At ITeams, we are committed to seeing entire communities transformed in an integrated way. As we seek to meet spiritual, emotional, and physical needs, we believe that a good sign of transformation occurring within in a community is when its members begin to think selflessly about others that surround them. A change within one person’s heart rarely stops there; transformation and healing begin to spread from person to person, community to community. Below, one of our community leaders in South Asia describes change beginning to take hold in Selah Center; a vocational school that primarily serves women who have emerged from trafficking or forced labor situations.
Change taking hold
Part of our syllabus at Selah involves serving in our Community Care Program (CCP). Twice monthly, girls from the center journey to a nearby elderly community and assist with cleaning homes, washing hair, and other general tasks that are difficult for members of that community to accomplish on their own. Though our girls learn sewing each day, we also want them to learn about giving of themselves to others. As our girls have formed relationships, they oftentimes mention that their favorite part of serving has been conversations that happen when they are together.
This year, after a couple visits to the elderly community, several girls came back and expressed a new desire to one of our teachers. They said that they loved helping the older people, but that many of them had other relatives or children in the village that were able to assist them as the girls had been doing. They told the teacher that as they had been serving, they had noticed others within their community who were struggling with serious needs going unmet. Though these people were not visible to the general community, they felt strongly that in caring for their community, these people should not be ignored.
We were shocked, as most of the girls in our center are Hindu, and have been raised within the caste system. They would have been taught to see certain people within their society as untouchable, yet here they were, asking for permission to begin caring for the invisible in their community.
These girls have been transformed by the act of service. They have been showing the love of Jesus, and their hearts have changed to seek the “least of these.” They saw a need, presented it to our staff, and after approval, they began acting on it.
Person to person, community to community, transformation begins to take hold. It is our passion that no one will be invisible, and everyone will have access to food, freedom, and forgiveness. As these girls, enrolled in Selah Center because of their need, experienced change in their own hearts, their eyes were opened to see the outcast and invisible for the first time. In communities all around the world, changes just like this one are happening and spreading in incredible ways. Lives and communities are being transformed by the power of God, and we are thrilled to be a part of that journey with you.