Thursday, June 30, 2011

"... as real as their wounds"

When you hear leper what comes to mind? For real…Take a sec & think about it….

Maybe it’s suffering…Maybe it’s wounds…Maybe it’s merely a term that reminds you of Bible stories you’ve heard…For me, my first thought was rejection.  And in some ways that word is accurate but upon leaving the colony I’ve replaced that word with a new one…REJOICE! Our group’s eyes welled up with tears as we went hut to hut hearing people’s stories…

One man was very well educated, a Psychologist prior to catching the disease. One was a missionary & came back to see his daughter marry & got it. The woman pictured below had 4 children before she contracted it at the age of 25. One couple’s 5 year old daughter now lives at a hostel because they now cannot work & care for her And this is just to list a few.

Despite all these tragedies the believing lepers all rejoiced knowing that some day they would physically be renewed & standing in the presence of God for eternity. I wish you could hear the sincerity in their voices. Heaven for them wasn’t this far off hopeful idea, but it was as real as their wounds.

This woman was the oldest in the village (She doesn’t know how old she is) Her frail little body curled up upon her door step livened as she raised her fingerless fists in the air saying: “I look forward to the day I rejoice in Heaven with you!” In the world’s eye’s she has nothing but in my heart I envy her because her faith is everything.

We came across this man just before getting back on the bus. I think for many of us these last moments were some of our favorite of the day. As David danced in the King’s courts this man could not contain the joy that was in his heart for the Lord. After much singing, and putting his handless arm upon our foreheads blessing us he got all the more excited as he loudly exclaimed: “When you die & go to Heaven you’ll be in the presence of JESUS!”

-Missy & Bart


Monday, June 27, 2011

India - VBS @ The Beach

It would take more words than I have in my vocabulary to describe the 3 and a half days at the beach. The waves were stronger but not as strong as the lifelong bonds of friendship built in just these few days. The heat was at record levels, but the beautiful ocean was the backdrop for what turned out to be a great start to the trip this year.

Wednesday Night
We arrived at the camp on Wednesday night and as always spirits were high and laughter was in no short supply. Late afternoon chai with the girls is more than just a simple delight but something we have truly embraced. The night was spent is organized chaos as we all spent the evening laughing, dancing and playing any games the girls wanted. They love to sing so of course we did! We gathered in the Chapel and sang songs at the top of our lungs. It was a great night to start off VBS.

Thursday - Saturday VBS
....VBS. We start the day off with breakfast and then straight to the first chapel service. Music is always a must as these girls love to sing to Our Lord. We taught them a new song...well new for them..

I will dance I will sing to be mad for my King
Nothing Lord is hindering this passion in my soul

And I'll become even more undignified than this
Some may say its foolishness

They absolutely loved the tune and it became the anthem for the next few days. The chapel service had skits, songs and teaching....but more than anything it had the love of God and the Spirit of God flowing powerfully!

VBS also included craft time (making photo frames, music shakers, and bracelets), activities (face painting, balloon animals and shapes), snacks (delicious ones!) and of course teaching. Once again we instilled in these young girls the Love, Grace, Mercy, Compassion, Hope and Freedom found in Jesus Christ.

But let's not forget something here....we were at the BEACH!!! So swimming was the grand highlight of the day. These girls are fearless and attack the punishing waves with reckless for them much fun, but for us much a good way. We as a team had to make sure that every single one of these girls was well protected. By the grace of God no one was hurt and nothing happened....God was once again covering us with His Presence. All in all VBS was an amazing time. We all got to know the girls more and more and hear about their dreams and passions.

There is something very special when you sit across the table from a child who has been abandoned by her family, oppressed by her society and deemed worthless by her culture - and yet there we sit.....worlds apart in terms geography but united by the Cross. There is something moving in the hearts of all of we laughed, danced, drank lots of chai - we realized this....we came to be a blessing to them, but so far it seems that they are a blessing to us.

More to come...stay tuned...stay in prayer!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Home of Love 2011 - Day 1

Much like the trips of previous years, this years trip began with much excitement and anticipation. While the excitement is continuing to build we are eagerly expecting God to move in mighty ways.

We arrived into Chennai around 330am and were at the Home of Love (about an hours drive) around noon. Lunch was served on a banana leaf and we all shared smiles and stories of the past as we waited to begin our adventures with the girls of the Home.

The girls greeted all of us with smiles once again. Immediately they ran to all of us, clinging to those they have known for years and just as fast making new friends with the new members of the team. Their laughter is one that cannot be explained except to say that the Spirit of God is here and alive....while unexplainable they may be, nonetheless they are contagious!

We taught them new games and they showed us what they like to do. But most of all on this first day it was the re-uniting of old friends.....loved family. They call us "brother, sister, uncle and auntie....even father.."....loving them is easy.....the way they love us is undemanding, but yet demands a response from our hearts - and that is to love them as well.

While many of us battled the weather and being tired no one complained. It was all smiles and I said, their laughter is contagious.

In about an hours time we will be heading to the beach for Vacation Bible School. Please pray for all of our safety. In addition, pray that the love we have for one another would grow and that the Spirit of God remains active in each and every one of us for these next few days!

You will definitely get some video of the beach in the next few days!!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Almost There....

In just a few days a group of about 25, representing 9 different churches will land in Chennai. The anticipation has been building for a few months now and the excitement to invest into the lives of several young girls is continuing to grow.

Over the course of the next 3 weeks our hope is to keep everyone up to date on what this team will be doing. We will share stories, photographs and short films...

We hope you follow what is happening and as you do keep this in mind: How do we change a culture of 1.2 Billion??

Answer - One Girl At A Time.....Live The Gospel, Share The Gospel.

This Is The Movement...This Is How We Change The World!

Nirup Alphonse

Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Website

We just launched our BRAND NEW website for The Home of Love India. We would love for you to come check it out and tell us what you think!!

Home of Love India