God's place in India.....
Not just my words but said more than once by visitors from St
Augustine's to Haven Home in India. What makes it so special? The
answer must be the children who live there. With no television or
computers they enjoy the simple things in life. I guess this is what
makes them so happy. To be called Dad by 120 children is special.

The villages the children come from, prior to joining Haven Home are
very basic. Many without a bore well, just stagnant water (this is why
nearly all the children have malaria.)

They are sad leaving any relatives they have, but soon join with the
rest of the children enjoying swings and slides for the first time; or
having a bat and ball to play cricket, yes girls and boys. A school
with a teacher, even a desk to sit down to work. Fields that are
green, not brown, due to irrigation. A doctor, something new to them,
with a medical centre. A bed that is off the ground with mesh at the
windows so they are not bitten alive in the rainy season

There are no house parents, just one family run it. Everyone helps
each other. The older children look after the young. If someone has a
temperature they go to a nominated older boy who will either give them
medicine or refer them to the doctor.

When we opened the St Augustines School, Kerry Barber a parishioner at
St Augustine's, came to Haven Home. One morning before school the boys
were in the fields irrigating new mango trees, grown so that the
fruit can go into the childrens curry. Kerry turned round and said to
us 'This must be the nearest thing to heaven on earth'

As an aside the children have three rice meals a day. A sort of
yoghurt with breakfast, vegetarian curry for lunch and tea with
hardboiled eggs three times a week and chicken biryani as a treat

People from St Augustine's and other parishes, who go out every year
are so fortunate. Yes we have upsets, such a a child falling sick with
TB or pneumonia, but who else has 120 gandchildren?

We started going by accident... no, that's not true. It was God's will
that took us there. Thank you God for all at Haven Home, and for
giving us the opportunity to see your special place.

Martyn Poole

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