Thanks again for continually keeping Surya in your prayers and your thoughts. It is so incredible how powerful prayer is when God sees our faithful hearts! We will be by Surya’s side in 7 days, and we cannot wait to see him.
So we are currently in Darjeeling, a hill city very close to the border of Nepal. If anyone needed advice about where to go in India, I would definitely include Darjeeling as one of the top destinations. It reminds James and myself of Jodhpur and Rajasthan a lot, really just because the people are great, the food is cheap and great, and the atmosphere is awesome. We have been here for three nights so far and that time has included some of our most memorable moments.
On our first full day here, we were exploring the town and realized there were many lame, homeless people on the streets begging. After the first three, we walked past a man who literally had no legs and only one hand. There was something about this guy that told me that he really needed help. This man was a perfect example of an untouchable. James and I talk about the untouchables in great detail in our video Three Virtues. While James went to buy him some food, I sat next to him and asked him his name. I then decided to do everything in my power right then and there to help our new friend, Ashok. In this part of town, there are many clothes stalls and shopping outlets, so you can imagine how many people are walking up and down this road. I then started asking people who were walking by to help this man. At first people watched and chuckled because of how unusual that was, but after a while, they either found it in their hearts to give or completely wrote us off. James came back with some food and we ate, but continued to ask and to call for help throughout this fast-paced crowd. We saw a lot! I was actually hit in the back by a foreign woman who thought we were taunting the man. James was spit at, I was cursed at and yelled at, but we knew our hearts and our efforts were for this man and this man, Ashok, only.
After about an hour, two orphan siblings showed up and I sat them down next to us and then we really got crankin’. People were giving food, money, and whatever they found in their hearts to give. James and myself started to really push and some responded and some didn’t. After two and a half hours of raising money and other things for these poor people, we got up, made sure that our friends were going to be okay, and we left rejoicing in the Lord for how much they were given. Ashok must have finished off with at least rs.250, which is about $5.50. That money will last him for more than 4 days. The kids got a box of pastries, about rs.30 and a balloon. To us, who are provided for in numerous ways, that isn’t that much, right? Wrong! I don’t think I have ever seen such gratitude in human beings. The kids were so grateful and so moved, they literally went up to another homeless man that was walking by and gave him half of what they had. What kind of heart is that?! Oh how I wish I had the kind of heart that the poor have.
We were moved in many, many ways. Nothing was planned, we had no initial initiative and no prior motive. God put it on our hearts to do what we could to help these poor people. We saw God work in so many ways and it really melted our hearts and really did leave us broken but joyful. Seeing the kids giving to other poor people and seeing Ashok’s smile led us to new perspectives and changed minds. What also really left us convicted was what we had seen about an hour and half into our time….
I had looked to the right and saw three women dressed in the attire of Catholic nuns. In my heart, I got very excited to see what Jesus’s message, which they profess to live by daily, would lead them to give to these poor people. I said, “Sisters, please help these poor people.” They looked and then I heard from one of them, “We are coming back.” “Okay…” I thought. They will come back and really give. Thirty minutes later, they come back, but with about three more added to their number. I called out to them, “Here they are, please help them!” They reached into their pockets, looked at us, and turned around and kept walking. Pretending that these people did not even exist. “This is what Jesus commands us to do, this was his ministry!” I called out. With no response, they kept walking.
There were times where I wanted to get heated, express my “godly” anger, which at the time was not godly at all. I was ticked off. James reminded me of what we were doing and how it was about Ashok and these kids. Not the people who chose to ignore it. That helped. Haha.
This time has been great. We have had more joy in our hearts and have been so filled with the love that Christ has for us that we have had times where we just wanted to tell everyone! Praise be to God for blessing us with such attitudes.
Tomorrow we move on to Calcutta for the last week of our trip. Thanks again for all of your support, and we pray that all of you can be moved by our mission and the great work that is being done in Chennai and help by donating. To donate, please follow this link.
May the peace of Christ that is given through the Father be with all of you.