← back to the blog

India, Part 1

For the last several years, my wife Bette and I have been involved with Calvary Chapel’s Chapel Missions India. On November 8, we leave for our third medical mission trip to the poverty and disease-ridden rural south of the Indian continent. We’re traveling with a team that consists of doctors, a dentist, and nurses, as well as several non-medically trained persons. Our goal? To provide free medical services to people who would otherwise likely go their entire lives without ever seeing a doctor.

To give you some perspective on the situation, India is the world’s second most populated country with well over one billion people. If you’ve ever traveled to India as a tourist, you’ve likely been to the country’s wealthier northern area, to cities like Dehli, Agra, and Jaipur. Although the technological industry is propelling the country as a whole into company with the world’s top economic powers, India still possesses the world’s largest concentration of poor people – approximately 40% of the country’s population live below the poverty line, and around 70% live in slums. Malnutrition, pollution, and preventable diseases run rampant, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic ruins families and orphans hundreds of children every day. These people, called “Dalits” or “Untouchables,” reside at the bottom of a complicated caste or class system that segregates them from the rest of society. And because India prohibits the adoption of its children outside the country’s borders, most of these orphans are destined to die on the streets or suffer at the hands of the illegal child trade.

Calvary Chapel has several orphanages in India because of this very reason, and our medical team was fortunate enough to spend time there. The kids are so loving. They call everyone “Auntie” or “Uncle” and are always ready for a hug and a smile. We were so touched by the children during our first visit, we immediately sponsored a child upon returning home. P. Ram Kumar has already lost his father to AIDS, and his mother is also dying of the disease. Because she can no longer care for him, so she turned him over to the orphanage. Bette and I feel so blessed to be able to help their family in this way. In America, we have so much wealth at our disposal, and I’m not talking about mansions and private jets. To the people we met in India, we are all rich because we don’t sleep on the street, we have more than one set of clothing, and we get to eat every day.

We encourage you to visit the Chapel Missions India website to learn more about their medical mission trips or about sponsoring a child. Keep moving, my friends!

– Alan