How does one sum up an experience like India? Still digesting nearly a month since our return, I’m struck with gratitude meeting some of the most amazing people in the darkest places I’ve yet encountered.
I couldn’t help but find myself in tears from the resilience of these remarkable children. My tears were not filled with pity or sympathy, but a greater measure of conviction and heart to serve those in need.
I don’t think I’ve been overtaken by such intoxicating hope and faith found in the lives of my new friends.
Like many, questions of ‘why’ seemed to flood my heart hearing the unimaginable evil done to the souls behind the smiles.
Many ask, “God, how could you let this happen?” Instead of the ‘why’, I found the Lord challenging me to discover Him in the midst of all the pain and hardship.
My answers were found in Zephaniah 3:17.
“Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.”
“He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. I will remove from you all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals, which is a burden and reproach for you.”
“At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame.”
“At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes, says the Lord.”
I’m still amazed at the faith and tenacity of those giving there lives to such incredible missions. I am humbled and grateful for the start of the relationship with these beautiful friends.
South Indian Outreach educates 950 children that would otherwise have no opportunity.
There are 33 million gods in the Hindu religion. This Hindu woman is painting rangoli in the front of her home inviting the spirits. It is considered a sacred and ancient spiritual process of purification of the spirit.
Kierthi’s mother was murdered by her abusive husband and thrown in a ditch. With no where to go, South Indian Outreach has rescued Kierthi and her brother from a life of fear and abandonment into hope and restoration. Read the full story on Unseen’s blog.
This little girl has stolen my heart.
Our overnight train expedition to Dharwad.
Caring Hands is a ministry dedicated to rescuing girls, called Devadasis, exploited in the Hindu temples as prostitutes. Arun and Shobha have given their lives to bring light to some of the darkest areas in the nation. More images and stories on Unseen’s blog.
Women bathing at Yamalla temple to lessen the goddess’ anger.
This sweetie was crippled at birth by her mother’s rage while drunk. When her mother died from HIV, her and her sister were about to be given over to work as prostitutes in the temple. Caring Hands came just in time to give these girls a childhood they deserve.
With many unexpected changes before our trip, we were in need of a videographer. With less than 2 weeks before our departure, a dear friend I met in Seoul cleared his schedule and was able to join us. Peter is one of the most genuine, humble, servant’s heart I know. He is a pretty rad videographer and has a phenomenal ministry. Join Pathos as they communicate God’s love through media and mentor youth to bring creative advocacy.
Our next stop, Goa.
Me…trying to get…
Our final group, the Grace Home, cares for 100 children from orphaned and underprivileged backgrounds. They also work with 400 street children in the slums of Delhi teaching, feeding, and bringing hope. More images and full storyon Unseen’s Blog.
We were showered by flower pedals and marigold necklaces as the kids sang songs greeting us to their home.
I met Pastor John and Annie briefly in Korea and we immediately became family. Once in India, it confirmed why I adored them and their ministry so much.
Ty, an incredible apprentice photographer and friend, was loved by all the boys at the home.
The boys’ home has been under construction for over 2 years due to lack of funding.
Did I mention that I love this woman? Well, I do. A lot.
That’s a wrap on the mission pics.
Now I’ll give your eyes a little more culture and behind-the-scene shots.
The streets of Delhi.
A photographer does whatever it takes to get that shot.
I was trying to organize the kiddos for a photo idea. “Trying” was the key word. Fail was the result as they swarmed to the middle from the lack of my Kannada speaking abilities.
This fanciful, mythical palace looks just as unreal in person as it does in this picture.
Chased this lady down the street as she laughed at my excitement.
Felt my heart gasp while catching this beauty against this gorgeous lighting.
Yup, had to grab that hersheys.
My, my, how perspective changes things.
One of Grace Home’s staff, Ebin (aka-chauffeur, photographer, model, tour guide extraordinaire), got a few pics in as well.
While everyone was gawking at the Taj, I found this hidden treasure right next door.
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