Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Faces of India

I'm giving you an abbreviated tour through the hundreds (yes, I said "hundreds") of photos my man took, on his recent trip to India.  We are in the process of publishing them into a hardbound book, so I'm just picking some of my personal favorites to show you.  (I'd have Adrain guide you through these, but as you can imagine, after missing two full weeks of work, he's a little bogged down right now. Since that's the case, I'm going to include some random quotes from his emails while he was there.)  Adrain traveled to Pune, and Indore, India.  He taught a discipleship training class, and preached in an Indian church, as well as volunteered at several orphanages, visited a couple of leper colonies, and encouraged those who are living/working in the red light district.  He also played cricket with some children, and got to participate in a baby dedication. 
This was a photo taken of the children in one of the homeless camps.  I'm going to say this a million times, give or take, but aren't these faces incredibly precious?   Adrain wrote, "We went from one orphanage to a boys home for children of lepers.  There are about 60 of them, and I got to play cricket for the first time.  I'm pretty good.  I hit one over their building.  I felt bad because I lost that ball, and the other day when playing with the children of prostitutes, I tossed a ball onto a roof top.  Both times there were spares, but still...The kids were amazed by the hit.  Lots of chatter about the great American cricket player.  That might be a slight over exaggeration."

Here are some boys doing what boys do.
This was one of the first photos Adrain took.  I love everything about it.  This isn't going to make much sense, but I love the quietness of it.  Though from the sounds of it, the roads were anything but quiet.  Adrain said they called the taxis, "Heaven-mobiles" because every time they got in one, they figured they were on their way to heaven, in a hurry.
This precious little face gets me.  I love the angle Adrain shot it from too.  Like he was just looking down at one of his own babies. Precious.  Did I say that yet?  Because I think it's precious.  Adrain wrote, "Another amazing day.  Yesterday, we were able to tour what is known as the Orissa camp.  It's about 3 acres that's being used to build facilities for orphans and families taken from their home in Orissa due to persecution.  There are 125 boys and 50 girls.  The project is due to be completed in about 2 months.  As we were touring the facilities, they told us about their vision to buy two acres behind the property and build a school for the orphans and the surrounding village.  The problem was, that the landowner didn't want to sell and was asking too high of a price.  I just felt we needed to pray about it right then and there.  We did, and today, out of nowhere, the landowner called to make a deal on the property and sold it to the group.  God is awesome."
The team visited a camp for deaf children.  I don't know the specifics of this photo, but something about the brightly clad figure, all alone in this long hallway feels like I'm somehow intruding on a quiet moment.  (Or rather, Adrain was intruding.  I'm just observing.)  I think Adrain really enjoyed his time there.  He has such a special place in his heart for all children, but especially those with disabilities.
Bright colors are everywhere.  I love the rooster in the back! 
 This is an assembly at the school for hearing-impaired children.  Notice how the boys are on one side, and the girls are on the other.  
These are the brightest blue eyes I have ever seen.  I told Adrain these were "National Geographic Blue." 
The children at the school for the hearing-impaired all wore red socks.  Adrain just stumbled upon these shoes outside the meeting place, and snapped this photo.  
More of the darling children from the school for the hearing-impaired.
Adrain was just outside of an orphanage for children with/affected by aids, when he took this photo of children heading home from school.
 This one makes me go, "Awww," every single time I see it. I love the fact that she's carrying around a baby doll.  And that there is one bright red chair in this courtyard.  It's sweet and sad, all in one, to me.  Adrain doesn't understand why I love this one, but I think it's the Mama in me.  Little girls are little girls, no matter where they are... 
I could take this one home in my suitcase.  I really could.  Look at the expression in those darling big, brown eyes.  I wish I knew this little guy's name. 
This is another one I love.  There isn't a lot of extra "fluff" in this room as you can see.  But these red flowers in the window grate are so homey.  Like someone took the time to be intentional where it couldn't be missed. It's beautiful. 
Oh, this face!  A hint of dimples.  What will you grow up to be, you precious boy? I wonder what he was thinking when Adrain bent down and took this photo.  You can almost look right into his soul.  Precious, I tell you!
One of the things that made Adrain the saddest, (and there were several) were the fact that he saw women  laboring under heavy loads of bricks all over the place.  There were women older than our parents hauling loads of bricks up and down stairs. 
Groups of orphans performed some songs and drums for Adrain's team.  He loved it!  I don't have photos, but apparently several of the team members Adrain traveled with took a group of 180 orphans to the zoo.  The Zoo! Can you imagine?  Two children overwhelm me!  I can't imagine 180.  (And they didn't even lose one.)

