- Location: Maharashtra, India
- Number of Children: 15 (13 boys & 2 girls)
Bridi is the word for “love” in the local language, and the kids at Bridi Slum School get plenty of it! Bridi is located in the bustling state of Maharashtra, India. Each year upwards of 15,000 orphans come into this city looking for refuge. Many find only hopelessness and despair. The fictional story and movie “Slumdog Millionaire” is an accurate picture of the life lived by many of these orphaned children.
The Hopegivers’ pastor – a graduate from Hopegivers Bible College – came into Maharashtra in 1996. After coming to the Lord several years previously, he learned of Dr. M. A. Thomas’ mission to share the love of Christ with his beloved nation. He decided to go to the Bible College and be trained to follow in Dr. Thomas’ footsteps. After a year of ministry traveling around the city on bicycle and sharing the Gospel, he started a Hope Home in the slums with just 3 children. He also opened a small school in order to give the street children some education during the day as well as an opportunity to hear the Gospel. By God’s grace the ministry grew from small beginnings to a Hope Home with 15 children and a school that is educating nearly 200 children a day. The pastor not only has a growing church in the city, but is also ministering in several villages outside of the city.
Unfortunately, in 2012, new regulations forced the Bridi Hope Home to downsize. Thankfully, most of the children had relatives to stay with and the ones that did not were able to stay at Bridi. All the children still attend the Bridi Slum School during the week with the other children from the area. Each school day the children are provided a mid-day meal. Having the school takes the burden of education off of the strained parents and relatives. In India, state education costs money – it isn’t free like it is in the US. At Bridi Slum School, the children get an education, learn discipline, study the Bible and partake in academic games.