As the sound of the morning traffic thunders in the streets below, we awake to the reality of this being our last day in India. Although many are tired and long for the days familiar ground once more, emotions are, as always more complicated than that. While our realities consist of daily adventures to Starbucks on orderly paved streets, enjoying laughter with friends and family, digging back in to the grind of 24/7, fast food and fast paced, the reality for many of those here in India is not the same.
Today is going to be a long day. We are leaving our hotel in about 3 hours to take the familiar bus ride to the Home of Love, which is on the outskirts of Chennai. The solitude of the surrounding village is quiet in comparison to the noisy city. The Home is a perfect oasis, and behind the newly painted gate rests the contagious hope and laughter that has infected each of us. Many of the girls have decided to dress in the native Indian sari for women. After we arrive at the Home we are having lunch then we are going to be a part of a baptism service. After the service will be our last time to hang out with the girls - this inevitably ends with tears in the goodbyes.
Though our sadness is because of our known distance we rejoice in this:
The Kingdom of God is alive in India. The Holy Spirit is active and there is a coming revival. Today we will all be witnesses to that. In a culture that has all together deemed four girls worthless - in just a few hours they will publicly declare that they are NOT of this world, but they are of Christ.
Four girls have waited several years for this moment. It is tough for us to understand this, because in the United States we have the freedom to be baptized at any moment. Yet, in India this is not the reality. At the age of 18, one can step outside of their families inherited religion of Hinduism and make their own decision to follow any faith the desire. Often this new desire is met with harsh resistance which includes persecution both emotionally and physically.
Four girls today, although disregarded by their earthly fathers will find security in their Heavenly Father.
Four girls today will make a promise to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ in India.
Four girls today will make it their mission to love the poor and downcast.
Four girls today choose the Kingdom of God over this world.
And we are witnesses to this!
This is why the Home of Love is so important. Yes it provides the girls with food, clothing, shelter and an eduction. But more than that...so much more than that - these girls are passionately taught the Gospel. They are equipped with the TRUTH of the Word and as they come to Christ they are filled with the POWER of the Holy Spirit.
This is how we change the world - One Girl At A Time Through The Gospel.
As we finish packing our bags tonight and head to the airport to board our flight home we will never forget “the HOME”. It is truly amazing the impact that just a few weeks can have in our lives. But as we sit on the flight and fight to get comfortable enough to watch any inflight movie, we do so remembering this truth.....
By the time we lay our heads down to sleep tonight over 13,000 girls will have lost their lives simply because they are girls.
The disturbing statistic is not the number of girls who will take their last breath today, but rather the number of those who know this truth and yet do nothing.
How do you change a culture? One girl at a time. Do something.......