Jennifer arrived in Northern Ireland on the 18th November after a long and tiring flight from India. The 6 degrees temperature was a bit of a shock to the system – 22 degrees plus in India.
After much needed rest and a good night’s sleep, Jennifer prepared herself for the week ahead. It was snowing – Jennifer had never seen snow before.
On Friday 20th Jennifer was the guest speaker at a fundraising lunch in Millside Restaurant, Cloughmills . The local business community were touched by her story and contributed generously to the work of The Francina Foundation and The Rose of Sharon project.
Saturday saw us heading down to the North Coast and the Giant’s Causeway for a bit of sightseeing. Jennifer was not fooled by the stories of Finn McCool though!!
Sunday was a busy day for Jennifer – 2 morning services in High Kirk Church and 1 evening service in Muckamore Church. Again both congregations were deeply moved as Jennifer told them about the Devadasis, and her vision to rescue the young girls trapped in prostitution.
150 ladies came along to High Kirk Church on the Monday evening and listened intently as Jennifer spoke about her work with the Devadasis. They asked many questions and again a big thank you to all those who gave so generously to The Francina Foundation.
On Tuesday the ladies from the India Team travelled to Belfast for a little bit of retail therapy. Belfast is our capital city, yet to Jennifer, after the noise and business of Bangalore, Belfast seemed so small.
On Wednesday morning Jennifer left Northern Ireland to return home.
Sometimes you realise that your faith, your values, your need to do something have prepared you “for such a time as this” Jennifer is an inspiration to us all and lives what she believes.
Jennifer has arrived safely in Northern Ireland on Wednesday evening from Bangalore, India
Please pray for her as she speaks at events and church services over this weekend. Please come along and hear about her vision for the Rose of Sharon Devadasi Project.
Meeting up with the India Team (The Francina Foundation)
Jennifer will be speaking at a fundraising lunch for The Francina Foundation at the Millside Restaurant, Cloughmills (private function)
High Kirk Church, Ballymena
Project Sunday Services @ 9.30am & 11.30am
Muckamore Presbyterian Church, Antrim @ 7.00pm
Please come and hear Jennifer speak about the Rays of Peace children’s home Sasalu and her vision to rescue Devadasi girls (temple prostitutes)
Ladies evening in High Kirk Church, Ballymena @ 7.45pm
[See our previous post about this event here]
WOMEN of all ages are invited to a ‘ladies night’ hosted by High Kirk Presbyterian Church on Monday, 23rd November where they will hear a truly remarkable story.
Jennifer heard God speaking to her when she was just eight years old. At 19 she had planned to go to America to study Medicine but God had a different plan for her. “No, I want you to stay in India and help the ‘Divadasis’, (the temple prostitutes) was His clear message. Jennifer obeyed him. She visited 30 districts of the state of Karnataka, spending 12 hours of intercessory prayer in each district dedicating her work to the Lord. She sought the help of sympathetic government officials and children’s charities in order to make her God given task completely transparent to all.
‘Divadasis’ are young girls dedicated to the Hindu Goddess from birth and at the onset of puberty their life of sexual slavery begins. Some of the money they earn from satisfying the lust of men is sent back to their parents or in many cases given to evil pimps.
When these beautiful young girls can no longer fulfil their purposes and are too old to be attractive they are sent back to their villages, heads shaven to be rejected as outcasts.
Jennifer goes to the temples, befriends the girls and then rescues them. Her work is dangerous and she puts her life at risk. She knows this is what God has called her to do.
Jennifer has been given a piece of land and her dream is to build a home for the rescued Davidasis to help restore them, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
So where does Jennifer get her sense of vision and purpose?
It begins with the birth of her Dad, Pastor Mark Jaykumar, founder of the Rays of Peace Ministry, India, a life potentially destined for misery. He was rejected and abandoned by his parents at three days old but rescued and raised by Christian missionaries.
