This past week I went out to Chirala, which is along the coast and roughly an hour drive from Chilakaluripet. Being mainly a fisherman community, and so close to the Bay of Bengal, the smell of fish permeates the air. Pungent, and incredibly overwhelming, and amplified by the humidity in the ocean air.
Here AMG has established a school specifically for children of fisherman families. The Ichthus English Medium School provides free education up to 10th grade, the end of their high-school, for roughly 400 hundred students. Many of these children are the first generation to speak English, and receive an education.
On campus they have a small hospital and clinic where bi-annually all the children receive medical check ups by the doctor. Any medications they may need are also provided free of cost to them and their families.
After their medical clinic where the doctor and I examined the children we headed to the fisherman community itself. Here I developed an immense appreciation and respect for fisherman as I watched them make their nets by hand. It is exceedingly slow work, using only a simple tool and nylon string, working row by row. I am amazed they are able to make any progress at all.
I am reminded that many of Jesus’ disciples were fisherman. After seeing how hard they must work to simply survive I understand why now.