This morning was rough. We had to say goodbye to the children we had become so attached to at Neelam’s Kids. We all tried to be strong and tear-less until one little girl started crying and it started a tear fest between all of us. I won’t lie, I did not want to leave those children to go and see the other ministry (CICM). I was sort of in a sour mood during devotion because I let my emotions get the best of me, but my mood quickly turned around as we explored Ajai and Indu’s ministry to widows, orphans, and the lowest casts of the Indian society.
After breakfast, we met Indu and she explained the children’s home that her daughter started for underprivileged children. These children have been through so much, just like Neelam’s kids, and yet their joy is indescribable. As soon as we walked into their play room they immediately wanted us to pick them up and play with them. They even gave us hand made cards after we left even though they didn’t know us much. Their smiles were so bright and their eyes were so beautiful. It’s incredible to see their joy when they come from backgrounds of being malnourished, homelessness, and even sold into slavery. We were told that some of them were found in trash cans and in the jungle as babies and weighed as little as two pounds, and yet they have more joy and more faith than I have ever seen in a privileged person. It breaks my heart to hear their stories, but it fills my heart to hear of how CICM has saved them from their tragedies.
After visiting the children’s home we sat and talked with Josh in the Calvary International Bible Academy (CIBA) and discussed their work. I was completely overwhelmed by the numbers and types of people they are reaching. CIBA is a school where pastors train and equip people to go out into unreached villages and preach the gospel. Students come from all over the world from places such as Nepal, India, and even Afghanistan. Through this ministry, Afghan refugees are going back to Afghanistan to preach the gospel to their families and friends and are planting churches all over the country. What amazed me the most is that terrorist are converting to Christianity and about 63,000 people have been baptized because of this. Although that is a small percent of the population in India and the surrounding areas, that number is HUGE!
After talking with Josh we were taken to visit the mission hospital. There they have three buildings: one for mothers and babies, one for emergency visits, and one for operating rooms. The first one we visited was the operating rooms. This was phenomenal. We learned about how the hospital came about and then we were able to witness a surgery in action. I thought that this would be hard to see because I easily get grossed out, but it was incredible to see the doctors working diligently to fix this woman. And the best part is, everything is free. Patients do not have to pay for food, sleeping arrangements, or anything they need. This ministry does this purely by support from other people and out of the kindness of their hearts. By providing this free service to everyone, this gives the ministry an opportunity to speak Jesus into the lost. And this gave us the opportunity to pray over a woman who had just had a life threatening disease in her heart that required surgery the night before.
Since we’re mentioning hearts, we also go to see an EKG on an elderly man. I know this sounds like nothing, but we got to see life. Not just a body breathing and walking down the street, but where all life flows from. It made me realize the intricate design God used to make us. It was a beautiful to be able to see and hear life that was made by God’s own hands. It was also great to see women using their hands to make book bags, jewelry, and glasses to learn a trade. These women are uneducated women from non-christian backgrounds who cannot get a job because they don’t have any skills. Their job in the village is to roll tons of cigarettes for just 50 cents a week. So, the ministry of Atma Vikas, or “Self Progress” in English, has taken these women in to educate and train them so that they can make a living for themselves and their families.
As I write this we are on our way to somewhere two hours away where we will see more ministry work and then we will go on to visit the Taj Mahal. I am saddened to leave MICP and CICM, but this trip has been such a blessing to me and the team. I have never experienced such love and happiness in my entire life. This ministry is such an amazing work and I am so honored to know the people who risk their lives daily to preach to such a culture that rejects anything to do with Christianity. I know how much this trip has changed my life and the life of my team and has made us so grateful for everything we have at home, even when we think it isn’t much. And I hope that you at home will pray with me daily for this wonderful ministry.