“Excuse me, ma’am, can I shine your shoes? I will shine your shoes for rupees.”
I had just flown into the Dehli airport and was trying to stay with my team as we loaded onto our bus.
“Rupees… please?” The little voice behind me persisted. I sighed and turned around. The boy could not have been any older than my ten-year-old brother. But his face was haggard. He was extremely thin.
And his eyes…. I will never forget his eyes. Sometimes when I lay in bed at night, I can still see them.
When I went to India, I saw thousands of people. I took thousands of photos. Hundreds of times, the eyes of Indian children came into focus through my lens. Hundreds of times, I snapped my camera and allowed my dSLR to imprint their face on my memory card.
Some of the children waved at me and laughed gleefully when I took their photos. Their dark eyes shone brightly from their beautiful brown faces.
But then there were the eyes of the little beggar boy near the Delhi airport.
His eyes were dark. Very dark. Darker than anything I’d ever seen in my home country. And as I gazed into those eyes, I knew that they, in their few years on this earth, had seen more pain and poverty than I would see in my entire lifetime.
Because they were the eyes of a child in need.
His eyes told a story and it went something like this: He had never gone to school regularly. Instead, he worked on the streets to help support his family. He had always known hunger. He did not care to keep himself clean, because he did not know that God loves him.
That was his story. And it made me cry. It also made me think. I want his story to be different.
I want him to know what it feels like to be clean and warm and well-cared for and nourished. I want to see him excel in his studies and be successful. I want him to know the love of God, and for him to share that with his family.
But if I want his story to be different, it’s up to me to do something about it. So today, I want to bless a child in India like him.
I want to change that child’s eyes from being full of darkness and pain, to being illumined with light and peace.
Through praying, or giving, I invite you to join me. Maybe you can’t go to India and look into a child’s eyes yourself. But you can make a difference for a child from your home.
For a one-time gift of $36, you can give a precious Indian child an entire year in an Egg Project center where they will receive after-school tutoring, training in good hygiene, and hear the Gospel. At Serve India, we call this “buying an egg” – because an egg is a symbol of life, health, and hope – what we want to give to these children.