Suvin Varghese sponsored a child in our projects. But when he visited the projects, it was a whole new experience..
Suvin Varghese was born and raised in the United States of America and was 19 years old in 2012. He had an opportunity to visit Light the Candle International Inc(LTCI), projects in INDIA during June 2012 with his family. Read his personal testimony after visiting these children in LTCI projects.
How thankful are we for the things we have? Simple things, like hot water, food, a roof over our heads, and family are often taken for granted. We may try to remind ourselves to be thankful as often as possible, as I try to do, but after taking a visit to India this summer, I believe that you must be directly involved with the less fortunate to understand how blessed we truly are.
A few months ago, my father informed me that we would be visiting India for a month. One month is not a small amount of time, and I will admit that I was reluctant to be gone from the luxuries of life for so long. At first, my thoughts about remote villages were that these people were living under conditions that were not terrible, but had the standard living conditions necessary for life. My only prototype image of these people and places were from newspaper articles, television commercials, etc.What I found to be the case was that these people did not even have the basic needs to live. Many of them were without food or water, and as we drove from the train station to the parsonage, I saw bodies curled up on the ground and children running in the middle of traffic to sell random things for money.
All these images were seared into my mind, and not easy to forget. However, I cannot describe the relief I felt inside when I got to see the kids in the LTCI projects. These kids were the faces that I saw on the bare streets of India, but in much better conditions. As I walked into the projects, the children looked up at me with curiosity and joy- the smiles on their faces were as identical to each other as the uniforms they were wearing. I could tell these kids were happy. I got to meet these children and although there was a language barrier and an inevitable shyness at first, they quickly opened up and tried to communicate with me in any way possible. The first question I was asked was if I knew how to play Cricket! I quickly responded that I was more of a baseball guy, but I gave it a shot. Enjoying such a simple game with them and having that time of laughter and sportsmanship made me realize how similar we are, the only difference being that they did not take what they had for granted. The children of the LTCI projects are given square meals throughout the day, a safe place to play and be active, qualified teachers to enhance their education, and spiritual leaders to help guide them in their growth in Christ. These basic gifts that help grow a well rounded person is made possible through LTCI, and after seeing it with my own eyes, I finally realized the impact I was making for one child there. It gave me something beyond satisfaction; peace and a sense of responsibility to those that have less than me.
It blows my mind that $180 dollars a year can help a child out in such a dramatic way. Personally, ever since I started sponsoring a child, I catch myself comparing how much I spend on everyday things to the price I pay to help a child. It does not create guilt, but instead it causes me to be grateful that I live such a life, and it reminds me of why I sponsor a child. I have so much more than I could ever need. The least I could do is help a child live a better life. As I got to experience the LTCI projects, I was reminded of a verse from the book of Mathew 25:40 The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. It truly refined me in my faith that I was doing what Jesus asked of his followers, to help those in need so that we could be helping his Kingdom. As Christians, we need to follow through with action instead of words. I am grateful that I can do this through the LTCI project.