Jun 1 2009

A New Day for Kamrul

Kamrul Kamrul starts his day very early in the morning. He leaves his bed just after sunrise and washes his face from the nearest pond. After having a little cold rice from the previous night, he leaves for work.

These days, Kamrul feels very relaxed. He doesn’t have to pay rent to the cycle van owner daily. He has his own van now. It is the most useful gift for his family.

Kamrul has been blessed by your generosity. His new cycle van ensures a decent life for his family. Kamrul considers himself a fortunate father of a Compassion-assisted child. His 8-year-old daughter, Mukta, is the channel of blessings in his family.

Every morning, Kamrul drives to the nearest village market for passengers or a load to carry. If he is fortunate enough, he can get more than two passengers at a time and heavy stuff to carry. He earns 100-120 taka (U.S.$1.45-$1.74) per day by driving his cycle van.

“One hundred taka ($1.45) per day for me is the same as 100,000 taka ($1,450) for the rich people living in the big cities. This 100 taka allows me to buy food for my children and keep my family.”

In the rainy and cold season he earns less than that, but the money is still adequate to buy food for his children. It wouldn’t be possible if he didn’t have his own cycle van.

Previously, he had to pay around 100-120 taka as rent for a cycle van. He had very little left for his family. To pay the owner on a regular basis was a Herculean task for Kamrul. It took eight out of his 11 hours of working to earn the money for the owner.

Now Kamrul believes that his bad days are over and he can do something more for his children and family.

Kamrul’s working hours are now more flexible. To work eight hours throughout the day is enough for him to take care of his family.

Whenever he is on the road driving his cycle van, he keeps the faces of his children in his mind rather than the worry of paying the owner of the cycle van. You made this possible for him.

Kamrul had a bitter childhood. After the death of his father, his mother was kicked out of the house by his stepbrothers. His father married twice, and Kamrul’s mother was the second wife.

It is common in Bangladesh for stepmothers not to be well-accepted by their stepchildren. Kamrul’s mother had to struggle a lot to raise her children. She stayed in a different town from them and worked as a housemaid. She was unable to provide education for her children.

Kamrul grew up to become an illiterate rickshaw puller. He couldn’t manage to live in another town, and seven years ago returned to his own village. His stebrothers didn’t receive him warmly. He asked them to allow him to stay on his father’s land, but they said no.

With help of the local people, he got a small piece of the land, but every day he has to face the anger of his vicious stepbrothers.

In his 30 years of life, Kamrul has never been well-treated by people, except for his mother. When he first came in touch with the Compassion staff, he was amazed by their compassionate attitude. Now Kamrul is astonished by your love for him and his family.

“From my childhood I got used to mistreatment. I never got love and sympathy from my stepbrothers or neighbors.

“But the love that the Compassion sponsors have shown to me is unconditional. They bought me a new cycle van just after knowing about my struggling. This is beyond my imagination. They improved our living. I am grateful to them.”

Kamrul is very popular at the child development center because of his sincerity. The center manager and church pastor always call him whenever they need to carry goods a distance.

Kamrul carries all the sacks of rice, lentil, vegetables and chicken on his van for the center. It is very helpful for the church as well as for Kamrul. He is their “official” cycle van driver.

Seven months ago, Kamrul used to carry the stuff of other people on his rented cycle van. Many people used to buy goods and food stuffs from the local market, and Kamrul carried those on his van. He couldn’t afford to buy stuff for his family. Conditions have changed. :-)

He is now able to earn adequate money to buy products from the weekly market.

Last Friday he went to the market with his daughter, Mukta. He didn’t take his cycle van with him as they had been there just for shopping. Kamrul bought cooking oil, potatoes, onions, spices, biscuits and soap.

Mukta asked for potato chips, and Kamrul was happy to buy her a packet of potato chips. He was very satisfied while he was heading back to his home holding the hand of his daughter.

Kamrul is a very hardworking individual and always thinks about his family. He took a loan of 12,000 taka ($174) from a local organization. He invested the money to grow a paddy. This year he has received 420 kilograms of paddy, which provides five months of rice for his family. He has to pay the local organization 340 taka ($4.93) weekly.

With his new van, he is able to save 50 taka per day; at the end of the week he has 350 taka to pay his weekly debt. The paddy will ensure rice is available three times a day for his family.

