CELEBRATING THE IMPACT OF TRAFFICKLIGHT ON THE SHELTER
The Shelter in Cuttack, India, was one of the first ministries CHOG Trafficklight introduced—or reintroduced—to the Church of God. Far more than a safe haven for vulnerable girls, the Shelter has proven its capacity to educate and empower young women for a life of service to God and community. Since Trafficklight illuminated the need and enabled the movement to partner effectively with the Shelter, this vital ministry has improved infrastructure, added safe transportation, and expanded to welcome more girls.
While a few girls have come into the Shelter because of the new construction taking place over the past three years, new dormitory space will be dedicated later this year. At that point, even more girls will be welcomed into the fold.
For the girls who presently live at the Shelter, conditions for study and play are better than ever. Formerly, the playground areas were almost always a muddy mess, if not completely flooded. Trafficklight funds enabled containment of the runoff during Cuttack’s wet season, and has provided a safe and dry place for the girls to play.
Additionally, the purchase of a school bus has brought about practical solutions to a what was a big transportation problem. For the commute to church and for field trips, multiple trips back and forth were required. Walking wasn’t a safe alternative, as the church is about two miles from the Shelter, connected by busy streets without sidewalks. The Shelter girls and leadership couldn’t be more grateful for this new mode of transportation.
Don Armstrong, Global Strategy regional coordinator for the Asia and the Pacific, has had a front-row seat to the developments at the Shelter. He’s thankful for the partnership of Trafficklight, too, because he’s witnessed firsthand the impact it has had on the girls who live and learn there. “For me, when I see new girls who have just arrived at the Shelter and slowly realize that they no longer have to go to bed hungry, that warms my heart,” Don reflects. “Or that they will receive breakfast in the morning and have clean and comfortable clothes to wear the next day. Or that they are surrounded by girls who came from the same situations they were in, and are excelling in their studies, not being molested, but living in a safe environment that allows them to grow to maturity, with choices for their future. These choices they now have would normally not be available to them if they were continuing to live in the homes into which they were born.
Trafficklight has blessed the ministry of the Shelter. Since 1914, the Shelter has blessed the lives of numerous girls. Today the girls who live there are encouraged to receive as much education as possible—many are attending college and learning trades, even before they marry. Graduates of the Shelter have gone on to a variety of successful careers, including one who now owns a steel-fabricating business.
As the Shelter expands, new opportunities are in store. The newly named interim director of the Shelter, Samarpita Sahoo, will assume responsibility for running the ministry upon the retirement of Mamata Das in June.
Thank you for your prayers for Samarpita, as she learns the ropes at the Shelter, and for Mamata and Asim Das, as they conclude forty-seven years of leadership excellence. Thank you for continued prayers for all the girls of the Shelter, that they would keep their eyes fixed on Jesus and excel in all he calls them to do. Thank you for your prayerful and financial support of CHOG Trafficklight.
Learn more about Trafficklight 2.0, including opportunities for involvement and support, at www.chogtrafficklight.org