What amazed you most about India? India may be a "Third World Country" but very early on, God showed me that within India there are amazing men and women of keen intellect and capacity to change their nation. Such a man is Rajendran, with the Bible League, that you will soon be meeting! Another friend (shown here) leads a community health initiative in Northern Tamil Nadu, that is literally transforming villages and lives. He has been implementing healthcare, housing, and micro-enterprise schemes with amazing success for nearly 10 years. He is my mentor and teacher when I have questions about health issues in India. It is best to go to India, not with answers, but with lots of questions. You will learn a lot if you take the time to listen!
What did God teach you through your time in India? The man pictured here taught me what true joy is all about! Joy does not depend on circumstances or situation, but rather on an inner contentment and happiness in spite of circumstances. This man, a destitute leper, cast out by his family, nearly blind, deformed and disabled by his disease gave me a clear picture of joy. Spending an afternoon with him and his friends at Shantigram humbled me. I have a lot to learn about joy, and this picture helps me to remember every day, to not focus on the negative but rather to rejoice in everything! As you travel to India, prepare for God to shake up your priorities and attitudes.
Note: Val is one of our "pioneers" who led some of the first ventures to India from GCC. She has led teams, has been several times, and has most recently helped us to design much of what will become our HIV/AIDS intervention strategy for Indian church planters as they engage that tragedy in their contexts. Val has a passion for India, and we have been privileged to have her expertise and experience as we have moved forward on a macro-scale in taking our next steps in that environment.