Destroyed SPICE hostel seeks support to rebuild


GRANTHAM, Pa. (Feb. 3, 2009)—
In August 2008, a crowd of several thousand Hindu fundamentalists attacked the Nuagaon Grace Girls Hostel in Orissa, India, displacing 140 BIC schoolchildren and delivering a major setback for BIC World Missions’ Scholarship Program for International Children’s Education (SPICE). Although no children or staff members were harmed during the assault, the program faces the daunting task of rebuilding: a project made more complex by the lingering threat of violence and the quickly approaching school term.

B.R., regional administrator for South Asia, reports that an $80,000 (USD) rebuilding campaign through BICWM has been launched. The money raised by the initiative will be used to construct a new concrete building (replacing the razed wood-and-tin structure) as well as a new boundary wall and water tank, both of which were destroyed during the attack. Hostel wardens will use remaining funds to purchase clothing, books, notebooks, personal boxes, and other supplies for the students.

In order to fund this project, BICWM is accepting donations toward the Nuagaon Grace Hostel Rebuild Project from individuals and congregations alike.

For Canadian churches and individuals: Gifts can be mailed to the Canadian Conference of the BIC Church at 2700 Bristol Circle, Oakville, ON L6H 6E1. If giving by cheque, please make the cheque out to “BIC Canadian Conference” and specify “BICWM Grace Hostel Rebuild ” on the memo line.

For U.S. churches and individuals: Gifts can be made online by clicking on the "Make a donation" link at the bottom of this page. Contributions may also be made by check and mailed to the BIC World Missions Offices at 431 Grantham Rd, PO Box 390, Grantham, PA 17027-0390. If giving by check, please make the check out to “General Conference of the Brethren in Christ, Inc. ” and specify “BICWM Grace Hostel Rebuild Project” on the memo line.

Presently, the generous gifts that have been made by those in Canada and the U.S. toward this effort total $21,960, and B.R. anticipates that, once further funding has been secured, the rebuilding process will take 2–3 months.

The SPICE program originated in India in the 1950s and enlarged as the national church grew. SPICE operates nine different hostels for Brethren in Christ children throughout the Indian states of Bihar and Orissa (where the Nuagaon hostel is located), as well as in Nepal. While living at these hostels, students attend local schools, participate in daily devotions and Bible studies, and worship at nearby BIC churches. For more information about SPICE or to become a sponsor a child in the program, please visit www.bic-church.org/wm/spice.