One thing I love about any trip abroad is that I get to learn about a unique culture and explore a community different than my own. What I love about mission trips in particular are the opportunities to give back to the world community, the seeing the positive differences and effects you can have on those who really need it (including oneself), and breaking the barriers of language or station to do something that ultimately involves God's love, ministry, faith, work, and discovery.
How did this come about? Well, my friend Rev. Landa Simmons was my very first boss at Shiloh Christian Church in Lithonia. This was my first church job as music director instead of a singer or children's choir director. She is on the board of the Rambo School and was organizing a trip to make a fun camp for the school. She invited lots of folks and I happened to me one! I am so grateful for this connection and the opportunity! Now, if approved, I will be an official Global Ministries volunteer in addition to representing St. Paul's Episcopal! The work they do is simply AMAZING! Here is a link to their work in Mungeli: http://globalministries.org/sasia/projects/mungeli-hospital-1.html
WHERE AM I GOING?
I will fly into Delhi and take a jet to Raipur. From there, the hospital will transport me to the village of Mungeli in the district of Chhattisgarh. I think will be there for three weeks.
Here is a great video from the hospital and school!
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
I will be doing lot of things such as: teaching a music class, singing every day with small groups, art projects such a ZENtangle, talking about the Solar System as part of my NASA / JPL Solar System Ambassador program. I cannot wait to show them NASA's Eyes on the Solar System! I hope to help folks learn English as well. At the hospital, I hope to volunteer in any capacity needed. I just finished a CPE certificate course on Ministry to the Sick so I hope to actually be of use pastorally in some ways - even if language is a barrier, I feel that I can contribute in this ministry of presence and hopefully be of comfort to someone. It is very important to me.
HOW AM I DOING THIS?
I've been saving up my pennies and am being super frugal about things. I'm going in July because my UNO teaching is online this summer. I am hoping to raise a little money for housing this June.
AFTER THE TRIP?
I was very fortunate to be able to have several choral adjudication jobs this spring so I have saved every bit of that. I plan on going somewhere after my time in India and maybe even on a trek. I have some ideas as to where, but I'm not sure yet so I will save this portion for a surprise.
What We Do Here - from the Christian Hospital Mungeli
Documentary: The Story of India - a PBS series
Documentary: Welcome to India - BBC series in three parts, scroll down to see
LINKS to PREVIOUS HAITI MISSION TRIP
1. Mission to Haiti
2. St. Vincent's School for the Handicapped
3. Haiti: First Impressions
4. Day Two: Preparations
5. Day Three: Campers Arrive!
6. Day Four: Ocean Swimming and More
7. Haiti: Sunday and Monday
8. Final Days of Camp Jake
So, wish me luck in India! I will add new posts once I know more about what I will be doing and more details of my trip!
|Sal (shorea robusta) - the state tree of Chhattisgarh (wiki commons image)|