Posted by: janpierce | December 30, 2008

ONE STEP AT A TIME

The Christmas holiday is done for another year. This was an especially nice one with all of our family together. We opted to buy gifts for only the little ones and instead made our way down snowy roads from McCall to Boise to serve a Christmas Eve meal at the rescue mission. Elijah, 6 and Jacob, nearly 4, had little mission aprons on and served bottles of water to the guests. It was a great experience not because we did anything of much value, but because we made a conscious choice to serve instead of consume. Elijah had asked his mom why we always say we will help the poor people but we never do it. Pretty astute for six.

Roger left for India day before yesterday and our son Josh left for his life in D.C. yesterday. Now our house is quiet and I am in it. Strange when you have lived with a spouse for 41 years to be all alone. The hours are long and I’m in the transition from responding and cooperating to initiating, BUT I have sole oversight of the TV clicker:)

We have learned that our “granddaughter”, the girl we have sponsored for the past six years at Dayanilayam and who we have had such high hopes for has left the hostel and is marrying a cousin from her tribal group. We are so sad that she has made this choice. We don’t have a lot of information about who came and got her, but in her people group it is very common to marry at 14 or 15 which is about her age. The school system doesn’t do much to encourage children to stay and so now we may lose her. We hope that the Christian influence in the hostel has taken root in her heart and that she will have a life filled with meaning and hope.

My living room is strewn with things we are taking to India when I join Roger in a few weeks. I wish that we could distribute things like wisdom, hope, joy and understanding instead of toothpaste and toothbrushes. I often think that the transitions from being downtrodden and poor take several generations to take hold and grow even when all the components of the change are available to the people. Instead of saying, “I am poor and I need help”, they will begin to think, ” I am poor, but I can learn and improve my life,”. It takes an inner change, not just the physical materials being available. I see our role as being encouragers and facilitators– ones who connect people with resources and who encourage the independence and responsibility so desperately needed in the hearts of the poor of India.

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