Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some of my favorite kids in the world!

As I walked in the door of the transition home, ten kids surrounded me with shouts & hugs, "Patty, Auntie, we've been waiting for you". Those few words filled my heart with a joy that's hard to define with words. Their little faces smiling up at me is a beautiful thing. As I came into their tiny home, they pressed in beside me, staying close.

On their bulletin board is a picture of the Bauman family. They pray for us almost daily and they look forward to the next visit which happens about every six months. Very humbling. They come from terrible situations, living on the streets, many times without food. Their lives have been rescued, redeemed. They are in a family now. "He sets the lonely in families".

Their childlike faith astonishes me. Their honest, sincere cries to the Lord were so beautiful last night. Simple, full of trust, bold. I think they were the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard in my life.

They surrounded me to pray for the start up of the jewelry project that will help many people. All of a sudden they started praying at once out loud. Their cries got louder and louder as they prayed. They were crying out to God for His help on my behalf. I could hear one little girl, Sonu*, saying "Lord, please help her. Without you SHE CANNOT DO ANYTHING!"

That about sums it up. Without Him I cannot do anything.

Here's a clip of the kids practicing a Christmas song they will sing when they go caroling. I asked them to stop by my house in Texas!!! They said they would love to.


Jewelry Project Happenings

Friday afternoon we met with a wonderful couple and discussed some possible options for the jewelry project here in Pune to help young women at risk! As you can see our team got down and looked at some jewelry options, as well.

It's been encouraging to see the momentum build for this project.

Monday we have our final meeting with an organization that rescues women out of prostitution. We are meeting with them to see if our project can offer some young women jobs making jewelry instead of living a life of prostitution.

Please keep praying with us for the Lord's help. It's more than obvious how much we need Him to see this vision become a reality. A friend recently said "if this was easy, everyone would be starting a project like this". Easy - not by a long shot. Worthwhile, you bet!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nagpur Region...the plight of widows of farmers

Our little team of three flew from Chennai way up into the center (middle) of India to a city of 2.8 million people. Nagpur, like so many cities in India, has things that make it unique. Nagpur is well known for producing oranges. It's the florida of India!!

We went to Nagpur to scout out potential sites for the jewelry making project and while there investigated this possibility with our contacts there.

We connected with an organization there that reaches out to widows of farmers in one city nearby. In the last 7 years, in one area, approximately 5,000 farmers have committed suicide, leaving behind widows and children. In the last several years this incredible organization, Friend of the Poor, has helped around 2,000 widows with supplies they need to survive.

I wanted to know why these farmers are killing themselves. The time in Nagpur opened my eyes to the serious oppression the farmers face. The prices of seeds is incredibly high, there has been a drought for many years, and they can't make enough money from their crops to survive, so they commit suicide rather than face the situation.

In this culture a widow is almost shunned by her family and community. She almost never gets remarried, she's excluded from social functions, and is in a very vulnerable place which leaves her open to be sexually abused and other atrocities. It's as if when her husband died, it was a bad omen, so people avoid her.

Our time in Nagpur was very productive. As far as the jewelry project, we want to look at all the options before we make a decisions, so it's off to Pune for some more meetings!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday in Chennai - visiting a local jewelry making project

Today we did some investigation work into a local jewelry making project here in Chennai to see how they operate. We visited their site, and met with the director of the project and got a glimpse at the possibilities. Great to see them in action!

Tomorrow we leave for the city of Nagpur. I am unsure if we will have internet access, so if I don't post in the next 2 days, check back Friday for my next post from Pune!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Toy Delivery to the preschool in the slum...the kids LOVED the plastic farm animals!

Today when I delivered some toys to the kids at the preschool in the slum, check out their reaction to the plastic farm animals!

Delivering toys to the Preschool in the slum

Today, I visited the preschool in the slum started by Rescue & Restore to deliver some learning toys. Check out the video clips below...