India Mission Trip 2024 | Update #3

March 8, 2024

By Andy Losiniecki 

Today the city of New Delhi certainly felt like a city of 33,000,000+ diverse citizens.  After a rousing morning breakfast where we learned how to order appropriate black coffee, we set out for a 20 mile urban road adventure to the community center in the Rohini district.   The amount of traffic and sites along the drive is truly hard to explain.  The city of New Delhi has grown at a pace that their infrastructure has been unable to match.  The active road construction, road closures, cows and heavy equipment present puts anything that I have ever seen in the states to shame.  In combination with poorly marked road closures, potholes that could swallow our car and hazards made for another adventurous trip. Our hosts and drivers continually make us feel overly safe.  

Along the way to the community center we were able to stop off and enjoy a hydrating fresh round of coconut water prepared as we waited.

It just so happens today is one of the mini Hindu high holidays making for some odd sites, including mobile dance floors speakers and amplifiers blasting music and overly adorned temples.   

Upon arrival to the Rohini slum area, we were greeted by a private motorcycle escort to the community center, as an extra level of protection.  The Community center is located in a neighborhood of around 150,000 people crammed into a compound that includes narrow overly narrow streets and many 3 to 4 story buildings in various stages of construction and disrepair.  We were ushered into the community center and treated to 25 children seated leg crossed patiently, awaiting arrival.  They performed a wonderful set of worship songs and dance while Ranjit Abraham our host, provided some comedic entertainment to the children.  It’s  amazing to watch his interaction with the kids as he plays memory naming games, trying to have them get to learn their visitors names.  

The cycle of poverty is difficult to escape however, with what the community center provides to all comers regardless of religious background includes computer training, basic education for the children and sewing classes for the women it does provide opportunities that they would otherwise not have.  We learned many I’d the local children do not have an opportunity to attend school regularly. It’s exciting to know how much of a role our Vineyard church a half world away has played in the funding of this community center.  There are plaques and posters that adorn the walls, showing their thankfulness.  

Some handshakes and a short tour of their construction projects to finish the second floor were next.  This addition provides added classroom space and living quarters for their pastor.   The amount of manual labor that is required in India has also been an eye opener.  Whether it was carrying 100lbs of concrete up two flights of stairs or hand chopping bricks to pebble size, this is one hard working set of the population. We set back off on the two hour journey back to the hotel to prepare for a dinner with our hosts.

The evening was finished with a very nice dinner out with our hosts Joyce and Pastor Abraham.  The dinner of choice was very nice French fare to allow our palates a night to recover from all the new spices and tastes we have been able to enjoy.


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