Today was the last day in India…I fly out tomorrow morning at 5:30AM IST. Most of the crew left today at various times and you are not allowed into the airport before 6 hours prior to flying, so I needed to find someplace to be until at least 11pm. Since I was the only one left that late I decided to get a room at the Hilton with points so that I could get a little rest before flying hopefully.
I got up this morning and finished packing everything up and grabbed breakfast at the hotel before heading off to my meeting at the International Justice Mission office. We did get lost once on the way (the star on my map wasn’t quite the right location) but still made it there with a few minutes to spare before their morning devotion. I had the honor of speaking to them and preaching from 1 Corinthians 12 about there being one body of Christ and to worship with them.
I was amazed at the detail into their work that they do there. The Chennai office specializes in bonded slaves…those who essentially fall prey to a combination of a loan shark plus the company store and stay so deep in debt that they work for below fair wages and are entrapped both physically and emotionally in the situation. I’ll write more on IJM as I get through my paper on the visit, I’m sure, but it was great to meet the folks on the front line fighting human trafficking. I made some friends there today that will last a lifetime and beyond, I hope.
My three things for today:
- Bread Omelets. Oh. My. Word. The intern at IJM bought me a bread omelet. Imagine French toast with a fried egg and spicy mint chutney and cheese. It was one of the favorite items on the trip and I got it on the last day here.
- Out my hotel window there was what appeared to be a relatively poor neighborhood. When nice places like this are developed in the U.S. the area around it is usually bought up, gentrified or even taken with eminent domain. We hide our relative poverty from ourselves whenever possible. In India it’s out in the open.
- I saw a map of Tamil Nadu (the state I’m currently staying in) broken down by district. India is an amazingly large and Tamil Nadu is as well. India is about the width (east to west) of Texas or a little more. North to south, though, India is much longer than the United States. Tamil Nadu is about the same size (land area) as Mississippi or Louisiana (if you average them). It has a population, though, of almost 68 million people, which is almost twice the population of California (38 million), the more populous state in the U.S. Imagine taking the entire population of California and Texas and putting them in Mississippi. That would be almost as dense as Tamil Nadu.
I am looking forward to heading home. Last post from India…at least for now.