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Definition of orphan
1
:  a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents He became an orphan when his parents died in a car accident.
2
:  a young animal that has lost its mother feeding calves that are orphans
3
:  one deprived of some protection or advantage orphans of the storm refugee orphans of the war
4
:  a first line (as of a paragraph) separated from its related text and appearing at the bottom of a printed page or column

Our orphanage history is one of great adventures, overcoming huge odds and most importantly love. Orphanages rarely have a story to tell like ours does; some might find parts of it hard to believe but we assure you, it is all truth.
The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission was founded in 1948 by Maxton Davis Strong and his wife, Shirley. Maxton Strong had been a professor of Agricultural Engineering at the Allahabad Agricultural Institute in India, previous to this, having come from the USA with the American Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. After seeing the need of practical “hands on” agricultural training for aspiring young farmers, he acquired 160 acres of good fertile land along the foothills of the Himalayas, which was being offered on a permanent lease by the Indian Government.
Having been to the USA and raised funds for some equipment, Maxton, Shirley and their three children, Jack, Maxine, and Jay, returned to India by ship along with their supplies. They landed in Bombay with a John Deere tractor, a four-wheeled trailer, a two-wheeled threshing machine, and some other equipment. They assembled the tractor, which had come in parts, on the Bombay docks and started driving up country. Along with a couple of young Indian men, they moved over five tonnes of equipment, heading for Banbasa, on the Western boarder of Nepal. The entire trip by tractor was over 3000km and took several weeks. Shirley and the children traveled by train and met Max at their new home.



The land was wild and unpopulated, largely because of the deadly effects of malaria. For the first few years, the little family lived in a US army surplus tent. The month of May is very hot (between 35-50°C), but the shade of a large mango tree helped keep the Strong family cool. Wild animals of many kinds lived around them and, as the children grew, they learned to respect the animals they encountered and acquired a love for the wild. There were tigers, leopards, many kinds of deadly snakes, monkeys, large iguana lizards, various types of deer, wild pigs and elephants. Hunting was a way of life in those days and there were very few restrictions on what could be shot. Life was hard, the diet limited, and wild meat was appreciated for the table.
There were a few primitive tribal people called Tharus in the vicinity, who befriended the Strong family and taught them the ways of the wild animals. Later some land was given to the Tharu people and the Mission assisted them in setting up housing and agricultural projects to help them earn a living. Sadly, Maxton and Shirley’s oldest son, Jack, died of a fever in the early years, and years later their younger son, Jay, also died in a tractor accident. During that time, they had two more daughters, Carol and Rebecca, who eventually returned to the USA to live.