Despite opportunities brought by the new global economy, large parts of India’s population still live in abject poverty. The Mustard Seed sponsored schools at Good News Children Education Mission’s (GNCEM) offers an education and the experience of human rights and values to the children of rag pickers and garbage scavengers, children who live on the far edges of society.
Begun in 1992, today the Mission has eight schools, mostly at the primary and middle school level. In order to make it easier for some children to attend, there are two mobile schools for children from street slums and the local garbage dump. There is a baby care centre serving the same area, and two hostels for orphans housing 93 boys in the one and 87 girls in the other.
The Mission also addresses the spiritual needs of the children with Sunday school classes offered through its network of home and daughter churches that have been spawned by the mother congregation.
Just like Lillian Dickson’s ministry had to expand to include the physical health of her children, so has GNCEM’s. They operate a bakery, the output of which feeds their children. There is also a lunch program for the children and rations for needy families. They also offer free medical checkups to the children and their parents each year.
India presents many challenges to justice and equal opportunity, but the Mission workers are sustained by the clean smiling faces of children who occasionally share dreams that reflect our God’s benevolence, grace, and mercy.
The Mission workers’ prayer is that the Lord would give all of us a burden to carry out his will for this Mission, that we would be good stewards of his creation, and that together these would give the children the opportunity to live as dignified human beings and children of God.