India Part One | My Story Monday | Northern California Photographer


Welcome to My Story Monday!  Mondays are the day I invite you in and turn the camera on my life so you can see some of my family’s story!  I have done it randomly before in these posts, but now I will be writing weekly on Mondays.

As I told you I am starting this series by writing about India.  I think it is SO fitting as a small team is currently there, conducting a discovery and listening trip. They are hoping to listen and get an idea of how we can do our trips better and have more of a continuing presence even when teams are not in country.  Hoping to create lasting care, and just in general help in the best way not just OUR way:-)

So back to our trip.  Tom(my husband) and I headed to India early December 2013.  We went with a group of people to conduct a medical camp in various villages around Chillakalu where we were staying.  As you may remember when I first talked about it here, that I donated all monies made from the Fall 2013 portrait season to fund my trip and all extras went to the ministry as well!  AND due to your generosity I was able to fund my entire trip and give a little to the team for our camp!  SO THANK YOU!  I really can’t say it enough.  Since going to India, the people I met have my heart!  More than I would have known before. Your donation not only allowed me to help the people we met, BUT it also allowed me to grow in ways I never thought possible!  As I said I can’t thank you ENOUGH!

Before the trip we gathered to pack supplies.  We had many donations. From medications, to loans of testing equipment for eye exams to eye glasses, dresses and shorts for the children in the children’s home there, etc.  AND we had to get them all in country, SO we all were allowed one bag of our own and we all carried one HUGE duffel bag across customs.  Luckily Tom and I are very light packers, and even though I took things I never used (hello hairdryer), we manage to only pack one bag amongst the two of us, so he carried two duffel bags!  This packing day was SO awesome because our kids were able to come and help pack the things we had collected for the kids at the orphanage we were staying at.  I LOVE that they got to help and see what we were doing, get a little taste of the trip:-)

We also had a full day of Cross-Cultural training before our trip, which I was SUPER thankful for!  It opened my eyes to how different we in America think compared to a large portion of the rest of the world.  I also figured out what I was able to wear, and a little about what we would be doing.

SO you probably want to know where we were going and why.  We were headed to Chillakalu, a village in the AP Provence in Eastern India.  There we would stay with a pastor and his wife on the property of their children’s home where they have welcomed 100+ kids into their family and loved and cared for them when their parents couldn’t.  They run New Hope Ministries, where they have a church and a school and where they help lots of families and people.  India is NOTHING like America, I will be sharing more about what we did there in the future posts:-) Anyway, we went and conducted a medical clinic over 5 days in 3 different villages.  Tom and I worked in the Eye clinic, but we had teams that did dental and medical.  We also had some time to travel and see some of the country as well.

This was some of our team:-)


I really can’t wait to tell you all about it! It really was a LIFE CHANGING trip! In my journal I wrote about leaving my boys, I remember clearly that the days leading up to the trip my heart would race and I would get nervous at the thought of us both leaving our boys to travel across the world. Leaving them the day of was the HARDEST thing I ever did, and it was the longest few minutes as they were dropping us off and waiting for us to leave. I finally sent them away, I couldn’t take the waiting! It was all worth it, and obviously we returned safely:-) AND they learned a ton from our stories:-)

Next Monday I will write about our travel TO India, which is no simple task and took me further than I had ever been in my life:-) I can’t wait to tell you about Singapore!

You can jump to the India posts here:

Part Two – Travel

Part Three – In Country

Part Four – Clinic

Part Five – The Last Day

If you would like to learn more about New Hope Ministries, which is where we went, you can go to their website here, IF you would like to donate to the current trip you can do so here.  THANK YOU!

Like MY STORY and want me to tell yours? Do you need new family images to tell that story on your walls, or in a book on your coffee table? Are you looking at your kids and wondering, where the time goes, and how they got so big? Do you want to celebrate who THEY are RIGHT now? I would love to tell YOUR FAMILY’S story, and CAPTURE YOUR LIFE! Send me an EMAIL, and we will grab a coffee and get to know each other!


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