I still remember the day in 1998, when I took my three-month old daughter, Charisma to India for the first time. I was filled with joy at the thought of bringing her to my country. At the airport, moments after we had arrived a security lady asked me if Charisma was my first child, to which I proudly answered in the affirmative. She looked at me with pity and said that maybe the next time I would be fortunate enough to have a son! Anger and pain filled me, though I really should not have been surprised as this is the usual response mother’s with girls and girls get in India.
I began to cry out to the Lord to change this, to make the life of the women and girl children better in India. He began to speak to me that I should do something about it. Pretty soon He had told me that I would start an orphanage and other ministries to women in India. Looking at my own ability I felt like Gideon, incompetent and helpless. The Lord unmistakable spoke to me from Zechariah 4:10,“Who has despised the day of small beginnings.” It was a small beginning when I took that small step and began sponsoring one girl. As others heard about this vision they came on board and more little girls began to be sponsored through our ministry. In 2005 we started Karishma Girl’s Home (an orphanage) and currently we have 23 girls at the home!
Soon we started Karishma Daycare where we cared for 65 children (mostly girls) who live in the slums of Agra. The ministry to women began to mushroom as well. Our workers started a sewing school, Karishma Sewing School. By now over 1,200 girls have been trained and have been provided employment because of this outreach entirely supported by the friends and partners of this ministry.
On our recent trip to India I visited the Sewing School where quite a few women shared the positive way this outreach has shaped their lives. Basically all of them said that the trade this sewing school has given them has permitted them to achieve a level of independence they could never imagine. They are now able to contribute financially in their home, which gives them a measure of security in a society driven by greed for money. I guess you had to be there to really comprehend the positive way their lives are changed.