September 16, 2013
Our staff has been put to the test over the past few weeks as we received several new girls with challenging issues. We are currently short handed as well. They have worked tirelessly over many nights and weekends to make sure our girls have been provided the care and protection they need. We continue to be amazed at the love and compassion they offer. They are truly making a difference.
August 12, 2013
Several new staff members and volunteers are coming on board over the next few weeks. Sadly, we must say “good bye” to our beloved Sara (MSW) as she is heading off for a new life adventure (marriage!!). We wish her all of God’s blessings for the future as she and Josh begin their life together. Andrea is now settling in as our “right hand person” at 7 Sisters Home. She previously lived in Assam for two years and brings valuable language skills and experience with her. She is helping with teaching (we now have on site education but no full time Assamese teacher) and is currently fine tuning her driving skills so she can navigate the crazyness of the streets of Guwahati while driving on the “wrong” side of the road in a vehicle with right hand drive and left hand standard shift – you try it! Our girls are doing well – certainly not without challenges, but we are very encouraged with their progress.
May 5, 2013
Today our new well began producing a steady flow of clear water. For the past few weeks we have been purchasing 1500 liters of water each day for 500 Rs. (about $9). This has really been adding up so we are quite relieved that we can use our own well again. The old well was less than two years old but was improperly designed and, over time, filled with sediment. The new well has three casings: the first one is about 10 inches in diameter and extends 170 feet down through the soil to bedrock; the second is 5 inches in daimeter and extends through the rock down to 330 feet where there is plenty of water; the third casing is 3 inches in diameter and lines the 5 inch casing to prevent sand and rocks from flaking off and filling the well shaft. This was necessary due to encountering “soft” rock, according to the contractor, and should prevent future problems. The submersible pump is a 1.5 hp Japanese model and actually fits inside the 3 inch pipe. It can push up plenty of water at a well head depth of over 330 feet – quite amazing! We have learned more than we wanted to know about wells but are pleased that we are back in business with our own water supply.
April 26, 2013
Education for our three girls is coming along well. One attends a nearby school and the others are being home schooled at Seven Sisters. Girls often don’t have the same opportunities as boys in India, and education is a good example. If a family is poor they may send their sons to school but not their daughters. A poor girl is expected to stay home until her father can arrange a marriage for her. Her labor may also be needed to help support the family. If she doesn’t marry, and is uneducated, her options are very limited. One of our girls has never attended school, as she was sent away from home as a small child to work in an abusive environment. Another is far below grade level. They are eager to learn and are already making good progress. We believe one key to success for them is to learn English. They enjoy teaching us their native languages (there are several) as they learn English. Fortunatey, they seem to less confused than we are!
April 10, 2013
Today the crew came to Seven Sisters to begin digging our new well. Our’s recently went dry and we have been buying water for 300 to 600 rupees a day (about $10) to supply our needs. We are hopeful that they will hit water and we will have our own water supply again in about 25 days. The cost for a new well is around $5,000 (the landlord is sharing the cost with us). So far, this has only been an inconvience – not sure what we will do in the long term if the new well comes up dry. The landlord will certainly have apoplexy!
March 25, 2013
We have had our first girls for almost a month now – and it has been quite an adventure! They are wonderful sweet girls, but with all of the normal teenage problems and a lot more. We have reached out to them with love and a safe family environment for them to heal from their trauma and grow strong. Our prayer for them is that they will become all that God has created them to be. They are very small for their ages and seem much younger than they are. They enjoy coloring, stuffed animals, and simple games – much like younger children in the west. Because of the abuse they have suffered, they have missed many of the joys of normal childhood. We have seen them respond remarkably well to the love of our staff, and thank God that we can be his hands and feet and serve some of “the least of these” as Jesus refers to them.
February 20, 2013
We recently held a dedication of the home and invited key leaders for snacks, a tour, and prayer as we are now officially open to receive girls. We also appeared before the Child Welfare Committee to reiterate that we specialize in treating girls who have been rescued from forced labor and prostitution or other situations where they have been subjected to sexual abuse. Our staff is anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first girls.
December 9, 2012
We took a few days rest last week at a small village several hours from Guwahati. The peace and quiet really refreshed us, and the villagers were wonderful hosts. One problem, we had to consume a lot of rice and tea during our visits to their homes. On the last day we asked if we could skip lunch. They respected our request – but did bring out a plate delicious fresh pinnapple before we headed home. Poor as they are, they appear to really enjoy their simple lives as rice farmers. All that we have in the West doesn’t seem to result in more contentment.
November 21, 2012
Received word that we have been approved for a grant from the Global Hunger Fund in the amount of $25,000. This is for food related items including kitchen set up, appliances, water purfier, hot water heater, food for our girls, and even the cook’s salary. What a great blessing!
October 26, 2012
Lots of progress has been made on the project since we arrived in Guwahati at the end of September. Janice, Sara, and Jordi have been busy interviewing candidates for various positions with Seven Sisters (care givers, admin & finance personnel, guards, housekeepers, security guards), as well as setting up all of the procedures for running the home. Don has been busy supervising the electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and painters working to get the building ready to occupy. We are encouraged that we are still on track to meet our original goal of receiving girls by the end of the year.
September 27, 2012
As a part of their training at Courage Homes, Sara and Jordi (our new staff members) attended a hearing before the Child Welfare Committee in Delhi yesterday. When the officials heard about Seven Sisters Home in Assam they were delighted. They related that many girls are in the social welfare system in Delhi awaiting return to Assam and our home will be a real benefit once it is open to receive girls. This is further confirmation that our work will be well received and a benefit to the children who so desperately need the love of God after a life of abuse.
September 19, 2012
Arrived in Delhi this morning after a grueling 14 hour flight to Shanghai and another 6 hours to India. We will be here to train at Courage Home for ten days with two new key Assamese staff members – Sara and Jordana. Sara is an experienced MSW who will direct overall care at Seven Sisters and Jordana is an experienced counselor who will head up the conseling program. Besides proven skills, they both have a heart to serve trafficking victims. We are grateful to have them join Seven Sisters Home and wish them well as they relocate to Guwahati.
August 19, 2012
We recently received word that our license for Seven Sisters Home has been approved. This is HUGE. Something that can take many months and lots of hassles was accomplished in just five months. Thanks to all who worked so diligently to help get this done (especially AK). Now we will concentrate on getting the building up to standards so it will be a modern, cheerful place for our girls to heal and thrive.
Our first employee, SJ, is a talented and experienced MSW with a heart to help trafficking victims. She begins with Seven Sisters in September and will meet up with us in Delhi where we will undergo specialized training before returning to Guwahati to recruit and train staff and set things up.
June 30, 2012
We are currently travelling in the US to raise awareness and secure support for Seven Sisters Home. Many thanks to all those who have invited us to speak to their groups – and for the tremendous interest you have shown. We remain certain that many people will be moved by the difficulties trafficked girls are facing in India and be led to support this endeavor. Special thanks to our dear friends at Agape Outpost in Breckenridge for raising several thousand dollars at a recent garage sale.