Aug
31

Trip To India

In August, Cameron and I (Christian) had the opportunity to go to New Delhi, India.  Our good friends Ben De Rienzo (photographer & videographer, benderienzo.com) and Ken Burkey (Senior Pastor at GVCC) joined us as well.  The trip was nothing less than phenomenal.  A huge thanks to anyone who sponsored us in anyway.  It was an adventure from START to FINISH.

We got off to a great (terrible) start…  Somehow we missed the memo that a visa was the only key that could unlock the door to India.  Luckily for us the place to get visa’s is nearby: San Francisco Airport .  Unluckily for us it can take weeks to acquire one, but we decided to befriend risk and get up at 5am to wait in line.  It opened at 9am, we submitted our info at 9:05am and then we spent the entire day waiting just drenched in nerves.  There was no other option, it was go visa or go home.  Ben had rented a lot of equipment that couldn’t be refunded so we faked peace until 5pm when they miraculously handed us our visa.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:15pm and British Airways closed at 6pm sharp.  Only one obstacle stood before us: TRAFFIC.  We vroomed away in haste and made it in the nick of time.  Shout out to Moses for parting the sea of vehicles.  Needless to say, we slept like infants on that flight.

Random fact: Ben has the superhuman ability to sleep like an infant anywhere, a skill we all envied.

We arrived to be welcomed by our unbelievably accommodating hosts, the lovely Williams family (thank you for making everything possible for us as a team and for providing the beautiful company, transportation and distraction from stress).  We met up with our main contact, Christiaan Bosman, an incredible man full of intellect and heart.  He runs a few coffee shops that hire the “untouchables”, such as victims of sex trafficking.  He is literally saving lives and is such an inspirational figure.

The evil of underage prostitution in India is just devastating.  Christiaan drove us down a road known as “GB Road” a.k.a. the red light district where the brothels are side by side and stacked up to 5 stories high.  The living conditions for these girls/boys are more like graves where they can quite literally die or the hope of a better life is dead.  This definitely lit a fire in us and we were ready to do our part in eradicating this horrible mess.

The mission was to include the students of the American Embassy School in any way possible to use their art to fight sex trafficking.  I was shocked when we arrived at the school.  It was an unbelievable campus that was overflowing with an incredible staff and student body.  They made us feel right at home.  We had an absolute ball sharing our love for music with these kids.  The talents were so diverse as well.  One girl name Urvi created a killer set design for the concert that included cut out silhouettes of trafficked girls.  Another talented gal named Chloe and performed a fantastic original song of hers called “Freedom Won’t You Come”.  Others added by playing an instrument on one our songs or singing.  And the craziest thing of all?  We successfully pulled together a concert in a week and raised funds for the Courage house in India.

Wait, no, that wasn’t the craziest thing.  I forgot to mention that my cargo pants hid my passport and took a swim in the washing machine ruining it completely.  So, I had to get a new visa the day before we returned.  But that’s a story for another day.  Thanks for reading.

Peace

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