Saron's Bright Future
— Ronne Rock · Thursday, April 1, 2021 —
Navigating life as a child or young adult can be challenging, especially when that life is filled with loss and heartache. Saron’s story was filled with that heartache. Her parents divorced, her father passed away, and the little girl in a remote village in India found herself living with relatives who struggled to provide her with even the most basic of care. Saron’s health began to deteriorate, and a doctor delivered heartbreaking news to the young child. She was HIV-positive.
At 31 million, India has the largest number of children who are orphaned anywhere in the world. One in every ten Indian children will be orphaned in their lifetime. And each year, 60,000 children are born with HIV.
Saron was welcomed at Gan Sabra, a ministry program supported by Orphan Outreach. There, her diagnosis was not seen as a death sentence. The staff provided the wraparound care she needed, and she began to thrive. Saron loved school and had dreams of one day being a nurse so that she could offer the same tender care she had received to others. And her Gan Sabra family did all they could to help that dream become a reality, from ongoing medical treatment to locating a quiet and safe place for her to complete her high school studies. Saron was accepted to Bethesda School & College of Nursing in Manipur, India.
On February 10th, 2021, she graduated with a degree in General Nursing & Midwifery—the first college graduate from the Gan Sabra ministry family.
Saron’s story of hope in the midst of heartache is just one of the stories now being written at Gan Sabra. Both the home and community program in northeast India are helping children and young adults living with HIV see the impact they can and will make on the world around them.
Thanks to ongoing support provided by sponsors, churches, and businesses like Porter’s Grocers in West Texas, future college graduates like Zeb* (Political Science, April 2022) and high school students like James* and Nani* are receiving physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual care. A new vocational support program at Gan Sabra will help expand career options for other young adults as well, including Stephen who wants to start a pig farming business and Blani*, a girl who has always had an eye for fashion and now wants to own her own tailoring shop.
“Often when we think of orphaned and vulnerable children, we picture young faces,” says Katherine Cheng, Vice President of Programs for Orphan Outreach. “But in order to equip those children to live healthy, independent lives, we must continue to walk the road with them through young adulthood—when navigating life becomes even more complex. Providing an ongoing safety net of support is critical, and we’re thankful to Porter’s for sharing our mission and vision!”
*the names of the students have been changed