What kind of persons do you work with? What are their basic needs?
The people at the verge of being marginalized and those already marginalized in the community. They are mostly girl students and women from poor rural background, having HIV/AIDS related problems. Their basic needs are education support, food, clothing, health care and training on sustainable micro-enterprises for self-support/sustenance.
In what way has your work informed your thinking about what it means to respect another person’s humanity? Give some specific examples.
To be present and available when people need you the most in their difficult time is sharing Christ’s life in the most ordinary, but holy way of doing ministry. Ignoring people or their problem is disrespect both to God and man who is created in his image. “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”(Matthew 25:40).
Here are two examples.
Miss Pemngam grew up in the home of a maternal aunt in a Hindu family after her mother died. Her father remarried and never came to visit her. Pemngam came to Shillong from Manipur to work as a domestic helper, but she was later diagnosed with a disease called SLE and was unable to work. She was 23 when she joined the Project Light course to learn basic reading and writing. She came to know the Lord after going through a series of counseling for more than a year. Her decision to take believer’s baptism after attending the baptism class was refused by the pastor, which added pain to her life. As a result, she left that church. I arranged for her baptism with another Baptist pastor in Shillong. By God’s grace, Pemngam, who was insecure and unhappy in life, is a new person after knowing Christ. A few of us also helped her to get beautician training, and now she is working in a parlor and able to take care herself for her ongoing SLE treatment. She gained self-image and self-respect by being able to stand on her own feet.
With the help of friends, I am helping Miss Woyangla in pursuing her dream to do a B.A. degree in Shillong. When she was two, both her parents died with HIV/AIDS, and she was raised by relatives. She is growing up confident now by overcoming the social stigma of being HIV/AIDS positive and is focused on achieving her dream to be an educator in the village for the disabled children and HIV/AIDS affected children, in particular. She also takes active part in the church activities.
What kind of character traits, virtues or approaches has your ministry helped you from? How has your ministry shaped you as a person?Doing ministry among a marginalized group has taught me to be less judgmental and more compassionate in my approach. This led me to practice an open home, providing hospitality and creating safe places to help them encounter Jesus Christ personally.