In January 15, I visited India, the second most populous country in the world with more than one billion three hundred million people. It is one of the new goals of EBM INTERNATIONAL to support mutual learning. This way I had the chance to receive important impetus for my work in Central Africa. When we landed at the airport, I was immediately impressed by the number of people I saw everywhere. EBM INTERNATIONAL supports many projects in this country and among those I have visited, I have been impressed by three types of projects: the children homes, the egg and milk project and a leper camp.
Children home in Tallarevu, Uppada, Gotlam. Visiting these children in the children homes was very emotional touching. On one side, hearing the stories of some of them made me sad, on the other side; I praised the Lord for what he is doing through EBMI to give to these children hope for their future. I praise the Lord for all the brothers and sisters who donate money to take care of these children and also to the brothers and sisters who commit themselves every day to take care of these children as a means of evangelism.
Another touching moment for me was during the visit to the Victims of Leprosy in Phoolbadh. This was also my first time to visit leprosy. Thank God for the Seventh Day Adventists, who constructed homes for these lepers. We were told that 150 people (both parents and children) are living in that camp. Some of them have stayed there for close to 40 years. In the first picture below, you see the pastor of the church of Phoolbadh who grown up in this camp with his parent whom you see at his right. He told us that his parents have been in this camp for 38 years. He comes from time to time in the camp to have prayers with the lepers in the small chapel that was constructed by the Seventh Day Adventists.
Most of these people have lost fingers and toes because of this dreadful disease. They are sidelined because of their condition but the “Bridge of Hope” ministry provides food once a week and also medication. As we were going round to visit, we saw this lady (in the picture below) who is cooking rice in front of her small apartment. As you can see in the picture below, there is very little charcoal she is cooking with. With the little palm tree on the floor she will from time to time ventilate the little charcoal that is there.
We asked her how long does it take for the rice to get done, she said around two hours. In our houses we take 10 to 15 minutes to cook rice, I could not imagine that the some people can take almost 2 hours for the same rice to be done. One remarkable think is that, despite the difficult leaving conditions of these lepers, they happily welcomed us, they can still joyfully sing for the Lord. Thank God for the “Bridge of Hope” ministry that takes care of these people.
The third aspect is the milk and egg program. In over 15 villages in the Nellore district where the Adivasi (casteless) live, the program of our partner ALMA helps these people. They are feeding about 800 Adivasi children as well as 100 mothers that are malnourished with milk and twice a week with an egg. As with the two situations mentioned above, I also saw how poor and hopeless many people are and yet their faith in the Lord Jesus does not suffer.
After seeing all of these sufferings, I am grateful to God for the different ministries that are taking care of many of these children and adults. I am also grateful to God who brought me in EBM INTERNATIONAL, an organization that is focused on sharing God’s transforming love that people live in hope.
Regional Representative for Central Africa and Sierra Leone