The smell of good coffee with eggs and oatmeal began our day in India. It was a welcome taste for weary travelers who miss the tastes of home. Next, the tour of the Sharon campus began with a first stop at the sewing center. Training was taking place for women and men to learn the art of sewing so that they can have a vocational skill to take back to their homes. We watched in amazement as the people sewed all the beautiful fabrics into intricate designs for little girls.
The community college was just a few steps down the road and provided some good conversation about the opportunities for higher level education and vocational training that IGL offers. The college offers medical training, basic engineering, skill training, and nursing training. We stopped by a classroom and saw some students (Christian and non-Christian) having a spiritual class.
The tour continued with a look at the children's homes and observed a game of cricket played with tree branches and a ball. The hospital was the next stop and we got a good look at the facilities and the needs from our tour guide Dr. Daniel. Nurses in training greeted us kindly and we saw some patients receiving chemotherapy. The hospital services the local area providing basic care and cancer related treatment. Cancer often goes undetected as many do not have the resources to follow up with an early warning signs. The patients pay little to nothing to receive services and sometimes have to be turned away due to the deficit of funding and supplies at the hospital. Pray for God to supply the resources for this valuable aspect of the ministry of IGL. Through providing medical care, people are exposed to the Gospel and the touch of God's love through His people.
The final main stop was the school run by IGL. The children in the children's homes attend the school as well as local children. There are 700 students. The students were not on campus since it was Saturday, but we were able to peek into a classroom. The rooms were simple with no desks or chairs, but with children's artwork hanging from the ceiling and it appeared to be a happy learning place.
We discovered through the tour that IGL was integral with the tsunami relief back in 2004. IGL focused on rebuilding and long term sustainability after the tsunami hit Sri Lanka. Southern India was devastated with the terrible disaster.
Later in the day, we traveled into the city of Salem and had an office tour. We were greeted with beautiful flower leis and the office staff waiting for our arrival. The office was a beehive of activity and planning for the 4 pillars of IGL (childcare, rural development, evangelism, and health.) The tour proved to be informative and helpful to our understanding of the ministry. Also, it was a joy to reconnect with Selin at the office. Now our team is complete!
The complete IGL tour ended giving us a broader perspective of the ministry of IGL and gave us new vision of how God can work through His people.