A couple of weeks ago, my wife got home from work and let me know she decided to sponsor a child in South America. He's three years old - just like our son. She chose PLAN Canada because it's a secular charity that seems to do really good work. As far as I know they do not foist Bibles at people.
I'm not trying to boast or anything. It's really not that much effort for many of us here in North America to change someone's life in a poorer country. We're basically paying other people to help him - but it's still very worthwhile.
This wonderful event reminded me about the initial post I did on K.P. Yohannan and the series of reviews I posted about the free book his organization sent me, No Longer a Slumdog.
I picked the book up again this evening and read through the final chapter and Appendix I : Frequently Asked Questions. Part of the answer to one of the FAQ questions, How can I get to know my sponsored child better?, caught my attention. It contained three real letters sent from children to their sponsors.
Now I can see why it's important for Atheists like me to choose our charities carefully (read: 100% secular). Just read the examples below. I've taken the liberty of crossing out the sections that either piss me off because they document the indoctrination with fairytales of young minds in horrendously vulnerable situations or they confuse the heck out of me since I left the Christian mindset, or they mean nothing to me whatsoever.
Dear Rachael Smith,
Hello, Rachael, how are you? I am fine. I am very happy to getting your letter. Thank you very-very much for all you have send me. Thank you for the beautiful pictures you send me. How lovely these are,
God will bless.I agree with you that you and me are friends. Now you are my best friend. I am very thankful to God so that He will met you to me.I am very lucky that you are my friend. Thank you for your wish of Birthday. I enjoyed my birthday. Again I want to thank you for all you have send me. God will help you. God is great.
Thanking you,I sponsored a child before for several years. So I know that the letters you get often sound like the children have been given sheets with stock English sentences on them to choose from. This is fine. I'm not paying them to write me beautiful letters. But padding already content-light letters with meaningless religious jargon and near-robotic recitation that is intended to demonstrate just how indoctrinated they have become makes things worse.
with prayers, Yours lovingly,
So, I know it's beating a dead horse at this stage, but I may as well take another swing. No thanks, K.P., I'll stick with charities that feed the bodies and minds of the children rather than force feed non-existant souls with nonsensical babblings and fallacies when other useful work can be done.
Here's another one.
Dear Nathan and Olivia White,
Praise the Lord. How are you? I hope you will be fine. I am fine and my family is doing well. I am going school for getting good education. My teachers are very kind and always helps us. I learned many good things in school. Thank you for writing me letter. I am always waiting for your letter. Always you inspired me for God’s greatness . I love you people because you believe in God. I also believe in God very much. God will be help for you. Thanking you please keep pray for me.
with prayers, Yours lovingly,
Lomash (11)Wow. That's half the letter. So glad my wife chose a secular charity. Her'es the final one, which actually seems to contain some substance.
Dear Miss Kiersten Oliver,
How are you? Warmest greetings to you
in the name of Jesus. By the grace of God,I am safe. Hoping you are also same.
By the love you are showing, I am able to go to school regularly and study well. We are benefited in many ways by the Bridge of Hope, such as getting Education, l
earning, Bible stories and verses,participating in weekly contest quiz games etc. I am also attending to the Sunday school.
These two months we got away-rains, all the rivers over flowing. The lower places are flooded. Many people lost their lives. Some lost their homes. Many are suffering with different problems.
Please pray for our state.
In the project center we are taught how to pray in the morning, evening and at the time of study, meals etc. We are getting healthy food in the project.
I thank God a lot. Please pray for me. I do pray for you.
Yours lovingly, Rahdak (11)It's a shame that God would do these things or let them happen. The very last section of the book has the following.
After 2,000 years of Christianity, how can it be that nearly 3 billion people are still unreached with the Gospel? How long must they wait?
This is why Gospel for Asia exists.
More than 30 years ago, God specifically called us to invest our lives to reach the most unreached of South Asia through training and sending out national missionaries.
Gospel for Asia (GFA) is a missions organization dedicated to reaching the most unreached in the 10/40 Window. Thousands of GFA-supported pastors and missionaries serve full-time to share the love of Christ in 10 Asian countries.How can I support such an organization? The sole purpose is to indoctrinate children with lies. Vulnerable children who are hungry and sick. As I've mentioned in other parts of this series, this organization would not have the success if has if there weren't damaging floods and extreme poverty in India. It's extreme suffering that provides the opportunity to foist their mythology upon young minds.
Awhile back I got a comment on one of my very first posts about K.P. Yohannan and his organization in India, Gospel for Asia.
It is sad to see all of this slander posted against a dear servant of the Lord. I believe this speaks to the fact that he is actually doing something significant for the kingdom of God.Naturally, I was thrilled. It's not everyday I get posts from Theists and I was eager to continue the dialogue. So I responded immediately.
Why not read some of the reviews I've been doing on the book "No Longer a Slumdog"? I welcome your feedback as I do have some genuine questions about his organization and point of view.
I would look forward to your comments on these. Otherwise, although your comment here is appreciated, I hardly see it as very constructive.In the end, I cannot fault Gospel for Asia for the good work they are doing - they keep children alive. Maybe some of the children will grow to question the Bible and examine the truth claims of Christianity more closely. But at least they survived.
As an Atheist, Skeptic and Freethinker, I believe the best we can do as a community is help others in need - especially children - via secular charities. Feed their bodies with nourishing food and their minds with the wonders of Reality: science, art, music, math, philosophy. As for their souls, they require no nourishment - they are ephemeral, immaterial and non-existant.
So here are all the previous parts of this now complete review.
No Longer A Slumdog Book Review - Part 1 - The 4/14 Window