It was around July 2011 when I came to India to attend the wedding of a friend. As a child, my friend’s husband had grown up in Sunshine Children’s home. Since the wedding was taking place at Sunshine Seventh-Day Adventist Church, he arranged our place of stay very close by.
During the wedding preparations, we were able to spend much time with the Sunshine staff and children. We were also able to help out during a week of prayer in Sunshine SDA School and Spencer SDA School. In our 3-week stay, we grew closer to the staff members and especially the children. But as always to all good holiday trips comes an end.
When the kids came to say goodbye, some of them cried. They asked only two questions, “Will you forget about us?” and “Will you visit again?” To hear those questions coming from a child kept me thinking. Why would they ask something like that?
I always wanted to go on mission trips and work with people of many different cultures, countries, religions and age groups. But their questions made me think, how many people go back to the places of their mission work and stay in touch? It clicked to me that the Sunshine staff and children have seen many people come and go. But just a few go back frequently. This made me realize how self-centered my idea of a mission trip was.
In a very simple way the Sunshine family taught me how to share the little we have and how much our presence means to someone and especially children. Through the Sunshine family God taught me the little we do for others could mean the world to someone else. Through Sunshine, God answered my questions and gave me an extended family.
I love to share the wondrous love of God with all of them and they share that with me. Supporting and motivating the Sunshine children in their studies takes a lot of personal time but seeing them succeed makes all the time worth it. Even during failure, it’s amazing to see how much an advice or just a casual talk can do. All these reasons plus the smiles on their faces when they see that I have not forgotten them and that I have come to visit them again, makes me want to come back to my Sunshine family over and over again.