ASIA (BP) -- To most of the world, 13-year-old Nitya Singh* is simply one of the world's 1 billion children who live in urban centers, according to UNICEF data.
To Helen McKinney*, however, Nitya is more than a statistic in a world in which nearly 600 million children live in poverty.
Nitya is a child worthy of God's love.
Three years ago, Nitya and her mother Parul* came to McKinney's home to get clean water from an outside faucet. Nitya had not yet met the foreign woman who only recently had moved in.
Within a few days, McKinney, with a few cookies, ventured out to meet the mother and her daughter.
"They laughed at my attempt to communicate," McKinney recalls, but her simple gesture marked the beginning of a friendship.
Soon Nitya brought her friends to meet "Auntie," the kind woman who gave her cookies but couldn't speak her language. As the friendship grew, the group of children moved from the gate to the porch and into the living room. They helped McKinney learn their language, and McKinney taught them simple English.
"The children came every day, sometimes twice a day, for a cookie and prayer," McKinney says. "Through a Bible story book and lots of great pictures, I started teaching them about Jesus."
As McKinney came to know the children, she began to visit the families who lived in the squalid slums near her home. Slowly, she met some needs that families could not, such as taking a child to a doctor or dentist or buying a family a bag of rice.
But McKinney's visits brought more than food or even friendship. They brought hope -- the hope found only in Jesus Christ.
"The families welcomed me into their little huts, and I became 'family,'" McKinney says. "Many of the children came to know Jesus as their Savior."
Today, between 30 and 50 children come to McKinney's weekly class, where she gives them food, medicine and love, and about 10 children visit each morning before school for breakfast and prayer. On Sunday mornings, McKinney goes to church in an SUV packed with children.
Throughout Asia, Christian workers like McKinney are sharing God's love with children from all walks of life, from the desperately poor to the outrageously affluent. Mary Bennett* is another example of someone who sees past the numbers. Read More