February 5, 2014
Today is a beautiful day, one that I am sure we will remember forever. The day we admitted our first three children into the home. I was so excited when we got the call from some parents to “please come and take” their children. I got in the van along with my two fellow servants, Gracy and Chandan and I felt so excited and grateful to God, while yielding to whatever was in store.
My excitement did not fade, but my urgency and heartbreak for the people increased as we journeyed to the slum. It never gets easy to go out in Delhi, because there are scenes of suffering wherever we go.
On the way I saw a boy no older than 8 years, standing ankle-deep in waste, digging for some “treasure” to supply food. I saw small girls 6 and 7 years old cradling their younger siblings, hair disheveled and bodies emaciated.
When we reached the entrance of the overcrowded slum, a dog lay in the middle of the street, both its hind legs broken, struggling to drag himself to the side of the road out of the path of oncoming traffic. People walked by disinterested. Just a few feet inside the entrance of the slum, 3 and 4 year olds were waiting in line to fill their small bottles with the water that literally trickled from the water supply tap that supplies water for hundreds of people.
My heart aches, and I want to cry and I want to help everyone and everything. I cannot bear to see suffering. When I see suffering, my mind breaks down and I wonder “why why why” until I can figure out “how how how” to bring relief. If there is no HOW then I find myself up in the night praying because sleep won’t come easily. My life is so small, in length and foolish according to common ideals. But I can say with my full heart that I would rather spend my life lighting a candle in the darkness than frolicking in the light in apathy.
Please meet our three boys:
Ravi (5 years) pictured with one of our servant leaders, Sudhit
Vishal, 16 years, is severely mentally handicapped.
Anil: 16 years, is a happy camper 🙂
A few yards into the slum, we reached Vishal’s home. Before actually reaching the front of their home, Vishal’s father came toward us. “Please take him today,” he asked. We told him that he should first come and see our home, and then if he was willing to admit his son then we would take him. But he refused. “I don’t need to see your home. Just take him now.” Our hearts were broken and we tried to hide the reactions of shock and heartbreak from our faces. “Ok, we will take him.”
Vishal’s father was satisfied, and pulled back the curtain of their home. There was Vishal’s mother, standing in a space smaller and more congested than any closet I have seen. When she shifted a little to the left, I saw a long thing leg. Vishal was curled up behind her, crunched into a small cabinet-like space. Seeing us, he gave a shy smile. He got ready and came with us, without shoes on his feet. His parents explained that he has never worn shoes.
Then we moved deeper into the slum to reach Anil’s home, barefoot Vishal following us. On the way we stepped over garbage and cow dung as we maneuvered by small children playing, pull-carts, potholes, autos, and rickshaws. When we reached, Anil was all ready to go. His mom even got his hair cut for the occasion. Anil’s mother had tears in her eyes. She even confessed, “Out of all my children, I love Anil the most.” Anil’s father however is severely mentally disturbed and constantly threatens Anil’s mother to lock him in a closet and get rid of him. She wants the best for Anil and her hope is that he will be completely healed. God can do anything!
Ravi and his parents met us at Anil’s home. They were somber yet indifferent to the situation. Ravi’s mother had just given birth to a baby girl, yet another “burden” on the family. They were ready to give up Ravi in order to relieve their burdens and hopefully have their son restored to health so that he can one day work and support his poor parents. Ravi, a joyful little guy, gave a big laugh and shook our hands, happy to see us again.
During the medical checkups with a doctor in a local government hospital, Vishal was overcome with joy. The doctor asked him to sit down, so he immediately squatted on the floor. With some coaching, the doctor got him to sit in the chair. He was so excited because, as his mother explained, it was the first time he had ever sat in a chair.
After all the medical checkups were done, we all shared a meal together, and had a time of prayer, the parents slipped away, unnoticed by the kids. At this point, we all breathed in and breathed out, in awe at this miracle of God. All we could think was, “Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God!” “We need you God, we need you God, we need you God!” And He is with us, guiding us and leading us every moment with His precious children.
As we sat with the kids that night, Gracy, one of our Servant Leaders, sat down next to Anil. She helped him drink his tea. He took a big gulp and Gracy wiped the saliva from his mouth, telling him, “I love you so much and I will continue to love you so much,” with tears in her eyes. She was so happy, thankful to God and absolutely ready to take on the challenge of caring for these children, all so that they will be healed and transformed in the name of Jesus!
Thank you so much for praying for us! We need your prayers now more than ever. Since receiving these three boys, our phone has been ringing constantly with parents and guardians asking us to please take their special needs children. We want that Vishal, Anil and Ravi will be completely transformed by His love. But we also want their parents to have an encounter with God through their children. Please pray for the kids and their parents.
And remember our servant leaders in your prayers. All are working so hard and have dedicated their whole lives to caring for these children. And their hearts are set on taking in more kids and opening more homes like this for children in need. The need is great, but our God is greater!!
Thank you for praying and supporting us!
We could not do this without you ☺
“Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord!
For He has delivered the life of the poor…” -Jeremiah 20:13