Melinda Grantham lived in India for 2 years teaching and developing curriculum at the India LIFE Center, SOS’s home for orphaned and abandoned children.
“Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours, yours are the eyes in which he looks compassion on this world, yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.” Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
The sun is rising. Little feet pitter patter back and forth on the floor above my room. A knock comes at the door with a happy little voice, “Good morning Didi [sister]! Did you have good dreams?” In the hallway I hear a child getting ready for class singing, “Yeshu tera naam, sabse uncha hai… Jesus, your name is above every other name.”
I remember the day I moved into the India LIFE Center very well. One little boy ran up to me wrapping his limbs around my leg, not letting go. He had no English words for me then, only a smile, a squeal and a squeeze. He knew that I was his new teacher and that I was there for him, because of him.
In the west we use the word “unimaginable” to signify something unfamiliar or difficult to understand. Street children live unimaginable lives in the truest meaning of the word.
It’s amazing what a smile can hide. During bedtime stories, afternoon tutoring, or while playing games I would get a glimpse into the children’s former lives. Over the two years I lived there, I heard firsthand what came before the smiles they had received from Christ. These children had survived unimaginable realities: being tied to the railroad tracks by your own mother; eating only one egg a day for weeks, for which you were made to work; starving to the point of eating mud; watching your sister commit suicide by fire because of the despair and poverty; or knowing that your father had sold a younger sibling…
These are not bad dreams from which you can wake, unless by divine conspiracy or God-inspired compassion, someone comes to your rescue.
When I heard the vision of the India Life Center, I immediately knew that I needed to be there to be Jesus’ hands and feet. I believed that in the moment someone steps forward to support children like these or the work we do at the India Life Center, a miracle happens. The miracle of restoration and new life starts each moment a child is rescued. And every time someone prays, gives or serves these children their lives are validated by the miracle of education, healing, provision, love and hope for the future.
In my two years there, I saw children grow and learn and now my little friends talk in English about their love for God, about a future as a lawyer, a minister, a teacher.
These children now talk about unimaginable love, and of hope.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
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