SEE WHAT WE SEE
I love India! I love its people! The children are especially friendly. I feel that I never saw colors until I saw the Indian ladies wearing their beautiful saris. Their fabrics now decorate my home and always remind me of its dear people. The smells from the combination of spices used in Indian food create the most amazing aroma. However, too many Indians live in great poverty.
Life for many people is hard. It is very hot, dry and dusty. People are everywhere when you are in a city, you feel as though you are never alone and more, you could never be alone. India’s population is exploding.
As we travelled in rural areas, we saw so many people living in the worst places. There are so many beggars. There is also trash everywhere you look if you are in a populated area. Clean water is a problem for many.
The hardest things we see are the temples and idols. They are everywhere and a constant reminder of India’s biggest problem. This is a spiritually dark place. People worship elephant and monkey gods that are half animal and half human. Homes often have a particularly evil-looking face over their doorways. It is supposed to keep away evil spirits. In front of the doors to businesses, homes and schools, chalk patterns are drawn on the sidewalks to welcome the gods. There is even a temple in India devoted to worshipping rats. Today, we saw three tablets on the side of the road honouring snake gods. The human deities are often painted blue, with many arms and a grotesque appearance. People wear temple marks on their foreheads.Sometimes, they cut off their hair and give it as a temple offering.
In the midst of all this spiritual darkness, you who believe have family. The Christians that we have met here love Jesus deeply. They are sacrificial in their service to Jesus. As always, I have learned much from these dear brothers and sisters. I encourage you to hold them faithfully in your prayers. Pray for the students and staff of Asian Christian Academy. Ask God to protect them and make them bright lights for the Kingdom. Pray for our sweet friends at Rehoboth in Kerala. Ask the Father to provide for all of their needs for the large orphanage they serve. Pray for all those that we have trained to work with children. Ask God to use them to reach all of India’s children for Jesus Christ.
Our Indian friends have generous hearts. They are always thinking of us and doing kind things to make the work easier. Often, God uses their good example to challenge my heart.
Late in the day on Monday, we did our fifth show. We arrived at an orphanage two hours late. They offered to let us skip the show because they could tell we were so tired. We never considered not doing the program. You should have seen their faces. The children were so generous with their gratitude. They laughed and smiled and prayed. I felt like crying for the joy that the Father gave us.
There was an Indian man at the orphanage. He had never married and had no children, so he invested his resources in others. The Christian man had built the orphanage and funded it. He said to me after the show, “I like what you do. I want to be part of this work with the children.” Then he gave me a very generous gift for the puppet ministry. I tried several times to refuse, but he insisted. He said, “I want to sow into this work”. His generosity is a good example to me. His kindness humbled me.
Padraig, Anna and Sam