A Refuge for the Fatherless

Sanjana, a young girl with a gentle smile stands confidently in front of a colorful wooden door adorned with intricate carvings.
Child Biography Touch A Life

A Refuge for the Fatherless

From Bengaluru, India

Touch a Life is changing and touching many lives…

Truly, it is a blessing and privilege to know and help the lives of so many people.

One of these is a girl who drew my attention. Her name is Sanjana. She is 12 years old and has a beautiful smile. When I asked her about herself, she told me that she lost her father when she was five years old and that she has elder brothers, Naveen and Sandeep, 17 and 15 years old, respectively, and a younger brother, Surya. She, being the only girl child in the family, was taken care of till her father’s death.

Inside a small, multifunctional kitchen in a tiny house located in a slum area of Bengaluru, where cooking, dishwashing, and bathing spaces converge in a testament to the family's adaptability.

Santana, her three brothers, and her mother live in a tiny house in the slum area. They have a hall where they sit, eat, and sleep, and a small kitchen where they cook, wash dishes, and sometimes also bathe.

Her father, Somasheker, was a Passenger Auto Driver who rented the auto and drove every day. He had to pay a certain amount to the owner every day*. The rest was kept for the family. Unfortunately, he started to drink and later became an addict; he couldn’t pay his rent nor take care of his family, and his bad habits led him to poverty and unemployment. As the days passed by, her father died in 2016 after his addiction had destroyed his life. Fully drunk and unconscious, he fell into a pit and died. Her mother, now widowed**, started to work as a daily laborer for people doing laundry, cooking, and sewing. But she could not take care of her children, family, and debts, so she put them in a government school where the fees were affordable.

During this period, they came across our Touch a Life program. In the morning, they would have food at the school, and in the evening, they would have their meal at our Touch a Life feeding center. Slowly, God started to heal their wounds, and her mother found a job in a petrol bunk (gasoline station) where she would fill the cars with fuel. Though the work is tedious with difficult shifts, she works there, which helps them to run a debt-free family. She had to overcome the stigma of widowhood and raise her children despite all odds against her. Fortunately, her children are very helpful. When the mother goes to work, the elder brother plays a very important role in caring for the siblings.

They live in a tiny house in the slum area. This is a crowded place where she can be safe with her kids. They have a hall where they sit, eat, and sleep. Attached to the wall of that hall is a small room where Sanjana and her mother sleep, and the three brothers sleep in the hall. They have a small kitchen that serves two purposes. There is a small place in the kitchen where they wash dishes that can sometimes also be a place to take a bath. They usually have a water supply every other day; when they do, they fill drums with water. Power cuts are common, but when it is on, they have electricity to service their used fridge and a small TV given to them by the owner where her mother works.

These children hadn’t experienced their father’s love even when he was alive; they feared he would come home drunk and hit their mother. After his death, they missed his presence. I pray that God fills their hearts with the Father’s love, and we also pray that the children will grow up to be strong and successful, not only in their works but also in their lives. Since they have been attending our Touch a Life program, they want to know more about Jesus and his love, so they attend our church regularly; even if the mother cannot come, all four children come to church and worship the Lord.

We will pray their lives are touched and they will become a witness for Jesus Christ. Thank you for sponsoring our Touch a Life feeding center so we can care for these children and many more like them.

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  – James 1:27 (KJV)

Explanation of a Passenger Auto Driver

In many developing countries, a taxi driver does not own his vehicle. He has to rent it from an owner with a city permit for the vehicle to be used as a taxi. The drivers are independent workers. Each day, they pick up the vehicle that has already been filled with fuel. At the end of the day, they must return the vehicle filled and pay the daily rent. Some days, this leaves the driver with little or no income after working eight, ten, or twelve hours. It is a highly unpredictable source of income.

Explanation of the cultural handicap of widows

Usually, widows will be regarded as a curse. Even if the husband dies in an accident, the families and society will blame the wife and torture her. She cannot step out of the house; she can only work as a housemaid. They will talk badly about her character if she dares to stand up alone. Nowadays, we don’t see this attitude much among educated folks, but it can still be seen in lower-middle-class and low-income families. A widow cannot participate in any public or family functions or approach or challenge her mother-in-law. Sanjana’s mother faced such problems, but because she had to feed her children, she turned a deaf ear to those words.


  • Jon Nelms

    The Rev. Jon Nelms is the founder of Final Frontiers. Called to missions at the age of eleven, he has been winning souls since he was twelve. Jon was a street preacher, pastor, church planter, and missionary before founding Final Frontiers in 1986 at the age of 30.

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