Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Blog

The Wellspring Blog has moved. Click here to see the new blog.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wellspring--Delhi, India

by Sarah Snodgrass

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Greetings from Delhi, India! The day has been an eventful one...full of rickshaws, delicious food, and wonderful conversations with amazing people.

Around 10 o’clock, Thomas Skaria, who is on the staff of RZIM India met us and we took the hour and a half drive to East Delhi. There, we had the opportunity to spend many hours at The Leprosy Mission, a place where he had been on staff for several years. My heart was broken for the people who suffer from this, not only debilitating, but also socially unaccepted disease. It struck me when Steve, the director of TLM, said how hard it was to get support because especially in the West, we have no comprehension of leprosy whatsoever. It’s such a foreign thing to us and also a disease that we think of as not a modern problem. When I mentioned we were going to the Mission, often the response was, “People still have leprosy?”

And it’s quite striking how much of a problem it is. Tens of thousands still suffer from it all over India and has such disastrous effects. And part of the problem is that they still don’t know what causes it or how it’s transmitted. So education and prevention are obviously a huge issue if you don’t even know what the root cause is. And the social stigma that is attached creates another aspect to the disease that makes it even more difficult to treat.

One of the things that made my heart ache was when the director told us that people will cut themselves, because they can’t feel pain, so that they can be admitted to the hospital for a meal. So, not only are these people suffering from leprosy but they are starving and willing to cause themselves physical damage just so satisfy their hunger for one day.

Often, because of gangrene and other side effects of the disease, amputation is the only option. So people have to live without feet and hands. They go blind because the muscles in their eyes stop working and they can no longer blink. The things that we take so for granted…blinking…now become a conscious effort for these people.

And as I sit here, half a world away from my home, I can’t believe that people in this time with the kind of medical breakthroughs that have been made in the last century, still suffer the way these people suffer. Their lives are forever limited by this disease. I just wanted to hug every one of them. Just to comfort and encourage them. And I am simply struck by how well we have it in the United States and how much we take it for granted. What a privilege it is to live the way we do.

We left The Leprosy Mission around 4pm and drove back to the hotel. We met up with Thomas and his wife around 7:30 and they took us to a nearby restaurant where we had fabulous Indian food. Seriously, I’m totally loving the complete and total access to non-stop Indian cuisine. I think it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite types of food. We had a lovely time and it was great to spend some time with Thomas. He is a very kind man and I look forward to seeing him again in the future. He has a genuine joy about him and a spirit of kindness that I would like to emulate.

For now, I need to pack and get ready for bed. My bag is about packed to capacity so it will take some expert skills to get everything packed back in properly. Tonight, I pray for those that are affected by leprosy. I pray that advances and steps forward would continue to be made and that the Lord's healing hand would be upon them. I am thankful for such a wonderful day and the Lord's provision and for being kept safe. I am so grateful for the chance to be in this place with these people. I pray that Wellspring will be good stewards of the gifts that God's entrusted to us.

Until then…shalom.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fresh Manna - The Opening of a Dream!

March has been a very fruitful and encouraging month as Naomi had the opportunity to travel to South Africa for the grand opening of Fresh Manna, the restaurant concept created by Noleen Glasgow, the recipient of one of Wellspring’s first individual grants. Noleen is the perfect example of why Wellspring exists. She is a woman who found herself in the midst of some very difficult circumstances where she could have easily lost hope. But she had a dream and the motivation to pursue it and with the support of Wellspring and a few key others, she dedicated herself to realizing those dreams. This month proved to be just another step for Noleen as she continues to pursue a positive and self-sufficient life for herself and for her son. We are incredibly proud of Noleen and so excited for this new phase of her life where she gets to enjoy the fruits of her labor!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zamar Academy Christmas Dinner

by Naomi Zacharias

For Christmas, Wellspring hosted a Christmas dinner for the children of Zamar Academy in Chennai, India. This is a Christian school that serves underprivileged children from the slum areas of Chennai. 137 students and their families attended the event. Each student was given a school bag with a pencil set and toy inside.
Click here to see the video of their celebration...the angels dancing to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" has to be my favorite...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jfHhzcO5c0

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

From South Africa to Disneyland

by Naomi Zacharias

We have often spoken of Noleen and her story of courage and strength. She successfully changed the course of her life when she received a scholarship from Wellspring. Graduating at the top of her class from culinary school, Noleen has since been a chef at a four star hotel in Cape Town.
She and her son, Jomei, traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, in October to share her story with friends of Wellspring. She showed enormous courage and invited people into her story of much pain suffered, but the remarkable restoration that lights up her eyes. On their way home we sent them to Disneyland, for what is a trip to the US that does not include an introduction to Mickey Mouse? I had to leave for a trip, but left them safely in the hands of a good friend, LV Hanson from the Catalyst team, who took them with friends to the happiest place on earth...

http://www.vimeo.com/7528974

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fair Trade Month

Fall is here. And October is now about more than costumes and candy. October is Fair Trade Month.

Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that seeks to engage small producers in developing countries in the global retail market. The movement serves many purposes: as an advocate for the local producer, to promote environmentally responsible standards in the production of goods, and to provide a sustainable effort to fight poverty. It focuses on exports from developing countries to developed countries. Products such as coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate and flowers are common items available through Fair Trade. Handicrafts are also available at select retailers.
Fair trade respects the labor, talent, and self-sufficiency of the individual, it rewards a strong work ethic, and combats poverty and many of its horror-filled effects. Through our every-day choices and selections, we can each fight against poverty, hunger, abuse, and human trafficking.
Check out the website http://www.fairtrademonth.org to learn a new fact about Fair Trade each day, and different ways to support this global effort.

Thursday, September 24, 2009