Hooshga’s First Adventure: India 2013

The Hooshga Project had its first launching in India, where hundreds of slum children poured out of overstuffed, flatbed trucks to a ministry center near the slums. Canvas stretching up from the wood slat sides kept the one hundred heads on each truck somewhat shielded from the debris and hot sun. Each child climbed out of the over crowded vehicle beaming with a smile. They were eager to encounter the Jesus that had sent this team of fifteen Americans from Kingsville, Maryland on June 20th, 2013 to help participate in the summer VBS program. Pastor Greg and his team from Grace Community Church, home to President Dan Dubell, were pioneering the distribution of Hooshga.

Amongst those on the team was the Grohman Family: Chris and Melissa and their children, Jamie, Molly and Maddy. Devastated by the loss of their adopted sister Libby, each arrived with a new song in their hearts and a turtle in their hands. Hooshga, The Good News Turtle, resembled their baby sister’s prized stuffed animal. They were ready to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the children of this poverty stricken region, giving each a string bag filled with a plush turtle and picture Bible, featuring Hooshga. Libby’s favorite past time had been to flip through the pages of her story Bible while she sat in her wheelchair holding her turtle. They were about to witness hundreds of children impacted by the legacy of their three-year-old sister.

Three hundred Hooshga packages were donated, creating an excitement across the group. The children were proud to wear their Hooshga backpacks to school that week. The team was moved in their spirits as they witnessed the slum areas that these children lived in, with homes made from tin and cardboard no bigger than what the average American would label their “mud room”.

The team from Grace Community returned to the States with new vision. Chris and Melissa’s heart continue to expand for children in need, coming from a long history of foster care. They have chosen to sponsor two Indian children monthly from the slum they visited. Molly was inspired to become a social worker in order to help children in difficult circumstances. And as a result, a desire was birthed in Maddy to return and work with the ministry center and slum community when she is older.

Hooshga’s first trip proved more successful than anticipated, as word returned that not only is the picture Bible affective with the children, but is also a vital tool in sharing Christ with their illiterate parents. Mission IC Orphans plans to return to India in the future to distribute more Hooshga packages, realizing that over half of the children within that slum area are still in need of a picture Bible and stuffed animal.

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