The airport doors open to India. The sun is barely up, the cool of the morning also heavy with humidity and the smokey heat of the city. Then from behind the glass of a bus window, which is noticeably more comfortable than most other busses on the road, you watch India continue to wake up. The cool in the air is now completely dried up by the heat of the day, the roads are now totally filled with varying forms of traffic, a thousand shop windows open, and the 23 Canadians inside the bus are silent with a tired and excited observation.
We flew 14 hours from Vancouver to Delhi and then hopped in a bus for another 8 or so hours up to the mountains towards the Children’s home where we all met with the warmest welcome; the kind of welcome you might receive from an old friend.
For the next few weeks, through projects and play, we had to privilege of doing life alongside people who live a very different life than what we are used to back in Canada. Whatever the differences were, it was amazing to see how people came together through language and cultural contrast. In the SunRidge Community Church team we had a hairdresser give staff and kids haircuts and teach kids how to cut hair. We had a Web Developer and musician play music with the kids and help out with some website issues. We had carpentry, drawing, and photography skills in our team all which were used in different ways to connect us to the home. We all felt so extremely privileged to build relationships with people at the home through whatever our craft or skills was.
To work alongside staff and kids at the homes was not only an awesome way to connect but was so inspiring. The staff and the kids approach their work with a vigour and dedication that absolutely amazed us. We began asking them questions like ‘how do they stay energized for your work?’, and ‘what keeps you going when times get hard?’. They are passionate about raising the children well and are clear on their source of strength.
It is by their example we return to Canada with a renewed strength and spirit. We go back to whatever our work here is with the motivation to make a difference and a deep gratitude for the many lessons we learned from both the kids and the staff of the children’s home.