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Impact India 360
Laying a Firm Foundation

Firm foundations were laid on Sunday.

When we arrived on Saturday morning, we walked down the road outside of the campus a short walk, and came to the hospital property and saw the massive hole in the ground. It was the size of an Olympic swimming pool. My mind wandered. “Jaya, did you decide a swimming pool would serve the people’s needs more than a hospital?” I asked. Ahhh yes, there were many days here in India I wish I could be refreshed by a cool dip in the water. I imagined me in my bathing suit, sitting back on my floaty, sipping a Thumbs Up Cola. Then I came back to reality. “Sorry Jaya,” I said, “I just went to the Bahamas for a second.” And I remembered what we were doing was far more important than providing leisurely relief to a hungry and weary people. We were building a hospital, and the hole in the ground would hold its foundation. The foot of sand, carried in by men and women, and the several feet of concrete and aggregates would serve as the main foundation for the massive footings and columns that would outlast Jaya, his son Prasanth, his children, and his children’s children. But I knew this ground would be even stronger as it was being built on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

We laid a solid foundation in the spiritual realm as well. Jaya invited twenty Hindu leaders to join us at the campus for the purpose of building realtionship and trust. Prior to the gathering, Jaya cautioned us not to take the conversation to religious topics too quickly. Yet within three minutes Jesus became the center of the conversation. We came to understand the Hindu people admire and revere Jesus. Like us all, Hindus are on a perpetualal quest for truth. They know God himself is truth. They are just not sure which messenger they can trust. So like an insurance policy, they pray to many Gods, hoping one of them will intercede on their behalf to God the Father. When we asked them what they thought of Jesus’ claims to be the incarnate manifestation of God the Father, most readily admitted they had never read the New Testament of the Holy Bible. They said the translations were confusing, and the stories were culturally irrelevant. I could not help but think a Study Application Bible in the Teligu language would open their eyes to Jesus’ teachings. Jaya said such a Bible is on its way.

In the end, we laid aside philosophical and spiritual differences, and agreed that the best way to find truth in this world was to follow God’s universal command to love Him through loving and serving others. This is what they most admire in us as Christians in their community. Not our words, but our acts of self-less love. We agreed to think about other ways in which we could serve the people of this community, 80% who live below the India poverty line. Here, the need is great and the workers are few. While we do not know what this looks like yet, there is a mutual commitment between us and the Hindu community to find other ways to serve the weak and the poor.

We know we have taken an important step towards building a new partnership with all Indian people, the majority of which are Hindu. It is a partnership Jaya has had all along with these people who live outside the gates of the CEM Campus. If you can measure the worth of a man’s life by the company he keeps, Jaya’s life is invaluable for he is deeply respected by his many Hindu friends. We look forward to being a greater part of those friendships in the future and finding ways to follow Jesus in his command to love to others as he loved us.

Jeff and Team India