Four days, roughly 2,500 people, and around 80 lakhs of goods were distributed this week. If you are unfamiliar with lakhs, as I was when I arrived here, let me explain. 100,000 rupees equal one lakh. 44 rupees equals $1 USD. That is honestly way too many numbers for me. You do the math…
Each day there was a different group of people that AMG gave goods to. Monday,
was the children and families of prisoners. Those whose parents, either father or mother, had gone to jail for whatever reason. The remaining parent was unable to support the children, especially their education. Tuesday the blind, and “visually challenged” as they term it here, came. Wednesday the children of suicide farmers arrived.
The suicide farmers project is particularly interesting. Several years back in the state of Andhra Pradesh there was a severe drought. Hundreds of people lost their crops, their only livelihood. I venture to guess that share-cropping, or something akin to it, is prevalent here since many people ended up defaulting on their loans. Because of their inability to pay them back, due to the drought, hundreds of farmers committed suicide leaving their wives and children helpless and unable to provide for themselves.
Every child that attended received clothing for school uniforms, in addition to notebooks for school. Every woman received material for a sari, and every man received clothing for pants and a shirt. Many of the people receiving these goods have travelled from far away, and so AMG also pays for their travel expenses. This may seem like a big expense, and it probably is.
I realized though that many, if not most, of these people are not Christians. They are Hindu or Muslim. By coming here they have a chance to hear the Gospel being preached. What is the cost of paying for travel expenses when compared to knowing that hundreds will hear the Truth being spoken aloud? Many of whom it is the only time they will hear it?
Seeing the children’s eyes light up as we handed them new clothing, and school notebooks was something that I will never forget. Our society, where everything is fast paced, high-tech, and ever-changing, is a stark contrast to here. Can you imagine an 11-year-old American child being excited about getting school clothes and notebooks? Here the simple things matter so much more than we can ever imagine.