One of the real pleasures of working at JSK has been working with interns from the Union Biblical Seminary in Pune. This year's crop is a fine one - Jacob Darlong (extreme left) and Pyn Shullai (second from right). Jacob is from Tripura (just left of Bangladesh) and Pyn from the state of Meghalaya (just above Bangladesh).
We are privileged to have TEARfund send us the interns for a 7 month period each year. They jump right into what we are doing at JSK - doing home visits, helping out in all manner of ways, sharing life with our staff, ministering to patients... We trust that they leave JSK changed people.
Our first two from 2005 were Bendang Jamir from Nagaland who is now working as a pastor in Patna, Bihar, and Jaiprakash Chauhan from Chhatisgarh who is now a pastor in Pune. Last year saw us host Arun Dimple from the Punjab and Ebenezer Dip from Orissa. Both are finishing off their studies at UBS. Arun and Ebi were the ones who got JSK focussed on young people. They helped us start the Youth Against AIDS Festival on the day after World AIDS day last year, which laid the foundation for the Youth Against AIDS clubs this year and the YAA Fest 07 which is 2 weeks away from us now.
How does the world of the seminary intersect with the gritty world of the street? We see the tremendous opportunities in Jacob and Pyn - as they have been living out their love and compassion. We trust that the experiences in serving with people with HIV in Thane will prepare our seminarians to be the kind of leaders Jesus wanted as shepherds for his flock - men of compassion and kindness, who are bold to do what is right and say the truth.
Jesus said: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4.18-19
As our seminarians head back to Pune in 2 weeks, we pray that they will leave with a piece of us in their hearts. We hope to see them again - and hear about all that God has done through them.
We have 2 more short weeks with Jacob and Pyn before head off home for Christmas - and then on to Seminary. We already find it hard to say goodbye...