Bethany Girls Home - ready to move in by Feb 2017!
A huge thank you to everyone who has helped to raise all the funds that have been needed to build the new girls home and staff accomodation at our Stepping Stones Centre in West Bengal. So far, since September 2015 more than £67,000 has been raised to purchase land, materials and to pay contruction workers to build a home for up to 40 disadvantaged and vulnerable girls. Rich and I travelled to India at the end of October and were hoping to take the final £5000 for the building work, however this was not to be. The builder was very understanding and said he wanted to continue the work and trust us to pay the remaining amount when it was all finished - so the work continued with a diminished workforce of 3 - 4 men!
Whilst we were there, the exchange rate dropped and dropped until the amount we needed to cover the final build had risen to £6300! We weren't sure why God had made us wait for the money when it meant that we were going to need more, but we did know that we could trust him. Anyway, I had to leave Rich in India and return to the UK on 7th November whilst Rich stayed in Ranaghat for a further two weeks. Well, I don't know if you heard but the week after that on the Friday, the Indian Government declared that all 500 and 1000 rupee notes were no longer legal tender (in an effort to stop forged notes from flooding the country) these notes are roughly equivalent to a £5 and a £10. Just think.. if we had taken that £5000 needed, a lot of it would have been in 1000 rupee notes and we would have been stuck! As it was, we had 17,000 rupees in 1000 notes and it has taken hours and hours each day to exchange 2000 each time. What a nightmare! So, what happened next was even more amazing. The Sunday afterwards, I received a text asking if we still needed £6300 to cover the final building work. I responded with the message "Yes, Why?" and their answer was... "Because I am transferring it to your bank now"! Wow I could hardly contain my excitement and had to wait almost an hour before I could contact Rich in India and let him know. He was just about to preach and it made a great ending to his sermon! Apparantly Bethel Community Church erupted after his announcement! Can you imagine it?
So now the next phase is to fit the completed building out with all the necessary furniture, fixtures and fittings that are required to accomodate 40 young ladies ie toilets, showers, etc plus lighting, fans, educational aids like computers, desks, etc. In order to do this we have produced a Christmas Catalogue with a list of items that are needed so that you can purchase a gift for a loved one this Christmas that is both unigue and will truly bless the girls in our Bethany Girls Home. Please download a copy (or view it) and follow the instruction within. At the time of this update, the catalogue has raised just over £800 Thank you!
At the moment we only have 17 girls in our temporary rented home but once they move into the new home we will begin to open the doors for upto 23 new girls which will all need new sponsors. So, if you've ever considered sponsoring a girl that is in desperate need today then please prayerfully consider supporting Stepping Stones. It costs us £40 per month to fully care for each child, but you can sponsor one for as little as £10 per month (about the cost of a take away).
We would love to hear from you and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about child sponsorship.
Thank you everyone for your continued support. You are such a blessing! I might even go so far as to say... we love you!!
(p.s. can you tell it's Tracey writing this time?? - not as professional as Rich maybe but, well you know, "this is how I am" (quote from City of Joy - if you have never seen it you really must. Patrick Swayze and Pauline Collins star in it and it was filmed in Kolkata)
If you would like to support the refurbishment of our new girls home please feel free to give as much or as little as you like! Donations can be made direct to the Stepping Stones bank account at HSBC sort code 40 40 22. Acc no 61606891 or via the PAYPAL button on our support page *(follow the link below) . If you would like to Gift Aid your donation please put GA in your payment reference with your house number and postcode e.g. GA28YO123DT. Thanks again everyone.