A Trip with Significance

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Nicola Ritchie

In March, a small team including Nicola, Shade & Esther set off with George Ridley, Director of LightForce International to visit our partners in India as part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Here is Nicola’s account of the trip.

As soon as I heard Pastor Mark share our plans to send 40 people on short term mission with LightForce International as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, I knew I had to go.

 

So a few weeks ago I set off from Milton Keynes with Pastor George, Shade and Esther to a place I had never been before – India! And what a trip it was, there were so many highlights, especially navigating the roads! If you have been to India you may know what I’m talking about…. It’s a bit like being on dodgem cars at the amusement park.

 

Our aim – to see first-hand the work that India Gospel Mission, are doing in partnership with LightForce and through our giving to our all in fund, as well as helping wherever we could.

 

IGM is dedicated to working with those in society who are less privileged; we visited multiple places – a gypsy community, leprosy community and various medical camps. However, attending 3 different tailoring graduations in 3 locations was a highpoint for me. These graduations signalled a new start for many of the ladies, the sewing course essentially gave them a new skill to use to improve their lives; many of the women were young widows with young children who had turned to prostitution to support their families, seeing the smiles on their faces as they graduated and knowing that our church had played a small part in their life changing story was an honour indeed.

 

IGM also endeavour to give a sewing machine to the ladies who show the most initiative. These cost £75 each and at the moment beyond their reach. So if you wanted to give you would know that you would be giving one of these ladies the gift of launching their own business.

 

Of course for me another high point was visiting the children’s homes, the smiles on their faces and the way they just wanted to be with us, talk with us, play with us was very special. You see behind every smile is a very specific story, so listening to some of these was without a doubt heart-breaking.

 

These children displayed so much resilience which impacted me. IGM are providing a home, stability, love and education to children who would be in dire situations without their intervention.

 

I left India in awe of the work that Joe, Eunice and the team at IGM are doing, proud that we as a church are enabling them by giving to All In and compelled one day to return. Our time there was significant, but more for me than for them. Maybe its time you became one of the 40 on mission this year.

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