It’s hard to put into words what I’m feeling.
This week, a check for $7500 was signed by me and sent to the North American headquarters of Central India Christian Mission. It is the final $7500 needed for the construction of a building in a village in India near the city of Lucknow. The building will be used as a school building, a church building, and a community gathering space. Up until now, no such building of any sort exists in this community. Some folks live in lean-to’s and huts made of tarps. Every resident is low-caste. Jobs are hard to come by. Education is nearly nonexistent for the children.
It all began last year with me hunched over the soggy soil in the village, praying that God would provide these people with a little tangible hope. My wife and I started a nonprofit organization in January for just such causes — raising money to provide for people who needed it worse than the donors.
Eleven months later, and I just wrote the last check. The total given to this village was $27,000. It not only will construct the building, but has already funded the installation of a clean water well in the same village.
A bunch of people in the United States took Jesus seriously when He said, “whatever you do for the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.” And you gave and you gave and you gave. You gave with a generous sense of love and justice that Jesus asks of His church. I wrote a check, but you funded the project. You loved your fellow believers in India. You got the job done.
The financial commitment has been met, but the story isn’t over. Look into the faces of these children. They aren’t abandoned any more. They aren’t without hope for a future. They have their community. They have their faith. They have a sense of place now. The rich and powerful in their own country wouldn’t help. But you did.
Indeed, it’s hard to describe what I’m feeling. But humbled, overjoyed, and grateful are a good start.
Meet some of the folks who will benefit from the project once it is constructed:
A toddler outside the tent where her family lives.
Many of the children of the village who will attend the school.
The village chief and his wife.
This child, symbolic of her village, exudes beauty and need simultaneously.