Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sarah Covenant House- India

Today I have a ministry to share about that I'm really JUST learning about but it has been around for a while!   Sarah Covenant House  in India 

Here is their FB page

And this is one of the moms

She lives and works in a home there.  She has followed our story and one of their new children in the home is named after our Selah:) Selah, Charlotte and Chloe all need sponsors....  Charlotte and Chloe are both blind and remind me of my Sarah. 

Somehow I had missed out on this wonderful ministry!  I'm so excited that I read about it and now am learning more.  What a great thing to be involved with!!!!!   Can I encourage you to help sponser a child???
Charlotte and Chloe are on here, Selah is not on here yet but will be added soon.
Such a great way to do something for an orphaned child if you are not in a place to adopt!

This is their vision!
Throughout the world there are people who feel that children with special needs lack worth, or that there is a shame in being differently abled.
Jesus sees them so much differently. He said that the first shall be last and the last shall be first (Matthew 19:30). These children, who aren’t valued by society, are the very ones He wants to lavish with His deep and unending perfect love. We want to be part of that!
The vision for Sarah’s Covenant Homes is to provide our children with the next-best thing to a traditional family. Love, growth, laughter, nurture, and more love!
Over 100 children have been referred to us by the government, having been abandoned or relinquished by their families. Most of them arrive in extremely weak condition, with illnesses, anemia, and medical/surgical needs. We provide them with medical care, education, physiotherapy, good nutrition & supplements, and lots of love.
In the future, we see a large campus that contains apartment units where SCH kids are fostered in family units with lots of one-on-one interaction and therapies. A mini-hospital, kitchen, chapel/prayer room, school rooms, therapy rooms, laundry and playgrounds will all be central and shared for a warm community feel. We are committed to our children and young adults—kids won’t “age out” of SCH and be sent to an institution or released to fend for themselves. But because we know that we can never replace a loving biological or adoptive family, our prayer and desire is that many of our children would eventually be placed in wonderful adoptive families. For those who will be adopted, SCH will be a place where they can get well and thrive physically and in every other way and learn that they are valuable and worthy of love.

Here are some questions and answers about Sarah Covenant Houses

01) In a nutshell, can you describe SCH and the vision for it?
  • Children with developmental disabilities and neurological special needs are the most likely to be abandoned and least likely to be adopted children in India. The Lord told me, “Feed My lambs.” I find these overlooked and undernourished (in all senses) lambs languishing in institutional orphanages or hospitals, and bring them home, providing them with love, education, therapy, medical & surgical care, and LIFE in a family-style environment.
02)  Who are you?
  • Sarah Rebbavarapu founded Sarah’s Covenant Homes in 2009.  Sarah is an American woman married to James Rebbavarapu, an Indian citizen. They have been married for 19 years and together run Indian Christian Ministries, an NGO (Non-governmental Organization) in Andhra Pradesh India.  With the recent addition of their twins they now have four daughters and a son and have lived in India as a family since late 2000. Sarah can be reached at!
03)  Are the names used on the blog the children’s real names?
  • No, they are not the children’s official names. We use nicknames on the internet to protect the children’s privacy. Click here for more info about how and why we select the names.
04)  Are you an adoption placement agency? Can I adopt a child through you?
  • We are not permitted by the state government to place our children for adoption, either in India or abroad. These children are wards of the government, though, and the government is the state’s only recognized placement agency, so they are able to place abandoned children with and without special needs (including, if they so choose, our SCH children) at their discretion. To adopt an Andhra child, an Indian family settled in India should approach the state government Women Development & Child Welfare Department Adoption section. Foreign married couples or single ladies may adopt children for whom families in India cannot be found, but only through a licensed placement agency in your home country.
05)  What types of special needs do your children have?
  • The vast majority of our children have neurological special needs: epilepsy, cerebral palsy, hemiplegia, cognitive challenges, hydrocephalus, brain damage, autism etc. or combinations of the above. Many also have orthopedic challenges, about ten are blind, and two have hearing loss.
06)  How many children do you have?
  • As of July 2014 SCH is currently home to 130 incredible children.
07)  Do you serve families who are seeking residential care for their special children?
  • At this time, the children we serve are all abandoned children whose family backgrounds are unknown or children whose parents relinquished them to the state. We also have three adults with various challenges who have no family support.
08)  What services do you provide for the children?
  • We provide physical therapy, early intervention, nursing care, and special education on-site six days per week. Thirty of our children attend mainstream private schools. We are currently seeking a full-time speech therapist, a physical education teacher, vocational trainer, and an occupational therapist.
09)  How are you funded?
  • We are funded entirely through donations. We invite partnership from individuals, businesses, foundations, churches, etc. in India and around the world! At this time, we do not have any committed support from foundations or organizations–please do consider getting involved personally and also helping us to connect with individuals and organizations that might be interested in working together with us for the sake of the children.
10)  How much does PayPal take out of a gift I send online to Sarah’s Covenant Homes?
  • They take approximately 3% of the gift, plus $0.30 per transaction.
11)  Can I give via PayPal if I don’t live in America, If I don’t have a PayPal account?
  • Yes to both. All you need is a major internationally recognized credit card.
12)  Where does a PayPal donation to SCH actually go?
  • The entirety of the donation (minus PayPal fees) goes directly to us via Sarah’s Covenant Homes, a 501(c) 3 Montana-based nonprofit organizations (also called “India’s Hope”). The US nonprofit wires the donated funds to us in India. The local bank waives wiring charges as a way to bless our work, so that makes your gift to help the children stretch even further.
13)  I’d like to send a check. Where should I mail it?
  • Checks made out to “Sarah’s Covenant Homes” can be mailed to:
Sarah’s Covenant Homes
P.O. Box 368
Chinook, MT 59523 U.S.A.

