I can't quite believe its thursday already, we are so quickly close to the finish of our time here. Last night we went for a lovely meal as guests of Freddie and Kirin The founders of Asha, there we met a team from Belfast who are working in another slum, plus a few volunteers from America , we all had a lovely time sharing our experiences and Freddie & Kirin were as thankful as ever, it was also nice to eat somewhere else other than the YWCA!
Unfortunatly Thursday kicked of to a bad start with me accidentally knocking my daughter Sarah's camera on to the floor , breaking the expensive lens, ( she studies media so her camera is a bit special) then the news that Karen had fallen ill during the night, she would have to stay at the Hostel today, we are hoping & praying she recovers quickly. It was particularly sad because after working the morning at Zachira we were off on a trip to another slum that a previous St Stephens team had been too, which Karen was a member.
We spent the morning painting, so Peter at last had a break from being our super hero kids worker, mural's were refined and plans were made on how to finish everything, we then stopped before we were to depart to pray for the team there, these ladies that run the Asha centres have so many mountains to climb in running the children's clubs , caring for families, campaigning for education and fresh water pumps in the slum, I hope they were blessed by our words.
An hour or more journey across the myriad of road conditions was like a concrete safari to get to Seelampur , the previous slum we were visiting, fortunately Nadine and Tracy had made Tuna and Sweetcorn sandwiches with our first bread of the week! So that helped lighten the atmosphere with a make shift in van picnic. Seeing the slum again brought back so many memories for Amanda & myself as we were also there two years ago, the faces & the lives of so many that we had spent time with, it was if it was only last week we had seen them.
They had a little presentation from some of the children, each one standing to tell us about their studies , their lives and what Asha had enabled them to do, also what our team had helped them achieve , this was a direct as it gets from the words of a small child saying thank you for the books St Stephens helped her buy as her parents could never afford books at 120 - 250 Rupees each. ( that's approx 1.50 -3 pounds) . All of the team fell in love with the children and I think realised the difference we make by sending a team here, because here was the fruits of our labour and Gods spirit. After a tour of the slums and visits to a few homes we said our goodbyes once more, everyone of them saying please come back again, they were so thankful and so loving I think all the team were blessed with encouragement in what they are doing.
I think Alex summed it up, when he was standing next me said, "this is what it's about seeing the Gospel at work"
All the best
Alan x x