“You won’t forget me?”
How could I respond to that question?! After a few short days with the amazing children at Kannivadi, I felt like these kids were truly my Indian brothers and sisters. They wanted to know if I’d be able to see their Christmas program. Sadly, I had to answer with a “no.” I’d be back in America by Christmas, and I didn’t know when I’d be back in India or visiting them at Bethania. They wanted to know if I’d forget them.
In that moment, I was sure I would not. Surrounded by their smiles with hands clasped tightly, I could not imagine forgetting these children. But I was afraid that I might. When I was back in America and engulfed in what always seems to be a busy, crazy life – would I forget these kids? Maybe if I put up pictures of them in my room I wouldn’t forget. Maybe if I read Bethania newsletters and kept up on the news in India they wouldn’t depart from my memory.
That may work for a while, but what about a few years down the road? Would my experience at Bethania and relationship with the kids be a distant memory that rarely came to mind? How could I make sure that these kids and the ministry of Bethania remained fresh in my hearts and prayers?
Honestly, I don’t always know the answer. But five months after leaving India, the children’s question still echoes in my mind and heart. I am determined not to forget those who have so incredibly blessed and changed me. This is one of the reasons I’m so excited to write for this blog. Each month I not only recall my experiences at Bethania, but seek to draw connections between that reality and my life now. I want to keep the children in my prayers and maintain an open heart before the Lord to ways that He might want to use me to support them and the ministry. I want to be well-informed about what is happening in India and with Bethania so that my prayers and efforts will be more effective. And I want to somehow bring the things I’ve learned and seen into my life here in America.
I don’t know what Bethania is for you – a ministry to help, a work to pray for, or a child to support. For me Bethania is the incredible children in Kannivadi who asked me not to forget them – children with untold pain in their past, immeasurable joy in their present, and incredible potential for the future. They are more than a memory or a collection of pictures. They are individual souls who have the deep capacity to love and be loved. I trust that even oceans away, my prayers for them are heard and answered by our sovereign and loving Father. I would encourage you to seek to love and support these kids as well, no matter how far away they may seem.