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ASI Project Report

A New Ray of Sunshine

ASI Staff

08/30/2008

inside_asi_fall_08_page_28_image_0003On February 17 Asian Aid celebrated the dedication of the new church at their Sunshine Orphanage and School in Bangalore, India. After a multitude of unforeseen issues had delayed the project, to dedicate the finished church—complete with sanctuary and extra rooms for Sabbath school and community outreach—was indeed something to relish.

The project was part of the 2006 ASI Convention offering and provided a much-appreciated solution to a very real need. Sunshine’s Seventh-day Adventist congregation had previously been meeting in classrooms at the school, a location unsuited to a growing church. The Adventist church nearest Sunshine is 45 minutes away by bus—not far by some standards, but a considerable distance when transporting a busload of kids each week.

So with funds received from ASI, Asian Aid teamed with Maranatha Volunteers International and was ready to begin building. Before construction commenced however, a number of obstacles arose. One of these was a plan by the local municipal authority to build a highway right in front of the church site. Another issue arose which called into question the design concept of the project.inside_asi_fall_08_page_28_image_0004

These difficulties delayed construction considerably, but in July 2007 the new church was finally underway—though torrential monsoon rains resulted in slow progress at first. By February the new church was complete; and what’s more, despite all the delays, the project came in on budget. On February 17 the new inside_asi_fall_08_page_28_image_0005Sunshine church was dedicated. Bill Tucker and a team from the Quiet Hour joined with Asian Aid and Maranatha in the celebration.

The new building has opened doors to further outreach at Sunshine. Along with the orphanage and school ministries, Sunshine will now conduct a variety of community outreach projects from the church building, including literacy programs and health education.

Ritualistic religious observance is common in India, and having a formal place of worship is of high importance. So having a church home sends a positive message to the local community and also greatly assists newly converted members. Thus simply having a church building of their own has greatly strengthened the Sunshine congregation.

A sincere thank you to everyone who supported this project through the 2006 ASI Convention offering. Your gift is enabling Asian Aid to reach still more souls for Christ. “The church is already a blessing to the school and the orphanage,” Sharon Heise of Asian Aid writes. And we know it’s only the beginning.