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In India, child helped by ministry, now grown, returns to give thanks

HYDERABAD, India — Though it’s been nearly three decades, Karen Clayton can’t forget Digamber Mane.
“He always had a smile as big as Texas,” recalls Clayton, who serves alongside her husband, Ron. In the mid-1990s, the couple opened a children’s home in Hyderabad, a city in central India, to serve impoverished children.

Ron and Karen Clayton with Digamber Mane (PHOTO PROVIDED)

“These were the children of the poorest of the poor. Almost all of them had lost at least one of their parents,” Karen Clayton said. “They all needed help. … I spent a tremendous amount of time at this home. It was my ministry. I loved these kids. I taught them God’s Word.”
Mane carried her books, gathered the children for class.
“In short, he was my right arm,” she said. “He always called me mom. That was OK with me.”
Mane, now 30 and married, with a baby on the way, emailed Karen Clayton to arrange a visit.
“Before he left Sunday afternoon … he told me the reason he wanted to see me. He wanted to thank me for all I had done for him as a young child and as he grew to his teenage years.”
He “wanted to make sure that he was never one about whom it could be said, ‘Where are the nine?’” Karen Clayton said, referring to the story of the 10 lepers healed by Jesus in Luke 17 — only one of which returned to thank him.

Filed under: International

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