John McCollum, executive director of Asia’s Hope, a cooperating ministry of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches that is dedicated to providing care for orphaned children who are at high risk of sexual and economic exploitation in Southeast Asia, is traveling in India. He is investigating the possibility of expanding the ministry in that country.
This morning, he blogged about the experience. A portion of it is below. (Read the complete post here.)
The views alone are probably worth it. I mean, I can see the Himalayas from my hotel window. That is, quite objectively speaking, pretty cool. But I’m not here for the postcard panoramas — the real beauty to be found in Northern India is in its towns, its villages, its churches. As we’ve traveled throughout West Bengal and Sikkim, skirting Nepal, Bhutan and China, we’ve seen villages without schools, hospitals or jobs. In these villages, most families are so poor that they can barely feed their own children, much less the orphans in their midst.
That doesn’t stop some of them from trying. Tiny churches across the regions have become by default drop-in centers, daycare facilities and even orphanages. We’ve met the pastors, have joined in their worship services, and have cried out to God for the resources to help them care for these precious kids. Apart from the people of God, these kids, who face a life of abject poverty and exploitation, have no hope. No means of transformation. No bootstraps to pull on, no safety net to catch them if they fall.
And that’s why we’re here. We’ve seen what can happen when God’s people work together, when rich brothers and sisters in places like Goshen, Indiana and Montreal, Quebec reach their hands out to their poor brothers and sisters in places like Battambang, Cambodia and Doi Saket, Thailand. We’ve seen kids — homeless and hopeless, filthy and forlorn — transformed by the love of God into healthy, happy and hopeful children who are destined for excellence, not exploitation.
And we want more.
It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be cheap. But each kid living as an orphan in a remote mountain village in Northern India is as precious to God as your child or mine. We’ve seen the need, we have the strategies and the experience necessary to save dozens – maybe hundreds of these kids. How can we turn away?
Jesus told the story of a man who found a pearl of immense worth hidden in a field; the man sold everything he had to buy the field and take possession of the pearl. We’ve found such a treasure in the mountains of West Bengal and Sikkim, and with your help, we’d like to lay hold of it.
More – much more – to come.