We looked at land today. It has more solid ground than the rice land would, its in the country out of the village, is next to a plant nursery, accessible to electricity, and already cleared...............lots of room to grow, bring in more homeless children and widows, room for water buffalo and a garden..please be forewarned that I will be aggressively promoting this to raise money. Honestly, we need 100 grand. The man will hold for 3 months then raise the price. Please pray with us here in India as we believe for the land..
Darla making jewelry with the widows
The widows in India are treated very unfairly. When you become a widow, regardless of your age, you must never marry again. Your considered unclean. It is difficult to get a job to support your children, and unless your husbands family takes care of you, the widow can become destitute. We send montly support to help with their basic needs. It is hardly enough. Many resort to begging, some may have to prostitute, and many times they will have to give up their children. We spent the day encouraging them, showing them the love of Jesus, and taught them how to make jewelry. We are leaving many jewelery tools and supplies so that they can either make to sell, or just to feel pretty.
today was a fun day..we rented a huge bus and took the kids and some of the women to the Bay of Bengal. For most of them it was the first time they have ever been on a bus, let alone the ocean. Oh the joy it brought was so fun to be a part of..........they were so cautious at first, but soon were screeching with laughter and running all through the water...wearing clothes, punjabis and all...What a great day to just have fun and make memories.
I love them so much it hurts! Today I shared with my friends who have leprosy, that leprosy is not who they are. That they are people, with a name, and with value, and beautiful of the sight of God and beautiful to me..to us. It made a man weep. We give them words of life, and of encouragement. Like Jesus, words to give them hope and a future. Today we are giving them trikes! 2 to men with missing legs, one to a beautiful 15 year girl crippled from polio who has to crawl on the floor. What a restoration this
will give to them. Dignity and independence.
Today we met with poor tribal pastors...Can I even write without the tears. These great men of God! We worshiped with them, shared the word, and read many of the letters sent. We washed their feet and prayed over them. Is there any way to describe this experience? And then when they turned, and washed OUR feet, prayed over us and anointed us? We were all UNDONE! How blessed to give them our offering, it seemed so little after what they do and in the poverty in which they serve. We have purchased 9 bikes for them and are just now waiting for them to be assembled. What a life changing thing this will be for them. This trip is far exceeding any of our expectations as I see relationships and friendships for with Team India and the dear lovely people in India. Thank you for your prayers.
IT is so amazing to be back in India. What a difference this is to have a team with me! I see everyone's own personality and talent and see how we all fit together to offer so much to the people here in India. God is surely breaking their hearts as he has done mine. The greeting we received was amazing, as my India family reached out to embrace my friends. And so a new chapter begins. A chapter that began many years ago, when I sat in a hotel room by myself in India, and cried out to God "I can't do this, its too big, its only me"...and He promised that day that he would "rise up people and cause them to want to help. He is true to his word. This will be an amazing trip...
Finally. Land is so expensive in India, and the small church building is becoming is no longer sufficient for the children and church meetings. ATC raised enough money to lease a corner lot, right next the the church and build a building that is large enough for the children to sleep in at night, conduct church meetings, and minister to the lepers and widows. We are so very excited to have space and believe that in the 2 years when the lease is up, we will have enough to purchase a few acres and have room to grow. To be self sustaining in gardening and livestock, and have plenty of room for the orphans and street kids to have a safe haven, a purpose for the widows as they they help with the children, and a much needed clinic for the community. This photos is Lea, Vicky,
It was a beautiful day! I really love these people who have leprosy. They are lovely, the are brave, they are my friends. We brought with us paint and art supplies. When we asked them to paint they though we were crazy. They said children paint. But as they began to paint, they began to come to life. They started smiling, laughing, having fun. They began to reach for more paper and paint. Brother Chinna shared that they carry a burden to heavy and live in such poverty and shame, that they seldom simply, have fun. We are going to frame the art and sell it. Its very elementary looking, this first attempt at art work, but that is what makes it beautiful.