It is 9pm here and our day has come to an end. What an amazing day! I am sitting outside unde a gazebo for Internet acces and letting some of the pictures download to facebook. I can’t get them on my IPAD yet so picture to match the stories will be added later.
Dr. Jim made medical rounds with the physician at Lalgadh Hospital today…60 patients! Jim was touched by the compassion and passion of the staff. Although we met many of them earlier, today he saw them in action at the bedsides and treatment rooms. When he played his mandolin as part of our devotion tonight I was certain his heart was overflowing. It is so nice to have him here to interact with the medical team.
The rest of us spent our day in two villages. The impact in these villages is incredible. We witnessed first hand the community leaders and the fruit of empowerment, healing and restoration. In the midst of deplorable living conditions, the local people are trained and empowered to change their communities. And they are doing it with excellence! Excellence and Love.
The colors of the culture and the peace with which the people live in unforgettable. What are they celebrating? Toilets, washing hands, children going to school, micro loans that are teaching them to save, invest and learn how to create support for their families. One woman we met today was given a $50.00 loan three years ago. She bought a pig and stated saving. This year she is buying a home! Three years of developing the resources and stability are paying off. She is overjoyed!
We saw several toilets in each village. Once the village had been given 1-2 toilets by another community group, they built some in their own community. Their pride and joy in showing us how they have learned basic hygiene and how to build a toilet was so good. Hugh Cross often says this work creates HOPE…and HOPE is what we saw today.
We also discovered a man in one village who was newly affected by leprosy. Hugh stopped along the trail and heard his story. The lesion on his face was obvious. We went by his home…maybe 3 x 5 for a family of 6. Leprosy thrives when basic health, nutrition and hygiene are compromised. This man will be assessed in the field and brought to the hospital so he can have HOPE of a different future.
The eyes of many we saw in the hospital were sad and troubled. Most have been abandoned. Dreams have been shattered. They didn’t expect life to turn this way. And in the villages we saw bright eyes of fire…ready to rise up and lead their famiies and communities with hope and love. And sometimes hope and love come in the way of a toilet and a water hand pump.
We give thanks for this day and the grace of the people to allow us to come into their villages and learn from their great leadership. We give thanks to God for trusting us enough to be involved in the miracles Christ is unfolding throughout the earth.