One of the communities where the Lord has called us to serve is a densely populated slum on the outskirts of a major city in South Asia. It is home to close to 100 million people within 2 square miles. They reside in small sheet metal style huts, no bigger than 12 by 6 feet, with a thatched roof, no ventilation and no bathroom inside their homes.
The average household income for these people ranges from $4-$6 a day. Their mindset is that the more children they have the more money they can make by using them as laborers so there is usually 5 - 9 people living under one roof. The children roam around unsupervised playing with stray dogs and pigs.
People who have never been to this place will have a hard time imagining the extremely poor hygienic conditions under which the people live, with open drains and areas near homes used as their restroom.
The Lord has called Aarav to live in this place to be salt and light for Jesus. What is astonishing is that Aarav does not have to live in the slum but chooses to do so. About 500 miles away, in a small village, is a house, that he and his wife own. For all purposes, it is a proper dwelling for his family with sanitary conditions.Yet again, he chooses to give up worldly possessions for the sake of serving this slum where there no other workers advancing God’s Kingdom in that place.
One great need of people in this slum is that of quality medical care, since they don't have any money to pay for it. Instead, they end up consulting practitioners of the occult (like witchdoctors) when they actually need authentic medical care. The government hospitals are far away and require a lot of time just to visit. Visiting one does not even guarantee they will receive medical care so many of them simply do not go.
Given their reality, we felt that a regular medical camp in this area would be of great help to the people as well as give Aarav (SRC missionary living in this Slum) an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ to these people.
With the above goal, SRC India organized our first medical camp at Aarav's home this past month. We had Dr. Daniel and two nurses from the US come to serve. The clinic lasted 3 days where they treated over 100 patients.
When we started, we had no idea how many would show up, what illnesses we would discover or what medications we needed on hand. Yet each day, a long queue was formed. God provided all the medications we needed and then some. Dr Daniel quickly figured out the most common medical problems in this slum and adjusted quickly to meet the demand and needs of the people.
As I previously mentioned, one of our goals for this camp was to give Aarav credibility in this community as someone who genuinely cares for the people and wants to serve them.
In Hindi there is a phrase which is used by Christians to greet each other - "Jai Masih Ki" which means “Praise the Savior”. As I was translating for the medical team, I was surprised to hear Hindus greeting Aarav in this way. They did so out of respect for the love he was showing their community. This is a huge step in sharing the Gospel with these people.
Within this slum, Aarav is outnumbered. He is one of only a few Christians among approximately 100,000 Hindus and Muslims and the only one actively trying to reach this community. Even the many pastors and missionaries living in the nearby city, that he has invited to visit him, have yet to visit him one time. Yet, he perseveres and makes it no secret that he follows Jesus so everyone knows it. Aarav is not afraid. He is willing to give up everything to serve them, even comfort, and it shows. This is why we love that he is part of the SRC family in South Asia.
If you would like to get involved in future medical clinics with us, reach out and let us know. Our next scheduled clinic will be in January 2019 in the same location but more are being considered in other places.
Praise reports, updates and just about anything important written by someone within our global Silk Road Catalyst family.
Recent Journey to India 10/15/2015
The Remarkable Three 07/13/2015
Presence of Legitimacy 07/06/2015
Work or Missions? 06/26/2015
Too old & Inexperienced 04/14/2015