Ganges river, Varanasi
Imagine a population of about 1.3 billion people. To put that in perspective, that is about four times the population of the United States (327 million), and about 52 times the population of Australia (25 million). That is a lot of people!
India is a very religious country, which is primarily Hindu, and they worship about 330 million gods. Yes you read that right! 330,000,000. Their culture is thousands of years old and is even mentioned in the bible – the book of Esther.
The land is incredibly diverse, ranging from luscious palm trees in the south to arid deserts in the northwest. Although there are 4,635 people groups scattered throughout India’s 28 states, the people themselves are basically divided into two groups. The first group are those who live in the cities, have jobs and are relatively well off. This accounts for about 200 million people. The second group live in the rural areas of India; and this is what the big deal is all about. These people have next to nothing.
Many of them would not know what a computer is. This group accounts for over one billion people; that is one thousand million people! These people have little to no schooling, live from day to day, and in some areas, mothers are selling their children for 50 cents so the children can get a meal and survive. The needs are incredible, mind numbing and staggering.
Young family living on the side of the road, Delhi.
Village children, Gujurat.
Orphan praying. Bethesda Boys Home, Ranchi.
Children in the Nagpur slums.
I have been involved and travelled to India for the last 20 years. Having seen with my own eyes the incredible hardships that people face over there has stirred my heart so much. But having our hearts stirred is not enough. Being emotionally touched by people’s plights is not enough. Reading this or watching some footage in the safety of our lounge room, tucked behind a keyboard is not enough. Can I get a little personal here? When I scan social media (and indeed any media), I see so much outrage, heartfelt responses, and so many opinions about stuff that does not amount to a hill of beans! So many people are caught up in a cyber world of pictures, opinions, anger and love. We can get stirred about a lot of stuff, and we may bang our fist on the table but actually do very little. My point is: what am I here on earth for? What is the purpose of my life? Is it to get upset about what is happening around our little planet? To give ‘em my opinion?
I look at people like Martin Luther King Jr. who ‘had a dream’. His speech lasted for about 5 minutes, but it is one of the most incredible speeches ever recorded. This man did something. This man acted. This man had a vision of the future. This man changed the landscape of America, which at the time was deeply divided and hated blacks, especially in the south. He was assassinated in 1968, which is a mere 51 years ago…but I digress.
One year ago, I felt in my heart to film a documentary of what I had seen and the organization I have been working with over the years. This organization has built churches, schools and orphanages. The documentary is called ‘a New India’. Over the next month, that documentary will be released with the goal of not only raising awareness of what is really going on in that nation, but that people like you would be stirred enough to do something that will be of significant help to those who have nothing – literally.
In closing, I do think the biggest deal we can have in our lives is to have a vision, to have a dream. I have always felt that my life had a purpose, and my aim has been to make a positive difference in peoples lives – whether here or abroad. Do you have a vision about your future? Do you have something in you, like a hearts cry, to make a difference? I do know that often people’s unhappiness is because there is no vision for the future. What about you? What do you have in terms of skills or abilities or finance to make a difference in someone else’s life?
Be encouraged to give your life to something that is much bigger than you.
I promise you, it will be worth it.
If you would like to be involved, there are a number of ways you can do this.
Please visit www.christforindia.in, where you will find more information and various ways to help and/or donate towards the bottom of the web page.
I travel to India regularly, and if you would like more information, email me email@example.com