What's it all about?

40 nights for the orphans of India. My 'Lent in a Tent' is about raising hugely needed funds for 'Shining Faces in India' orphanage in Salem, Tamil Nadhu, by sleeping ouside the Chaplaincy at King's Bruton for 40 nights. My target is at least £10,000 - which amazingly is only enough to feed the hundreds of children there for about two months.

I hope that many might be inspired to trade 40 pounds for my 40 nights. Actually, in the back of my mind I'm convinced that we could smash through the target and go much much further ... I wonder.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Hot honey and hand warmers ... night 21/40

'What a wonderful world' ... so sang Louis Armstrong captivated by the most simple of life's experiences; the trees of green, the skies of blue, the clouds of white ...dark sacred nights.

Well the simple joys of my wonderful world have been added to this evening by hot honey and hand warmers. I found them anonymously left at the entrance of my tent when I arrived, later than usual, after Senior Bible Study with a great bunch of 6th Formers. A few days ago it was a hot water bottle and a flask of Bovril.

What a wonderful world where, moved by care, friends give gifts to help each other through.

That Armstrong phrase, 'dark sacred nights', strikes such a resonant chord of memory for me. In India, alone in a room, the nights are a time for the deepest thoughts, like now in my tent. For the teams, the nights begin with a sight nothing short of sacred ...

They often go to the rooftop where this was taken and watch the sun go down, take a call from home, and just seek out a little quiet from the mad clamour of the masses. Looking round to the right they'd see the enormous blue roofed dining hall they've put so many hours into decorating and making special for the children.

I heard today that Jayaraj, ever thoughtful, arranged a massive whole orphanage lunch in the newly decorated wing the team have laboured on for the last two months. Hundreds upon hundreds piled in with them to enjoy their favourite treat cooked in vast cauldrons - Chicken Biryani. They deserved it ... the children loved it ... everyone will remember it. The wonderful, once again found in the little.

And now, as I write, the team are having their last night at the orphanage. Tomorrow, Wednesday ... already today for them ... they leave. Relationships made and captured on film on their first day now have to endure a parting ... this lad has stayed close to Sam the whole time their lives crossed.

And the team as a whole?

They've simply been everything this King's Bruton 'Gap Giving Back' programme is all about. They'll leave the orphanage tomorrow having given not an ounce less than their all. I remember talking to them about leaving with no regrets, but I never expected them to blossom to such service; to bear themselves with such maturity and to impose upon themselves such discipline ... discipline so at odds to the world their age would typically inhabit. We should applaud what they've done ...

They leave, and the tears will flow unhindered as they do so ... from their eyes and from many Indian eyes whose lives have been changed by being united. But we go on. Future teams will take up where they left off and serve as they and previous teams have served.
The tent goes on too. Only half way there in days, but fantastically over £7,200 raised against our target ten thousand. We're going to make it. Better than that, as I said at the very start of the blog, I expect we'll smash through and go much further!
Fancy smashing?  Then ...

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