Seldom do people of such privilege as myself, get the allowance to spend time with and see those who are living in a total opposite situation. My time here from exiting the plane has been good and honestly, awe-striking. I went with John, the leader of FCI, to a slum where he has been working among the people in the community. I was always told within India’s Caste system, the political separation of social groups, the Dalit is the lowest Caste of all. John, who is a Dalit, introduced me to a group today that is lower than any I have heard of. These are the gypsies.
Hearing of a gypsy gives you initial thoughts of Aladdin or a Disney character. But being among the people I saw how different they are. They are also known as wonderers. Moving from different parts of India in large groups. The group that we met with had settled in a really beautiful valley near Mumbai. They struggled though in the area because when Monsoon season would come, many would die for many reasons. The weather would bring sickness’ that few could afford to medicate. Because of the weather, Jobs were few and far between which meant that with little to no money, food was scarce and if a sickness would come, death would be immanent. I arrived just weeks before Monsoon season would begin. During the time I am here though, water it’s self is hard to come by. From total dryness to too much wetness, these people are unable to find many resources that can help them through either season, more less both. Almost everyone you talk to in this slum is a miracle. Survival through time here is difficult for anyone.
The girl in the light blue has a remarkable story of being saved physically and spiritually while living here. Her name is Amshy. I went into her home where her father had killed her mother in front of her. And as well I stood where he eventually died. Leaving her living in this slum with no parents, she should have went the way of every other child in her predicament. But God brought her to the orphanage. She came and was taken care of for years and eventually was saved in the process. This picture is her and several other girls who grew up in the orphanage leading Vacation Bible School for over 50 children in a room smaller than many American walk-in closets.
I walked in to this hut to find all of these children learning bible stories, Though 20 yards up the path is a hindu alter and the village is named after a hindu god. This amazed me. To top it off, as I took a seat, a beautiful 3-year-old little girl came to me with flowers to thank me for spending time with them. After sharing my testimony with the children, they began to color and I began to walk and attempt to grasp what I was seeing.
Stepping over sewage ditches and ducking under clotheslines, I saw many things I will never forget. It left me shocked, awed and honestly amazed that the entire time I have been moaning and groaning with God about the most petty things in my life, you have people getting saved in a slum in India where the life expectancy is lower than what we refer to as a mid-life crisis. We are frustrated because God hasn’t paid our mortgage while people over here are hoping for another day with food and water.
I got to see the same VBS group on their final day. They grew beyond the home that they were in and had to be outside. It was awesome to see.