Villaume Family India Mission Trip

On November 5, 2012, Mary and I will be departing as part of a small team from our church, Shallowford Presbyterian in Atlanta, GA, to New Delhi, India where we will be engaging in a ten-day mission trip at the Carmel Community Ministry.  We became acquainted with this ministry through Pastor Alex Thomas who is the pastor of an International Church that shares space with ours. Alex is related to one of the founders of the Carmel Community, Joicy Baby, and her husband Pastor Koshy Baby.

Koshy and Joicy both left their jobs to begin this ministry in the "Rag Picker" slums on the out-skirts of Delhi and have since grown their ministry to feed and educate as many as 1,000 children per day and help improve the quality of life in this desperate and destitute place. For those of you who have seen the film, Slum Dog Millionaire, I am told that the movie only does a fair job of depicting the full extent of the poverty and despair you will find in this place. It is called a "Rag Picker" slum because residents are so poor, that even the challenge of being clothed requires that they find bits and pieces of discarded fabric to either sell or wear.  I have seen pictures of their makeshift homes and accounts of their situations where a child is injured and must lay on a dirt floor in a dirty lean-two made of discarded building scraps while her open wound festers and seeps. This child was at risk of never being able bodied again and, it was only through the help of ministries like Carmel and churches like Shallowford, that she was able to receive the help she needed and to escape a future of begging and prostitution.

In the past, our church has helped subsidize programs at Carmel such as school uniforms and shoes for children, school supplies, a computer lab with internet access, and a library of books for children to read and enrich themselves. Carmel also provides vocational training to adults and children and, most of all, spiritual hope to the community. The impact Carmel has had is evident as you visit this place and, I am told, there is a clear line of demarkation where the work of Carmel ends and the slums begin. It is important to us that we help keep this work moving ahead.

When asked how we could best serve this community, Koshy told us three things: 1) teach the children about hygiene, 2) help us get clean water to use, and 3) help us develop our computer lab and skills.

We believe that, based on this, God has called us to be in this place at this time to do His work. Mary, with a background in education, will be ideal to help teach hygiene and our plan is to train and equip a team of adults to then train the rest of the community and perform ongoing training. My background in having done 5 previous missions to Mexico where we have installed and maintained water purification systems through the Living Waters for the World ministry makes me ideally suited to help investigate the feasibility and implementation of a water system. And of course, Mary and I both have IT backgrounds that equip us to work in the computer lab.

Now, the only thing we need is money. We have already raised almost $700 toward our goal and we need to raise another $1,300 in order to pay for the trip.

If you prefer to pay offline, you can make the check payable to Shallowford Presbyterian Church to make this a tax deductible gift. Just put "Villaume India Trip" in the memo field and we will send you a letter recognizing your donation for tax purposes.

Please consider giving what you can to help us out. We so appreciate your help and, in return for your kindness, will host a dinner at our home after the trip to share our experience and images with you who will have help bring this to fruition.

In Friendship,
Nick and Mary Villaume
  • Karen Kirfchem 
    • $10 
    • 111 mos
  • Chad Moreno 
    • $50 
    • 111 mos
  • Scott & Karen 
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  • Margaret & Kenley Jones 
    • $100 
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    • $50 
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Nick Villaume 
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