NATION

2019 Person Of The Year 2: Nun Finds God-Given Purpose In Children

Abbess Melani found her God-given purpose in the lives of children of St Tabithas Home at the Greek Orthodox Church in Saweni, Lautoka. Abbess Melani is the matron in charge
31 Dec 2019 18:45
2019 Person Of The Year 2: Nun Finds God-Given Purpose In Children
Abbess Melani at the St Tabitha's Home at the Greek Orthodox Church in Saweni, Lautoka. Photo: Mereleki Nai

Abbess Melani found her God-given purpose in the lives of children of St Tabithas Home at the Greek Orthodox Church in Saweni, Lautoka.

Abbess Melani is the matron in charge of the home, which currently accommodates 20 boys.

Originally from Sigatoka, the 48-year-old said the struggles and hardship she faced in her childhood and being adopted by a relative was all meant for a worthy future.

“I have a big extended family and I was brought up by my uncle and aunt who took care for me. I faced a lot of hardship and struggles while growing up but I know that it was all meant for a good future ahead of me,” she said.

“I came from a Hindu family and as a child I had a love for Mother Mary. I wanted to be holy like her and take care of the children of God. Maybe that is why I didn’t get married and I stayed single till now.

“I became a Christian Orthodox in 2008. I experienced a great change in my life. I was baptised and I was given a new name called Melani, which means ‘A Mother Superior’. So, I’m a matron in charge for the whole mission. My real name was Rangani Devi Singh.

“Being a born-again Christian, it was like a new chapter of my life, my new spiritual work with God. My faith grows on the circumstances I faced daily. I learn to trust God in whatever things I went through and the things He had in store for me,” Abbess Melani added.

“Currently, I am looking after St Tabithas Home with another sister. This home was established in 2015 by the Orthodox Church and we are looking after 20 boys. Here, we live like one family. These children I regard them as my world and my future. They are my blessings from God,” she said.

Melani said that only five-year-olds and above were allowed in the Home but the inclusion of a one-year-old baby had changed her view of life.

“A one-year-old baby boy was brought in here and we were told that he will spend a few weeks here until everything about him settles then he would be taken back by the Social Welfare.

“I was really moved looking at this baby and I thought of the suffering, children in our society are going through today. We heard in the news, a child has been killed as a result of a heated argument between the parents,” she said tearfully.

“When I see these children, I can see my purpose in them. They came from different family backgrounds and the different circumstances they faced brought them to this home. I loved them so much. Every day I ask God to give me the strength and love so that I will guide them to what they are destined to become.

“I felt satisfied when one of these children received a certificate of achievement in school. I knew in my heart it was God’s purpose for me to be a source of blessing, love and healing to children who have been abandoned, rejected and abused.

“This is my calling and I will commit myself for this purpose till God calls me home.”

Edited by Ivamere Nataro   

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