Archives For India

After traveling for about 33 hours, on my last trip to India, I was with my friends and we went to a leper colony somewhere a little north of Vishakhapatnam, India. Technically, I am told, the caste system has been removed from the constitution of India–but in many ways, it is still in practice. Would you like to know one of the ways?

The people with leprosy in India would be considered even a lower group of people than the lowest group in the caste system. Even the family members of people with leprosy are discriminated against, and their opportunities in life are extremely limited. Above is a photo of a leper colony we visited soon after I arrived in India.

The people from the leper colony are not allowed to use public transportation, so this tricycle is a good option for them when they need to move around. Apparently a local doctor prefers to do amputations for the people with leprosy, and that is why there are hand cranks to use on this tricycle. While at this leper colony, I saw many people missing limbs and using crutches. 

The people in the leper colony are not allowed to use the same water as people without leprosy, so this is the community water pump. While we were there, we gave them words of encouragement and provided them with clothes and food! This village had a very sweet and humble vibe to it.

I am very thankful for everyone that invests in Global Partners in Life, so we can continue to meet the needs of people that–through no fault of their own–can no longer provide for themselves!

During my recent trip to India, I visited the Baby Adoption Center, which is an orphanage supported by Global Partners in Life.  As always, the orphanage that specializes in getting infants adopted was amazingly clean and orderly. 

One of the ways success is measured for them is by working through the proper agencies and finding adoptive families for the babies.  Would you like to hear some of their unique stories?

Baby Adoption Center in India

The little girl in this photo is one of the children that has been adopted by a family from another country.  Her new forever home is in Italy!

Baby Adoption Center in India

The little girl in the photo above loves to be put in the cradle that swings.  From what I am told, she will go to sleep in about 2 minutes if she isn’t hungry!  She was found abandoned on the side of a road.  There were ants biting her on her cheek and one ear.  Thankfully, all of those marks have gone away!

Baby Adoption Center in India

This baby was abandoned, and she may have had a premature birth.  If I remember correctly, she only weighed about 3 pounds when she was discovered.  Now she is healthy and looking for a forever home!

There was one special needs baby at the orphanage during this visit, and to my knowledge, this is the first special needs baby they have had.  She has partial development of one hand and one arm, and one of her ears seems to lay flat against her head, but other than that, she appears to be healthy.

Thanks so much to the people supporting Global Partners in Life!  As you can see, our donors are having life changing impact on the lives of orphans around the world!

Learning from Traveling

November 15, 2019 — Leave a comment

It would be very difficult for me to itemize all of the different and surprising things I have seen and learned during my travels to Asia, but I am thankful for all to which I have been exposed. Some things were a little more expected and less of a surprise than others, but always interesting to see. Would you like to see some of the sights from a trip to India?

The photo above was taken in a small city in eastern India. I have no idea how this young lady could keep the sack on her head balanced as she wove through the traffic, but I was impressed — and I knew I didn’t want to do that myself! This sight became very common as I spent more time in India, and I have never seen anyone drop the load off their heads prematurely. 

Many times I saw a water buffalo or an ox pulling wooden carts in India, but I was not sure about what these animals were. They had the bodies of a cow, but I am not sure about their horns. I haven’t seen this combination before.

Being from the Atlanta area, you know I am a Coke guy when it comes to my cola preference. In India, Coke is called Thums Up, and I can’t say that it taste exactly like what we have in the States, but it is very close. Now, if I could just find some that were cold when it is 100 degrees and 100% humidity!

I was never truly into academia, but I can say that I do enjoy learning by traveling. There are many things you can learn through traveling that simply are not in books . . . but books are a great way to learn also. 

How about you? Do you have your next trip planned? This week I booked a trip, and I can’t wait to share with you about it! 

If you have read many of my blogs over the last few months, you may have noticed many of them were about a group of rural elderly widows near Gumma, India. These ladies have varying degrees of health challenges, but they all have one thing in common; unfortunately, that commonality is a sense of hopelessness. 

Today I wanted to share the story of another new friend I met earlier this year during a trip to India.  Would you like to meet her?

The lady in the photograph above is Marthama Pani. We know she is over 65 years old, but we are not exactly sure of her age. Her story is a sad one for us to hear, but it must be a heart crushing one to live through.

In the local culture, the oldest son should take of his widowed mother. Unfortunately, there are not many consistent employment opportunities in the area, so many guys are day laborers. The expense of having his mother in his home was more than the son could afford; so when he kicked his mother out of his house, he gave her a bowl and said, “here is a bowl, now go and beg the rest of your life!”

