24 July 2007

From Rick Nelson

I have gotten used to the smell here in India. I have become accustomed to the heat, the traffic, the massive amounts of people, and the general filthiness. The one thing that I am still struggling with is how poor these people are. God promises to provide us with food, clothing and shelter. Some of the people are clothed in tattered old clothes and their housing is barely shelter. I have seen some people this trip that look like they haven’t eaten in a couple of weeks. The water the Indians drink is from a well. But the plumbing from the houses runs outside and into the ground. Most houses do not have running water. Many do not have electricity. None of the houses are airtight; few have roofs that do not leak; bugs are the normal inside. Most people own bikes; some are motorized. A lot of people walk where they need to go. Very few people eat out and I have not seen a bar or pub. Food is not scarce but some people work all day so they can have money for food at night. Not many people here have a bank account where they keep their life savings. That is kept right in their pocket. So what is the point? I realized the poverty level when I first got to Chennai. I chose to suppress/ignore it until today. It has been weighing on my heart more and more. I finally put it together why it has been such a burden and why this really matters to me. Ya see, these people live in a society where poverty is the norm. A dark, dirty, sad, filthy life that they are completely used to. They know no difference. It was the world they grew up in. They do not know any better. This is how I wrote them off and did not let this poverty, that is all around me, bother me. But if you substitute the word “Hinduism” in the place of the word “poverty” in the last paragraph, that is where the problem lies. A person’s soul is something that we cannot put a price on.

We are not here in India showing the natives about our flashy,glitzy lifestyles. We are here showing them the Light of our lives. This makes me happy to know that we are helping. But helping is not solving. The very first day we got here, Pastor Ohlmann had a devotion. He suggested that we may get overwhelmed by the massive amounts of people and the few lives, in comparison, that we will actually touch. So for now, I am left with this helpless feeling. I think if enough of us experienced this, a difference could eventually be made on a much bigger level here in India. Perhaps that is the purpose of this Mission Helper Trip.

Rick Nelson
Mission Helper - India