I have just had another incredible trip to Kotdwara (early April). This time it was even better because I got to travel with my amazing wife Rowena, and daughter Maisy. We had had an amazing time, filled with great reward, adventure, tears and fun not to mention surviving some pretty bad food poisoning and forty degree temperatures every day.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement in all we are doing. Our good friends in Kotdwara, Amit and Daisy, send their love, prayers and sincere appreciation for your generosity and support. If you have followed our adventures on Instagram and have been inspired in any way, might I sincerely ask you to become a regular financial supporter of www.kotdwarahelp.org.
This trip has once again reminded us of the enormity of what can be achieved through the combined generosity of many of our friends. We have certainly seen lives changed. We have seen some of the most incredible smiles that you can ever imagine and happiness brought to people who live in terrible poverty and appalling circumstances. We have seen the transforming power of education which impacts not just children but also their families and community, simply by coming to learn at school 2 hours a day. We have seen kids looking nourished because of a healthy plate of food at school. We have even seen the lives of our five cooks changed.
Sadly, we have been distressed and brought to tears having witnessed the abhorrent actions of individuals. However, we have seen how good can triumph evil, and how the trajectory of a life impacted by evil can be altered by acts of goodness and kindness, not necessarily by us, but by people in the community who care. We have seen the impact of growing the leadership of youth and seeing them reach out to others. We have seen the incredible power that comes from encouraging people in their faith and also from reaching out to others who don't necessarily share our beliefs, breaking down barriers, building trust, earning respect, and realising that we all so alike and we have so much in common ...a love for our kids, family, friendship, pride in our homes and for our 'patch' (even in a slum), enjoying a meal after a hard day's work, and prayers for a peaceful and happy life.
We have experienced the delight on children's faces watching them eat their first ever Easter egg and we also witnessed the strange but satisfying curiosity that comes from a toddler wearing a pair of shoes for the very first time. We have held hands and hugged friends who have leprosy ...people who have never experienced beyond their immediate family, the simple affection and warmth that comes from human touch.
In all of these things we have seen the power of love, and this has impacted our lives in ways that words cannot express.
We have been challenged by the notion of #smallstepsbigpurpose and humbled and overwhelmed that God is opening so many doors. We are convinced that bigger things are on the horizon for www.kotdwarahelp.org.
We arrive back in Sydney with some very exciting plans for the year ahead ...a women's conference, training for both NGO's and local police, further anti-human trafficking initiatives, and plans for a new education centre in a pretty rough part of town ...with the backing of the police commissioner.
To our friends who already support our work in all sorts of ways we pass on a sincere thank you. None of this, would be possible without your help. You really are a part of this incredible story. There are people in Kotdwara who know that you love them. You have made a significant difference in their lives. They thank you. If only you could meet them!
If you would like to be a part of our story, please reply or send me a message and I will happily show you how you can become a regular supporter. I would love to connect you to a project that you might be particularly passionate about. Please extend your generosity for this very special purpose.