Since I fell in love with Jesus for the way He laid down His life for me, the Lord has given me purpose and joy in laying down my life for others, for his children, especially for the poor and the suffering. The Lord has led me to donate all the profits from my biography She Looks Like My Little Girl to a Christian school called LifeWay Academy in Bihar, India.
Bihar is the birthplace of Buddhism and is dominated by poverty. It has the worst literacy rates in the nation. The India people, however, appreciate a good education to lift their posterity out of poverty. Christians have seen this an opportunity to open up hearts that are otherwise closed to the Gospel.
Christians founded this school in 2018 with a vision to impart quality education to children and transform the society with the Gospel. The school's motto is "Educating the mind, nurturing the soul." The focus of LifeWay Academy is to educate kids from the lower strata of society and indigenous people, who have been largely cut off from mainstream Indian society. Despite India's rapid development in technology, a large number of children still have no access to good schooling. LifeWay Academy aims to change that in Bihar.
Presently, 175 children are enrolled in the school, which has 12 teachers and staff. About half of the children are the first ones from their families in generations to attend a school. LifeWay Academy is already making a significant impact through its community outreach initiatives in enrolling many children in the school as well improving health and hygiene in the community. LifeWay Academy has a fantastic group of qualified Christian teachers and staff who are committed to the Gospel and providing an excellent education.
The education is heavily subsidized by Gospel-minded believers because the vast majority of these students come from a poor background and are well below the poverty line. We never turn away any child who wants to study but cannot afford the fee. Since the school receives no aid from the state or any other agencies, this makes it difficult to pay the salaries of the teachers and staff. To us, this is the Great Commission mandate, and we continue to trust God to provide what we need to do what He has called us to do. Our reward is in heaven. Yet the teachers and staff have to provide for their families, too.
In the summer of 2019, we started a project to expand the facilities and classrooms. We added one more floor to the school building. In April 2020, we should have capacity to enroll up to 300 children. We desperately need a computer lab with at least 20 computers and a library, so that children can learn computers and have access more educational resources.
When you purchase my biography, please buy extras for anyone you think might be blessed by it. There will be an opportunity at checkout to give extra money to the school. Please think of them. Even the poorest of us have so much more than the average family of the average child in LifeWay Academy. We are so blessed in this country and have a difficult time thinking of others in our same community, much less around the world. Please think and pray for them as you give. The Lord loves them. They are His children. He has called us to reach them with the Gospel, to love them as we love ourselves. Even now as I write these words, my heart pounds with anticipation that your gift can help rescue a child out of a lifetime of superstition and paganism and win the child and his or her family to Jesus. Thank you for your generous sacrifice to "the least of these."
From the author, James Johnston:
I have been to India on short-terms mission project with my daughter Anna twice. We can attest to the fact that the education of children is a very effective way to reach the people of India, otherwise closed to the Gospel due to millennias of pagan tradition that swallows almost all of cultural and social life in India. I have been to Christian schools with Christian teachers who teach a distinctly Christian education to a class almost totally comprised of Hindu children (as evidenced by the red "bindi" mark on the foreheads) and Muslims (as evidenced by the taqiyah cap worn by the boys). It is amazing to see Christians teaching Hindus and Muslims in a Christian school far less expensive than the competing secular schools! Every classroom we visited was packed so far beyond what we in the United States would tolerate, but the desire for education is far stronger in India than in the U.S.
I have met children who speak three languages in formal school attire living in thatched, homemade houses in the trash-filled slums of downtown Chennai, a city of 20 million in southern India. Thank a Christian school half the cost of the best secular schools.
I believe supporting the establishment of Christian schools in the heart of Bihar, India, is one of the best uses of funds to win this large unreached people group for Jesus.