Friday, April 5, 2013

Rising Star Wrap-up

We have been home for about a week now, but I really feel that a wrap-up is needed to really go through the experience.  The last dinner we had as group we were asked what we would take away from the experience.  There were quite a few answers that it would take some time to really sum it all up.  I felt that way too.  But I have pondered on this opportunity and the blessing of being able to participate in it.  I now feel capable to really sum it all up.  I am not great with word like others in my family, but I will do my best to bring forward the thoughts and feelings that I can.  This was a truly humbling adventure for me, and made even sweeter that I was able to do it with my son.  For many reasons this is a next step in a redemptive process for me.  A correction in a mistaken path, to a path that leads me home to my God and Savior.  My life was once self-centered, but I am trying to change that, correct my paths and seek to do for others.  This week gave me the chance to be among the poor, both in spiritually and temporally.  These people have nothing, most live without electricity, and indoor plumbing.  Things we definitely take for granted.  Despite not having these things, and being completely cast out of their society, these people were able to take day by day with such humility.  My mind is still so impressed on the man that without feet had to slide around the clinic on his bum, but with a happy and proud smile on his face.  He had leprosy, but leprosy was not going to dominate him.  He was making the most out of the situation.  Daily there are hundreds that are in the same situation there.  Some give up, turn to destructive paths of alcohol  drugs, and other things; some make the most out of what they can, they sell beaded jewelry or paint in the school.  They do what they can, and they are humble in what lowly station.  My mind has been heavily on the children of the outreach school.  My love for them is indescribable.  On the last day Vinarteson gave me a letter, thanking me for befriending him during the week.  My heart was touched.  I was in tears reading it, and hold it among my most prized possessions   I did not just befriend him, I came to have a love for him, and many more at the school.  They are truly loving and special kids.  They don't have Ipods, Ipads, cellphones, matter of fact they don't have much, but they have a capacity to love and share.  Volunteers come and go there, they could withdraw, because when you become attached and then they leave it is very hard.  They do not do this, they love, care, play and give with all of their hearts each week.  They do this for each group coming in, it is truly amazing.  I see in each of their eyes the love of the Savior.  Most don't know Christ, they are Hindi, but he is still there in each of them.  Their love for life is truly amazing.  I came closer to my Savior this week.  The faces of those I met, played with, and served are permanently impressed into my mind.  I see things, even at work a little more clear. I know that my savior lives and loves me.  I am so very blessed to have had this opportunity to serve among the people in Chennai, India.  Especially to serve among those affected by leprosy, for My Savior and Redeemer also served among them.  This I will take with me forever.  I want to do more and am seeking at this moment for ways to serve with Rising Star Outreach some more.  Probably with a mirco-grant business.  Something that we are working on.  I will always remember this opportunity forever, so humbling.  While this experience was amazing, and it showed me the need to serve, I encourage all that care enough to read this wordy blog all of the way through to look around you.  Where can you server?  Whose burdens can you make light?  This is my humble prayer that we will find ways to lift another, make their burdens light, and emulate our Savior Jesus Christ in all that we do.  In finality I need to thank my dear sweet wife for dealing a week without me or Carl to assist, (though I think Carl is a greater help to her) and encouraged me to go on this adventure.  She is the light of my life and I cannot make it through lives rough patches without her.  I love her with all of my heart and thank her for encouraging me, and providing me with a perfect example of Christ-like service.