Finally I am getting around to posting short stories and pictures about my time in India! Blogging is quick the feat, I have lots of respect for those who keep up on theirs daily!
Alright guys, so after I left Nepal with my husband and small team of girls we went to India. We spent most of our time in the South about two hours outside of Chennai. Our contact has a girls home that our team stayed with that had seven girls living there from the ages of 4-16. We got to spend a lot of time with these girls, painting nails, laughing, playing a million different ways of "patty cake", we baptized two girls, taught them English, we did bible studies, dancing, hair braiding….everything young girls like to do, we did! I was even asked to paint a family tree mural on a wall in their home.
Now one things about India that struck me the most was the inequality of men and women. Women are treated as second class citizens. To find out the sex of a growing fetus is illegal because many families who would find out they are having a girl would attempt to abort the baby. This girls home we were staying and working in were not girls who had parents who died, they were placed in this home because they weren't wanted by their families because they were born a girl! It was extremely hard knowing that these beautiful, very smart, funny, worthy girls were given up by their families because of their gender, let alone choosing to give up your child is a crazy thing anyway! These girls have beds, three really amazing meals a day, they are safe and can get an education, and most of all loved in this home, yet most of them want to be at their "real" home with parents who gave them up. It's extremely hard to see this first hand and you want to do all you can for these girls and really the only thing we could do was simply love them and encourage them in their worth. This made me want to take on the task of painting them a family tree (which they would later hand pictures on) that much more, to really try and help these girls feel as if they are a family and eventually penetrate their hearts with love and bring healing in that place that has been abused and destroyed.
We also visited a leper colony every week which is a group of older people who've been shunned from friends and family and cast out by society because they had leprosy. All of these people we were with had treatment and were no longer contagious but they still have the scars and physical deformations left from the disease. The all live in the bush in a small community named The Peace Village. This was one of my favorite places to go while I was in India. We would hold their hands, tickle their backs, sing songs, have translated conversations, cut hair and every week we would bring them the most delicious celebration meal called biryani. The celebration meal was prepared and given to show the people of this village that we will celebrate their lives even when no one else will because Jesus loves them, and so will we. We also prepared this meal for the homeless that we would feed every Friday night. I don't have any pictures of us delivering food but that was always a good time to see thankful familiar faces week after week.
During our time we also helped paint our contacts home which had been destroyed by termites, we reached out to college students studying abroad and my friend and I who are licensed hairstylists brought our shears and combs and went from village to village giving free haircuts during our month stay. We cut mostly boys and men because the girls usually grow their hair very long and some eventually end up shaving it off and giving it as a sacrifice at the altar to one of their gods.
Thank you to everyone who prayed and donated to make this work possible!!
|What a Hindu temple looks like|
|Women selling jasmine flowers for adorning your hair and smelling nice!|
|Bright colors are everywhere!|
|Some of the girls in the girls home who just got their nails painted|
|Visiting our friends in The Peace Village|
|Haircuts, haircuts, haircuts! SO MANY HAIRCUTS!|
|Cows roam free, poop everywhere and eat trash.|
|We climbed to the top of a mountain with a bazillion steps and even more monkeys and then climbed on top of the temple|
|One of the two baptisms of the oldest girls in the girls home|
|The team preparing biryani for the homeless|
|The start, middle and end of the family tree I painted in the girls home|
|Mikey giving out tattoos|
|Me and my girl Pattu in The Peace Village. I called her Oma which means grandma in German|
|Admiring art and architecture at the Mysore Palace|
|This is a traditional sari that married women wear or what a woman would wear to a special event|
|Chai all day, everyday!|
|Mikey sharing stories about his tattoos in The Peace Village|
|Hair braiding and learning about the armor of God with our hand made coloring sheet for the girls|
|The team singing songs and playing games while Renee and I cut hair|
|Giving Oma a haircut my last week in India|
|Scissor over comb cuts for everyone!|
|Hard style because that's how we do. I'm so proud of these girls and all they have done, what they have overcome and who've they become! I'm so proud!|
Here is a little video I put together from our time in Nepal and India