Adrain wrote, "I am listening to an Indian wedding down the block.  I had my first good night's sleep last night, and got a full 6 hours.  I hate the caste system but am amazed by the courageous testimonies I am hearing."   He shot this photo from his hotel window, late that night.  Look at the amazing bright colors!  I would have done just about anything to be there.  I'd have tried to make Adrain sneak in with me... only I'd have been the white girl with blue eyes, so my sneaking might  have been quickly discovered.  But wouldn't this just have been a blast? 
While Adrain was in India, a group he was with received some Christmas boxes from Samaritan's Purse.  The idea is, that you purchase small items, tuck them into a shoebox, and the group Samaritan's Purse delivers them all over the world to children.  Adrain said he'd never seen anything quite like it.  These children literally have nothing, and some of them have never received presents before.  This little girl just captured my heart completely, as she hugs a little stuffed monkey to her heart. 
Whenever I feel like complaining about my neighborhood... or my home... or my lack of "something"... it might do well for me to remember just how very much I have.
This mother looks so young and perhaps even weighed down by the weight of her load?  Adrain said her child never stirred the entire time he was there. Again, the Mama in me related to something in this photo.  Maybe a sense of, "been there, done that?"  Anyway, just look at the joy and spunk in the little face of her daughter. 
One of the last places Adrain's team visited was a Leper colony.  Adrain was overwhelmed with compassion for these precious people who are considered outcasts.  He wrote,"What an amazing time at the leper colonies.  It was incredible praying over them for healing.  Wait till you see the pictures.  One of my favorite shots, is of me shaking a man's "hand." It was more of a stump.  He actually brought both stumps to my hand.  He was so thrilled someone would be willing to touch him.  My other favorite is when a young man came to me and pointed toward a building and said "Foto", so I followed him into one of the dwellings.  There was the sweetest, saddest looking lady you have ever seen.   She did not come to welcome us or see us during the group gathering. It was his mother.  I shook her hand, but she wouldn't look up.  She was so lost in her shame. But then, I knelt on the floor in front of her, and grabbed both of her hands in mine.  I told her how beautiful she is and how Jesus loves her.  Then I asked to take another picture and she let me.  Even though she is not smiling in the picture, she was when I showed it to her."
Adrain took amazing photos, because his compassion leads him.  Even in our own country.  He is always the first to stop and offer help to people with flat tires or emergencies.  And he will hate that I shared this, but he never fails to purchase a burger for a homeless person, and often takes a minute to ask their name and hear their story.  I have never met another person who has every ounce of my respect, more than my husband.  He lives each moment of his life with the purpose of being intentional.  He inspires me to be unafraid in my faith. I feel blessed to know him, and I get to be his wife besides all that.

I'm so glad you got to see a peek into what he did on his trip.


45 comments:

  1. Wow! Such amazing photos. Thank you for sharing them.

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  2. WOW, what an amazing and inspirational "picture walk" through your husband's trip. It sounds like a life changing experience and the pictures are marvelous!

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  3. Oh Sasha and to your husband...I really have NOTHING to say...I really don't have any words but what amazing faith he has and the beauty he shared with those photos...
    I really loved you shared part of his e-mails...it was quite the experience just reading them
    and the stories that were shared...AMAZING!

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  4. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing. These pictures really capture the heart of these people in one of the least Christian regions of the world.
    It's fun to hear about this trip. In the last position I held I wrote proposals and grants for funding for India (and other places) for the type of things your husband mentioned; property, enterprising, homeless kids, etc...

