Punieth’s Story

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I walked into a relatively clean room that was vacant except for the dozens of rickety bunk beds lining 2 of the walls and a stack of mats in the corner. As I leaned in to look at one of the beds, I noticed that they were barely more than slabs of wood with blankets and small pillows. It was later that I found out that this room serves as a cafeteria in the day and a bedroom at night… For more that 250 children. I was shocked… Not only because they house 250+ children in a room that is maybe twice the size of my bedroom, but because there wasn’t one child that I saw that whole week that didn’t have the biggest smile on his face. They were happy. There was no plumbing. They were happy. There were no TV’s or video games. They were happy. This is a stark contrast to the pair of children behind me on a 30 minute flight who’s iPad (you read that right, they had their own to share) ran out of battery 15 minutes in to travel. You would have thought the world was gonna end and Jesus was coming back. My headphones didn’t stand a chance as the two of them made their way through the stages of grief a few rows back. I had the chance to sit down with a few of these boys. To hear about their past and how they came to the Home of Hope. As I sat down I was greeted with a smile and a nod from a young boy named Punieth. He seemed like a regular boy, liked playing outside, can’t sit still, and likes hanging out with his brother’s. As we started talking, I realized that he was no ordinary boy. His story is one of salvation and hope. His story is why I think Brother Harry Gomes started the Home of Hope. I listened in awe and Punieth told me what his life was like before he came here…

 

“When I was 5, my mother died of a disease. When my mother died, my father couldn’t handle it. He had nowhere to go, no one to turn to, and no outlet for his grief. He turned to alcohol. He would drink day after day and became violent and bewildered. He would drink until he was sick and then drink some more. He would be and torture me as well. He verbally abused me and would tell me from a young age that I would never be a great man in anything. After years of this, he was involved in a car accident and I was sent to live with my grandmother. She was very poor and there were days that I couldn’t eat more than a handful of rice because we simply did not have food for the entire family. The pastor of our church took notice of our situation and brought me to Brother Harry Gomes and the Home of Hope. I now have the chance to go to school, learn english, math, science, and other important subjects. I never had the chance to go to school before I came to the Home of Hope. I get to eat every day 3 meals and a snack. I also get new clothes and I get to spend a lot of time with God in prayer. I feel blessed that I have this opportunity to serve God and get an education as well. I want to serve the Lord one day by becoming a missionary and helping boys that were in the same situation that I was in.”

 

Can you imagine? at 5 losing your mother and spending years with an abusive, torturous father? Only to lose him as well. Punieth’s choices at that young age were to take on a job doing back breaking work in a quarry, live on the streets, or continue to live in a home where a meal was not guaranteed. That is why we do what we do… This is why we give to organizations like the Home of Hope. That is why we donate. Because no boy deserves to be thrown into a life of poverty and bondage at the age of 5. Through More Than An Orphan and Home of Hope, we are able to take boy’s like Punieth and give them a life, to educate them and raise them as leaders. We want to provide a new identity to these children. You can help us change the lives of boys like Punieth and change the world.