December, 2014, India
He looked up at didi Taylor.
(Didi means older sister)
“Didi. You go to Leprosy colony?”
She knew she was going there, but did not know how to respond. In American we simple do not say we are going to visit a society of outcasts.
“You go to Leprosy colony, you give these to my brother.”
Two yellow number 2 pencils.
It was his best gift.
Its amazing to think that something so small could mean so much.
As Tay showed me the pencils he asked her to give to his brother my mind flashed back to elementary school.
I hated the yellow number 2. pencils.
I always wanted more colorful and fancy decorated ones for my pencil box.
And the day I advanced to mechanical pencils was such a huge deal.
“We have to find his brother”.
Never before in my life had I come across two pencils that had so much value. As I sat next to Taylor in the taxi I felt that she was carrying gold merchandise. We went from house to house in the colony. Drinking tea offered to us even though we were not thirsty. It would have offended them if we did not except their gift because lepers are outcasts. We sat crammed into little spaces and sat on the beds of the people (the only furniture, often shared by at least five).
We made it to the house of the little boy from ASHA.
We met his brother and explained about the gift of the pencils.
Excitement filled the air for they knew it was his best gift.
Taylor passed the gift of the pencils to him.
These moments are so simple yet they mean so much.
I thought about the passage in the scriptures of the lady whom offered her best gift even though it seemed small to others. This little boy challenged me in so many ways.
How often is it that I simple do not even give at all because I feel I do not have enough to offer.
All throughout this time of India I am thanked by men on the train for doing charity work in their country.
They do not even know what I am doing here.
Little boys draw me pictures in the evening.
If we do something as simple as give a child an apple we are thanked endlessly for it.
In just the first few minutes we arrived in Calcutta, little boys and girls placed a lay of flowers on my neck thanking me simply for coming.
Even though I wish I could do so much more, my gift is enough for them.
January 15th, 2015
Last month I went to India with my best friend Taylor to make the name of God famous among an orphanage. They made the name of God famous to me. ASHA is a ministry which takes in many different orphans from all over India. These are little snippets from my journal and the journey I was on.