A couple of summers ago, I lived in India for a summer with 3 friends. That’s a story for another time (well a lot of stories for another time), but…
This past weekend, the organization that we worked for in India, the India Gospel League, had a Gala. Their North American headquarters is in my hometown, so we headed to Ohio for the festivities. The evening promised some Indian food, reuniting with a friend or two from India, and an opportunity to wear our saris. They had me at the outfit.
Three of the girls + my mom planned to dress authentically Indian. My mom borrowed a formal punjabi, while the rest of us spent an hour helping each other into our saris. Mallory and I had purchased them while we were in India – so it was fun to be able to wear them again! Mine, of course, proved to be the most high-maintenance – requiring us to re-wrap it at least four times. We found a couple of helpful YouTube videos including this one and this one (of course Martha is a sari expert). Indian clothes are so beautiful and I honestly wish that I could wear a punjabi every day – they are so comfortable!
Mallory and I had a lot of fun reminiscing about the first time we learned to wear our saris when we were in India. The daughter of the family we were staying with taught us each individually how to wrap the yards of fabric. Then, when we had finally figured it out, she untucked our carefully folded cloth with one sweeping gesture and told us we had to do it ourselves. It was a lesson in tough love. And a lesson that took a good two hours.
We ended up gathering enough spouses/significant others to host our own table, so we had a fun time during dinner sharing memories from our trip. Some of the memories were probably a bit shocking for those who hadn’t experienced them first-hand – definitely of the “funny-only-if-you-were-there/horrifying-if-you-weren’t” variety.
One of our favorite parts of the night was getting to visit with the head of the organization. Rev. Samuel Stephens was in town for the event, and it was exciting for our group to catch up with him and to hear about how his family and friends were doing in India. During dinner, Samuel spoke about the following problem:
India has a population of 1.3 billion people.
Nearly half are children under the age of 14.
That’s 600 million children, nearly twice the population of the US.
600 million children! With huge percentages of this number being children who are malnourished, without basic education, forced into child labor, victims of sex trafficking…
…and are without the name of Christ.
Each year, IGL works to reach over 10,000 kids with the Gospel through their Children’s Gospel Clubs.
I was filled with so much hope and so much conviction as I listened to Samuel speak. More than anything, I need to be committed to prayer for the children of India…For the work and will of God in that nation…For the strength of the Spirit in the lives of believers there and in the message that they preach.
It was a great night – it was such a blessing to visit with friends and family and to reflect on what God is doing in India.
Visit the India Gospel League website.