From 10 to 25 January a team of 12 people traveled to India to visit their sponsor child and to share the love of Jesus to the widows, orphans and leprosy patients. An unforgettable journey in which we have been able to bless the people of India.
The first part of the trip we have been in Indore. A big place in the north of India. After visiting one of Project Held’s homes, we were allowed to pray the next day for people with leprosy. In India this means that you fall outside society. They do not want you in the community anymore. In short, rejection, pain and slowly lonely languishing result. We have been able to give hope to these people. They can cuddle, which gave them a form of doing. They have all received a Polaroid photo with a team member. They thought this was fantastic. A keepsake forever.
We were allowed to visit a number of slums. At the edge of society, whole families live with children who earn a little bit of money by catching snakes. The snakes are sold or lent to people who want to pay for it. The other people in the slum make jewelry and sell it occasionally, so they have a small income. We have been allowed to give blankets and a warm sweater to the children, so they have a little warmer in the Indian winter.
The following days we were allowed to visit one of the other homes. Here children are cared for who were forced to work in prostitution to earn enough income for the whole family. These children are now being received, receiving the love of Jesus and being able to build a hopeful future. We have sung, danced, laughed with these children and prayed for these children at the end of the evening! The great testimonies of this evening are still audible.
We also visited people with leprosy and a group of widows. We could share God’s word with them and also pray for these dear people. Then it was time to go to our next location in the south of India.
What could be better to sleep, play, eat and participate in their daily lives with the children in a children’s home ?! We were allowed to do this! We were able to get to know the children up close, to receive the love they have for each other and also for us and to experience the gratitude that emanates from them. An overwhelming love when you come out of your bedroom and the kids are flying your neck and wish you good morning, grab you by the hand and take you outside where they chat with you, play or just sit with you and enjoy each other.
Together with the children we went to the fair for an evening. For most the first time in their lives. We could experience a joy and joy together. And later we could look back with the children on a successful evening.
Yet we have also experienced the reality of India here. A small 100 Leprosy patients were waiting for us after an afternoon away. We prayed with them, given a warm meal and a blanket for the cold nights. It is a blessing to see these people laughing and seeing a little hope in their eyes after you have prayed with them.
Widows are also ignored in India. Without marriage and a man, you are worth nothing as a woman. They are excluded from society and live a lonely, poor life. We were able to see them laughing when they got a blanket, prayer and a hug! Something they have not experienced for a long time! In the evening some of the team went to visit the homeless. A family with 5 children, of which the youngest is only a few months old, you just find on the street …. it hurts this reality! With a hot meal and prayer you have to leave them again … with the knowledge that God’s hand is upon them.
In Tenali we arrived late in the afternoon. After a quick refurbishment we drove through for one of our brother’s homes. We have sung with the children and eat them for them to serve them. A small gesture that you can do for them. The next day we swam in the sea with these children and the children of the other home! For a moment you feel like heaven on earth! What a joy, pleasure, love and unity between India and the Netherlands. And what did the children enjoy? A moment out of their situation.
We also visited the widows in Tenali. We could bring the love of Jesus and give them a warm blanket and meal. The Leprosy patients were invited to our brother’s home. The wounds were taken care of by a doctor. They have been given medication for pain and inflammation. We could give ingredients for a couple of hot meals, so they had good food for a few days.
James 1:27 really comes into its own here in India. Pure and undefiled religion for God, the father, is: to look after orphans and widows in their pressure and to keep themselves unspotted from the world …
Thankfully we look back on a fantastic journey in an India with many faces. Warm and friendly, but also very hard because of poverty. This is kept in honor through the caste system and by traditions.
We are grateful to God for what we could do and do for the people in India.