Connect with us!

Email Newsletter Signup
Impact India 360
Missing in action

My second trip to India has proven to be a little difficult and unfortunately somewhat disappointing. They told us last year we would meet 200 amazing kids and we did. What they didn’t mention is that you might get extremely attached and if you come back on a different trip one of those children may no longer be there. That happened to me. I met a child at CEM last November named Naveen. He had a smile that lit up the room. He spoke a little English and followed me around the CEM campus. He always came to find me in the very long line on the way to school to walk with him and always made a spot next to him in chapel for me. The night before we were leaving, I said to him, “Naveen, I love your smile”, he said “I love you.” If I could have brought a child home it would have been him. When Kensington started their child sponsorship program I assumed someone had already sponsored him since he wasn’t on the site, but someone took his smiling picture from the wall at church and gave it to me. I’ve had it on my refrigerator since. When I wasn’t sure if I wanted to come back to India this year, I would just look at the picture of Naveen and that was all I needed to see. I couldn’t wait to see his smiling face greeting me off the bus. When arriving to CEM and getting the usual welcome of flowers and walking through the line of kids, I searched, but didn’t see him. I felt disappointment, but thought maybe I would see him later, but I didn’t. Naveen is no longer here. I’d like to say it hasn’t been a big deal but it has truly changed my feelings for this trip. I have felt a huge loss since I’ve been here. I never realized what a huge impact these kids could have on you. They are truly special and I don’t think anyone will understand the mark they leave on your heart. Hopefully I can prepare myself a little better for next year.
Tracy for team

3 Responses to “Missing in action”

  • Tracy I feel the ache in your heart as your mom. That had to have been so painful. Did Naveen go back with his parents? One thought I have, YOU impacted Naveen’s life from now throughout eternity and Naveen impacted yours. What a gift you both gave to each other. Thank you for sharing from you heart!!!
    Love you, mom

  • I am thinking about you all and praying for all of you regularly. I tried to make a comment 2 days ago and it booted me out…so hopefully this will stick. I love you Trace, Jess and Greg and I am so happy you are there. God willing I will be there again. Naveen…what a heart break..I love him so much and hope he is safe. Please also tell the rest of the group that even though I do not know them, I feel a bond with them since this is a mission we share a love and passion for. I wish I were there with what seems like another terrific and loving group. Can you tell how much I wish I were there, but I know they are all in good hands. Please tell Jaya and Lakshmi hi and send my love from afar.

    Trace, I miss Naveen already. On a good note he is a blessing and a ray of light that he will be able to project on others. He knew that we adored him and that God loved him so much…It makes me think of my favorite song: “And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us, And if our God is with us, then what can stand against”.

    With love from part of the team- Tracy

  • Tracy and Tracy 🙂
    Your hearts are a beautiful blessing. I don’t know you but feel as though I do. I share a love deeper than words can express for the children and staff at CEM. Yes, some do grab the heartstrings tight. I’ve been five times, and each time has had it’s sorrow. I long to be back with them. Thank you for loving deeply. God Bless You!! I pray your final hours there are Amazing! Thank you for sharing from your heart!!