“Oh, to be young again!”
How often have those of us who are just a bit older said that?!
With 356 million 10-24 year-olds, India has the world’s largest youth population. And by 2020, India will be the youngest country in the world, with a median age of 29 years.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
Another ministry that YFC India has is the Bezaleel Centre (above photo left), a home for runaways and ragpickers on the outskirts of Chennai. They are called ragpickers because they hunt through trash bins and garbage dumps to find recyclable materials that they can sell to make a living. Most are typically youngsters who have made their homes on the streets where they are malnourished and vulnerable to a variety of vices. Since 1995 boys who demonstrate a desire for a better life have been taken into the Bezaleel Centre where they are taught the basics of hygienic living, reading, writing and arithmetic. It’s a place where they are also loved by staff and given the opportunity to hear the Gospel through word and song. (To give you an idea of the effects of malnutrition, the boy (front left) is holding up his fingers to say that he is 14 years old.)
The Bezaleel Centre is helping to set a new life-direction for these boys. Staff are seeing young boys who have sought after a better life leave the Centre as young men who are also now living for a higher purpose. Many have been able to gain employment and lead lives far different from when they first arrived.
- The Bezaleel Centre’s foundation is need of major repairs due to the sinking of land. Some of the buildings are in need of upgrading, others have become uninhabitable. Pray for God’s favor and provision of funds so that the ministry to these boys can continue without interruption.
- As we enter the month of December YFC staff all across the Asia Pacific area will be sharing the Christmas Story at events and outreaches. Pray for God to touch the hearts and minds of young people who will be hearing the message of His great love for them, many who will be hearing this Good News for the first time. A few specific events: Celebrate Christmas in Singapore (December 18-24) staff will be sharing the Christmas story along Orchard Road as well as Vivo City (mall just outside Sentosa); Myanmar YFC along with a visiting mission team from Singapore YFC will be holding Christmas “parties” for children of Word Place centres (November 29 to December 11); Indonesia YFC is sharing in an evangelistic rally for 300 youth and ragpickers (December 2).