Global Partners in Life is in the process of building a facility in Gumma, India to provide housing for 20 elderly widows! We have actually broken ground in July, and the progress is continuing. This facility will have an industrial kitchen, which will provide three meals a day for the ladies, and it will have clean running water and restrooms for them. Additionally, the facility will have a dining hall, sick room, bedrooms, and a conference room for meetings and counseling. 

If you would like to help us complete the facility, please visit our website at https://globalpartnersinlife.org/ and make a much needed donation. I would be extremely grateful for any support you could give for this worthy project for these truly needy elderly widows!

Please allow me the honor of introducing you to my new friend Bini Singh. Bini is one of the 20 elderly rural widows in India with health problems whom Global Partners in Life is trying to provide for and encourage. She is not exactly sure of her age, nor does she have any shoes! Would you like to meet her?

Originally, our meeting was scheduled to be on the second floor of the building where we met. But we realized that due to her health condition, Bini could not climb the stairs, so we relocated our meeting to the first floor.

Bini lives in an area where 55% of the females are illiterates. Day labor is the most common work for the males, and the husbands aren’t able to — or simply can’t afford to — make any financial arrangements for their wives, in the event of their dying before their wives. Their only hope is the oldest male son, and if he isn’t able to or won’t provide for his mother, then she is in a horrible situation. 

Unfortunately, Bini has a curved back and bad legs, so she struggles just to walk. She uses a bamboo stick to stabilize herself.

I will add another photo or two of Bini as she was giving up hope of attending our meeting on the second floor. Hopelessness is a common emotional state for the widows we met and are trying to assist by building a facility where they can live, have meals prepared for them, have a medical room, get counseling, and have a meeting room where they can have fellowship with others.

As you can see in the photo below, Bini couldn’t climb the stairs, so she just laid down to have a rest. She was exhausted from traveling to the meeting and she had a cool floor to lie on, so she took advantage of it! The photo was taken from the second floor looking down the stairwell. 

Global Partners in Life, along with the help of our partners in India, plan to break ground on the above mentioned facility this summer. We are trying to raise additional funding to complete the building and give these poor widows a roof over their heads, running water, and a place to call home! 

If you would like to contribute, please visit our web site at globalpartnersinlife.org.

The Community Cup

July 15, 2019 — Leave a comment

If you ever think you have traveled enough in your life so that nothing in a new culture will surprise you, don’t be shocked when it does happen. At least that was the case for me! 

During my first trip to India, I was very surprised to learn of something they do in their culture that was unexpected, and caught me by surprise. Would you like to know what it was?

In the photo above, you can see a normal looking street-side restaurant in eastern India. The people would place their orders and wait for their food to be prepared in an outdoor kitchen. Once the patron had been served their order, they would eat their food standing around the restaurant amid the hustle and bustle of a busy street — but did you notice something in the foreground of the photograph?

In India, it is common for a restaurant to have a cooler setup with water in it and one glass for everyone to use! Now that alone may shock you, but there is a little more to it, and it isn’t as bad as germaphobic people may think. There are cultural norms for using the community cup, and the rules are very simple. Would you like to know about them?

The community cup is there for everyone to use; but when using the cup, it can never touch your lips! It is very interesting to watch people holding the community cup well above their mouths as they have their heads tilted and never spilling a drop. Honestly, I am relatively sure I would pour water all over my face and probably my shirt as well until I had some practice, but I never saw anyone using the cup ending up looking like they had a quick shower with their clothes on!

I found this little nugget of culture both interesting and entertaining. So, are you ready to drink from the community cup? 

In my last blog about the work of Global Partners in Life, I shared about how we have a vision to build a facility for 20 elderly widows living in a rural area of India. On the day I got to meet the ladies in desperate need of assistance, they got to share their stories; and out of the 20, a few of them truly stood out and touched my heart. Would you like to meet one of them and hear her story?

A Sad Situation for My New Friends

This is Khanjagini Singh, and she is over 65 years of age, but we are not sure exactly how old she is. At one point after her husband died, she lived with her son. Unfortunately, must husbands don’t make any financial plans for their wives, so she had nothing when her husband died. In this rural area, there are not many good consistent jobs for the men, so most people are common day laborers when they can find work. Taking care of his mom was an unwanted financial burden for her son and his family. 

When this situation was at the worst it could be, the son punched Khanjagini in the mouth and knocked out one of her teeth. That was the day the son kicked his mom, Khanjagini, out of his house!

