Joining the staff of Back2Back in January, we have had the opportunity to visit every site, with the exception of Cancun. When we get home, we are always asked, “how was your trip? What is your favorite B2B site?” I usually respond, “it was awesome and my favorite site is the one from which we just returned.” Thought that was a pretty safe answer.
Visiting the India site in April took us to a place in the world we have never been. We had no idea of what we would see and experience when we arrived for our very first visit at the Back2Back India site. We had the opportunity to visit the Hope Campus, meet the staff of amazing folks doing the work there, get acquainted with caregivers, and meet ministry partners. We have the privilege of sharing two days with a number of partners and friends as we taught the Trauma Competent Caregiver workshop.
Amidst all of these things, something really grabbed our hearts.
We went to one ministry site that deeply impacted us. It was the the feeding center with whom Back2Back partners in Hyderabad, India. We walked through a slum area, through a gate and into a small room with a tin roof. It was filled with the delightful noise of the most beautiful children. The parents of these children spend their days combing through garbage dumps in hopes of finding sellable items or maybe even edible things. Each day over 50 children come to the center and squeeze their way onto a spot on the floor. They come for tutoring (or the only educational opportunity they have), for Bible stories, for singing and for the only meal many of them will have all day.
I kept saying over and over to David, “I just didn’t know. “ I just didn’t know how broad and how deep the ministry of Back2Back is. I just didn’t know. Every day in a small room behind a wall within a slum area of Hyderabad, every inch of space is taken up by a child touched by the ministry of B2B in a life changing way. We just didn’t know.
This little girl captured our eye as we arrived. She looked small and frightened. She couldn’t have been more than four. After it was over, we saw her leave, walking out into the dark of night, all by herself. Goldi, the founder of the ministry told me she comes everyday by herself, leaves by herself and probably arrives at home with no one there. I wondered, if the feeding ministry staff along with B2B hadn’t been there, where would she be.
I just didn’t know this heartbreaking, yet heartwarming reality. For 3 hours every day, this little one and the many other children who come are in a safe place, surrounded by safe adults who love and care for her. This happens because of B2B, sponsors who gave and the caregivers and teachers who show up every day. This brief time in her young life every day will make an eternal difference. We now know!