Three weeks ago we returned after a ten-day trip to India. At the invitation of Compassion NL, we traveled with a group of 18 people to Calcutta and the surrounding area to get to know Compassion’s work (better). And it worked! From the moment we arrived at the Indian airport, we were overwhelmed by the heat and the enormous crowds. Welcome to India. Fortunately, we were immediately put into an air-conditioned ‘royal’ bus and safely whisked through traffic to our beautiful hotel for a short stop. An hour after arrival we left for the first Compassion project. Each project is supported by a church that is committed to its environment with a focus on the poorest children and young people. Upon arrival, 150 to 200 children from the area around the church are patiently waiting for us. We are received royally, because white visitors are unique. Short performances, singing together and a speech by the project leader provide a warm welcome and introduce us to radiant children in school uniforms from poor families. Most children come from the lowest caste. They shine, because they have come to know the love of God. Not just as theory or theology, but through visible help, training and love. Food, education, clothing and medical care, it is all made possible by the sponsors and the work of Compassion. Each project was from a different denomination, from Salvation Army to Catholic, so that was not the case. Success does not lie in any particular club or perfect theology. It is also not in the best church building or the most successful model. It is Jesus’ love for people in need and giving concrete hands and feet to them. What power such a church has, what charity. Just do what Jesus did: ‘Good news for the poor’. Healthy children, radiant children full of dreams about what they want to become when they grow up. They make assignments such as “My plan for tomorrow”. These children have a future, these children are challenged to reach further. An entire family is blessed by sponsoring a child. On a home visit to the children we brought presents, a bag of food and we were allowed to sit on the only bed that filled the room. 4 poles and a cracked corrugated sheet on top, covered with plastic bags, that is their house. And we received a royal welcome! The attitude of the Indian employees of the projects is very serving and dedicated: “It is not a duty, it is a celebration”! How special to hear that in poor India. A statement like that hits you. Pregnant mothers and mothers with small children are also cared for, guided and trained in the Compassion projects. They learn to parent, they learn a trade and to take care of themselves and their children. So beautiful to see how these women shine and receive us with gifts and flowers! Young people who have leadership qualities and can learn well are allowed to continue studying at HBO or university level through Compassion, and they will make the difference: ‘What matters is not how fast you run but how far you go’, we saw on a wall written. A student who came with us for the day told us that he first gives Bible studies to children in the morning, then does social work, takes classes at the university and then learns in the evening in the small house where he lives with his mother. and sister lives. He beamed with joy because he could study! We could talk about it for hours, because it touched us in so many ways. – We have gained hope, because we saw ‘healthy churches’. – A healthy church does not try to preserve the church of today, but tries to build the church of tomorrow. – In India we saw a holistic approach to ‘good news for the poor’. What is ‘good news for the poor’ in the Netherlands? – Compassion is a healthy, driven and spiritual organization that rescues one child at a time from poverty. We are confident that the impact of this trip will have an impact on our ministry for years to come.