Seven-year-old Lavan and his two younger sisters did their best to cope with the tragic loss of their father. Their mother, however, couldn’t cope. She not only lost her husband, but the only means of support for her already-impoverished family. So she simply disappeared, abandoning her three children.
Thankfully, a local pastor named Jeyachandren, and his wife, Thanushanki, took Lavan into their home, along with 16 other orphaned boys. They also found an orphanage for girls that accepted Lavan’s sisters. It was yet another trauma of family separation for the three children, but at least they weren’t forced to live on the streets.
Over the ten years since, time has healed some wounds. Lavan has attended school and acquired better childhood memories, such as taking trips to the local zoo, playing with his 16 brothers, and caring for puppies. His new mother and father also introduced him to Jesus, and Lavan loves and serves Him.
As he approached adulthood, Lavan knew he would need to move out and make it on his own. But with 16 young men to feed, his adoptive parents had no resources to equip Lavan with marketable skills by which he could earn a living for himself and, one day, his own family.
That’s when Pastor Jeyachandren contacted Heaven’s Family through one of our trusted Sri Lankan partners to ask if we could help send Lavan to an apprenticeship program where he could learn some skills he would need to find a good job. After hearing about Lavan’s character and desire to learn, we agreed to meet his need. Shortly thereafter, Lavan enrolled in an aluminum fabrication program close to his orphanage, and rode his bicycle—also a gift from Heaven’s Family—to class each day. Lavan’s total training costs were $389.
Lavan excelled in his training, and after graduation returned to the town of his birth where he found a good-paying job. In fact, Lavan’s two younger sisters have also since moved in with him, as he is able to provide for them as well.
I love Lavan’s story, because it provides a snapshot of our preferred means of serving the “least of these,” namely, by helping them help themselves. Friends of Heaven’s Family contributed to the Education Fund, which provided for Lavan’s needs for both mobility and skills training. Lavan seized the opportunity presented to him by the goodness of God, and now he is able to support himself and his sisters—a family broken by tragedy but now together again. All of that for $389…quite a bargain!