When he turned 15 they told him the true story of his birth and about how he came to be with them. At this tender age he made up his mind to take up the challenge to adopt and care for the abandoned and orphaned children in India. After completing a Theology degree he opened a home for abandoned children and today God has enabled him to start to fulfil his promise and work towards realisation of his dream. He now runs four Rays of Peace orphanages in North and South India.
Ten members from the Francina Foundation will travel to the Rays of Peace Orphanage in Sasalu after Christmas to help with maintenance and building work there as well as spending ‘quality’ time with the children.
The reality and importance of the work Jennifer and Mark are doing has encouraged us to invite Jennifer to speak at the upcoming ladies night hosted at High Kirk as guest speaker for the Francina Foundation. The event will get underway at 7.45pm. Refreshments will be served and a retiring offering will be taken in support of the Francina Foundation. If you require any further information, please contact Lorraine McAlister on 077922329783.
CHRISTMAS is fast approaching and many children in Ballymena are looking forward to getting toys or the latest Apple gadget from Santa.
Not every child or young person will enjoy the festive season though. For some, including those living in India, December 25th will be just another day living with the implications of abandonment, starvation or sexual exploitation.
Organisations like the Rays of Peace ministry provide a vital means of rescue, escape and hope for at least some of the youngsters who find themselves trapped in this awful situation.
On 14th January, ten Ballymena men and women from the Francina Foundation will travel to the charities orphanage in the Sasalu area to one of the four homes it runs through northern and southern India.
Leading this expectant group of travellers will be Lorraine McAlister, whose day job as an Outreach Worker in Ballymena, has given her real insight into the circumstances that the team will encounter.
Lorraine has been part of visiting mission parties to India before. Previous journeys have taken her to the Southern region of Kollegal. However, circumstances last year meant that it wasn’t possible to go back to that area.
However, God has now forged a link between the Francina Foundation and Pastor Mark Jaykumar, founder of the Rays of Peace Ministry (The Foundation is named after Mark’s late wife).
Revealing a little of Mark’s own story, Lorraine said: “His life began in misery. Mark was rejected and abandoned by his parents at three days old and raised by Christian missionaries. At the age of 15 they told him the true story of his birth and about how he came to be with them.
In obedience to the Lord, Mark made up his mind to take up the challenge to adopt and care for the abandoned and orphaned children in India. After completing a Theology degree he opened a home for abandoned children and today God has allowed him to fulfil his promise and dream”, she added.
During a two week stay in the orphanage at Sasalu, the crew from the Foundation will be undertaking a variety of maintenance tasks. They will also assess the building of a new toilet block and spend some time doing craft work, sharing Bible stories with the children there, being part of the ‘homework’ club and supporting the staff in the home.
Just as importantly, the visitors are seeking to raise £75,000 over the next few years to help with the construction of a home for girls and young women who have been rescued from a life working as Divadasis, (temple prostitutes) in places of worship to the Hindu goddess.
This project is led by Pastor Mark’s daughter, Jennifer, who at the age of 19 gave up the opportunity to study Medicine in America to care for these sexually exploited girls.
In understanding her calling from God, Jennifer visited 30 districts of the state of Karnataka, spending 12 hours of intercessory prayer in each district dedicating her work to God. To ensure complete transparency for her work she sought the help of sympathetic government officials and child charities.
Jennifer has managed to rescue a number of girls already, arranging for them to be placed in ‘safe houses’ with Pastors and families with children.
This ‘dangerous work’, is not without risk and continues to place the lives of Mark, Jennifer and their family open to real threat from the majority Hindu population.
Lorraine shared: “Pastor Mark has been kidnapped from the orphanage and almost beaten to death. His son-in-law and his nephew have been abducted and almost burned to death in two temples.”
The initial £32,000 that the Foundation are looking to raise will build the first floor of the refuge where rescued girls can experience physical, mental and emotional restoration.
As they join Mark and Jennifer in India, the travellers pray for God’s protection as they serve the persecuted Church.