Bridge to India

Invest in a Student, Change a Generation

Reflections on the Summer 2011 Trip: Jamison

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Long flights have not intimidated me or made me anxious before.  I've been on several international flights and spent significant time in another third world country.  When preparing to leave for India, however, it felt like I was going on the last shuttle launch.  We had to take several long flights in a row just to get there and we traveled back and forth in time with the time change.  Going to India felt like traveling to a different planet or at least well beyond the edge of this one we call America.  
 
When our team arrived at VMSRS at 3:00 AM on a Sunday morning, we found all of the students lining the road to greet us with cheers and welcomes.  When I got past the shock of these children being out of bed I became overwhelmed with their priceless faces.  Tears filled my eyes as I experienced the three dimensional versions of what I had only known through pictures for the past year.  The children were assembled by grade so the hands I continued to shake grew smaller and smaller in mine.  Their names flooded my head and I wanted to try saying them but there were too many!  

The children's English is very impressive and they were eager to use it!  They were also eager to talk about their sponsors.  From memory they would tell me specific details about you and your families from the letters and notes you have sent to them.    For those who had letters and especially pictures, they would hold them up and say "You know my sponsor?"  They cherish all letters, cards, and pictures that you send to them.  The children also request that their sponsors visit them soon!

Toward the end of the week, work kicked in or me and I needed to begin gathering information on the newest students.  Many of the children at the school come from a lower caste, and this is their only opportunity for education.  Even more so they are taught that they are loved by God and are special in His sight.  We were told people in India that are of a lower caste are not even to lift their head in the presence of someone of higher caste.  For these children to not only be able to lift their faces but to also be embraced by these "wealthy" Americans means more for their sense of worth and dignity than they ever will be taught by their own culture.  It was a privilege to carry the gospel of Christ's love to these children through word and also deeds of love and hugs.  To further demonstrate their worth in God's eyes, our team taught them a song that they continued to chant throughout the week.  The words are, "I am somebody...Washed by His blood... Filled with His love... I'm a child of the Most High King".  

On Saturday, as we drove away in our cars and waved good-bye the children ran alongside us to say one last farewell.  Many were handing me cards that they scribbled the night before to pass onto their sponsors.  They get it.  They understand that it is because of someone else that they are receiving an education and learning about Christ.  They know more importantly that it is a result of Christ's love for them.  When we handed out the Bibles that you donated I asked, "Where do you think these Bibles came from?"  They shouted, "Jesus!"  And they were right.  
 
Jesus said, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them,
for such belongs the kingdom of God." Mark 10:14

Jamison Williams
Director of Bridge to India