Global Challenge Expeditions Blog Vault: These are real blogs, from real people, bringing real change...
Our arrival into India was ubrupt and crazy, chaos was an understatement. Animals, tuk-tuks, trucks, cars and crowds scattered everywhere. New Delhi is a bee hive of hasslers, vehicles and markets - all trying to promote the best price. Just as ubrupt was the 'Dehli belly' many of the guys suffered from during this time. We arrived in New Delhi on a Monday, from Bangkok, after a lay over in Sri Lanka. As expectations go, Slumdog Millionaire was on my mind, there is a reality of slums yes but there is such a diversity in India itself. Every state has cultures and languages within it. India itself has 16 official languages, so you can just imagine all the different dialects. This country grows on you, although i missed home many times. The people of India are humbling, the streets are lively and the smiles give enrichment and encouragement. So that one is encouraged to spend time there. Why do I say this, the truth is - in cities like New Delhi itself everyone wants their cut, everyone we spoke to in the Market we stayed in, needed in some measure something more than good conversation. This was challenging because the opposite was true at the Orphanage in Kota where the children just wanted time spent with them. I met a lady begging for money with a burn mark on her face that severed her features. She had three children with her, each asking in desperate plead. I wondered about her story and gave them money, then she asked if i would drink chai (tea) with them, she then told me her parents died in a fire when she was younger and she is left by herself with her children. She later asked for money, i continued ignoring the question. Slowly but surely faith became the topic of our conversation. I made the point that Christ cares for His children and God is a loving Father. She looked uneasy and offended, she then explained how much she prays to many Hindu gods. She asked for money again, I understood she was in need but I wanted her to taste the life giving water! The Spirit has much more than I can give, but she was blind to what I was trying to bring across, I mentioned Jesus and He was nothing more than an offense. This is what we as Disciples must realize - that the Message of our redeemer is offensive to the world because it is potent, it talks to the very Spirit and gives Life in abundance! We cannot withold His need for others to be with Him, so I gave it to God. We met up with another Global Challenge Team, Northbound, the following week. A train departed with both Northbound and Work Your Way as our ministry points where combined at the Emmanuel Christian Orphanage in Kota, just South of New Delhi. From a crowd of random strangers to a crowd of children at the Orphanage was an interesting transition. These children I encountered accept you as one of them, they just want to wrestle and speak about cricket, ask for bible stories at night and be with you. I forgot how freeing it was to be a child, to be careless and playful. To make friends at a split second without the pressure of on going smalltalk that might lead to a conversation. It reminded me of how I grew up, I'm not far from being a child but now even more so. The mornings would be spent planning and quiet times, the afternoons we would play in break times followed by a service every night. The reality is many of these weren't children anymore, many of them have scars on their faces and bodies, stitches and marks but scars would still remain. Bruised and broken, untouched and forgotten in the past, this place and sanctuary provides provision of Christ to these children. The Orphanage doesn't just oversee their basic physical needs but teaches eco-living to the kids so that in the future they may be independent in agriculture. Their faces have been hardened trough life, childhood severed by unfortunate events. The staff knows the weight of how every girl and boy grows up is life and death. The children now live with a sense of adulthood, but their hearts have been turned to Jesus and they really do have childlike faith, each child is capable to move mountains and hearts as their roots grow into Him. One Northbound member, Christian, got bitten by something and was poisoned while playing with the kids, we feared for his life as he lay in bed, motionless, his face in agony, we prayed while we called the ambulance. His body stood stiff as he cried out in pain, uttering "I love you" while we carried him into the emergency vehicle that would take him to the hospital. We didn't know if it would be the last time we see him. He accepted the fact that he might die and saw a silhouette of his dad in the van. He started singing to God and the pain dissappeared, he suddenly could move. We worshipped and thanked God for healing Christian even before it happened and then it just ...happened!! We all enjoyed just being one of the kids, time spent with them is more precious than anything we could give. I questioned whether it could be sustainable, but i guess that's faith in the Lord. He promises that He will fulfill the good work He has started. The truth is that trust comes in faith of the Lord, faith is dead without works, works are not done out of obligation but relationship, relationship comes by being made righteous to be in His presence, and you are made righteous because of this faith. I thank God for His Glory displayed in India as my King, Priest and the ultimate Father, calling is to be the same!!
India is hectic. For the first week, we were in Delhi, doing some serious bible studying. Then we took a train to a big orphanage. Our goal there was to repaint the inside of the boys hostel and to provide a new set of undies for each child, along with chilling with the kids, and hosting an evening program every night. Except for one thing..we didn’t have any money to do this So we scraped, sanded and painted in faith, trusting that our Father is The Provider. And after only 5 days of fund raising we received way more than we needed! Exceeding expectation. With this we were able to pay for all the painting supplies, 2 new pairs of underwear plus a towel, also sponsor a chicken meal with left over money for future meals, extra undies for the boys at a different children’s home, and we even had time to clean some bathrooms. God’s favor is soo rad. And the time with the kids was totally amazing. Hanging in their rooms, sleep overs, and evening programs was way cool. Some of the best moments of our lives. Thank you Lord for your never ending faithfulness and abundant blessing !!