Our hearts are full! It's hard to find the words to describe to you all the emotions and feelings from this trip. We have been blessed to be here and see exactly how this project is helping not only the physical poverty, but also the spiritual poverty of this community. All around us we see evidence of Satan's lies. Every morning since we've been here, I have heard drums outside my window early in the morning. Samata, one of the compassion staff from Kolkata that joined us in the project, told me those are the puja drums. As I mentioned in an earlier post, puja is one of the bigest festivals in India celebrating a goddess and her children. Fake gods surround us as even Some of the homes we visit are filled with Hindu posters.
And yet, next to that, you can see Jesus' light shining through as well. The people of India are so kind and gracious! And they are curious as to why we have come. It opens the door to tell them about how we have come to help the Compassion project and also about Jesus. They listen intently, and then they watch. The staff at our hotel are very curious about us. They are constantly watching us, and we are trying to show them Christ's love through our actions. Every night after dinner, we have a team meeting in one of the meeting rooms of the hotel. We always begin the meeting singing worship songs. For the last two nights the hotel staff, mostly our waitstaff who gets our meals together, will stop their work and come over to us and listen and watch us sing. Last night, we encouraged them to join us, and while they wouldn't sit in our circle, they did stand very close and followed along in our song books. God is at work here in India! The hearts of these people are being drawn to God, and we are doing our best to love on them as Jesus would!
And we try to love on the Compassion staff at the project as well. They all work very hard to improve their community and to care, feed, and instruct these beautiful children. What they are doing is so important by not only relieving a part of their physical poverty, but also in relieving the spiritual poverty. They are a staff that love God, and it is evident in all that they do. They are unselfish and such caring people. We are blessed to not only know them, but also to work alongside them for a short time.
Today, our work project at the project was to help build the foundation of a new building that will become a kitchen/eating room closer to the classrooms. It was grueling work as we had to mix the cement and carry the cent bowl by bowl over to the building and pour into the mold. It was a warm day, but I think most of us had fun. I was thinking today about how appropriate it was that we were building a foundation. In a lot of ways, that is what Compassion does with these children. They build a foundation in the children by teaching them about Jesus and giving them a way to improve their life both spiritually and physically. At home we can help build that foundation with our prayers.
Our hearts are indeed full and our cheeks hurt from smiling so much. The people of India, both the children and staff at the project, but also the locals in the towns we visit have captivated our hearts. We love them so much.