One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

Posted in: Arrow Stories

Meet Napoleon from India
Guest Author: Hopegivers International
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napoleon indiaOne of my favorite pictures of the complete redemption potential for orphans is sort of a modern-day Joseph story, nineteen-year-old Napoleon.

Napoleon lived a comfortable lifestyle with his family of five in a large South India city. But one day, when he was six years old, the police came and arrested his entire family, falsely accusing them of being Naxalites, or anti-government terrorists. Even though the charges were soon cleared for lack of proof and they were released, the social pressures and superstitions present in India made them a threat to their friends and family. Overnight, they lost everything and everyone that mattered.

Packing few belongings, the family boarded a train. Later, when they stopped at a station, Napoleon watched his dad give his older brother and sister some money and send them off, he assumed for food. But the train left without them, and Napoleon never saw them again. Then, after the train got up to full speed, he watched in disbelief as his parents jumped from the train to their deaths. The train conductor told six-year-old Napoleon that, by law, he had to debark at the next station to claim the bodies and arrange having them removed from the station.

He spent the next year living on trains, cleaning floors and shining shoes to try to make enough money to eat. Once he rode the train farther than usual and ended up in a state where he couldn't speak the language, as each state in India has its own. A seemingly caring woman spotted him and led him to a home, where she served him a plate of food. Ravenous, he ate every bite. Only after the meal did he realize it was a set up-the woman turned him in to the police for stealing.

Napoleon spent the next ten years in a youth corrections facility, along with other kids who were mostly hardened criminals. During that time, a man came to visit him regularly and eventually led him to Christ, and then helped him get into one of Papa's Hope Homes where his faith blossomed.

"I'm so thankful to God for rescuing me," Napoleon, now a first-year student in Papa's main Bible College, says. "If He hadn't brought me here, I'd be an atheist by now, but God chose me and brought me here at the right moment so that I could know Him. My biggest desire is to become a state government official so that I can help the poor, underprivileged, and minority people."

Even with all the bad stuff that's happened to him, Napoleon's not bitter. "If God hadn't allowed me to get put into the juvenile corrections facility, I'd still be on the train, begging and shining shoes to survive. God used that experience to bring me to this place today so that I could help others."

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