When you see something awful happening around you, what do you do about it? Do you internalize it, or talk about it? Do you write about it, or forget about it? When I was about 10, I read Corrie Ten Boom’s “A Hiding Place” for the first time. It was the first time I really understood what happened in World War 2, and I was shocked beyond words. My Grandma and Grandpa are both Dutch, just like Corrie was, each of their parents coming over on the boat.
I remember clear as day my Grandma standing by her sink and me sitting at her table just chit-chatting, when I asked her, “Grandma, what did you know about the concentration camps when the war was going on? Why didn’t anybody stop it?” I remember her face falling, as she shook her head and turned away, she said, “We just didn’t know, we just didn’t know.” She got very quiet then so I just left it alone. I decided to talk to my Dad about it later. He told me about how the Nazi’s made sure to keep those places hidden and secret, and it was way before the news was so global and fast.
I was so unsettled that day I felt like someone should have told. Someone should have shouted from the hills that something was very wrong, and those people needed help. That unsettledness has never left me. When I see injustice, I want to shout about it. I want everyone to know. I want to mess up people’s comfortable lives, letting them know that someone somewhere is suffering as much as they are comfortable.
As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I realize that shouting doesn’t help. I realize that statements like, “Enjoy your Lucky Charms because kids are dying around the world from hunger” don’t really work. What I have realized is that telling stories does work. People connect with stories.
I can not wait to write down the stories we collected in India. I am hoping they motivate you to action. I am hoping eyes are opened, and people are helped. More than anything, I hope that God advances His Kingdom in Southern India, and little girls like the one above has a chance for a hope and a future.