Marshall School and the children’s orphanage are very present ministries within the community, but they are not the only ways Joyful Journeys, Inc. strives to make a positive difference in Madhavapatnam and the surrounding areas. The children have benefitted, certainly, and through them, there have been opportunities to support and encourage their families. But what about those who don’t have school-aged children or any children at all?
Novahu and Manjula began their journey to Madhavapatnam because of their faith in Jesus, and that same faith is what allows them to lead such a large and complex group of ministries. Having received such strength and joy from their belief, they wanted to share it with others. Novahu is a wonderful pastor and has trained numerous other local men (and even a few women!) to lead congregations and share their faith within several of the surrounding villages. He continues to meet with them regularly to continue their education and help them find answers and solutions to life’s inevitable troubles, These House Pastors minister to individuals and communities that range from receptive to less-than-enthused and even rather hostile. Through it all, they continue to persevere, typically receiving a minimal salary, sometimes in the form of rice or eggs, to compensate them for their long hours of ministry. A House Pastor sponsorship of $35 a month allows us to help support and encourage these hardworking men and women and their families. In 2018, Novahu was voted to be president of the Samalkot Mandal area churches, which consists of approximately 30-40 village churches of various denominations. This is a very great honor for him!
The Oldsters fund began when Oma Kohler, an older woman in the Immanuel UCC congregation realized how heavily older people in rural India rely on their families for their very lives once they are no longer able to work. She started the Oldsters program to help provide some relief to the poverty endured by those who don’t have a family to provide for them. Originally supported through the sales of her knit washcloths, Oma generated funds help provide basic needs- soap, a blanket, a bag of rice, minor medical care, and a small Christmas gift, to name a few. Now others have joined Oma on her mission to provide for the “Oldsters” of Madhavapatnam, and you can too!
So much of the opportunity for advancement in our world is based on an understanding of technology and an ability to use it. The LIGHT Center is a teaching center that increases computer literacy and encourages fluency in computer technology. Computer training is a part of all the Marshall School student’s education and has also been made available to the women in the cutting and tailoring programs, as well as other community members. Support for maintenance and the constant changes in technology is always appreciated for the LIGHT Center.
Lora’s Living Water
Madhavapatnam is a rural village in India, and as such, doesn’t have much in the way of a modern sanitation department or a municipal water system—as you can imagine, this is not an ideal situation. Lora’s Living Water Center was a joint effort between Joyful Journeys, Novahu (a member of the Indian Rotary Club), and West Bend’s own Rotary Clubs. The water center provides clean and safe water to the community of Madhavapatnam for a very nominal fee, which helps support the maintenance of the facility. Lora’s Living Water was named in honor of the West Bend Rotarian and supporter of Joyful Journeys, who helped initiate this project.
As part of the way Marshall School contributes to the community, the school library is open to anyone in Madhavapatnam – giving opportunity and access to anyone with a hunger to learn!