Today is our last full day at the orphanage and it’s amazing to see what has been accomplished in these few short days. The entire fence line is cleared for the new security fence, concrete has been poured for some of the fence posts, and there are piles of sand and rock ready to continue the fence and the second story of the orphanage! Pastor Jeevan and his wife stayed for evening devotions last night and they shared their vision for the property we are at. Next week the Bible college is opening and the orphans will be moving out here once the building is finished. By next year, they hope to have a school operating for underprivileged children. It has been a blessing being a part of Win Our Natives ministry. Since our last update, we have had many more ministry opportunities with the local children near the orphanage. Last night we made balloon animals and attracted a small mob of children. A few of the team members were able to give out and explain the Wordless Bracelets with some of the local teenagers. Tonight we celebrated Fourth of July. The kitchen made pizza and found watermelon at the market. Win our Natives gave us a banner with the American flag to hang up and after dark the staff set off some fireworks in honor of our Independence Day. The team enjoyed some ice cold Coke to drink during the fireworks. Tomorrow we pack up and head to the India Teen Missions base for the second part of our project. While it will be hard to leave the orphans, we are excited to see what God has in store in the days to come.
Gabe Furhman – As I write this letter, surrounded with the sounds of joyous children barefoot and clad in westernized clothing, I am reminded of many things God is slowly teaching me on my first trip abroad. I am reminded of the difference between need and want. I am reminded of all of the little things we take for granted–running water, AC, and other trivial comforts. I am also reminded of things that we take for granted that would change the way we live our lives– Christian parents or even parents in general, freedom to worship however, whenever, a stable nation blessed by God, and more. I am reminded of the huge need in India for the Gospel and basic human necessities. As we have had a blessed time playing games and singing songs with 30 orphans. I was awestruck with the fact that there are 31 million orphans in India alone, many who have never heard the name of Christ. As my heart was filled with sadness over the abject spiritual and physical poverty of the people here, I realized the same need existed at the lunch table every day at school. Yet I could not love them enough to tell them how to be saved from eternal death in hell.
Finally I am reminded how much I love you, and am looking forward to family. I pray that in all I say and do, I will give all the praise, honor, and glory to God
Katie de Arajo – My first experience in India……Step off the plane and start to grab duffels. We count them all and one is missing. MINE. I started to get down, but God really put it into my heart that I shouldn’t worry about something so small. So I was without all my supplies for three days. But during that time the Lord has really worked on me while I’ve been working in India. He has showed me what an example of Christ looks like and what it doesn’t look like. During one of the hottest days, we were carrying cement bags and mixing concrete. A teammate and I started bickering. I was visibly upset and then I realized that there were people watching me. What kind of example of Christ was I being? How would people see the love of Christ in me when I was too concerned my way and my feelings?it was then God showed me that just because I was helping build an orphanage didn’t mean my heart was in the right place. I have to continually ask God for patience and a servants heart. My team has been a great example of Christ in the way I see all of them encourage one another, help the ” sickies,” and play with the street kids. I’ve been so blessed to have been shown the true examples of Christ here in India .