Published Wed, Feb 16, 22.


Residents come and go at Mukti Mission but all are impacted. Your investments in the lives of Mukti residents is tangible encouragement. Here is Kroupa's story.

 

Hello? Yes? Who is there? It was a weekday morning and I was busy preparing to go to Manorama Memorial English Medium School, and my mind was busy with my ‘to do’ list for the morning. Standing at the back door of my classroom was a thin, tall, and dark-eyed teenage girl

"Good morning bai” She held a piece of paper, probably torn from her notebook, ”Bai, this drawing I did last night so I came now to show you.” She stretched her hand and gave it to me.

"Oh, very nice." It was a simple sunrise drawing using only a pencil. I could see the neat and clean lines. It was a very good drawing! "And what is your name?"

”Kroupa*,” she said, “I am in class 7th in high school.” This was my first meeting with Kroupa. She came to introduce herself with proof of her hobby - her art.

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After this meeting, we would meet several times a week and she would show me more of her sketches. On casual talks, I found out that she was not interested in studies and preferred to be naughty and run around the campus doing such things which I found quite normal for her age. All in all, I was sure that she was 'gifted' in her artistic ability. Along with this gift of drawing she used to write poems. Kroupa also had a very good voice, she loved to sing. Most interestingly she would take the Psalms and put them with a tune and sing for everyone.

In school studies, she was an average student. Subjects like reading, writing, History, Geography, Science, and Languages were not interesting to her. Kroupa was interested only in her Art and Drawing! By God’s grace she got a chance to prove herself because every year, the State Government conducts Drawing Examinations for students, known as ‘Elementary Drawing Examination’ for the first year and ‘Intermediate Drawing Examination’ for the next year. Students receive very detailed instruction in drawing and sketching and using colors. Kroupa appeared for these Examinations and did the best! After that, she always used to decorate the school blackboards beautifully. Teachers would recognize her as a budding artist and she would assist teachers in any kind of decoration in school. 

I left Mukti when Kroupa was in 9th grade. After nearly 6 years I came back to Mukti as Principal of the High School. We met again and she told me about those years. She struggled to pass the 10th-grade State Examination on her first attempt because of her weak grasp of the English language. She was given a job to clean the church which she accepted happily. She told me that it was a joy for her to sweep and mop the church floor where she could feel the presence of God. She would also paint greeting cards in the Reception room. Once a volunteer from another country came and bought 25 of Kroupa's cards. This woman was also artistic and offered to help her in the study of English. Kroupa wrote her English paper and passed the 10th-grade Examination. This was the turning point of her life. She completed her 11th and 12th grades from Pune. At the same time, the woman moved to Pune and Kroupa moved in with her. Along with her Degree course, Kroupa was learning many things like how to save money since she would sell her paintings. In Pune, she also received lessons on Canvas painting and Fabric painting. She would also help the woman in her office work.  

A Masters's degree in social work (MSW) soon followed. Kroupa raised money for this course through hard work and the sales of her paintings and successfully completed her Masters'. She started working as a social worker in a good institution. Once while talking to me, she became emotional and said that she gives glory and honor to God Almighty because she recognized that her gift of art was given by Him. Though she had a hard time in her childhood, God was always with her, protecting her, guiding her. She said she has no words to express gratitude toward Mukti where she received shelter, love, care, education, a way of life, and most importantly - the love of Jesus.  

After my retirement from Mukti, I was invited to be a member of the Bible Society of India. I often go to Mumbai for these meetings. Last year I met Kroupa again. She came to meet me. It was a very good time to talk and to see her progress in canvas painting and fabric painting. Now she is a confident young woman, working with an NGO (Non- Government Organisation). Of course, she is pursuing her passion, her art of drawing and painting because it is God’s gift. She showed me all her colorful works on canvas. All beautifully done. 

Beauty through the colors! Praising and thanking the Lord!