In Memory of Little Pratik
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Two years ago, my dad and I were walking on to the Walton Dream Center property and were greeted by dozens of smiles and jumping, happy children.  As I was trying to show my love for all of them, I noticed two sets of Pratik1beautiful dark brown eyes staring at me from the distance.  The faces that belonged to those eyes were skeptical and timid.  I soon learned that their names were Pratik and Ambika and they had just recently come to the Dream Center after someone found them fighting a stray dog for food.  You read that right, a two and three-year-old fighting over food with a stray dog because their parents abandoned them.  My heart instantly broke, immediately I asked to personally sponsor them but was told they already had a sponsor and that I could choose two other kids. 
 
bro-sis I was still so drawn to them but I didn’t want to scare them.  I knew they had probably never seen someone like me before.  Who was this tall (yes, I, at 5 foot 3 was tall there) girl with this yellowy colored hair and white skin tone?  Something about them made me to try harder, so I got down to their level and just smiled and tried to not look intimidating!   Slowly Ambika, (3-year-old female) came to me and played with my hair.  Pratik, on the other hand, still seemed scared and at just two years old, it made sense.  He slowly followed his sister over to my friend and I. He didn’t reach to touch us like everyone else, he just stood there taking it all in.  Later that day after we gave all of the children ice cream cups and enjoyed it with them, we saw a hint of a smile on Pratik’s face.  Ambika was dancing around with us and you couldn’t wipe the smile off her face.
Pratik always stayed near his older sister and just watched, almost as if he was protecting her.  It was obvious she was the only constant in his life up until this point. All too soon it was time for their nap, they fell asleep on us as we held them and we were shocked. They trusted us!
 
 Once we left, I decided to wait on sponsoring a child.   A year later, I heard that my two precious angels sponsor had run into some financial problems and could no longer sponsor them.  Immediately I called and sponsored them because I wanted to be a part of the reason they felt safe and were always fed. Pratik3I wanted them to beat this cycle of poverty that they seemed to be born into. There was no doubt in my mind that keeping them at GNI, where Jesus’ love is shown so abundantly, gave them the best chance at a life of fulfillment. My heart filled up and my eyes filled with happy tears every time I got little letters and drawings from them in the mail. Everything was right in my little world. 

Then the unthinkable happened, Pratik got sick, that’s right, this tiny boy who got a second chance at life got sick. Pratik was rushed to the local hospital but sadly did not survive.  Sickness happens, it is absolutely gut 3468 pratik naik_0wrenching but it happens, no matter what people’s circumstances are. I find peace in the fact that I know he was in hands that loved him until the very end and he did not die alone.  There is no doubt in my mind that everything possible was done to save my little man. As much as I wish I could hug him one last time or even visit and watch him play off in the distance. I’m thankful that Pratik is now resting in the arms of Jesus safe and secure! My heart is in India with the whole Walton Dream Center as they just lost a part of their family.

 I saw Pratik do a few dance moves in the time that I was there. His lips curled into a smile with his eyes dancing about. That’s how I will choose to remember him, … playing.  
I tried to think of a way to honor him from all the way around the world as I will not be there to mourn him at his funeral.  As play is how I am choosing to remember him, I decided to raise money to build a playground in his honor as a way of memorializing his little life.
Pratik’s Playground is going to cost about $6,000, we want to make it big and bright just as his life should have been! If you could join me in fundraising by sharing this post and/or donating a few dollars to Good News India (make sure the money is designated for Pratik’s Playground), I would be forever grateful!!  He deserved to live a long life filled with laugh and play, but he didn’t get it.  Help me bring a little laughter and play back to this Dream Center after such a big loss!

Thank you,
    Kelby Wall

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In Memory of Little Pratik

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