The Jyoti Hope Home was started in 1996 with 15 children by Pastor Arthur, a Hopegivers’ Emmanuel Bible College graduate. Today, by the grace of God, there are 108 children that call Jyoti home! “Jyoti” is the local word for “light,” which no doubt the Hope Home is for the community – a lighthouse for the Gospel.
Jyoti is located in Northern India where missionaries from New Zealand came to share the Gospel in the 1950’s. They established a school, a hospital, and an orphanage. Because of these early missionaries the people in this area learned about the teachings of Christ. Many of the farmers became Christians. Pastor Arthur’s father was one of those farmers. Unfortunately, the missionaries went back to New Zealand after a few years and the zeal for education and serving God all but vanished from this town.
The town is still full of poor people who barely survive on the monies they earn by cutting wood from the nearby forest and selling it. The only medical care available is located in a distant town. Even so, no one can afford to take their sick there for care even if they had the money to make the trip.
Without the discipline of an education and with parents in the fields and forests all day long, young Arthur and his friends roamed the muddy town streets or the wheat fields of the wealthy land owners picking fights, and stealing cigarettes and alcohol wherever they could. Arthur grew up, married and had three children. In spite of losing three of his brothers due to alcohol, he managed to drink himself into a coma for three days. His wife, a Christian, and his young children spent those three days pleading for his life with the Lord. When he finally awoke from the coma, he could not speak because his mouth was so full of blisters. But the sight of his little daughter weeping in prayer over him for his recovery pierced his heart, and he was ashamed of his ways.
In 1989, Arthur heard about Dr. M. A. Thomas from one of the Hopegivers’ pastors. He was inspired by the teachings in the Word of God, believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, repented of his ways, and got baptized. From that time to this he has not had any alcohol. He also got trained in the Word of God under Dr. MA Thomas, who became his spiritual father.
After studying at the Hopegivers Emmanuel Bible College, Arthur went back to his hometown to start a Christian ministry. He found true joy in the Word of God, in spreading that Word and in serving those who need help. He continued to distribute tracts and New Testaments, and to preach with all his strength. To the glory of God and through Arthur’s ministry, many have accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior.
As he looked around at the pitiful condition of abandoned children in the town, he saw these children as future carriers of the Word of God. In 1996, Pastor Arthur started the Jyoti Hope Home with 15 of those children. Today, Pastor Arthur has 20 churches under his leadership, with over 600 believers. He now has a Bible School with 200 students. Twenty of them graduated in 2011.
Pastor Arthur has truly been blessed as a father. Two of his own children are now serving the Lord with Hopegivers International!
Despite all of the blessings, life has not been easy for Pastor Arthur. He has been imprisoned twice for his faith. The persecution does not upset him. He says, “My faith in the Lord is strong and it cannot be moved – whether the situation is large or small. I found a great friend and guide in Dr. M. A. Thomas. Whenever I would stray off the right path, I was always guided back by his counsel. I also look up to Dr. Samuel Thomas, who models unmovable faith to all of us. His faith grows even stronger with every new trying circumstance that arises in the ministry.”
Pastor Arthur continues, “I am happy and blessed that I was actually given the opportunity to work for the Lord and fulfill His Word. I do not worry about how the children under my care will earn their bread and butter when they grow up. I am raising hard working children and there is never a shortage of work for those who desire to labor. It is my heart’s desire that I also raise children to be faithful servants of the Lord so they can further the Word of God among various communities.”
The Jyoti Hope Home is a building that includes a church hall, a store room, one dorm room for the boys, one for the girls, and a room for the pastor and his family. The kitchen is a temporary arrangement set out in the compound. There is still a great need for proper sanitation facilities. They also need a new water tank, and a dining facility.
In spite of the needs, the children never complain. They always seem to find reasons to sing the praises of the Lord with joy and excitement for all that the Lord has already done, as well as for all they trust He will continue to do for them.