Saturday, 5 March 2011

Interviewing the future

They came into the gleaming office. Each one special. Short glimpses into multiple lives.

We were conducting the interviews for the first batch of trainees for a nurse-aide course that the new Bethany Hospital is running (as soon as they can get shifted into the gleaming building in which the gleaming office was).

The girls each had their own story. Some we knew - from our contacts through JSK. Others were new.

But what struck home over and over again was the transforming power of God. These are girls who have largely grown up in the large shanty-towns that blanket the great city of Mumbai. Many of them have lost a father - some lost their mother as well. A few of them have been rescued out of prostitution. All of them came with hope. To start something new. To carry on a work of change - which has been taking shape in their lives - and in the lives of their families.

It was striking how many of these girls had seen healings take place. Some in their own lives - but almost everyone had experienced answered prayers for healing in their families.

The other striking aspect that came out of the 15 interviews that we held was how evident it is that others have invested in these girls. Most of them were confident, idealistic, eager to learn and grow. As they talked about their situations they often referred to pastors or other church members who had helped them at various stages in life.

15 folks is a small slice out of the thousands upon thousands of young people what make up the bulk of our urban sprawls. What potential we have. How much can be done by giving opportunities - and by building these young people up - one by one. It is remarkable what some of the churches that operate in and out of these slum-situations have been able to do. But there is so much more that stares us in the face each day.

We do not know all the back-stories for these young women - but we know enough to realise that most grew up in pretty disfunctional situations. Which makes their poise and eagerness to move forward all the more poignant. And all the more vital that they succeed.

May this first batch of trainee nurse aides (when the course finally gets underway) make a huge difference for their families - and as gratitude for all those who have invested in them so far!

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