Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Day I'll NEVER Forget, A Day of Extremes

Speechless, stunned, shocked, horrified, difficult, overwhelmed, repulsive, emotional...all descriptor words of what I witnessed, touched, smelled, and heard, this day, in one of the largest slums of India.

Yet, today was also a day of dancing, welcoming, smiling, playing, eating, giving, laughing, enjoying, transforming...all in one of the largest slums of India. (Make sure you read to the end)

It was a day, I'll never forget! It was a day of God given extremes. I saw poverty, but I also witness God instilled potential. This day was more than mere compassionate tourism, it was observing magnificent life giving transformation...transformation of marriages, transformation of families, transformation of a children and transformation of communities.

There are 30 people here from the US. While not being the novice traveler of the group, I can't call myself seasoned. There are some here who have been to 13, 14, or 15 countries. On site at these various locations, they've witnessed unspeakable personal and communal difficulties as the result of poverty. Yet, to a person this day, even those most experienced, found themselves repeating over and over again the words found in the first paragraph. They even went so far as to say, "I've NEVER seen anything quite like it."

While I hope to post this case photos don't tell the real story. It's like seeing in 2D, when reality is 3D.

Having said all this, you MUST know, I saw a church in this slum that IS making a holistic difference. I saw sponsored children and their moms, children and moms from this very bleak Indian slum...the children attend a Compassion International development project held on the campus of this church, these kids embody the words in the second paragraph of this blog.

Some one once asked, "How do you change a community?" Another person responded back with, "You do it...ONE LIFE at a time!" Well, today, I saw firsthand 299 lives. Kids whose circumstances might be dire by anyone's standards, but their eyes, their faces, their bodies said, "Through the power of Jesus Christ, my world's changed and I will change my world..."

Was it hard to see what I saw? I'd be lying if I said, no. But instead of seeing what is, I'm joining with these kids, their teachers and their leaders, I'm going to look at what CAN BE!

Thanks for reading...thanks for following this trip...most of all thanks for praying,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing