Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dalits: The Outcasts / Boys Home

After a good night sleep upon arriving in Bhubaneswar, I met up with Brother Sura worked for World Vision for 24 years and left about 8 years ago to follow the Lord's leading in new areas -- a very bold step out from financial security and status.  Yet God has been very faithful to him and his ministry is quite remarkable.  We were to take a trip for the day to visit a boy's home that he runs with 45 young boys in it -- along with a visit to a village community to see the Dalits.

From what I understand, the Dalits are a community in the Hindu religion are the lowest possible cast.  They are "under the feet" of the gods -- which means they are to be stepped upon or subject to servitude and nothing else.  It was an amazing eye-opener for me to hear the plight of these poor folks.

Inside Dalit Village

It is so hard for them as they are not included in society -- they are outcasts.  So they cannot have regular homes, they have their own villages -- they can go to regular government schools -- but I am told they experience mistreatment from some teachers and headmasters and that behavior is copied by other children.  Regarding work -- they are limited to the the land they live on much of the time -- and in the case  of where I visited -- they were share croppers-with another person who was growing rice.  The Dalits were able to grow and harvest the rice and be paid for their services and then would get some of the profits  but they could not own it.   When I visited their village -- I was very impressed with how clean it was and the pride by which they took care of there things -- even though their homes were mud and they lived in dirt --
Sura w/Village Leader - Rice field in distance - Young girl preps firewood.

The village leader walked around and showed me their village.
Typical village home for family

members of village 

They harvested the rice and used some of the straw for the animals -- some for making Dung-Logs (pic-below) where they wrap cow dung around the straw and let it dry -- and this is used for keeping their homes warm -- and even cooking.  They also can use the straw for the roofs or for making brooms or other things.

Dung Logs

They raise chickens, goats and cows for milk -- they have coconuts -- and bananas.
Girl with goat.

Woman coming back to Village after working with cow.

For them to give someone pure coconut water (juice) is a form of honor and hospitality -- they offered me some -- in fact they gave me four (4) glasses - -I said no thanks after (2) but they kept coming -- wow -- sweet and pure.  One man said through interpretation -- we don't have money and are not rich -- but what we have we give to you . . . .i was so humbled.

Prepping Coconut Water 

Me drinking I think #3 of 4 Glasses! 

Sura also whispered to remind me:  "And if anyone gives even a cup of water to the least of my disciples, he will surely not loose his reward."  Matt. 10:42

Sura sharing with Dalits (Leader w/brown shawl)

Sura shared some of his testimony -- letting them know he was a Dalit but Jesus had set him free many years ago.

Sura has been working with this group for some time -- there are about 8 villages in the surrounding area.  This particular village we went to had about 40 families.  There is one young man named Daniel who is a christian -- and he has been ministering to the Dalits all along.  Sometimes they do bible studies with the folks.  There is only one church which is about 5 miles away and it is a baptist church. But there is no outreach on their behalf -- Sura has been ministering to these folks on his own - and now with Daniel.  Sura has shown many others from the states about this group and they have been given water filters -- they have had help with roofs and other things.  I was telling him -- they need to have their own church -- planted by them and for their village -- I am praying that God does that and also that others would come along side to make it happen.

There is such an openness from these folks.

I was told if they convert to Christianity, they loose their support from the government because then they will no longer be Hindu and no longer the lower cast -- so to choose Jesus means they already have nothing -- but by following him they will loose the very little they did have . . . and we say we have challenges at home.

I had a conversation with them about my testimony and was able to share how Jesus has helped me -- beyond an AIDS diagnosis and the stigma around that and also that he set me free internally when he forgave my sins.  I told them that God was in the business of setting people free and that is why Jesus came to the earth.  I ended up singing a song Acapella for them and it was such a blessing to sing my heart out for these people in this village

Me singing Perfect Love - Acapella!
 -- Jesus was present -- it was pretty special . . .

Members of Dalit Village (leader with brown shawl) and Me.

These people have made their way into my heart and I am going to be praying for them and also would love to let others know about their plight!


After my time with the Dalits -- we went to Sura's boys home where their are 45 young boys living -- boy that is a lively place.

Young Boys (45 of them)  (with 2 young girl visitors)

Sura's home for the boys in Porivili

We joined them for their devotional time -- they sang songs and then I was to share.  After their songs -- I wanted to teach them a song in rounds - they already knew the song -- so we had a great time splitting the room in two and having them sing across to each other -- natural competition - built the volume and intensity and joy was in the place -- I was spent after singing with them!  I shared my testimony with them and also gave them a short teaching on HIV/AIDS and God blessed our time together --

Enjoy the pics . . .

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