Thursday, 21 February 2013

What a day! The team woke this morning to a beautiful, sunny day and we all seemed in good spirits when we met for our morning meeting. We discussed how we were all finding the experience so far and what we wanted to pray for. A lot of us agreed that we felt encouraged seeing how the young girls were really benefitting from their girl groups at the Asha centre. They explained to us that Asha had taught them about a variety of illnesses and how to treat minor injuries. We were all very impressed by the children's group committee which gives the girls responsibility within their community to monitor sickness and to collect money to provide for those most in need. However, quite a few of the team recognised that the boys group, which is currently non existent at the centre, needed to be revived. We all recognised how vital the Asha support is for boys at Seelampur after hearing the stories of 4 young students aged 19-20 who we met on Monday. These boys have been supported by Asha since they were around 10 years old and directly through Asha, have now managed to go to college and set up a local business together. I was inspired by their testimonies and realised how important the help of Asha is for boys like these students in Seelampur to provide them the opportunity to extend themselves and give them the chance of a successful future. Our prayer this morning was that God would provide the opportunity for the men on our team to meet some boys from the slum and spend time playing cricket. After another quite hairy journey to the slum, we arrived to a crowd of familiar smiling faces and began painting our jungle and space murals again. As soon as we arrived, a group of around 20 boys from the slum came through the doors of the Asha centre and of course within a very short space of time, were playing a game of cricket with Ali and Chris. God clearly answered our prayers! In the afternoon, a group of six of us were led into the slum by Subodh. We visited a lady who had been working as a health volunteer at Asha for three years and her husband who was being treated by Asha for an illness. Both of them told us how Asha had given them so much joy in their lives and that they wanted it to continue to bless the community forever as it brought such hope to all. Whilst we were out, the other group spent time doing crafts with the girls who were making friendship bracelets and when we arrived back, a large crowd of girls had gathered to watch Ben and Ed attempt to dance an India routine!! In the afternoon, Chris met up with a young student called Salim who he had met on his last visit to Seelampur two years ago. Salim had been attending college but was under financial pressure to leave and get a job to support his family. Two years on and from much support from Asha, Salim has now graduated with a degree in political science and he is planning to spend three more years studying to become a corporate lawyer. Chris was clearly very encouraged by this story and we could all see that God had answered many of his prayers!! We left Seelampur in the afternoon and were taken by three of the students to Old Delhi. Walking down the famous street Chandni Chowk, It was agreed that in terms of busyness, Oxford Street could not even compete!! The highlight of the day for most people was riding on rickshaws down this crazy road from The Red Fort. The journey went as smoothly as it could have except for a very close call with Amy and a cow! In the evening, we visited India Gate which looked stunning as it was lit up by lights in the dark. A very exhausted and hungry team arrived back at the YWCA for a meal, bed and hopefully some good sleep, ready for another full on day of this unforgettable experience! Hannah x

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