India Mission

In the mid-1990s, a member of the Eugene congregation, Lily Kaligithi, inherited a house she grew up in as a child in the West Godavari district of the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeast India. She had often thought of starting an orphanage in India, and she decided that this was the just opportunity she had been waiting for. She moved back to India and started an orphanage in that house. About the year 2000, the Eugene Seventh-day Adventist Church adopted Lily’s orphanage as a formal mission project.

Over the years, this facility, called Sweet Home, has grown and has expanded in several ways. The orphanage, adjacent to Flaiz Adventist School (all grades through college), now has six buildings, eighty-two students, and twelve staff, two house parents per house. The campus is lovely, with lots of flowers, trees, and a serene atmosphere. The children begin each day with morning worship and Bible study; they study and work throughout the day; and they end each day with evening worship, songs, and prayer. Each child, except the youngest children,does his own laundry and has a home and yard assignment. Many have made some of their own clothes. The children are respectful and do well in their studies. In 2006, for example, the school entered contestants in eleven grades in a scholastic competition sponsored by the Flaiz association; the Sweet Home students achieved a first place in nine of the competitions.

In addition to supporting the school, this ministry includes funding the construction of a library, the building of churches, and the initial support of Bible workers. Funds are sent via International Children’s Care of Vancouver, Washington. Eugene has sent delegations to this part of India several times to assist in these efforts. So far, about a dozen churches have been built in villages in the region. The church at Gaanadam is pictured to the right.