It has been extremely hard to get on line these days and even now I am sitting in an internet café in North India with tons of people waiting right behind me as I type frantically between power outages. We are in Kalimpong in a small slice of India surrounded by Nepal on the west, China to the north, and Bhutan to the east. This is the last of 4 countries on this outreach. We arrived here about a week ago after a small unplanned break in Kolkata. One of the girls got sick and could not travel, so we waited it out in a hotel for 24 hrs. That city is a monster and the dirtiest I have ever seen. We rolled in during the night and started looking for a place to hole up and there were homeless people sleeping everywhere. I am told there are thousands, maybe even a hundred thousand homeless there. Can that be possible? The traffic is beyond crazy to the point of total mania. I just thought, “I have to get these girls out of this place as fast as I can before something happens to one of them.” Gosh, and Mother Teresa did her whole tour of duty there. Good for her. I don’t even know what to say to that. We boarded a train on the sleeper class, which costs about $7 each and headed north about 6am. It might sound nice, but it’s hot and without a/c, it’s an all day extraveganza. The guys are coming through selling everything under the sun. I must have had 25 Chai, coffees. They are the size of a thimble and cost 5 Rupees (9 cents). India is India. Period. If you’ve been here, you know what I mean. More people are crowding in behind me here and I can hear the shouting over the loud music i’m playing from my ipod to drown it out.
We spent 13 hrs on that train then got a taxi from Silliguri to Kaliumpong and hiked down this hill to the YWAM base where we now stay. We’ve spent our time so far in 2 groups of 3 teaching little kids in villages their studies. I honestly just let the kids read to me and help them memorize the Word. They are about 4-12 years old and so enthusiastic.. and soooo poor. The village is just shacks on the side of this mountain in the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s stunningly gorgeous and a reminder than God is God.
Many of the ministries we work with have the same philosophy about reaching the kids and it’s simple. If you reach the kids, you’ll get the village and the city eventually. The kids are the ones in control in the future. We try to get in 2 sessions. The first part is playing games, singing, reading a Bible story aloud, and memorizing a verse together, the second is tutoring with homework. Yesterday, we played Duck Duck Goose and one boy I know I just went over that, but don’t have time to really critique this before we loose power or something else happens.
We are here for another week and then head to Dargeeling for a 3 days debrief of the whole 10 week outreach before flying over to Israel for DTS graduation.