So this week I have been doing the following things:
- Keeping track of the cricket (Go on India!)
- Trying to work out further ways to raise money for Chennai Challenge – including possibly running a couple of pub quizzes.
- enjoying sunshiney weather (until yesterday)
- Reading Henry VI part 1
- Listening to Mumford & Son’s Sigh No More (great album)
- Finishing my job as an Employment Advisor at a Children’s Centre
- Watching, and enjoying, ‘The Hangover’
- Meeting a good friend from school and enjoying a Baileys & Oreo Milkshake together
- Seeing ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ for free – not bad Mr K Dick, not bad
- Working one day in a new position on the front desk of a theatre
- Following, with bated breath, the Arts Council Funding decisions
It’s not been a quiet week then, and what with the financial situation here, and particularly the cuts to the arts (I work in the arts you see) I’ve been thinking a lot about money. I try very hard not to worry about such things, to trust that God will provide. But sometimes it is very hard. Becky Swamickan and all at Oasis are firmly in my thoughts at the moment. As well as all of the children and teachers at Fort School. I just can’t tell you how much I wish I knew how to make the money to help provide for them. To rebuild Fort School is a dream that we have had for a number of years now, and it’s difficult to keep revisiting and not be able to deliver.
I sometimes forget how much money we’re dealing with when we’re in India. It is all transformed into Indian Rupees – and we are in posession of millions of rupees. It all seems unreal, and feels a bit like Monopoly money, so I stop thinking about it as real. I am however amazed that in spite of holding tens of lakhs rupees we don’t have the money to do everything that we want.
I suspect that no matter how much money we have, we’ll never be able to do everything we want. Would we ever be satisfied? We obviously need to raise money to complete the project that we run. The more money we raise, the more we can do. But if I’m honest the thing that is most memorable for our team members and the boys from the Boys Town particularly is the time spent together. An old friend of ours from Chennai once said:
You must continue to visit. Don’t worry about bringing money – the money isn’t important. You must continue to visit to spend time with your friends.
And that’s what they are. They are not poor people on the other side of the world. They are our friends. We have friends in the staff at YMCA and Oasis, we have friends in the groups that we work with in the slums, we have friends in the boys at the Boys Town, and each year we get to visit our friends. Call me sentimental, but the fact that we are able to spend time with our friends, and have incredible fun with the boys is worth more to me than the money. It helps to remember that when struggling to raise the money we need!
(P.S. by no means am I suggesting that you should not donate to Chennai Challenge easily and securely here!) 😉