I have just arrived home after a week-long trip to Grace House with some incredible volunteers. With tremendous thanks to all of you who helped to fund the library, I am excited to say that in the week we were there the interior was completed.
I wish you all could have been there to see the girls’ faces when they walked into the space. Clean and bright, with shelves full of treasures. Their reactions were incredible, and they were so grateful. Some read and looked through books all afternoon while others worked on puzzles and others played board games. Needless to say, the well-organized, lovely shelves didn’t stay that way for long, but it was such a joy to just sit and watch them enjoy their new space.
It is just incredible to watch as God continues to put incredible people in our path. There is just no way to express our gratitude – be it to you, the donor or volunteer giving of your heart, time and resources; the contractors on site; our incredible staff at Grace House; and even our staff at GameGuard. Everyone is always there for our girls, taking care of their every need, and we are so incredibly grateful.
We never would have been able to finish the interior when we did if it weren’t for the team of local craftsman and artisans that worked around the clock in the three weeks prior to our arrival – these people are the ones who really deserve the credit. Replacing broken tiles, building a bookcase, plastering the cracks and holes in the walls, installing new windows, painting … the list goes on and on. The sweet painter (who we have used on all of our projects to date) stopped to tell us how thankful he is that these beautiful girls are being cared for, loved and given opportunity – then he and his crew stayed until 1:00 a.m. to finish the painting so we could hang drapes, load furniture and fill the bookshelves. All of this happened on our last day!
When Craig and I first walked onto the campus that was to become Grace House, we had no idea what God would put on our hearts as this project unfolded. It’s been incredible to watch and see these requests come to life. Last year, a classroom; this year, a library. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
There still is some work to be completed. We are beginning the plastering and painting of the library’s exterior this week and then we will start the biggest project of all: installing a 90-meter cell tower that will provide internet access across the entire campus. This is huge. We will be able to have conversational English classes online, access to academic tutoring and video tutorials – we are learning of more resources every day. If there is something that you are aware of that you think could help our girls either improve their English skills or excel academically, please let us know. We are researching everything we can find.
We are also looking for teachers who are willing to volunteer and work one-on-one with the girls to help them improve academically. The one specific area I noticed during this trip that needed improvement is vocabulary. The girls are taught to memorize a word in English but, in many cases, have no idea of the word’s meaning. Being taught in English and not knowing a word’s definition creates an endless cycle of frustration and failure, and it is a cycle that needs to end.
I want to thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for your prayers, your time, your financial contributions. Because of you, Grace House India is a place like no other … and it only will get better from here.