Amy Jicha (Waynesville, NC)

I first experienced India by visiting ServeTrust in 2007.  Encountering such radiance and simultaneous suffering were new experiences that settled deep into who I am. I was able to revisit Leena in May 2017. It was a beautiful lesson in the cyclical nature of God.

Leena’s warm welcome dissolved the decade between us. I have worked with multiple Indian charities, so I quickly noticed her connection to ServeTrust beneficiaries. We visited a handful of sites, from beach town microloan payees to the School of Joy’s growing student body.  It’s clear that ServeTrust provides relationship in addition to funding. Everyone was thrilled to see Leena. At each site with children, either a classroom or a roadside tent city, they ran up shouting “Mom!”

Entering the Rock Crushers School, I was confused. The terrain resembled the quarry I visited ten years prior, but now held a sturdy, cheerful building where a thatched awning had been. Instead of a handful of scattered children, a singing assembly welcomed me. After dousing me with marigold petals, the students displayed what they’d learned in that encouraging environment.

While the writer of the Old Testament book, Ecclesiastes lamented his own meaningless routine, I began to connect his words to my experience. To me, newness had  exemplified God’s redemption. But in South India, recurrence also illuminated its depth. This trip exemplified Leena’s commitment, deep caring, and unfettered joy. Had this been my first visit, I couldn’t have grasped how nothing about this relationship was new, though the results had grown”.