A Heart of Compassion
I just flew back to Pittsburgh from Srinagar, India last week. The main purpose for this trip was to meet with our team in Kashmir concerning the location for the new school for the blind and commitments from our friends in India, like Dr. Q (for security his name is withheld).
Dr. Q is an amazing man with a dream to see a high-tech school for the blind and visually impaired in Kashmir, India. Every day he sees children and adults with eye problems throughout the mountains and valleys of Kashmir. He is the man that challenged us to help the blind in Kashmir. As I was praying for him, the Lord convicted me about having a greater heart of compassion for my friend Dr. Q. What would it be like to put his shoes on for a day? Then I thought to myself “isn’t that what we are called to do as Christians?” We are called to have hearts of compassion for the people around us. It may sound a little crazy, but take time every day to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Take a look at the world around you and pick someone and think about what it would be like to be them.
I just came back from Kashmir, India during the dead of winter. Most people in Kashmir have no central heat and the only heat they have is from a little pot of burning charcoal called a kangri that they put under their coat to keep them warm. The kangri is a versatile and portable warmer that Kashmiris keep in their pheran, a long woolen shroud that comes to down to the knees. I always think about what it would feel like to be a Kashmiri shepherd in the snow-covered mountains with only a little kangri and a pheran to keep warm. This is a way that we can develop a heart that cares about other people. We don’t need to think, “That must be awful!” but we do need to develop a heart of compassion. This will help us to relate to those who suffer, in the words of the apostle Paul, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).
So, what are the next steps for the school for the blind in Kashmir? We are in the process of finalizing a good locality for the school in the city of Srinagar. We have located one site that we are working to finalize and work out a long-term agreement that represents the beginning of a long and rewarding relationship for all our friends and partners both in India and the States.
We need your prayers for this agreement, then for the funds for the equipment for the school, a work team to prepare the building for the school, teachers, and most of all for peace in Kashmir through the power of the Prince of Peace.