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Impact India 360
Monday – and the Work Begins

One of the best marks of a great mission team member is flexibility; and it is amazing how this team has pressed on through the adversities. India is not without its challenges to a visitor from a health standpoint, and we have dealt with an extended monsoon season that has frustrated our attempts to do things outside. But the team is still getting it done and connecting with all of the different CEM ministries. Here are a couple more team members’ perspectives:

Darkness and Light

The thunder roars and the rain pours around us. “Do you want to walk with the kids to school this morning?” asks Chris. You better believe it! By the time we leave for school the rain has slowed to a shower. I take the hands of two sweet girls, and off we go. Always holding hands, we manage to miss most of the mud puddles, which is not always easy as the passing motorcycles, bikes, cars and buses are trying to do the same.

The sights along the way are amazing – pigs in the ditches, roosters eating garbage that lines the roads, goats playing freely and a large brown cow content to meander at the one major intersection. Horns honk continually.

The people we pass are busy living their lives in the way one does in Dowlaiswaram. Women washing clothes in buckets of water, children playing instead of going to school and men looking up from busy work as we passed by – some selling products along the sides of the road, others working on their bikes and scooters and still others content to just watch us pass by. 

As we walk along the muddy roads we count the puddles – one two three – and say silly things to make each other laugh. I look down and see bright smiles and sparkling eyes all around me. So much joy in the souls of these precious children… So much light in the darkness. 


A Senior’s Perspective

I woke up around 12:30 am with a very dry mouth. I was already concerned about being stuffed up (constipated) earlier that night and asked the Lord for help, because I was not feeling myself, and I didn’t want my condition to degrade and bring me down. This may seem like a very small concern, but it was really big to me. The wake up call was an answer to prayer. The Lord led me drink about 2 liters of water throughout the night. By morning I had gone to the bathroom, which fixed the problem that I was having, and I was back to normal! I didn’t realize it at the time, but I wasn’t drinking enough water during the day, until that experience of being “stuffed”.

During the day we got to walk with the children to school. The children are all taught that “Jesus loves me, Jesus loves you, so I love you”, but these are more than just words to the children. What a joy it is to have the children grab your hands and your heart with their earnest attempts to engage you in conversation while we were walking, even through the barriers of language and culture. They are so kind and sensitive to where you are at – being considerate far beyond their age.
After the walk to school, we did some crafts with the children from the JEMS (ed. note: the English school that CEM runs for neighborhood children). My team worked with the youngest children, helping them put together key chains. What a joy it is to be with so many bright eyes and smiling faces.
But what touched my heart was to have the opportunity to pray with the men and women in the Agape Old Peoples Home. Although it is a joy to be around the children, I can more easily identify with and have compassion for those who are nearer to the ends of their lives on earth – their aches and pains, their loneliness, and their infirmities. 

To try and show the hope and love of Jesus is not only a blessing to the receiver, but also for the giver. They would line up to wait for prayer, individually, with the apparent hope that their need would somehow be met. Because we didn’t understand a word each other was saying, I would point to different areas of my body, to indicate that I was asking what to pray for, specifically (i.e. which ache or pain or disfunction could I pray for), and they would likewise indicate that area of the body that needed prayer. Sometimes a translator would be there to confirm the communication. 

Although we only communicated physical needs, I would pray for both physical and imagined emotional and spiritual needs. I would like to go back and try to go deeper and discuss the real emotional and spiritual needs that they have through a translator. After prayer we stood around and just held each other, in some cases, which appeared to be very much appreciated.