Diane and I recently returned from a time with Dr.Chris and Lakshmi in India and want to bring you up to date on their situation and on the orphanage at the bungalow. The orphanage part of the bungalow has been declared “unlivable” and the children cannot stay there any longer. They have been moved to the Dornal farm orphanage until a plan can be worked out for them. Chris and Lakshmi are still paying for their housing and food in Dornal and greatly appreciate the support they are given for this purpose
In addition to this issue, the Indian Baptist Association has told Chris and Lakshmi that they must vacate the bungalow by the end of the year. There may be a few months grace after that, but they have no recourse. The Indian Baptist Association has already sold parts of the C.A.M High school compound, has a contract of sale to sell the Bungalow, terminated all the leases on the rest of the property, and are pressing Chris and Lakshmi to leave ASAP.
Chris and Lakshmi have purchased 1/4 acre of land in a nearby village to which they hope to relocate. They used all the money they had to do this. The bank will only loan 10% on a house in this village, so they will be needing assistance to raise the funds for a new home. We will be bringing you more information on that prospect later to build a home there and be able to continue the ministry on that property. There will not be room for an orphanage on that property.
The current plan is to bring the children back from Dornal by the 1st week of June and get them placed in willing homes in Nelore so they can be enrolled in school there. This will allow for a more measured placement of the children in permanent homes, hopefully by the end of 2014. Until that time Chris and Lakshmi will be bearing the some of the cost for the children. If short-term homes cannot be found for all the children, some may have to be housed in the main part of the bungalow for a few months.
If, God willing, Chris and Lakshmi can raise the money and build a home in the nearby village, there is a possibility that they may be able to move the children to homes in the new village, but that will take even more of an investment in cottages for them and personnel to help manage the cottages and children. Lakshmi is not in good enough health to keep working 24 by 7 in caring for the children. If they cannot raise the funding they will have to move into an apartment in Nelore.
Chris and Lakshmi plan to open a small clinic and pharmacy in the new village to continue to minister to the Tribals, and anyone needing medical assistance. Additionally, if the funds are available, they will build a ministry center consisting of a roofed area with floor in which the Sunday evening services can be continued. There are regularly between 90 and 120 people coming to that service now.
We will keep you posted on the developments with Chris and Lakshmi and the ministry in India. We have requested formal quotes on the cost of building a small home on the property in the nearby village and will let you know how you can help with that.