Wow, wow, wow…this has been the most amazing day. Actually, the day started a little shaky when our taxi driver picked us up and we discovered he didn't speak a stitch of English. I had heard stories about why you should never get into an unknown cab, so we tried to verify he was there for us, but no matter how much I waved my arms and yelled at him where we were going, he was a blank screen. Since the hotel told us he was there for us, we decided to risk it and get in the car. Forty-five minutes and twelve slums later, we regretted that decision. He got so lost and kept trying to ask us questions in Hindi, which might as well have been Greek. We kept trying to use his cell phone, but he wouldn't let us. I was about to wring it out of his skinny little butt, when FINALLY he got us to the orphanage. We were so relieved.
We headed from the orphanage to a city slum where one of Hopegivers pastors works. The pastor told us many stories about his work. In the recent past, his family has come under some bad times of persecution by people who don't want their church in the neighborhood. The family has been beaten, their Bibles ripped up, and they have received many threats. They are a very humble and sweet family, and they asked us to pray over their sick daughter today.
Their church of 60 members is meeting in a room about 13X17. It hardly looked big enough for 30. They need 50 bibles and are trying to purchase land for a new church site. The land is very expensive, even in the slum, and it would cost about 10,000 (USD) for the land alone and it is a VERY SMALL lot size. We prayed for many people in that area and it was amazing to see the slum.
What can I say about the traffic situation? Today was OVER THE TOP. I took videos and there are not words to describe the narrow streets, traffic, and endearing horns. In some places, the streets were no wider than 15 feet with high walls on either side. The streets winded around in a labyrinth and it was so cool.
So here was an amazing thing. Tonight, we visited the brothels. There's this most amazing man and his wife who minister to the prostitutes full time. This guy is 6'9" and is an anomaly in India as most people are fairly short. He is a very gentle and kind man, and he has won trust with the prostitutes so that he is welcome in their brothels anytime.
The brothels look EXACTLY like the brothels in the movie, "Born into Brothels," that I saw awhile back. I felt so honored to meet the women, and I learned how many of them came to brothel life, which was nothing like I expected to hear. Some of them are put there by their parents when they are hardly more than children. Some are raised there and just get into the business by default. Others are put there by their husbands so they can get money from their wives for their addictions. Many of the women asked me to pray over them for healing, and it was such a great thing. This full-time minister is not currently supported by any ministry.
There are no words to describe my feelings tonight but I am so full of joy and elation for the opportunities on this trip.