Talk about an amazing day…
First thing this morning, my friend Max (the Trance DJ turned Worship Leader) came to pick me up. As I’ve stated before, there the traffic in India is the craziest I’ve ever seen and there are more scooters here then in Rome. On top of that, it is completely acceptable to have multiple people on a scooter (guys/girls/children/babies) at on time… Just yesterday, I was three guys on a 250cc motorcycle and the guy in the back was carrying this huge box! So, since I really wanted to get some pictures of people / places in the city, but haven’t had the chance because we’re too squished when riding around in the minivan (8 adults plus equipment = no room for taking pictures), Max offered to take me around. That said, I jumped on the back of his Honda scooter (100cc, top speed with both of us on it is about 40 kph) and we were off! Now, shooting moving objects is no easy feat, but I’m pretty sure I got some winners. And though I didn’t have a helmet on and the Saturday morning traffic was as crazy as ever, I wasn’t really worried as I had both hands on my camera the whole time trying to get some candid shots! After about three hours of dangling off the back of that bike and numerous death defying maneuvers, we decided to call it a day.
Next up was the Children’s Home… To prove how small of a world this is, my friend Heather has been doing volunteer trips to India for the past few years with her church in Texas. Well, it just so happens that they stay in the exact same guest apartment when they come that I’m staying in right now! Once we realized this, Heather put me in contact with the doctor who runs the main orphanage here and we were able to set up a visit! Though we arrived early, the kids were already in their seats patiently awaiting us. (In total, there were about 85 kids from ages four to fifteen, approximately 75 girls and 10 boys). As soon as we walked in, they all greeted us a group and lead the team directly to the microphones. Admittedly, we rather unprepared to be on stage that quickly, but God worked it out.
The band played a few worship songs (which the children knew and sang along to, hand motions and all) and then the kids sang us a few worship songs (amazing!!). Next, I led a few games of “Simon Says” and “Bibbidee Bobbidee Boo” before April and Ted took over did a couple of acoustic songs. After that, we decided to take the kids outside so that we could play with them on the playground. In an effort to do this in some sort of order, each of the band members stood at the front of the room and we asked the children to get in line behind on of us, such that they could choose whose group they were in…. It ended up that all of the boys went with Ted, all of the little girls went with Amber and Josie, the elementary girls went with April, and all of the middle school girl came with me. As my group was a little older, we got a chance to sit down and talk about what each of them wanted to be when they grew up… It was so great to hear their aspirations of being doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, and english professors! Talk about the resilience of the human spirit! At the end of our conversation, I took the opportunity to pray over all of them and ask God to continue to provide for them and also to ensure that these children know and understand that they are loved. After that, we had some time to actually run around the playground and interact with the other groups…
Ted and Wes were playing some kind of dodgeball game with the guys, April was playing the guitar and singing to the girls, and Amber / Josie were getting Henna tattoos from one of the middle school kids. Though we were only their for 2.5 hours, my cheeks are still sore from smiling.
It’s ironic how it was our intention to come and bless these children but that in reality, it was them who blessed us…
As hard as it was, we left the Children’s Home and headed straight to the YWAM (Youth With a Mission) facility where we held an all out Worship Service (97West style, for my friends in St. Pete). This was a really great set and the place was packed. I’m still amazed at how many young people turn out on a Saturday night to hear a worship band play (in India!)
To finish off the night, we ate some “Abda” (a chicken dish) at an Arabian restaurant that was so good! I was about to blindly order the “Kepda” as none of the menu items had descriptions, but then the waiter explained that “Kepda” was “Mutton Liver”, so I decided to stick with the chicken. As the portions were kind of small and the “Abda” was so delicious, Ted and I had seconds.
Not too bad of a day… To quote our host Paul, “Can you beat that?”
God is love.
Until next time,