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, 5 March 2013

Liquid gold ... night 28/40

$1570 per ounce ... desired ... worn ... loved. King's and Queens are draped in it, and husbands and wives seal their love with it. It's value trades the same the world over ... it encircles fingers, pierces ears and festoons necks in every community in every land. None more than India! Gold.

But there's another 'gold', a liquid gold that has even greater universal place and appeal. It, too, graces the courts of King's and Queens, but unlike solid gold is found in no less measure on the tables of commoners and paupers ... and orphans.

Water ... liquid gold! No mere material commodity; living necessity! It's a funny thing, water. It's incalculably precious and without it we die; but it's also a toy, to be thrown and thrown into. The children just love it ...

The same rainy-season rushing rivers bring life to young crops and laughter to young boys ...

But it's drinking water that's the real gold. Clear, safe, clean deep from the earth drinking water. And that's where Peria comes in. I mentioned her last night and promised to tell you more. She's a very special person. She can't speak, and can't really learn properly either.

On my first visit to India I met her with all the others. I've kept in touch with them ever since, but not her ... she fell from my view ... never sure why. Her father was the well-digger Jayaraj hired when he first bought the Promised Land site; not a well-digger as you'd know one, and not a well you'd ever imagine.

His first task? To build a home for him and his family. This well would take months to dig. Dynamite ... dig out by hand ... dynamite again ... dig out again. So it went on as a great mouth opened up in the land. Deeper and deeper he went. It had to be so because if water wasn't found the land would be useless for the children. Then it flowed ... potable water ... liquid gold. And so the orphanage took root and grew to what it is today.

The wells still fill for mouths, and the dam now fills for the fields. It's a precious thing beyond all else.

Or is it? Isn't Peria more precious than the water that keeps her alive? This year I found her again. I was told that she still lived nearby so I headed through the trees past the building plot for the new hospital. In the broken light among the goats they now own I saw her again for the first time in 7 years. The same wide eyes ... the same open smile ... the same unhindered excitement as the years melted away. It was magical. Then she was gone ... off with her goats. But I know I'll see her again, and I know she knows too.

So tonight I'll take my water bottle of liquid gold to my tent, give thanks for the access I have to it, and say a prayer for Peria.

If now's your time, here's the link  ...

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