If you can open your mind to the thoughts of leaving everything you know, all the comforts of home, from hot running water, the covenant store down the road, ice cubes from the freezer, the guy who picks up your trash and the school bus driver who safely delivers your child to the school 8 miles from home, then you might be ready. If you can give up toilet paper, can walk on streets of dirt and fifth and not mind that even if you can find a restaurant, there would not be one thing on the menu you could pronounce, let alone spell, then you can handle the first phase of mission work.
The days are long, the nights are short and you can’t even begin to imagine what the people are thinking as they are trying to accommodate you in their homes. They hear stories of how we have machines to do all our work, that we live with money and sit at the beach house and bask in the sun. They dream of America spilling over into their minds from movies and T.V. programs like Desparate Housewives and Ironman. The media fuels the idea that America is the land of the free and that Christians really are dominant in this nation as a lifestyle. But then the question comes, “why do we live so lose and free?”
I face the poor this time in… so poor that many turn their heads from their own county because they can’t change anything that is going on around them. They’re so poor that if life itself dictated to me that I must live this way, I don’t think that I could. The children among the poor have no idea they are poor. Instead of attending school, their days are traded for long walks along the highway to gather bags of trash, which is sorted piece-by-piece and taken to weigh stations in hopes of enough to eat for the day. Several generations of families live in make-shift homes that we would not let a dog in America live in. We would tear it down and burn it and even the surliest would be sick just from the stench of the smells. Contaminated water sources, left from thousands of people urinating on the ground, that we would not allow our cattle to drink from, create puddles through which barefoot children walk. Several times I tried to look into their eyes to see if what I knew, they could see. I felt embarrassed many times with the clothes I wore. Not that they were worn or old, but that they were too new and I paid too much for them. When I saw the children without shoes, tramping through the rugged paths of debris, I was asking myself, “what lies in this ground?” Can I afford to take my shoes off and leave them? The answer was “no”.
I saw beauty everywhere I went, their voices of laughter, and their thankfulness to be resting at the end of their day. Elerderly people were slowly, peacefully walking as they marched the cattle home in the evening. Handing an apple out the window to one as we passed by, brought a smile they gave back to me.
Can I save India? No.
Can I change India? No.
Can I touch one life and make one moment in theirs different? Yes!
I am willing to take this life I have and help one other life. And I chose to do this because I have been called to do it. Oh it is way bigger then anything I could imagine. And there is nothing in me except God who can do all that needs to be done. So I have determined to affect one life at a time. The widow, who needs a roof on her house, now needs four walls. The work will never be done, but do we walk away? What of the child who need medication each month for epilepsy, and her family can’t help her at all? How about the 20-year-old who just wants a job, and a pair of shoes which will give him that chance?
They aren’t asking for help from us… but God has ask me to help. I am working with many pastors who are young and moving in places the older generation will not go. Many live in the forest, mountains and riverbeds and along the fishing coast where life is a constant change from heat to cold; fest to famine.
Why does God take me to these places? Because I desire to help and I ask, “Would He send me?”.