Friends of
Cross Roads for Human Development UK

January 2013

Reg charity no UK 1116524
Reg charity no: SOR 129: Act. 1960—17, Karnataka State, India

Dear Friends,

Since I wrote to you last time, I have been to India to attend to various matters relating to CRHD in India. To my surprise CRHD friends in India had organized two days of celebration in the school and one day in the tailoring centre in Raichur. They had organized various activities to celebrate the 10th anniversary of CRHD. The school was looking great with colourful decorations and filled with the spirit of joy, smiles and gratitude. The staff were busy ensuring that everything was performed according to plan. The children were dressed up for the occasion, cooks were busy preparing those wonderful dishes which we certainly miss here. The whole village along with the regular traffic was stunned and stood still to watch all that was happening.  Added to that, I was so pleased that the government school in the village and its staff were invited for this function and without any doubt it made them realise what Kids Paradise School is capable of producing. To sum up, it looked like a village festival, full of life, joy and enthusiasm. The celebration lasted three days.  

The theme for this celebration was "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us." (1 Samuel 7:12). It was a time to remember the Lord’s goodness and to see how His work had begun. It was also a time to express thanks to all those who have been praying, who have been supporting financially both in India, the UK and Zurich. It was also a time to rededicate ourselves to trust the Lord for all that lies before us in the future. We certainly missed Mr. Daniel and praised God for his life. However, the celebration brought great delight and together we remembered not only those who have visited them, but also those who sacrificially contribute financially for them to carry on the good work that the Lord began 10 years ago.

  The celebration opened my eyes to see what I hadn’t seen before in the ministry of CRHD in India, that it is not only the amazing building in the village which captures the sight but also those wonderful children who are so willing to learn and the deep commitment of the staff who are happy to work hard - to see CRHD’s productivity in many ways: The school has been greatly appreciated by the visiting education officers, our children continue to strive for excellence and the morning school assemblies have given them the opportunity to learn about Scripture.
It was good to see that all ex-staff had been invited and also recognized. More than anything, I was very much touched by the presence of those children who have now completed Year 7 and gone on to study in other schools. They were invited for this celebration and they performed one of the best dances, the Bharat Natyam (Indian classical dance) to open the celebration. This time I took the opportunity to honour all the staff with shawls and presented them with some small gifts in recognition of all that they have been doing. As we know they are always so grateful for all that we do in raising funds for the running of the school. It was a bit strange for them, to be honoured this way because they never think about it and always honour others.  
  The previous day the school had organized sports’ day. The whole school was involved, taking parts in various sports and games. On the following morning they were all givens various prizes/rewards for their achievements, and in the afternoon, they distributed for each class the Mr. Daniel’s Memorial prizes (first, second and third) for those who had excelled in Maths and Science. I was surprised and speechless to see the amazing result of those children in the said subjects. All the children were delighted to receive their prizes and no doubt it also brought a great joy to their parents.
Mr. Paul, one of the trustees in India, supervised the cooking every day for us so we could all enjoy delicious meals which can never be prepared in quite the same outside of India. He lives in Mumbai but always takes a week off work to come to Raichur to help us by being in the background which is not usually noticed.  Parents joined the staff to serve food and were more than happy to clean up everything after the programme. They are grateful for the school that cares for their children.  

The Tailoring Centre:

  Sundera Daniel along with other staff had also carefully planned for the celebration. Since they do not have their own building like Kids Paradise, they always organize such programmes at Mrs. Daniel's residence. Again it was full of colour, women wearing their beautiful coloured sarees and the cooks busy preparing  a celebration meal for everyone.  They too had invited all those women who had completed their training in the past to join the programme. There were more than 200 people witnessing how the tailoring centre has grown from five women to what it is today - 500 women gathered from various socio-economic and religious backgrounds.  Some of them gave their testimony telling how the Tailoring centre has reshaped their lives by giving them a new meaning for life.
Sundera surprised all of us by presenting one young lady from a Muslim family who was the first student at the centre. She had married a Christian worker, settled down in Bangalore and has started a tailoring centre of her own. She has earned more than one hundred thousand Indian rupees. She gave her testimony and told us how excited she had been to receive the invitation to the celebration. She had travelled through the night and had only arrived that morning to attend the programme. The centre honoured her with shawl and she said that she considered Sundera as her mother. What a joy to see that although not having their own children both Mrs and Mr. Daniel considered these young ladies and the children of the school as their own and did all that could for them. Even after the death of Mr. Daniel, Sundera continues to show that same love and affection towards them and it has made a world of difference to their lives.  

Those who came to this celebration were able to see an exhibition of the various skills and talents of the women students. Their handiwork was on display and brought great appreciation from all those who had been invited. The willingness to learn, to teach others and to support one another was very apparent among all those who have completed their training.

And so we can thank God for his goodness and love that has followed us all these past ten years and I am sure God willing, in the future we shall have a 15th and then a 20th celebration for God’s glory.  Joseph.
 

Gill adds: Joseph has asked me to tell you about the WRVS Diamond Champion’s award.

In this Diamond Jubilee year for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, The Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, WRVS offered a special award for over 60’s who have contributed in a special way to Community life in the UK or abroad. I was selected initially as one of 60 in Wales to receive the award, mainly for my work for CRHD. I was then further selected as one of 10 to go to St James’ palace on the 27th November to meet Prince Charles. I presented His Royal Highness with our new brochure and asked whether he had any ideas as to whom we might approach for funding towards our dream of a Secondary Boarding School. I have received a written response but sadly no real ideas for significant funding. It was however a great honour and I was delighted to be able to further the cause of CRHD.

Thank you all for your continuing support. God bless you.

Gill and Joseph