When I asked for a report on the graduation ceremonies, I was not expecting such a fabulous response. Here are three snip-its from three executive staff. It is interesting to see what impacted each of them. Actually, these reports tell the complete story as to why Prakash exists. The students’ testimonies are thrilling and make it all worthwhile.
Report from Nagesh:
We had blessed student’s graduation programme for both boys and girls. It was truly joy to listen to our students’ response and their experiences on the Prakash Campus. I was thrilled to hear one of the RGI girls who had come from faraway village. Her testimony was truly blessed one. She came from the Hindu family and she did not know anything about Jesus. She did not see computer in her life and did not know English at all, but after spending one year in RGI she is completely transformed for JESUS. I was surprised to listen to her words. She spoke village language in a very simple manner.
All of us were very encouraged to see that our efforts to bring transformation in these young lives are not in vain. Those of you who are sacrificially contributing towards the Institutes your efforts are million times worthwhile.
Report by Nupi:
Testimony shared by Sony was the highlight of the program. When I asked her if she would share her experience in the graduation program her first response was NO. But I said to her, “I am asking you to do so because I know you can do it, I would be happy even if you share just two things; where you came from and what you studied at Prakash.” But Sony surprised me when she stared sharing her story. Joy said, “She shared from her heart.” This is what she shared, “I praise God that he brought me to RGI and gave me a chance to speak a few words in this program. I came from a small tribal village. Education is the last thing on our mind in the village. Children are enrolled in the schools but don’t go to school. Illiterate parents say either go to school or come and work with us in the fields. We choose the latter option. I came to RGI just because the social worker from World Vision suggested that we go. I had no purpose in life, but now when I look back I know that it was God’s plan for me. I had only seen a computer in pictures and TV and once in reality, but I had never touched it. Today I have completed my certificate course in computer. I want to continue my studies and get a job so that I can help my family. When I entered RGI everything was very different and new for me. I didn’t understand even the simplest things like cleaning and mopping the floor. But the house- mother and Savita madam taught me everything and I am so thankful to them for it. When I came to RGI reading Marathi was difficult for me but my teacher taught everything so well that now even English is familiar to me. The English classes at RGI helped me to understand and speak some English. I asked my computer teacher even simple things almost hundred times, but they never shouted on me and were very patient with me. I will never get such teachers in life.
Once when I was in my village I wondered about the bright stars in the sky and asked my father about it. He scolded me and told me to shut up and not ask questions. My questions were answered when I came to RGI during Christmas time that a bright star shone in the sky when Jesus was born. I praise God that I was able to get answers to many of my questions through Starting Point. Coming from a total non-believing family I had never heard the name of Jesus or seen a Bible, but now I know Jesus personally. I praise God that he brought me to RGI to bring change in my life. I could learn many skills like beauty parlor, cooking and spoken English too. I will never experience such love and care in my life again.”
Sony also shared about RGI in a meeting conducted for five villages around her area. God willing some girls will be coming from this area next year to study with us.
The girls decided to wear sarees for the graduation ceremonies. They borrowed them. Very few have ever owned a sari of their own.
Report from Moses:
We all had wonderful time of fellowship with our graduating students and guests. We had altogether 28 guests for this program.
Joy had invited YFC band (youth for Christ) with their music system for this special event. YFC choir lead the worship service and later Nagesh gave special number. Prakash Choir sang theme song and that was wonderful.
We were very fortunate to have most of the Prakash India Board members, as the board meeting was on the same day. PBI boys presented a beautiful dance which was kind of choreography on a gospel song telling how Jesus saved them. We heard two beautiful testimonies from girls and two testimonies from boys.
Arpan: “I come from a broken family. My father left my mother and me in 1998. I was with my grandfather. My grandfather is a blind man and since then I was like eyes for him. When I passed tenth grade in first division I had great desire to study further, but I had no money to study further and I was helpless and no way to go. But my grandfather knew about Prakash Institute so he suggested me to study at Prakash. Though I was born in a Christian family I had no connection with Jesus Christ. But it was here at Prakash I could read the Bible meaningfully and understand it through Staring Point and group discussion. In my second year I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.”
After his short testimony Arapan sang a song that he had composed here at Prakash. This is the first song of his life that he had ever composed. He also learned to play guitar here in Prakash so he could play the guitar as he sang his song.
The letter from the Executive Director (Loren) was read in English by Nagesh and Nupi translated it line by line.
Certificates were also given to all the graduating students. Nupi took care of the certificate distribution program. Students were very happy and excited to come on the stage and receive their certificates. (Only one trade of PBI students in picture.)
Rev. Dr. Maske (one of our board member) did the prayer of dedication for all the graduating students and then we had the most important part of day…a fellowship dinner.
|Times are tough financially for Prakash right now, but when you see the results of transformed lives, it is worth it all. It is a faith-based organization and God knows our needs.