Wow, only two and half weeks left in Shamshabad. I remember the first week seemed to drag on forever with everyone getting over jet lag and the initial culture shock. Now it seems to be flying by to the point we aren’t sure what day it is and trying to keep up with homework in the midst of it can be tough. Getting to see and learn about more of India and its culture, people, religions, society, food, history and just all around diversity has been fascinating and eye opening. We have had so many experiences already that I could write for days about them all, so I’ll just focus on one for now.
Last night a few of us started some internship hours at an organization called Christian Concern Mission, or CCM. This is a an orphanage run by a beautiful elderly couple that has been taking in unwanted or abandon children for almost thirty years. Right now, they have about 30 kids and they are all girls except for one boy. This makes sense when you learn about how India has always been a very patriarchal society and that having daughter is seen as an economic liability or as someone else’s assets. Having sons is more important because they are the ones who will contribute more to the family and take care of the parents when they grow old. Having a daughter means that they will arrange a marriage, provide a dowry, and then the girl leaves her family to become a part of her husbands family. This has led to feticide, infanticide and abandonment of girls from any caste level. It was interesting to find out that the majority of the girls were actually from high castes. It is hard to see such beautiful girls with so much potential be unwanted or abandon.
Hannah and Joseph, the couple who run the orphanage, have such amazingly big, beautiful, and caring hearts to be able to do this for so long and for so many kids. They don’t do it for the money, which there is little of anyway, or any conceived prestige, they do it out of love for all God’s children. They have 30 kids in a couple small rooms and they nurture them with faith and love and help them get a good education. A couple of the older girls have gotten a bachelors in communication and yet another couple are in a nursing program. Unfortunately, they are having a hard time with their funding and don’t have enough sponsors. They are living off of 1 dollar a day for all of them and it is very difficult to keep up with all their educational and hygiene needs with such little funding. We are hoping to find ways to help bring awareness and support to this organization and the beautiful kids they raise as their own. If anyone would like to help or know of any people or organizations willing to sponsor a child or donate, it would be a great help to the children and the organization. We took them out into town for snacks, played games, and just loved on the kids all evening as they touched our hearts. I’ll try to post some pictures as well.