Visiting Chandra and Champa in their village in Solan
There wasn’t one specific group of people we felt “called” to. Whoever came to us we welcomed, loved and poured our lives into. We didn’t care what their background was or where they came from.
Asha and Zoë had no awareness of caste or colour. They were colour blind. We were glad they were. They were also unaware of the caste system. Everyone was treated the same and no one was any better than anyone else.
There were a few people who pushed our buttons when it came to the caste system. A brother and sister came to join in our training. They made it very clear they were Brahmins. We were reminded often. Tony also reminded them quite regularly that it didn’t take any more of the blood of Jesus to take away their sin, than it did to take away the sin of a dalit. They didn’t really like that either. The trainees were rough and ready for anything. There was little or no money to spare and they seemed to enjoy the challenge of that. The brother and sister did a lot of complaining about not having new chapples. They didn’t stay for long because they were treated the way everyone else was. They weren’t used to that. We were sad to see them go. They were lovely people. Just not the kind we could accommodate in our community.
When we first arrived in Mussoorie, we agreed that the girls wouldn’t wear their best clothes to church on Sundays. They had pretty dresses. They could wear them during the week. None of the other kids had fancy clothes. We didn’t want Ash and Zoë to make them feel worse. They happily agreed. In fact, when we were visiting South Africa they got really upset with having to wear nice clothes all the time. They would complain and ask why they had to wear clothes and dress up to make other people happy.
After that trip to South Africa, we flew to Delhi via Bombay. When we walked out of the airport, we were surrounded by kids grabbing us and asking for money. Zoë looked around with such a happy look on her face. She took a deep breath of Bombay air, let out a big sigh and said, “Aaaah, rags again.”