14)  Which way do you prefer that we give?
  • This is probably the most frequently asked question. To be honest, I’m just thrilled that you want to give and am happy if you give in the way that’s most convenient for you. I personally don’t give to many organizations that I can’t give to online, so I certainly understand if that’s how you prefer to give as well. Some organizations give you the option of adding a little bit to cover the PayPal fees so that the intended amount all gets there–I tend to do that whether they ask or not. PayPal’s pretty fast, and they really don’t take that much out of the gift anyway, though–it’s worth it because of the convenience to donors.The absolute most economical way to give is to mail a check to Sarah’s Covenant Homes in the USA (see mailing address question above)–almost nothing gets taken out of it. This may be the best way to give large donations.Our US nonprofit is great in that they’ll change their regular wiring date to accommodate our needs. If we need money fast for an unforeseen emergency or need, they’ll wire the money that day.
15)  How much overhead does SCH (the US nonprofit) have?
  • It’s a very tiny amount. Sarah’s Covenant Homes is run by volunteers at this point and takes out of donations only what is needed to pay for one internet and phone connection and a few supplies such as printer ink, paper, postage etc. A lot of these expenses are borne personally by those involved as well–it’s a sacrificial work in which we’re all personally invested.
16)  Is the US nonprofit a foundation or endowment?
  • No, they do not have any large fund from which they make donations–they connect the project and supporters.
17)  Are donations made via Sarah’s Covenant Homes/India’s Hope tax-deductible in America?
  • Yes, donations to SCH can be made through our 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization in the US. The organization’s registered name is India’s Hope, and it also has official IRS permission to do business as (“DBA”) “Sarah’s Covenant Homes” and receive donations made out to “Sarah’s Covenant Homes” or “SCH.” (Contact us if you need a copy of the DBA registration).  Donations made through the US nonprofit are sent directly to our organization in India designated for the children, and are tax-deductible for US donors.  You will receive a receipt for your donation.
18)  How can a Canadian citizen donate and receive a tax deduction?
  • A wonderful Canadian friend would like to register SCH as a nonprofit in Canada.  She is just in the beginning stages of the process. Right now, donations can be made via Sarah’s Covenant Homes in Montana, but it won’t qualify for a tax deduction–I’m sorry about that! If you would like to be part of making SCH Canada happen, please write us!
19)  I live in India. How can I best donate to your organization?
  • Here are our bank details for ICM’s Sarah’s Covenant Homes:Bank Name: Federal Bank
    Ongole Branch

