Along this beach on the Bay of Bengal in India lies an extremely poor fishing village. I was struck by the contrast...beautiful shoreline with dozens of picturesque boats dotting the horizon, waves gently splashing...and a bit farther back on the beach, an incredible amount of filth and trash.
Pigs run wild throughout the garbage. Water buffalo are allowed to "graze" in the filth, and I'm told they still give rich milk which is "good for the health." I had no desire to put that to the test.
A slum area (one of several hundred slums in this area of India) has grown up on this beach, which gives shelter to the impoverished fishermen and their families. It consists of a tightly compacted group of thatched huts, with just a few tiny homes constructed from concrete with sheets of corrugated metal for roofs. Most of the day-to-day living takes place outside.
And they work hard, fishing from their ships. (Indians call even a small boat, a ship.)
It was to this village that Crystal (my team partner), and I, along with two others, came to hold a Bible Club for the children. My friend and hostess, Supriya, had worked hard to get established in this area, and I could tell that the people loved and trusted her, as well as her co-worker, a lady from her church.
Word spread quickly that we had arrived, and children, as well as many mothers, began lining up to watch us enter their village.
I was delighted to be here...feeling a strong desire to show love and play with the children...overwhelmed with gratefulness for the opportunity to speak with them about Jesus.
In coming posts, I will tell you more about our day in the fishing village slum of India, the memorable Bible Club held there, and the special people who work so diligently to bring the Gospel to this area.