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Impact India 360
Love and Pop Rocks

Thursday:

Today was a day filled with mixed emotions. The team is starting our long journey home tomorrow. There is sadness, exhaustion, and anxiousness in the air, but most of all love.

As with everyday at CEM, we started off the morning with exercises. Then it was off to chapel where one of our teammates (Tracy Richardson) did a wonderful job sharing from her heart. She spoke on loving your enemies, forgiveness and the importance of not being judgemental. The kids really enjoyed it. Walking the older children to school today was a little bit different. They were already saying, “No America tomorrow!”. It’s very tough to hear that and to see the looks on their faces as they ask you to stay.

We made bracelets with the JEMS (Jaya English Medium School) kids today. They loved it! It’s wonderful to watch how they really help each other and love one another. There is a lesson there that I’m sure could be learned by a lot of us. At the end of every class the children would hold up their bracelets and shout out “Miss, Miss”, just wanting a little recognition and attention.

I got to spend some time with the beautiful women in the Sewing Training School (STS) as well. They showed me all of the stitches they were learning and explained a little bit about the school. Most of the women in the school are not married. They are learning this trade to support themselves and/or their children. They spend approximately three months in the first phase of the class (which is hand stitching and painting fabric) and then move on to sewing with machines. The machines the women use are pedal machines and they will each receive one upon graduating from this free program. This is such a blessing to the women. They were very excited to have a visitor in their class, so excited that it was requested that I take a picture with just about every one of them!

I also shared my testimony with the the Missionary Training Students (MTS). It was a great experience. I am not one to feel very comfortable speaking in front of large groups but I had a peace that can only be explained by God having his arms around me. It was something I’ll never forget. That seems to be a running theme for me this trip. I’ve done so much that I thought I would NEVER do. God has stretched me and I am eternally grateful for that!

The day ended in such a wonderful way. The treats for the kids last night were Pop Rocks! We had all of them line up in the chapel and then we poured about a tablespoon of Pop Rocks into their little hands. The look on their faces was priceless as they felt the little explosions of sugary goodness in their mouths. Some were scared, some were excited and some had no clue how to react.

I love seeing these kids experience things for the first time. It’s funny how I can relate to that on this trip!

Love and Pop Rocks,
Jessica

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