Bridge to India

Invest in a Student, Change a Generation

Reflections on the Summer 2012 Trip: Kristen

What an incredible summer! I am pleased to write to you now as the new Director of Bridge to India. I am so blessed to be able to partner with you in serving the Lord together through His work at Vijayalaxmi Memorial StoneBridge School (VMSS). Our God has shown Himself faithful once again in another incredible trip to the school this past July. Our team of 15 arrived at VMSRS at dawn to find the children lined up along the road to greet us with bright eyes and shy smiles. The children had prepared a wonderful welcome ceremony for us, and showed their many talents in singing, dancing, and Scripture memory. In no time at all, the shyness melted away and we each got used to having at least a dozen little bodies closely following us around the school wherever we went!

We were blown away each day as the students displayed such generous hearts, offering us drawings and gifts as tokens of their love. By our standards, they have so little, but they find great joy in giving what they have to others. I know I personally came home with a collection of letters, jewelry, and small toys that they had presented to me over the course of the week. At times I felt guilty accepting these precious things, knowing that they might be some of their only possessions—and most likely gifts to them. But then I realized that in giving the things away that were most precious to them, they were showing me the value they placed in me, and were filled with joy at being able to give to me what they held dear. I was overwhelmed with emotion as these beautiful children, whom I had only known a few days, were showering me with priceless gifts from their hearts.

As I think back on my experience, I am reminded of how much this display of love from the children is a picture of the Father’s love for us. Though infinitely precious to Him, the Father offered His Son Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sin through His death on the cross. He found us to be so precious to Him that He was willing to forsake fellowship with His Son in order for us to be spared from His wrath and be reconciled to Him. I John 4:9 says, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.” How precious to know that we are loved so much as children of God!
You can imagine that after only a week of being with these children, we had grown incredibly attached to them (yes, all 207 of them)! It was so difficult to leave and return back home. On the last day, after about a half an hour of goodbye handshakes, hugs, and kisses, we all packed into our vehicles and headed back to the airport. Driving away from the school campus to the sound of sobbing children (and a sobbing StoneBridge team!) is something I will never forget. But it is a testament how much these children touched our hearts and changed our lives in such a short time. They are filled with so much love for the Lord and they are so grateful for the opportunity they have to go to this school. They love you, their sponsors, so much and pray for you every day. I hope that one day you, too, will be able to travel with us to India to witness the Lord’s work in this region and to be completely changed by these faithful, precious children of God!
In Service to Him,

Kristen Katibah Director of Bridge to India

For more photos from the 2012 Trip,
click here!