As Khanjagini was telling us her stories, her facial expressions changed and she cried almost the entire time she spoke, so I know her son’s actions hurt her soul as well as her mouth. Some of the things we take for granted are a huge struggle for her, as she looks for clean water, food, medical care, and hope.

I will share a photo with you of Khanjagini as she told us about her son beating her and throwing her out of his home.

A Sad Situation for My New Friends | BeauSides.com

These ladies are in truly in need of assistance, and they live day to day not knowing where their next meal will come from or who is going to assist them. That is why it is so critical for Global Partners in Life to come to their aid. 

Will you help us? Please visit our website and donate to such a worthy cause!

During a recent trip to India, I had the honor of meeting 20 widows in a lovely, but very rural, area called Gumma. These ladies were all 60 years of age or older, live in this rural area, do not receive the assistance needed from their families, and have various health issues. Would you like to see them?

On this day, our partner, A Good Shepherd Ministry, had arranged for the ladies to meet us and share their life stories. I heard stories of health concerns, abandonment, and even physical abuse from family members; but the most common theme, I am sorry to say, was hopelessness. 

In the local culture, a widow should live with her oldest son, and he should provide for her. Unfortunately, in this area there are very few opportunities for consistent employment, so most of the men are day laborers to provide what they can for their families. Having another person in their home puts an additional and unwanted burden on the sons of these widows. These ladies can’t live with their daughters, because once the daughters are married, they are considered to have left their family and joined the husband’s family. 

Another interesting cultural issue is how elderly widows are perceived. It is considered bad luck to look on the face of one of these elderly widows, so the widows aren’t even invited to a family birthday party!

On this day, we gave the ladies a big meal, new clothes, and a small amount of pocket money. We also shared with them that A Good Shepherd Ministry and Global Partners in Life have a vision of  building a facility that will house 20 of them with a kitchen where 3 meals a day will be prepared, a dining area, rooms for 4 ladies with a bathroom, meeting rooms, counseling, and hopefully some medical attention.

In the future, you will hear much more about this project! Thanks to the people that contribute to Global Partners in Life so we could provide food, clothing, and encouragement for these poor elderly widows!     

As I mentioned a few blogs ago, I have had my first trip to India. After being picked up at the airport, I was taken to a retail area because the people picking me up needed to do some shopping. Although I was somewhat prepared for all of the horn blowing, since I have been to China many times, there were many other sights, sounds, and smells that were quite unique. Would you like to know what some of them were?

The Land of Hindu Temples | BeauSides.com

Directly across the street from where my friends were shopping, there was a Hindu temple. This particular one was very colorful, and I could smell the incense being burned for quite a distance! I was surprised by how frequently I saw the temples around India. They came in many shapes, sizes, and colors!  Would you like to see more?

Land of Hindu Temples | BeauSides.com

The dome on this temple was probably 4 stories high.I promise you, I wouldn’t want to use the ladder you see built into the dome! The weather in this area is VERY warm and humid, so I am sure the view from on the dome would be full of greenery and many different forms of plants, but I wouldn’t climb the dome just for the view!

Land of Hindu Temples | BeauSides.com

This plaque was mounted inside a store. I am told one of the gods the Hindu worship is called the elephant god, and this plaque is for the elephant god. You can see where the holes are in and around the plaque for holding incense, which is burned for the elephant god.

India is full of many bright colors, interesting new smells, and wonderful people. I hope to share more with you about my time there!

 

A New Orphanage in India

February 28, 2019 — Leave a comment

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I recently had my first visit to India. The day before I left, the friend I was meeting there notified me that there was a newborn baby at the orphanage they were taking me to see. This baby had been delivered behind some bushes in a local public park, and then just left there. I was asked to bring some necessary items for the baby, which I quickly went out to purchase. Would you like to see her?

A New Orphanage in India | BeauSides.com

When this photo was taken, she was about 2 weeks old! The orphanage she is in was recently opened, and they are already doing amazing things! They are fully staffed, and are already running out of room. They can only have 10 children there at one time, and they have been successful in seeing many of the children under their care adopted by loving families! Would you like to see more from this new orphanage?

A New Orphanage in India | BeauSides.com

This new orphanage is very clean and organized, and the staff seems to truly love the children. I am thankful and honored to say that Global Partners in Life is now financially supporting this orphanage!

A New Orphanage in India | BeauSides.com

In the photo above, you can see some of the children that have had life-saving care provided for them at this orphanage! I was quite impressed with the leaders, caregivers, and the facility. Thanks to the people that give generously to Global Partners in Life, these children had a place where they can receive the care, food, love, and nurturing they need 24 hours a day!