Nowadays Mukta doesn’t have to go hungry in the morning. Every morning her mother serves her steamy rice and vegetables before she leaves for the development center.

The new cycle van doesn’t mean that all the problems are removed from Kamrul’s life. He is still having some difficulties.

Last month his stepbrothers beat him and his wife badly in front of their children. They threatened them and told Kamrul to leave the land where he and his family are staying.

Kamrul and his wife were in great physical pain. Kamrul bought medicine for his wife. It wouldn’t be possible for him to spend money for medicine if he didn’t own the cycle van.

“I am always anxious about my house. The land belonged to my father so I have a small share on that land. But my stepbrothers and their sons want to deprive me.

“Compassion built a new house for us on that land after the cyclone disaster last year, but my stepbrothers want the land back, so they are trying to destroy my house.

“They have never taken care of my family but always try to push us toward the edge.

“Compassion took care of us by providing the van, which is the only earning way for me to survive. Even the medicine I bought for my wife were by the money I earned from the new cycle van.”

Kamrul loves his children more than his own life. He has a great expectation for his daughter, Mukta.

Kamrul never got the opportunity to complete his studies. He wants both of his children to grow up as well-educated human beings.

From his childhood experience he knows how bitter it is to live without food as well as love. He loves his kids and tries to work at his level best to ensure they have food and clothes. He always worked hard, but now with his new cycle van he has started to work harder.

He knows he has commitments to keep to his family as well as to the sponsors of Compassion. Kamrul is trying to make the most of his cycle van because the more he drives the greater chance that his children will never go hungry.

Thank you for standing beside this responsible and hardworking father.

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32 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Sarah Charles
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 4:59 am

    Awesome story!

  2. Jun 1, 2009
    at 6:50 am

    THANK YOU, Compassion, for ALL you are doing – for Karmul and his family, and all the families you are helping around the world!

  3. Mike Stephens
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 7:18 am

    Amazing! I prayed that God will continue to help you overcome Kamrul!

  4. Lindy
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 7:27 am

    What a blessing to read about the changes in Kamrul’s life as a result of the cycle van and the love of Compassion sponsors! I am praying that Kamrul’s step-brothers will have new hearts of love for him.

  5. Jun 1, 2009
    at 7:32 am

    How wonderful to read this update — but also sad to hear of the trials he endures. May God protect his life and that of his family!

  6. Kim Edge
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 7:58 am

    He and his wife were beaten in front of their children? This is awful! Are there no police? :(

  7. Cheryl J
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 8:12 am

    I am wondering if there is any way we could donate some money so that Kamul could pay his step-brothers for the land he is on. It sounds like it is part of his father’s land. Perhaps then they could live in peace.

  8. Jun 1, 2009
    at 8:18 am

    Several months ago, readers of this blog joined together to raise enough money for Kamrul to buy his van. Money is not going to solve the problem with his stepbrothers, but Jesus can.

    I’m suggesting that we readers of this blog join our voices in prayer, daily, for God (1) to protect Kamrul, his family and their property, and (2) change the hearts of Kamrul’s stepbrothers toward him. God is a great multi-tasker; He can do both.

  9. Mike Stephens
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 12:53 pm

    @Cheryl J@Vicki Small – I am up for both!!!!!!! Prayer and helping him buy the land.

  10. Olivia
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 1:32 pm

    Amazing and Inspiring story to continue helping children and their families!

  11. Jun 1, 2009
    at 3:49 pm

    Thanks for the update and great pictures!

  12. Mike Stephens
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 4:59 pm

    How about it, let’s buy his land so he doesn’t have to pay rent!!!!!!! We can make a mini prayer of Jabez come true for Kamrul. Any suggestions on this???

  13. Mike Stephens
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 5:09 pm

    $174 that’s not too much to me ;) Being that I missed out on the cycle van party, why not squeeze in through the back door and help Kamrul out with his rent or should I say help him out of his rent??? Why only help Kamrul half-way? If he owns the land, everything he makes is pure profit. He may eventually be able to buy more land. That way he could quit driving the cycle van and the land would do a lot of the work.

