Rizwana always keeps her cheerful smile ever-ready to light up her face at a moment’s notice. Just seven years old, she has a lot to smile about, especially considering the tragic life she so recently left behind.
Some of Rizwana’s earliest memories are of her father beating her mother. Her young mind could not understand adult problems, much less why such violence would ever be thrust into her life. She only knew that one day her father was gone, and she and her mother moved in with relatives. He eventually returned, with a promise to change and a request for reconciliation. A few weeks later, however, Rizwana’s mother’s body was found in the street. She had been strangled by her husband with a towel.
God was looking out for little Rizwana, however, and He worked through His compassionate people. She was brought to Muneer Children’s Home, an orphanage in Delhi, India, supported by Orphan’s Tear. That was in 2010, the year that hope returned to Rizwana’s life.
Muneer Children’s Home has its own history of tragedy-turned-to-hope. After devastating fires decimated much of Old Delhi back in the late 1990s, a group of Christians found many orphaned children wandering the streets in tears, searching in vain for their lost parents. Out of their compassion, Muneer Children’s Home was born in 1999.
Today, 25 girls, ages 6 to 18, call Muneer home. They are sponsored by caring believers through Orphan’s Tear, the orphan-care division of Heaven’s Family. Sponsorship provides the girls with food, clothing, medical care, school fees and vocational training—such as tailoring, craft making, hair styling and computer skills—so that they can support themselves when they become adults.
Even more important for Rizwana and the other girls is that they receive lots of Christian nurture. Their day begins bright and early with morning devotions at 5:30 a.m., and ends at 8:30 p.m. with another time in the Word and prayer before bedtime.
Through the love and care that Rizwana is receiving at Muneer, her horrible memories are fading and her future is bright. Although she has never met her sponsor who lives half a world away in Pennsylvania, Rizwana is thankful that God has connected them. Whenever she thinks about it, there’s a smile on her face.