Wow! What a great welcome back from India to the coldest temps in 20+ years! Brrrr… but, we survived! :) We have been back for a little more than a week now and our days are beginning to feel more normal again, back into ‘regular life’.
Always with ‘getting back into regular life’ I pray that I will continue to remember all that we saw the Lord doing in India while we were there and remember to continue to pray. There is so much! Thanks for joining with us in prayer!
It always feels overwhelming to think about what to share with you… the stories of the dear ones that we see year after year, the new people we meet, the progress we see made in the different projects, the joys and challenges of our own team, and all of it evidenced by our Father’s gentle and mighty hand!
This community is called the Railroad Slum, not because they are anywhere near the railroad, but because years ago the City rounded up all the people who were living around the railroad station and moved them into this area. The families that we met 2 years ago had been living there for decades, in makeshift dwellings, patched together with whatever they could find. The City had never officially agreed to let them stay there permanently, so they never provided electricity.
We met this community through our Family friend, Sarah, who is a nurse that visits them regularly. While we were holding a medical camp for them, we noticed that they did not have electricity. We took a few days to run wire with a light and switch through each of the connected dwellings to a rechargeable battery. Most of these families had light in their homes for the first time in their lives. It was really wonderful to be a part of that, and we enjoyed spending those few days with them.
On our trip this year, one day we ended up with some extra time, so we decided to visit our friends and see how they were doing and how the lights and everything were holding up. As soon as we set our foot outside the van and they saw that it was us, they ran to us and clasped our hands and pulled us to their homes, chattering away, so excited about something… Wow! They had new homes! The tattered, falling down dwellings had been replaced by solid cement dwellings, painted and adorned, in the most simple but beautiful ways! They walked us through, so proud to show us! They all had lights and there were even fans in many of their homes! What a transformation!
They sat us down (after they had gathered chairs from every corner to have enough) and told us the story while they prepared tea. When we had installed the lights for them 2 years ago, a newspaper reporter had happened by and ended up taking a few photos and writing a story, which then appeared in the newspaper. The leaders of the community took this story to the City and asked them again to give them right to the land that was their home and had been their home for generations. They showed them that “people who are not even our people were willing to show care and value them by making a way for them to have lights so their children could study properly”. When the City saw the newspaper story they decided to finally, after so long, grant them permanent permission to stay there, and, directed the utility department to connect this community with electricity.
The people were so excited to finally have the assurance of this place as their permanent homes, they requested loans from their employers, and were able to put enough money together to build their strong, permanent dwellings!
What a joy to see and hear how the Lord touched this place and these people. One of the first things they said to us was that when we stepped into their place that God had stepped in. They saw the Heart behind our love and actions and glory was given correctly! :) Please continue to pray for this community and our Family friend, Sarah, as she continues to meet with them regularly.
Thank you, again, SO MUCH, for your continued prayer and care for us and all the ways the Lord is working! You are partners with us and we couldn't do what we do without you!
Many blessings! Much love, His joy,
The Nanda’s :)