As Louise, Michael and I fed the children this past Sunday I found myself in the midst of a huge, bear hug from one of the girls. It was that type where she just leapt up into my arms and wrapped her thin arms and legs around me then giggled. She hugged me tight, and I could easily feel her joy there in my arms. We nuzzled into each other, I squeezed my eyes closed and softly I thought "This must be what Agape love feels like." I honestly hadn't even heard or used the term 'agape love' for at least ten years but I think I, for the first time, am experiencing it. This week the children did not panic with the fear that they would not receive food when they saw us. Instead we received smiles, hugs and (fairly) organized lines. This is the fourth or fifth week in a row that I have fed the kids in this particular slum, I love these children in a way that I have never felt before. I wonder, I hope, I pray that they feel it too. 

We changed things a little bit this time around. There were only three of us and I was worried because usually we have around five. We made the fifty meals in record time, and when I return to India after my visit to the states I will finally be able to purchase the huge pots and a gas counter-top stove. That means that I will be able to increase the meals I make each time. When we walked away this week, I told Louise that it seems I could start making 75 meals or so. So I have to. In addition, I brought along a sharpie marker so that I could mark each child's hand as they receive their meal. This significantly reduced the chaos, plus it was really cute to see the children in the line catch on and come to me with their hands out, palms facing down as opposed to up. Their hands are so dirty, so it also seems that perhaps since things are calming down that I could take the time to wash them before getting their meal. 

As we left to walk home, some of my favorite girls grabbed our hands and walked with us. I stopped and asked them each their names, they gazed at my Mahendi and we shared some more hugs. It took everything within me to not just march them down to my home and allow them to bathe and maybe even feed them again. Maybe someday. 

In four days I fly to the states. I have to admit, that though I miss my family and friends dearly I am going to miss this the next two weeks. Luckily, I have amazing friends and coworkers here who will continue to feed the kiddos in my absence. Then, I will arrive back just in time to have an extra special Christmas with a street girls day and a Christmas meal for the slums made with that crazy, unique Agape love. 


  1. Wow, I wonder if I'll ever receive a hug as wonderful as that?

    I think America's going to eb quite a shock to your system but I hope you have a great trip!

  2. Wow, I am truly touched by your commitment to your cause. I am so pleased to have found your blog and am inspired by your desire to take action and make a difference where you can!
    I went to India a couple of years ago for a short trip and as much as I was in awe of the place I was also scared to death by it! If I was wearing a hat I would most certainly take it off to you and your colleagues for the work you do. I am so pleased that the children are less fearful of you not having enough food. I also think that the marker pen sounds like a very good idea. Good on you girl!
    Jo :)

  3. The third to last photo.. I don't know if that's "the" hug you were referring to, but it's a beautiful one. The loves shines right through the camera.

  4. Kristin, this is amazing!!

    May I suggest that when you are stateside that you print those photos you've taken of the kiddos and hand them one. When I was doing missionary work in Peru, the kids loved that we had a portable printer to print their photos.

  5. You are such an amazing person. Truly.
    I'm lucky enough to be able to experience some of that love as well. Every summer I volunteer as a counselor at a camp for children with chronic skin diseases. It's a place unlike any other. The kids are so willing to return a love that most of them never get from people in the outside world. It's such a great feeling. It just goes to show that people can still show love with out being loved themselves. It's kind of incredible that love is a thing that living creatures are just born with. I wish more people would tap into it.

  6. I think that is a wonderful thing that have been doing. It warms my heart everytime i read about your adventures. I have a suggestion about your hand washing comment. It might be easier, and more time efficient, if you were to grab a bunch of wet wipes when you are in the States, this way, the children can clean their hands, and face, with the wipe themselves, before and after even.
    Please keep doing what you're doing, it's turly amazing, and it takes a beautiful person to care so much about others. Thank you :)

  7. I just stumbled upon your blog and I looove seeing all the India pictures! I have lived in India for about half a year a couple of years back when I was doing a discipleship training school. I have such fond memories of that time! Although it was difficult at times, I'll never forget all the work in the slums, orphanages, churches and schools. :)



  8. You are a beautiful person with a loving heart. May you have a happy Christmas :-)