  14. Mike Stephens
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 5:24 pm

    @Cheryl J

    Cheryl,

    Thank you for suggesting this! I am going to drop off $300 at Compassion’s front desk tomorrow and specify that it is for Kamrul’s Land ;)

  15. Mike Stephens
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 5:35 pm

    God thank you that you are the God of the IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!!! I ask that you would help Kamrul and his brothers to grow strong with each other and with YOU. Thank you for giving us the opportunity and desire to help Kamrul. Jesus help us to keep our focus on YOU. Hallelujah!

  16. Sara Benson
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 6:20 pm

    Thank you for the update and telling us how we can focus our prayers for this family. I will be praying that God will give Kamrul a love for his stepbrothers and that his attitude will be a wittness to the brothers even as God softens their hearts.

  17. Cheryl J
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 7:57 pm

    I think the loan on the land is for growing rice. I believe that is different than the land he is living on. Is there anyway to find out how much his brothers might sell the land he is living on for? I would love to have him buy the land he is growing rice on as well.

  18. Emily
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 8:01 pm

    @Mike Stephens – Yep – I agree! If we can find out if this would bless Kamrul and not cause him greater trouble, why not try and make it happen? This is such an amazing story – let’s be part of another chapter!

    We can certainly start by praying for the stepbrothers too, and the community that knows Kamrul personally might be able to guide us with wisdom about how to proceed. In the meantime – God bless Kamrul and his family.

  19. Amy Wallace
    Jun 1, 2009
    at 8:33 pm

    Thanks for the update!

  20. Jun 1, 2009
    at 8:52 pm

    Wow. This is truly a Father’s Day story.

    I’m not sure that buying the land would be the thing to do either. If they happen to be that against him being on the land, it wouldn’t matter. They’d probably take the money and keep assaulting him and his family. I think it’s best to pray for their hearts to soften and that Kamrul would have supernatural favor with them that they’d let him have the land in peace.

  21. Jun 2, 2009
    at 5:58 am

    I pray the Lord continues to bless this man and his family…

  22. Jun 2, 2009
    at 8:09 am

    @Stacey – I absolutely agree. They have hatred for Kamrul in their hearts that likely would not stop at property lines.

    Besides…while I appreciate the generous spirit that drives us all with regard to the children and families we serve, I think there’s a limit on how much we can appropriately do for one family, without either creating that dependency or assaulting a man’s dignity.

  23. Kim Edge
    Jun 2, 2009
    at 8:12 am

    Heavenly Father, send your Holy Spirit, soften the hearts of all non-believers, incline all our hearts and minds to you…Amen

    I do pray that Kamrul and his wife and children have accepted our Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and I hope his step family will as well…may God guide and protect us all.

  24. Jun 2, 2009
    at 11:18 am

    Originally Posted By Cheryl J I am wondering if there is any way we could donate some money so that Kamul could pay his step-brothers for the land he is on. It sounds like it is part of his father’s land. Perhaps then they could live in peace.

    Hello everyone. Thank you for caring about Kamrul so much. Thank you for wanting to help him . . . and for wanting to help pretty much everyone you read about on the blog. :-) You are all amazingly generous servants.

    We appreciate everyone’s desire to step in and help Kamrul again, but it’s not something we can do at this time.

    Giving the cycle van last year began a conversation in Compassion that is still going on. We are trying to determine how your desires, to help a sponsored child’s family that you do not sponsor, fit in with our philosophy that each sponsor has a one-to-one relationship with his sponsored child.

    Discussions are currently in progress about potential changes to our gift policy; changes that would allow gifts to be made to a child from people other than the sponsor. And they’re positive discussions. :-) But this topic isn’t just about philosophical issues, it also has logistical issues to overcome.

    If we make changes to our gift policy we have to be careful about how we exercise the option to give to the families and children we read about on the blog.

    As Vicki said, we want to be careful not to create dependency, which is the reason we have limits on the amount that you can give to your sponsored child as a birthday gift or family gift.

    Originally Posted By Vicki Small
    @Stacey
    …while I appreciate the generous spirit that drives us all with regard to the children and families we serve, I think there’s a limit on how much we can appropriately do for one family, without either creating that dependency or assaulting a man’s dignity.

    In case you’re curious, the distinction between giving to Kamrul and the help we provided to Alexander is that Alexander and his need for heart surgery was a specific medical need identified by his development center.

