I told myself I’d blog or journal while in India this year. I even bought a new journal. Now it is sitting in the same pile as the other blank journals.
It was hard to get all my thoughts down. It was difficult to capture my feelings and put them into words. Now, here I am almost three weeks later and I think I can finally explain the imprint India has left on me.
I’m all in for India. From here on out, my heart is tied to this country.
I don’t understand it, honestly. Kolkata is not some beautiful, relaxing vacation destination.
What they don’t tell you about it: Kolkata is loud, crowded, dirty, humid, old and busy. It can be intimidating. It’s not comfortable. As a foreigner, you get stared at a LOT. In some places, they take your photo without your permission. Drivers honk at EVERYTHING. When you look around, the buildings in the city look like they should be scrubbed or condemned. There always appears to be a layer of dust on everything.
I would say it’s more often not on someone’s bucket list than is.
But it’s on mine. I’d go as often and finances, my job and my separation-anxiety from Brody would allow.
It’s the people. Specifically, the kids and staff that is part of SEED. SEED (Save, Equip, Entrust and Disciple) is a nonprofit created by our friends that aims to end the cycle of poverty through their investment in kids. These kids are removed from some very tough circumstances and given the opportunity to continue their education – hopefully changing the trajectory of their future.
Our church has partnered with SEED for several years. Through the support of some generous, loving, giving people, we’ve helped fund the construction of two hostels that the kids can live in.
We send teams, twice a year, to provide support to our friends in India. It’s not your stereotypical “mission” trip. By that I mean we don’t go and teach the staff anything, we don’t build the buildings or build wells. We build relationships.
They know their country. They know what their people need. So who are we to come in and try to change their processes. Instead, we go, build relationships, bring our experiences back to share with anyone (that will listen) in hopes that the finances will not only continue, but grow.
And these kids, they are thriving! Are they out of the woods, no. Much like the trauma kids in America have faced, there are scars and bruises. But to see them live so joyfully…it’s left an imprint on my heart.
These little hearts have taken over mine.
I love this quote,
“You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
It’s a price I’d pay over and over and over again.