How India taught me that God answers prayer

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{Guest post by Nelet}
Nelet Kok a big dreamer with a big need for adventure, cool television content and wanting to live a simple life. She loves traveling to everywhere weird and wonderful.  She likes politics, history, animals and people that take the road less travelled by.  You can connect with her on her blog or Facebook
For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

I left my perfectly ordinary job in December 2013. 

A job that gave me the world of experience and a stable income. I left my perfectly ordinary job because I had dreams and didn’t want to feel hopeless anymore. 

I have rather strange dreams. Rather big ones: I dreamt of living in India, of telling peoples stories and of working with abused women. 

I found an internship at a TV production company specializing in factual content. They were just too happy to have me & not long after my flight was booked for 31 January. I packed my life into boxes and set off on my adventure. 

I had prayed for months before, since making my decision to leave, for three things:
  1. That I would be safe in India and that my friends & family will be safe in South Africa. 
  2. That I would be exposed to the coolest things India has to offer. And typically, if you work according to a guidebook – there are plenty. But India, is so much more than what a guidebook tells you, it is a tapestry of languages, cultures, habits, religions and beautiful architecture (yes, I have a thing for old buildings!).
  3. That I would have all the basics I needed: I was on a tight budget and even though India is cheaper than South Africa, some basics like accommodation are still pretty expensive. 
I arrived, slept for 18 hours, after being awake for 24hrs and started working. My journey led me to interview a historian, who with his partner buys old rundown buildings restoring them to their original splendour. Since starting in 1977 they now own 29 hotels. They are hands on involved with the restoration. They turn them into hotels, with emphasis on running ‘non-hotel, hotels’. While sitting across this man, interviewing him, my heart skipped a beat – my major at college was history & I had a passion for the field, especially architecture, politics & war. 

I also found a women, Amma (meaning mother), who lives in a makeshift hut just outside a famous shopping mall with her family. Her family being the street dogs of the area – she feeds them, give them basic veterinary services and fight for them. Like a mother would. She used to be a rag picker, but have given it up due to old age. She looks after them from her humble income and donations. 

I found two brothers who, in their spare time, rescue and rehabilitate birds of prey in New Delhi. They use public transport to rescue these birds, anything from raptors, owls, Egyptian vultures, snakes and whatever else is harmed. The injuries occur mostly due to kite flying, especially over the festivals. They stitch up wounds, bandage, feed and provide shelter for these birds until they are ready to leave. The roof of the shelter is half open, so birds come and go as they please. On the blazing hot summer day we filmed with them, I held a baby barn owl in my hands. A beautiful creature. It had lost its mother and was too small to survive on its own. 

India, is quite known for its garbage problem. The dirty rivers, the overflowing dustbins and mostly the heaps of garbage next to the street. While walking in Lodi Garden one morning, I spotted painted dustbins. An art project undertaken by the local municipality to encourage people to throw their garbage in the bins. Such random beauty in this city. 

Another story led me to a young college graduate who designed a water filtration system that works with solar energy. It takes tap water, that can’t be drunk straight from the tap, purifying it for drinking water. It has 4 stations set up in communities in Delhi. It is available at Rs 1 p/litre (20 ZAR cents), whereas bottled water costs Rs 15-20 p/litre (R3-4).  Having grown up in South Africa, where we still drink our tap water – this was amazing. Water is a basic right, and in India people die because they don’t have access to clean drinking water. 

My prayers were answered with inspiring human stories. It was not the obvious flashy moments of great, big stories, rather the small, ones that turned out to be great, that made my heart happy and that showed me that prayers are answered. 

Ponder: What big or small prayers has God answered in your life recently?

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you hear my prayers and answer them. 

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Photo Credits (Creative Commons) | Design: Wendy van Eyck

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