    Branch code: FDRL 000 1351

    Account Number: 13510100051559

    Account Name: ICM
20)  What our others ways I can donate to SCH?
  • We are also very thankful for gifts in kind like children’s clothing, shoes, bed sheets, toothbrushes & paste, combs, etc. and would welcome donated services such as from medical and dental professionals, orthopedists, carpenters, welders, painters, etc.
21)  I’m from a country other than the ones you mentioned. What should I do?
  • That’s wonderful. You can donate in any currency via PayPal in any currency using an internationally recognized credit card. Or, if you’d like to make a very large donation and prefer not to use PayPal or send a check to the US address, please contact me at for details on how to give via Western Union or bank wire.
22)  Is Sarah’s Covenant Homes a registered charity in India with permission to receive foreign funds?
  • Sarah’s Covenant Homes is one “project” (for lack of a better word–it’s so much more) of India Christian Ministries, an indigenous registered charity directed by James Rebbavarapu, an Indian minister. India Christian Ministries (ICM) is registered with the FCRA (Foreign Contributions Registration Act) and is permitted to receive foreign funds.
23)  How much of what I donate for SCH goes to ICM administration or other ICM projects?
  • Three percent is retained by ICM to help cover things like maintaining of registrations, hiring accounting staff, auditing, etc. for all programs. Ninety-seven percent of donations for SCH are deposited immediately and directly in the account (SCH Hyderabad or SCH Ongole) to which they are designated by the donor (or by Sarah, in the case of general donations according to need).
24)  Can your children be sponsored?
  • YES! Currently we do have several children being sponsored.  Our cost is approximately $200-$300 per month per child.  This is excluding any additional surgeries or private schooling. Educational sponsorships for those children who attend mainstream private schools are also much-needed and appreciated!  To sponsor a child, visit the “Children in Need of Sponsors” gallery and click on a child’s photo. On the child’s page, you will find a paypal link where you can set up a monthly sponsorship. Not a paypal member? That is okay because you can sign in as a guest. And if you have any more sponsorship questions, you can email us directly at
25)  Can I set up a recurring donation to be made automatically from my bank account or credit card?
  • Yes! It’s a wonderfully easy way to give and it gives us such peace to know that we can count on a particular amount monthly. I can generate a customized PayPal link for you in about five minutes. Drop an email to and let me know the amount you’d like to give monthly and the designation, and I will email you the link right away. You can stop it anytime via your own PayPal account if the need should arise.
26)  How are the volunteer staff members compensated at Sarah’s Covenant Homes?
  • We are all personal givers to SCH.  None of our volunteers draw a salary from ICM, or Sarah’s Covenant Homes. Occasionally someone designates a gift for staff members, and the US nonprofit honors their wishes and deposits that into a personal account.  Our volunteer staff is entirely responsible for raising their own support to meet their financial needs.
27)  What if I cannot afford $200.00 a month to sponsor a child?
  • That is fine.  We have several children that have multiple sponsors.  Sometime 2 to 3 or more families or individuals come together to take care of one child.
28)  Can I communicate with my sponsored child?
  • At this time we don’t have a reliable way of facilitating two-way communication from the children.  Several of our children are nonverbal and/or would have difficulty even understanding the concept of a sponsor, but of course their need for a sponsor is just as crucial, so we hope you would not be dissuaded by that.
29)  What types of updates can I expect regarding my sponsored child?
  • We are currently working on continuing to strengthen our updates and information regarding our children.  With the addition of some new long-term staff members as well as a redesigned website we hope to make large strides and leaps in this area.  Right now so many of the children have come to us with such serious needs that our attention has been primarily focused on their care and getting them out of danger.  We provide four email updates per year to each sponsor, about their specific child.
30)  I’d like to help, but can’t commit to a monthly sponsorship at this time. What other options are there?
  • In addition to monthly child sponsorship, we have many ongoing needs. Several of our children need surgeries, and we need one-time gifts to help us do this. We also love to have people come and volunteer. Spreading the word about us via your blog, your Facebook page, or your e-mail list helps SO much as well,

Wow lots of info but I think it is so important for you to get to know this organization like I have!  Please give if you can! 

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