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Monday, March 12, 2012

more on india

As I prepare for my trip, I keep asking God to soften my heart, to calm the fears and to give me His love for India and her people.  Our Team Leader (who is also my "boss" with FCW) gives us an assignment each month, to help us learn, and prepare to visit a country that is so different than ours.  The assignment for March required each one of us to research one topic about India. My topic was "The Plight of Children in India".

The first website I visited had tons of facts.  It was perfect...for my paper, and also for my heart.  I want to see faces of people...not fears of the unknown.  I really don't even fully understand the emotions I feel when I think about this trip, I don't know where they're coming from so I'm struggling with how to deal with them.  All I can do is hit my knees and ask the Lord to help me, to show me, and to use me.

This is what I learned:
India is facing an accelerating threat from HIV, with more people infected with HIV than any other country in the world. Introduce intense poverty, famine, drought, natural disasters, and malaria, and it is no surprise that there are an estimated 15-25 million orphans in India. The number of children in India orphaned by AIDS alone is approaching two million, according to UN estimates. The impacts of the AIDS crisis have not begun to emerge fully in India, and AIDS-related orphaning is not yet occurring at a large scale. Yet, India has the largest number of AIDS orphans of any country in the world. This number is expected to more than double in five years, and the proportion of orphaned children will remain exceptionally high until 2020 or 2030.
  • There are an estimated 35 million orphans (all of sub-Saharan Africa has 43 million). 9% of all children in India are orphans.
  • No country can rival India’s children in need. Of India’s nearly 400 million under 18, over 70 million are child laborers, 10 million are bonded laborers (a form of slavery to pay off family debts), 13 million are homeless, 2 million are street children without families.
  • There is widespread child abuse.
  • There is a deficit of 40 million girls because of female feticide — over 20,000 ultrasound clinics thrive on this illegal practice.
  • There are 575,000 child prostitutes and there is a massive trade in Bangladeshi and Nepali girls sold into prostitution.
  • Malnutrition affects nearly half of all children under age five.
  • Only 59 percent of boys and 47 percent of girls attend Secondary school (1996-2005). source
(pictures from FCW archives, taken on previous trips)

Thank you for praying for me and my team! Please don't stop. :)  There are 10 of us, and we each need to raise $2800.00 by May 1.  If you feel led to give, please make your check out to Hope Missionary Church (please don't write my name in the Memo line of your check) and mail it to:

Keri Baker
1214 Kenwood Drive
Bluffton, IN  46714

I've received so many nice comments and emails from some of you, supporting and encouraging me. Saying "thank you" doesn't seem appropriate because it's not enough!! You have blessed me beyond any form of "thanks" I can give you.  May the Lord of Heaven and Earth bless you in ways that surpass your wildest dreams!!!!


Alyx said...

Sometimes we forget how blessed we really are. Seeing things like this always helps me remember!
Hope you had a great weekend, and that your Monday is treating you well!

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Love this post. I have always wanted to go to India. Great reminder!