With our summer travel plans sadly postponed this year, we asked several members of our teams from 2019 to reflect on what they were doing this time last year. Next up is Aisling, thinking back to her time with Love Delhi, an outreach programme for youth and young adults in India.
Visiting India can be quite an overwhelming experience. Most who have travelled there will tell you, the only way to enjoy India is to embrace the chaos. As a foreigner, I found it really difficult to process everything going on around me. From the get-go you are faced with the extreme poverty on almost every street, malnourished bodies sleeping on the central-strip of the motorway and people collecting rubbish to support their families.
You can’t help it, you are instantly hit with the realisation of your own privilege. This heavy heart is something you carry along the whole time you are there. One minute you are in awe of the great architecture, the beauty, the colours, the driving! The next you are emotionally drained by this sudden burden.
During our visit, we met many wonderful people but in particular, one person said something I’ll never forget. He challenged us to not only have a heavy heart for the physical needs that are so plain to see but to not become blinded by it and miss the immense spiritual needs prevalent all across India.
India is a country with a massive population of 1.3 billion people, with 95% of them considered unreached by the gospel. Christians in India face the impossible task of reaching each one of these individuals with the simple promise that “all things are possible with Christ”. Let me share my experience with one incredible group of Christians who invited us to join their outreach event called Love Delhi.
Love Delhi is a unique ministry set up to bridge the gap between the church and general society. This family is made up of a small number of loving Christians and over 90% non-Christians from all different backgrounds, casts and religions from all across Delhi. As the name suggests it is all about spreading love throughout the community.
Love Delhi desires to bring about positive change within Indian society. They focus on bringing young adults together to share their unique talents through different forms of art and experiences such as poetry, painting, encouraging stories and all kinds of music.
Christian leaders take the opportunity to share relatable and youth-focused messages during these nights. They look at topics such as anxiety, loneliness, fear, friendships… and find the answers to all of our desires amongst the pages of God’s Word. Love Delhi reminds people they are unique, special and loved exactly how they are. It asks each individual to unite as one, celebrate life and grow independently and alongside each other. Our team had the privilege of seeing how God can knit together such a diverse group through His love and create a safe, fun place where all can hear His Word and principles taught and most importantly, get a taste of His great love.
I’ve learned a lot getting to spend this time with the Christians in India. Their joy is contagious, their faith is strong and their love is so real. I’ve been challenged to love others better and to value the power and relevance of God’s message each and every day. No matter our differences or our circumstances, God’s message has a unique hope that can fill every heart.
India has reminded me of the ever-present truth throughout many Bible lessons: God is always there and He loves to love against all odds.