In December 2007, we visited and launched the ground floor of the Sons of Thunder Children's Home near Mumbai, India. We are so excited to share in the Father’s heart for the fatherless, and we cannot help but be overwhelmed by the abandonment of His love for all of us when we consider the poor and broken of the world.
Construction of the facility was a walk of faith, as we met many unexpected turns along the way. We purchased land, and set our construction footprint, providing a clean water well, septic system, bedrooms and common areas, kitchen, study and caretaker quarters. Building in rainy season, we were forced to redouble our foundation efforts, as well as raise our land from monsoon flooding. In addition, we have built a sturdy base that can eventually accomodate future floor expansions.
More Building More Kids
Our main objective is to provide a home for abandoned children. For those who have been a part of this project to date, you will be excited to learn that our children’s home is much larger than we originally planned. Although we began with initial blueprints for a 30-child capacity building, an architectural “accident” caused our floor plan to turn out much larger. Apparently, the Lord wanted us to rescue 20 more kids from the streets, because we will now be able to house 50 children in the home! We do not want a large, warehouse-type orphanage that clinically runs these children through. Instead, we are trying to foster a “home” type environment. So although we will have more space to save the lives of more children, our focus will still remain intimate and caring. We will have room for house parents to live on each floor of the new building, and the added square-footage will even allow for a guest room and office space.
Ongoing Construction Needs
Currently, the ground floor of our facility is complete, with plumbing and electricity. Our goal is to complete a second story as we take in more children needing accomodation. There are always new and ongoing projects with the home, including furnishing, as well as an upcoming boundary wall we are soon to finish.
Our children’s home director Joshua Immanuel feels it is very important that we construct a boundary wall around the perimeter of our property for a number of reasons. For one, it ensures the children’s safety from intruders, but it also keeps them from wandering off or getting into danger. In addition, there are wetlands around the area, and Joshua says there are many poisonous snakes!
In addition to the wall, we will also be funding further needs for the facility, including furniture, bedding and other interior supplies. The Lord is releasing provision every step of the way! We began the project by faith with hardly any of the needed budget. When the Lord gives you a vision, don’t wait for all the resources to be lined up in front of you. Step out by faith! You will watch and see the Lord do tremendous things and you will impact many lives when you take the risk to do the thing He’s called you to complete.
Individual Child Sponsorship
One of the things we have felt is imperative to do is upgrade our child sponsorship program to $50 per month per child. While we had set an earlier estimate of $33 per month, we have since realized this would not be adequate for the level of care we choose to give our children. Besides the fluctuation of U.S. currency abroad, along with standard inflation and cost of living, there are more reasons for this: we want to ensure that the children are properly educated, given necessary medical treatment, properly clothed and well fed. While we originally underestimated what it would cost to cover each child’s needs, be assured that this is still an incredibly low cost to save the life of a child. Furthermore, you can rest assured that Sons of Thunder keeps no administrative fees whatsoever from funds marked for child sponsorship or gifts marked specifically for the children’s home. In fact, we have unloaded quite a bit from our own general fund to get this project moving! So we appreciate you working with us to make a practical Kingdom impact on real lives.
Pacing the Project
Because this home will be making a major impact on the local hindu village (this region is almost entirely unreached by evangelization, unlike Mumbai proper), we are trying not to make a huge splash that will bring unneccesary conflict or persecution. Many are already wary of the project within the village, because of its Christian base, so we will not immediately try to fill the home with kids in one big swoop. This is based on Ranjana's recommendation. We plan on gradually bringing in new children a little at a time. There are already six children that are currently being sponsored in the Love God Home, and we plan to bring in an additional six this year. Please continue to pray for favor with locals, as we see a positive, long-term impact on the local area.
We Want a Million Kids
After completion of this project, our vision is to begin construction on another children's home on the continent of Africa. Please be in prayer with us about this work, as many children are without the most basic necessities of life. Every day, there are more than 16,000 children who die of hunger-related causes. That is one child every five seconds. And more than 800 million go hungry each day. Around the world, more than 11 million children under the age of 5 die from preventable causes, simply because they are too poor to stay alive.
Here at Sons of Thunder, caring for the orphan and the widow will never be a fleeting project or a one-time event. We will continually spend ourselves on the helpless. We will remember the poor. We will never cease to snatch victims from the fangs of the wicked. We do not care one iota about building our own kingdoms or pumping our own little ministry as an end in itself. Such things will be here today and gone tomorrow. We have a higher mandate in mind. Our purpose is to bring Jesus the reward of His sacrifice! God loves the poor! And we want to rally the troops to destroy the works of the devil. We wage an all-out war against poverty, sin, sickness and death. We want to rally that remnant of the church that really wants to impact society in our generation so we can work together and corporately make a lasting difference!
Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support of our kids, and we know beyond measure that the Lord will pour tremendous favor and blessing upon you all as you give to these little ones!
If you would like to contribute to Sons of Thunder on a monthly basis, to help us with this and other mission efforts around the world, please consider partnering with a regular monthly donation.