It is always hard to simply tell people how extreme the contrasts in India are…BUT give them a little tour and it all comes into focus. Albeit, not usually easy to understand. Our goal with the TEAM was for them to—see it—experience it—and embrace it.
Having the TEAM see the ministry of Dr Suresh was high on our agenda of activities planned. Dusty, bumpy, rutted roads were also a necessary part of this plan. We couldn’t let them get off easy, now could we? The days’ journey began with a lengthy ride in the vehicles to see the school where our RGI girls are teaching. What fun for me to see the girls again so quickly. All the children were in classes for this visit, so it made it all the more enchanting.
Shy, but ready to perform their well-practiced action songs the children sang their hearts out, while we all stood around grinning from ear to ear.
Upon leaving we gave the headmaster a large box of cupcakes to share with all the children. I’m sure it was a very special treat for them.
Continuing on to the Goat Lady’s village for TEAMS’ first in-depth look at a true mud and stick village. This time the lady was home and waiting to show off her healthy goats.
Her daughter-in-law was cooking in the diminutive cow-dung floored kitchen. This was so curious for the TEAM that each person wanted a picture taken with her.
While milling around the village a young man came up to Loren, and Loren realized he was an alumnus who was the owner of his own small welding business in a close by village.
A lunch break at the fellowship center in the next village made for a delightful stop, with a meal of fried chicken, chips, bananas, Indian potato salad, and much, much more. With teenage boys hardly a morsel of leftovers remained.
Also this was the TEAMS first introduction to the Indian “squat” toilet.
I think the next event was probably one of the most exciting/scarcest for the TEAM. Dr. Suresh had arranged for several bullock carts to pick up the TEAM and take them into the village.
The squeals, OH WOWs, and laughing made me know this was a great choice of activities, even with the uncomfortable jolting on the pothole road. I personally thought it might break my tailbone. LOL
After this a visit to an orphanage was on the SHE schedule. This was very emotional and eye opening, in particular for the teenagers. Several said, “Nani, we have so much and take it all for granted.” (The entire group of teenagers started calling me Nani, which for me was endearing.) We left several large bags of IJ—Indian Junk—with the headmaster to distribute. These kids eat, sleep and have classes in the same small room. The TEAM especially noticed the lack of light. Without the presence of God it is a very dark world.
Back to Prakash for a spectacular night out with the Hindu extended family. Talk about extremes.
It is so difficult for our minds to take in— wealth beyond our comprehension and the largest concentration of poverty in the world—side by side.
|The whole point of this day’s activities was to give an idea to the TEAM about where our students come from and how life can be transformed by a Prakash education in job skills, life skills and Christ honoring spiritual skills|