    Many children have medical needs, but it’s up to church partner to identify needs that are beyond what our sponsorship program can address, needs that require specific assistance. This was done in Alexander’s case. A Complementary Intervention (CIV) proposal was submitted asking for funds to pay for his surgery.

    CIV is the part of our holistic child development model that “complements” and augments our core programs in situations like disasters, medical needs, etc.

    Child gifts and family gifts are a feature of the sponsorship program. They are governed by our gift policy which is meant to strengthen the sponsor/child relationship without creating dependence on part of the child or disparity among children in the sponsorship program. As a result, the gift limits are small in comparison to a medical need, like heart surgery, or a need in the wake of a disaster.

  25. Mike Stephens
    Jun 2, 2009
    at 11:57 am

    @Chris Giovagnoni – I will gladly comply ;) After hearing the situation I just decided to give b/c of the benefit I knew it would have for Kamrul, but being a sponsor myself I understand a little better how giving gifts to others’sponsored families may take some consideration and could be done possibly at a future date.

  26. Emily
    Jun 2, 2009
    at 8:13 pm

    @Chris Giovagnoni
    Thanks for your wisdom Chris. Let’s channel our generosity and enthusiasm to respond, into prayer, and advocacy!

  27. David Adhikary
    Jun 4, 2009
    at 12:03 am

    Dearest Readers,
    You guys are the most amazing group of people I have ever heard, seen or imagine. Your feelings for kamrul is awesome. Thank you so much for thinking about a helpless man in Bangladesh. I can ensure you that Kamrul is a very industrious man and he is using your van properly to run his family. I just talked to the project Manager BD-320 and told him to tell kamrul about your feelings and love towards him. I think none from Bangladesh could ever imagine that he could be loved by so many people from completely different country. You are a group of true Christians. May God Bless you and enrich your life, because you are representing Christ by helping the needy ones.

    David (FCS Compassion Bangladesh).

  28. Valerie Long
    Jun 6, 2009
    at 7:42 am

    Thank you for posting this update on Kamrul and his family. It wasn’t that long ago that I read the first post as I’m fairly new to this blog. I hadn’t realized that first post was written almost a year ago until this update was posted.

    Thank you for letting us know of how having his own cycle van is helping him and his family!

  29. Crystlgib
    Jun 10, 2009
    at 7:04 pm

    I waited to post my loan voice of dissent to avoid being chastised by the gallery, but I assume you really are looking for feedback so here goes nothing. I don’t really like the posts where you focus on a family for the bloggers to offer additional economic aid unless it is an extremely rare/urgent situation (like the child with the heart condition). I would so much rather people be encouraged to maximize their family gift giving, then maybe a gift to their child’s project. I believe every single child (1 million+) has a family with an extreme need. It seems impossible to make an appropriate selection of one family for which the blog community should give special financial support.

  30. Jun 11, 2009
    at 6:53 pm

    @Crystlgib – I’m glad you felt comfortable dissenting. Your opinion is very welcome here. And actually you’re not alone in your opinion. I agree with you. :-)

    Until Alexander (the child who needed the heart surgery), we hadn’t asked for financial support on behalf of a specific child or family.

    Which posts have you felt “focused on a family for the bloggers to offer additional economic aid” to?

    All of the posts we publish, the ones that invite you into the lives of specific children or families, are meant to help you feel more connected with your child by giving you insight into what life is like for a Compassion-assisted child living in extreme poverty.

    If our posts don’t do that, we consider ourselves successful if we give you insight into what life in your child’s country is like, or if we connect you with other people passionate about the same things you are.

    We also strive to have our posts help you understand our ministry – how we work and why we do things the way we do – and help shape its direction.

    The gift given to Kamrul was the result of a idea from our blog readers. It was unexpected and a pleasure to be a part of.

    But it also identified an issue that our current gift policy, which was written before the advent of Twitter, Facebook and this blog, isn’t equipped to handle.

    Any changes we may make to our gift policy will take into consideration the concerns you have because they’re our concerns too.

  31. Lisa Lofland
    Jun 22, 2009
    at 3:31 am

    After all aren’t we called to meet people’s “needs” if it is possible to do so?

  32. Jun 23, 2011
    at 12:43 pm

    Okay I’m convinced. Let’s put it to atcoin.

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