Its been quite the week.
We had an amazing bunch of people from across North India - and Nepal with us since last Wednesday. And this afternoon we said good-bye to them.
Our friends have come to learn about how churches can reach out and help people with HIV. They got the full treatment - an intense week where we shared what we have learned from our 10 years of working with people and churches in Thane.
Our friends at the Christian AIDS/HIV National Alliance in Delhi helped recruit these key people - the 19 participants being from Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh ... and from Nepal too!
It was wonderful to see our friends 'dive in' - visiting homes of people with HIV on the first day, participating in our lectures and discussions, visiting churches and homes that church people are supporting, asking question after question, grappling with issues, being delighted at how the Bible helps us in so many ways, hearing the testimonies of people with HIV, doing role plays, worshipping, eating and laughing together.
As the haunting strains of 'ek aag har dil mein' were sung by all of us today, the darkened room started to glow with the candles that were being lit. Each of us - the trainees as well as our JSK staff - held up the candles and sang with a determination that fits the song - that one candle can light a lakh candles - and that we must work while we have time for the Kingdom that has no end.
Its all over. The one-week training that is. Now the next step takes place where these wonderful people start living out what they learned from us.
Our little candles here at JSK are lighting others, and the gift goes on....