    Great post, girl :)

    Erin

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  5. Amazing, just amazing.... I love the pictures and the writings. What a blessing and light your husband was to those he came in contact with.

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  6. Sasha, this is so amazing. Thank you for sharing. I can't stop crying out of sadness and joy. It breaks my heart to see these children but it fills my heart with joy to know that there are men like Adrian in the world.

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing Adrain's story. So sorry we weren't able to help out financially on his trip but I was praying for him (and you) a lot. Beautiful, and haunting, images.

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  8. Great pictures. What an opportunity for Adrian to go to India. You can tell he has so much compassion from the pictures and his e-mails. I know he was a real blessing to all he came in contact with... and how blessed you are to have this man as your life partner.

    I have a question about my blog, on the comments on my last blog there are several comments that are scrambled and I can't find out who they are from. Do you know why they are that way?

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing these photos. They were lovely, artistic, touching, and inspirational! For some reason, I really liked the one w/ the red socks and black shoes :-) I'm so happy for your sake that your dear hubby is back home. I know I'm a wreck when I've been separated from my DH for more than a day or two! Thank you for your well-wishes regarding my puppy. We hope he is on the uphill side of this battle - even if we're climbing an inch at a time!

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  10. These photos are absolutely breathtaking. But even more so is how you describe your husband. It's so obvious how much you love him, and from what he's written and what you've written about him, it's hard not to see why. It takes a great deal of compassion, dedication, and an unwavering belief in Jesus' teachings to do what he did. God bless him for opening his heart to all those people in India. You sure got yourself a great man there Mama. :-D

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  11. Awesome and eye opening. What great pictures!! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Heather K. wrote what I can't put into words! "amazing inspirational picture walk" Adrian has a beautiful beautiful heart and an amazing eye for photography! Humbled and blessed by this post!! =)

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  13. Awesome! What a blessing he was to so many. I'm even blessed to hear that story, thank you for sharing it.

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  15. Tears fell from my eyes as I read this-Not from sadness but for joy in how amazing God is.
    My life would be nothing without him. I love the story of the answered prayer on the sale of the land. God has done miracle after miracle for my family. Right now I am asking him for one that is touching my heart so deep I can barely stand it. So when I read this post on Adrain's India trip it just straightened me and gave me even more hope~Yes, God is amazing.
    Funny thing, I got another confirmation today. A lady in the grocery store said she loved my pink baseball hat-She said she had one like it but it didn't say LA on it, it said GAP-But not for the Gap store, for "God Answers Prayers." I said, "he sure does!" Funny thing about it is she was just walking past me in the ice cream section and blurted that out. As I was leaving I thought maybe she was an angel but after reading your post I think she was just a Adrain. A person that loves the Lord and when quickened to do something God asks they do.
    :)
    Robin~♥
    P.S. LOVED the photos.

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  16. What beautiful photos. I love when a photograph can tell a story without words.
    It sounds like he had an amazing experience.

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  17. What an incredible experience! It's truly an honor to witness this story and the faith of your family. Thank you! Amazing photos too!

    Mikal

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  18. These make my heart swell. Come, Lord Jesus.

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  19. Sasha, your husband is truly a wonderful man. I'm sure that even though the people of India touched his heart he touched theirs just the same. When I hear and see of the poverty stricken people my heart can't help but want to help them all. I just wish I could somehow. While many people say we should help those in the states before we should go and help these poor countries they have no idea how lucky it is to be an American. The pictures Adrian took are truly inspirational. I will pray for those in India today.
    Blessings,
    Jessica

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  20. Wow. Just ... wow. So priviledged to be able to see these photos. I've had India on my heart for awhile after I heard some missionaries talking about how India has the highest orphan population. The Momma in me can hardly handle that, all those motherless children who God loves. Such amazing photos and stories! So glad your husband had this chance to go and share Jesus!

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  21. what amazing photos! thanks for sharing! I truly cannot believe the 'national geographic blue' eyes! That's got to be rare in India huh?

