Colin and Cara Medus, and Penny Waller visited India for The Bridge Trust Ltd at the end of March 2020. They had to cut their visit slightly short to get home before all flights were stopped because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Cara describes their visit for us.
We were able to visit our friends in India at the beginning of March this year, just in the nick of time before lockdown in both countries. Colin (chair of the Bridge Trust trustees) and I (Cara, his better half) went along with Penny, a retired nurse who generously gave her time to train the health care workers working in the slums in Delhi. If you’ve seen the promotional video that Bridge made last year about the work in India, you may remember Penny from that, as she was the star of the show!
We spent some time in Delhi, visiting the church that we partner with in several poverty relief projects. Even before the impact of Covid-19, it had been a turbulent time in Delhi at the beginning of the year, with violence and unrest in some areas of the city. Some of the projects are based in these parts of the city, and so we decided not to visit them as we usually would, given the sensitivity of the situation. Even though we weren’t able to visit in person, it’s always very helpful to be able to talk about how these projects are progressing. The feeding programme that takes place through the schools feeds over 3,000 children a day, and many of those otherwise wouldn’t get fed properly.
In Delhi Penny was able to give some follow-up training to the health care workers. It was wonderful to see how they had managed to implement last year’s training, particularly in encouraging good nutrition. They have been promoting seasonal vegetables that are cheaper to buy; spinach was the veg of the moment while we were there! The group of women that work in the slums are amazing – so enthusiastic, and also resourceful. They are an invaluable presence in the slums. Through the application of basic health care advice they are able to help save lives. Coming from the slums themselves, they have gained respect in the community, and take pride in their work.
Later in our visit we travelled north to the region around Almora, in the foothills of the Himalayas, where we visited a number of churches. We spent time with the leaders, and spoke in a number of church meetings in different settings. Hopefully we were able to offer some encouragement and bring some words that we felt that God had asked us to share. We always come away from these situations feeling that we have received more than we have given.
Relationships are at the heart of all the work that we are able to do in India, and we are very grateful for the long-lasting partnerships that we have developed. These visits are encouraging both for us and our partners, and we are already planning new projects for the future. Huge thanks for all the support that you have given which enables us to continue this work.