Sunday Worship Gathering 11 AM @ North Community Lutheran Church
114 Morse Road Columbus, OH 43214 (Map)
After nearly three days of travel that included a number of unexpected challenging feats we've made it to Kalimpong, India safely. Although we were still quite jet-lagged upon our arrival the welcome we received from the Asia's Hope leaders was a nice boost to our spirits. We spent our first evening eating wonderful food, catching up, talking about the culture, and planning our time for the following day.
And after much anticipation, today was the first chance we had to meet the children of Asia's Hope India. To say that we were welcomed warmly would be an understatement. I mean, what would you call a three-hour long program of songs, dances, play, readings, and greetings, followed by an hour-long banquet feast? It was a wonderful welcome! Throughout the celebration, as I watched these beautiful children welcoming guests into their home, a Latin term that I learned in seminary kept entering my mind - Imago Dei, which means “image of God.”
I found myself struck by the fact that the image of God is present in each and every one of these children. And yet, for one reason or another, each of these beautiful little reflections of the magnificent Creator of the universe was deemed disposable, thereby forcing them into the segment of society we often refer to as “the least of these.” I sit and wonder how humanity has fallen from the crescendo of creation as the image bearers of God, to disposable drains on society? This is clearly the collateral damage of living in a broken world caused by sin. Things are not as they should be.
But by God's grace the story for these children doesn't end there. They've been rescued into a family by people who believe that their value is not determined by society; but rather, each person's value is determined by the length that God was willing to go to possess them. Because these children are image bearers of God, they are worth giving everything up for - even to the extent that although there are only about 55 kids fully supported through church partnerships, there are roughly 80 orphan kids being cared for on a daily basis. I admire the Asia's Hope families for not turning orphan kids away, because I see now that they're not looking at statistics and thinking about fiscal responsibility, they're looking at image bearers of God and they are following God's model of being willing to give everything up to bring them into a family with hope.
Please enjoy a handful of the pictures of our trip thus far, and please continue to pray for our time here, as well as for God's provision for the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of the children and Asia's Hope staff here in Kalimpong.
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