Posted by: janpierce | November 1, 2014

Akanksha and Thomas, a Success Story

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Roger first met Akanksha at Dayanilayam orphanage near Hyderabad in 2005. She had been left as a “ragpicker” at a local dump by her aunt. She was brought to the orphanage dirty and without real clothing. She had lived at the dump for three or four years by then and was about eight or nine years old in 2005. She was afraid of Roger, but polite as she was taught to be to Americans who might sponsor her. We saw her each year when we visited the orphanage and bought her little presents from time to time. She was allowed to travel with us when we were in the area and we treated her to her first ice cream when we took her to Hyderabad. She saw stairs and elevators for the first time and also her first airplane. When she was about 14 she ran away from the orphanage and married her first cousin. This was a marriage match made at birth by her Buduga Jangam tribe. The tribal people are outside of caste, even lower than dalits, and her group made their living by weaving mats, traveling from village to village to sing and bless or give curses and they often ate birds and rats. More recently the adults from this group have become day workers in the fields. When Akanksha ran away we thought we had lost her, but through another cousin we were able to find her about four hours away from the orphanage. She was living with her new husband and his parents in a dwelling put together from plastic, boards and other rubble. It broke our hearts. We gave Thomas some money and told him to use it for education. He promised he would. We were so happy on our next visit to find them at a Bible School near Hyderabad. We visited them and met their teacher. Later we heard Thomas was becoming a pastor and had received further training. In 2010 when we were in Bangalore for our son’s wedding, Thomas and Akanksha came to the service with their newborn son, Paul. That was four years ago. This weekend Roger will visit Thomas and Akanksha in Nalagonda where they live and work. Both are Christian leaders and they now have added a daughter to their little family. God raised these two young people from beggars to Christian leaders. We couldn’t be prouder.



  1. Absolutely wonderful story. Isn’t it amazing, the way God lets us be part of his Kingdom work?

  2. The best part is when we get to see some of the results. Often we just proceed in faith. This is like opening a present.

  3. What a beautiful redemptive story, Jan! Your joy is leaking on me. 😀

  4. Thanks for sharing your story.

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