At 10:30PM on Tuesday, July 10, 171 children were dropped off on the doorsteps of a church in India. These are 171 children who are now free from slavery and a life of abuse. God’s redemptive work in these kids has already begun. Here’s how their story is unfolding:
A mine supervisor’s wife had enough. She could not stand to watch children held in slavery anymore. So, in secret and with the help of a few others, she took 171 children from her husband’s mine and brought them to the only safe place she could think of – the doorsteps of a church.
Urgent phone calls were made through the network of Sylom Pastors to find space in churches to house these kids. Food was brought to them, and medical care was arranged for the next day. A few older children were transported to the new church homes to serve as mentors for the newly rescued children. They would be there to answer their questions and calm their fears throughout these first days.
The next morning (Wednesday, July 11), these children were taken to the hospital for a medical check-up. Skin diseases, infections in feet and hands, dental problems, and sexual assault injuries are commonplace for children who are forced to work in the mines. On this day, they saw a doctor and began the physical healing process.
Following their visit to the hospital and in the days that have followed since, these 171 children have been cared for through Set Free’s partners in India. The kids have received food, clothing, and medicine. They have attended devotion services. They are learning who Jesus is and how deeply they are loved. They will get an education.
Set Free’s partner spent his next week travelling through villages with his team to find the families of these children. He followed leads and visited homes with the aim of reuniting as many children as possible with their families. In fact, 61 have already been reunited! While the search continues for other families, the kids will continue to be cared for and loved as long as it takes to find their family. And if being reunited is not a possibility, they will continue to be cared for and equipped for the future.