I'm home and already I miss the happy, friendly people, the delicious bryani of Hyderabad and the van-rides everyday:-P.....Seriously speaking, I have never been so grateful for everything in my life. How can I begin to describe the things I have witnessed in India, the heart-breaking testimonies of the orphans and the slums dwellers there? It ain't how Hollywood painted it to be, in case you begin to visualize Slumdog Millionaire (although it is a very good movie, nothing beat the real life experience). This is faith in motion, reaching out to the needy and giving what we can to those with open hearts.
There are no pictures, except for those in my mind, and no proper words to describe how I felt when I first saw the squalid dwelling tents that these people inhabit. No sanitation, no proper electricity, no walls, no doors, no beds, no kitchens...I couldn't believe it at first that families actually fight for survival on a daily basis in such a condition. After an initial few hours of denial, I accepted what I see before me. God removed the sense of hopelessness that filled my heart in the beginning,and gradually I see the fighting spirit and the hunger for self-actualization, love and medical care among these people.
As we played with the orphans and children in the slums, I could sense the love and light of Christ permeates through their lives. So many abandoned and lonely little children began to emerge from their former shells and blossomed into sweet, well-behaved and loving kids.
The cute munchkins have no Internet, television, Toys R Us...just donated clothes, simple food and each other. Yet, with their beaming smile and huge, intelligent eyes, they welcomed us as we sang songs of praise together, played games, learned various skills and acted Bible stories together. When we as temporary sojourners in their lives prayed for them, I could sense the covering of God's protection and grace upon their lives.
Some of the children told me that they want to be medical doctor, software engineer, artists as they gave me huge hugs. What I hope for is that the children could sense the love we have for them although we could only spend a few days with them. I hope that they will grow up strong and healthy, that they could achieve their dreams for I see so much potential and hope in each of them.
When we were at the medical camps, again there is this powerful atmosphere that swept across the village as we set up camp. The first camp was in this hot, dry village that seemed so remote. The 2 local doctors told us that this is the first time the organization has gone into this village. I was overwhelmed, not with the amount of patients...hehe, I felt like a mini-celebrity for the day :-) but with the reception and how much of honour and gratitude the villagers accorded to us. I saw all the women who needed medical attention while my colleagues saw the men. As the village is very far away from the nearest hospital, I am not sure whether they can go for further investigation but we gave our best and referred some to further care.
At the same time, the rest of my team-mates were busy doing a lot of things...playing with the children in the courtyard in front us on our verandah, under the bright sun and deep blue sky. Some of us were speaking to the villagers, praying and releasing blessing upon the villagers who came to us. When we left at sunset, although many of us were sunburnt and exhausted (all of us dozed off in the long, bumpy and warm journey back to Hyderabad) awashed with the afterglow of a precious and soul-enriching experience.
The next medical camp was an equally amazing experience as we saw patients in the city slums, under the shelter of a half-finished building (a.k.a. construction site). The spectrum of patients were different but the crowd came despite heavy rain and strong winds. We saw more babies and mothers this time as the adult men seemed to be out working. After the strong heat of the first camp, indeed the cool weather was a huge blessing to us as we see patients after patients non-stop.
To be continued.....