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  22. This brought tears to my eyes, what a great testimony of Faith and serving heart he has. Loved seeing the pictures and reading all about his experiences. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  23. Thank you for sharing, that last story just made me cry. God has truly given us so much here in Canada/USA that we take for granted.

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  24. Amazing! One of my really great friends spent several years as a missionary in India. So many bound by religion, in need of a Savior.

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  25. Oh my gosh, I almost made it to the end of the post without crying...then you shared Adrain's journal entry about the mother. Wow, what an amazing experience. He must have returned pretty exhausted. The pictures are amazing, really amazing!

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  26. I totally held it togethr until the very end. Thank you Adrain for taking us on this amazing tour. A little peak into another part of the world and into other lives.

    I can't explain how much I love this post.

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  27. Looks like your husband got to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a very desperate place. What joy and heartbreak are captured in these stills. Thanks for sharing.

    Alison

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  28. I have no words. Thank you for sharing these pictures and words with all of us. I am truly moved.

    Blessings.

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  29. Stopping by from SITS. WOW! I have to say, I'm just crying like a baby looking at these pictures. And so envious of your husband and the opportunity he had to minister. Such a blessing.

    I look forward to reading more from you and seeing your family's testimony!

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  30. what an amazing life changing trip.
    and your husband did a great job with the photography!
    hugs~~
    chasity

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  31. Wow! Sounds like an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing. I always love to see missions trips to India, as that is where our Compassion child lives. We hope to one day be able to go and meet him.

    Thanks again for sharing, brought me to tears.

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  32. I feel so moved. This post is beautiful. I love the photos and the e-mail excerpts. I see Adrain has more than his manly arms to boast of. Makes me want to buy a homeless person a burger so there you go! I have a feeling that what Adrain is doing is just a drop in the ocean but what a beautiful tidal wave we’d have if we all could be little drops.

    How does he estimate the success of what he does in India? Has he being going regularly? Can he see change or something happening for the better over the years or are they all stuck to their casts? Have you read “White Tiger”? It is such an interesting book.

    Thank you so much for this inspiration today. Thank you and thanks to Adrain.

    PS Brilliant blue eyes...what a miracle!

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  33. through many tears at my computer at work... thanks for sharing! I think we all need a piece of humble pie every now and then to appreciate what we have and to grow closer in our walk with God. Thank your marvelous husband and everything he does! Our church is going on a mission trip next year and I pray that my husband and I will be able to go... take care and God Bless!

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  34. Sasha...thank you so much for sharing Adrian's pictures. They are beautiful. The part about him reaching out to hold the woman's hands and telling her she was beautiful and that Jesus loves her just had me burst into tears. It just touched my heart so much. I am so thankful for men like your husband, who live for Jesus. He is a blessing!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    xo,
    Adrienne

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  35. Aww...your pics are amazing and your stories of your trip had me in tears...what an amazing experience..thank you for sharing it.

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  36. Great photos! Thanks for sharing them with us. Have a sweet day!

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  37. Well, I was thinking it was high time that we officially met, since we've been hanging out together at Becky's place all week and such...then I came over and found THIS. I am amazed. Beautiful photos and pure, dirty, shiny truth. We should never complain. About anything. Thank you for the reminder!

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  38. I did not have time to read this today but I couldn't stop myself and now I'm crying... see what you did!

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  39. What an amazing husband.

    What an amazing trip!

    We are all so blessed.

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  40. Beautiful photos and those National Geographic Eyes are gorgeous!

    Happy SITs day!

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  41. Hi Sasha,

    The only thing I can write is: WOW!!! Its hard not get emotional looking at these children living under such difficult conditions and yet they are always smiling. I had one blogger from Pune, a man, he does not come around anymore but I got him to tell me a little bit about his city. I could see how difficult it was for him to describle his living conditions and the lack of electricity. Great post, thanks for sharing!

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  42. These are amazing... The little boy that you wished you knew his name is Puniji. He was so precious, and I pray for him and all of them daily.

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  43. It sounds like a life changing experience and the pictures are marvelous!
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