope staff watched the young widowed mother wince in pain as she spoke. It wouldn’t be much longer that she would remain with her children. Stirred by her own mother’s and brother’s struggle to take care of the them all, Tanaya had to make sure, while she was still alive, that her children would not suffer through life alone. The staff, moved with compassion, prayed with Tanaya and promised to help.

This was Rukma at age 6 when she started in the GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centre in second grade. Sachiv is 12 in this photo.

Keeping the Promise

When Rukma entered second grade, she enrolled in the Bridge of Hope her brother was part of. As Rukma matured and grew up among the children in the centre, she saw the examples of the loving staff continually displayed before her. She grew each day under their love and care, learning how to be a good student and hard worker.

Sadly, two years later, Rukma and Sachiv became orphaned after their mother passed away. Though they were now without their parents, they were not left alone—the Bridge of Hope staff saw to that.

At the centre, both Sachiv and Rukma received school bags, heathy meals, an education, clothing and assurance of the staff’s love. Throughout the years, the staff continued to visit with the children’s family and maintained relationships with them. When Sachiv graduated, he got a job with the newspaper as a paper boy to help provide for the family, while Rukma continued in the centre.

A Gift Given Helped Provide

While the children were being taken care of through Bridge of Hope, the local church, led by a GFA-supported pastor, didn’t turn a blind eye to the family’s struggles either. Sachiv and Rukma’s uncle was out of work, and the future of their family looked bleak. Upon seeing this need, the church provided their uncle with a hand cart. This hand cart enabled him to sell a refreshing drink that earned income during the summer months. The hand cart was a great help to the family.

As time went by, the sincerity of the Bridge of Hope staff’s commitment and promise would reveal itself during a critical event in Rukma’s life.

A Promise to Keep

The staff at Bridge of Hope, much like the one pictured, encouraged and prompted Sachiv and his sister Rukma to study well and nurtured them in their academic growth.

Delivered from Evil

One day, Rukma arrived home after school acting strangely. She started screaming for no apparent reason and refused to eat. Because of her behaviour, the family took her to a person who performed black magic in hopes he could make her better. In pursuit of delivering her of evils spirits, the sorcerer beat Rukma badly and tied black threads around her neck and wrists. But poor Rukma would not be delivered, despite all the black magic he performed.

This is Rukma as age 12. During her years in Bridge of Hope, she witnessed the tender care and support of the staff at the centre. She formed life skills and good study habits through their examples, and she is blessed with a bright and hopeful future.

The following morning, the family called the Bridge of Hope staff to pray for Rukma’s condition. When the staff came to their home, they prayed for her and encouraged the family. After their prayers Rukma felt relief and slept peacefully. The next day, Rukma’s uncle and grandmother knew that the church that had taken care of them before would be there for them again. Together they took her to the local church for prayer, and as the GFA-supported pastor prayed in the name of Jesus, the evil spirits fled, and He healed her!

With great joy, Rukma’s family said,
“It is the Lord Jesus who delivered her.”

With great joy, Rukma’s family said, “It is the Lord Jesus who delivered her.”

Rukma is now back to normal. She is grateful to the Lord and the Bridge of Hope staff who have faithfully shown her she is loved and valued. She has learned many life skills and now has a quality education—something she will glean from for a lifetime.

“I am always grateful to the Lord and to the Bridge of Hope [staff] for helping me in my studies,” Rukma said. “I had chances to drop out of school, but the Lord opened a way for me through Bridge of Hope.”

A Chance to Bloom Despite the Odds

Though Sachiv and Rukma were left orphans, they were never left alone. Despite the harsh circumstances in their lives, Bridge of Hope supplied them with an environment that cultivated their learning and gave them a chance to live a full life.

GFA-supported Bridge of Hope is impacting more than 70,000 needy children. Through the tutoring and care of the staff, the students receive love and attention—much like the love orphaned Sachiv and Rukma discovered.

More than 70,000 children are benefitting through Bridge of Hope. The program helps the children with their education, so they can one day get a good job and afford the necessities of life for themselves and for their families.

You can play a crucial part in helping precious children like Sachiv and Rukma gain an education and a bright future by sponsoring a Bridge of Hope child today!

Sponsor a child

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.

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