Welcome to India

This blog is intended to make a country that most Westerners find to be otherworldly not so much so. We enjoy sharing our experiences, noting our observations, highlighting our impressions and otherwise recounting our adventures in India while helping our blogwatchers to be vicariously closer to this grand country. Welcome to India.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An Indian "Semi Christmas" Celebration

We still don’t know why Indians call their Christmas festivals “Semi Christmas,” but we sure love the celebration:  lights, color, extra special food and, because of the support of so many of you, gifts for children who have never before received any wrapped gifts with their name on it.

When we decided to stay in India for Christmas this year, we did not know just what a good decision that would be.  Our Christmas this year was, in some ways, more focused and meaningful than it ever could be at home.  Spending our main Christmas fete with 400 children was not exactly a Silent Night, but something about it was indeed holy.

However many presents you may have wrapped this year, it didn’t compare to Paige.  December was spent wrapping over 600 (!!!) gifts for children, home parents and biological children of the pastors.  See them in their new clothes in many of these pictures.

We do not plan on too many Christmases away from home in our future, but Christmas 2012 will always be remembered for the non-commercial, giving-focused celebration with un-entitled children all around as well as the unique atmosphere of an Indian festival-like party. 

A few images above and below begin to capture it all.

Merry Christmas, partners and friends, and a joyful 2013 to you from us.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Life Is Not Boring...

We have two pieces of extremely life-altering news for the Rickshaw Writer as we close out our two-year commitment here in India:

1)   We’re having a baby in April!  Sean turns 40 years old on April 13th and that same week our firstborn is due.  We’ll be living in Southern California, hopefully Santa Barbara, and in the States from late January to late August, when we will….

2)   …be returning to India for another three years of assisting in giving these orphans and abandoned children an opportunity to get educated, receive three meals-per-day, belong to a family of brothers or sisters and have their dignity restored as they learn about God’s love.

The work we’re doing here is just too compelling.  

The last thing we would want to do is stop our role with Covenant Children’s Homes just as the opportunities and possibilities are starting to take off!  We’ve only just begun.  Our goal is 1,000 (!!!) children housed and sponsored by late 2015.

We look forward to all that is ahead in 2013 – 2016, but for those wondering, we do intend still to live permanently in the States, starting in a few years.

Thanks to all of you for paying attention, for caring and for supporting us in so many different ways (prayers, emotionally, financially, advocacy).  

Keep riding the Rickshaw Writer in the years to come!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2 Campaigns. One Great Goal.

When working with orphans and abandoned children, an important responsibility is to holistically care for their needs:  health and nourishment, education and discipleship.  What goes on deeper is all the more important - a transformation from an orphaned spirit of worthlessness to an adopted spirit of wholeness and, what we strive for in everything we do with these children, dignity.

We are tackling not one, but two, significant dignity-growing campaigns for Covenant Children's Homes right now:

1)  Christmas Gifts

Watching these children open wrapped gifts for the first time is a window into the true heart of the Christmas season.  Check out this video and consider donating to our Christmas campaign which buys new clothes for these children, "high-caste" clothes for these low-caste children, sparkling dresses for the girls and stylin' jeans and a collared shirt for the boys.

Donate for Christmas through PayPal at the following link:  http://cch-india.com/donate/

What do children look like when opening their own wrapped gift for the very first time?  Check out this video from last year's Christmas celebrations:

Christmas Gifts 2012 from Covenant Children's Homes on Vimeo.

2) "Mats to Mattresses" - Happy 35th Birthday, Paige!

When CCH kids first arrive, they have most likely been sleeping on the ground.  We give them mats to start.

Then, when we get the funding, we put them on bunk beds with plywood (at least they're off the ground).

Then, when we get the funding, we give them a mattress and a blanket (and maybe even a pillow) to give them the best sleeping experience of virtually anyone in their village.

We're now just $3,500 away from all 400 of our children sleeping on mattresses on their bunk beds.

This would be a great birthday gift for Paige, who turns 35 on January 8th, to finish this off!

Check out more and how to donate at our CCH Website:

And more fun pictures of dignity-bestowing Christmas clothes and mattresses: