Thursday, October 20, 2005

From India with Love

We arrived in Bombay (Mumbai) yesterday(?) at 2am.  Though I spent time in some pretty poor sections of Brazil, the poverty here was still shocking.  Children followed us from the time we walked out of the airport until the time we got to our vehicles.  They were begging us for money for food.  The squalor in which so many live is hard to convey with words.  The closest thing I can think of is post-flood pre-cleanup New Orleans.

Today we flew to Goa.  It was a Portuguese colony until 1961.  It is quite beautiful, actually.  Our hotel overlooks the Arabian Sea.  That is another thing that shocks the senses here.  The stark contrast between the wealthy and the poor is incredible.  You can visit a five star hotel that is literally across the street from shanties built with items found on the street.  

We have met several of the pastors in the area already.  They are great men of God; I admire them immensely.  The pastors here plant a church from nothing, and then they build orphanages.  That is, they take in street children to raise.  Last night I talked with Pastor Matthew.  He labors just outside of Bombay (19 million people in Bombay, by the way.)  He and his wife take care of their three children and forty orphans that they have rescued from the streets.  I asked him who cooks for all those children.  He smiled and said, “My wife and I.”  The man prepares 135 meals a day.  He took the free toiletries from our hotel room for his “family.”

Tomorrow night we will be attending a graduation of fifty pastors from a local Bible course.  I am supposed to speak words of encouragement.  I believe that I will simply tell them of my admiration, and I will thank them for their courage and bold testimony.  A pastor I ate with today has to come in go in relative secret.  His life has been threatened on many occasions.  As I understand, both the Muslims and the Hindus of the area would like to see him gone.

After I get over this jet lag, I’m going to write a little of the incredible history of this ministry.  It began with one poor pastor and seventeen orphans some thirty years ago.  In one city alone, they now take care of 1,600 orphans.  They have these orphanages scattered all around the country.  That’s why I am here.  To see how I can support this ministry in the future, and hopefully to help it continue to grow as it has over the past thirty years.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for going to the ends of the earth. Bless you

Anonymous said...

My wife travelled to India to adopt our daughter four years ago. She was also overcome with the squalor many of the people live in. Someday I hope to travel there with my wife and daughter, in the meantime India has a special place in my heart and prayers. Thanks for doing what you can to advance Christ's kingdom there.

-Todd Wilhelm