Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 9, 2013

Seeing The World Clearly

New Delhi, India

This afternoon I had the privilege of speaking at the International Women’s Day Conference hosted by the women of the historic St. Thomas’ Church in New Delhi. The almost two-hundred year old church is named for Thomas the Apostle, traditionally believed to have taken the gospel to India. The church has a rich history of preaching the gospel and compassionately serving the people of their community.

IMG_2443

With Vinita Shaw, Director of Disha Foundation.

I met Vinita Shaw, the wife of Pastor Timothy Shaw, this past year at the Global Leaders Life Summit in Grand Rapids, a gathering of folks who are championing the sanctity of human life around the world. Vinita, a journalist, served as the CEO of TransWord Radio India for twenty-years. Most recently she has branched out and started a radio broadcast that specifically addresses women’s issues in India from a biblical worldview. The broadcast addresses everything from female feoticide, the killing of baby girls, rape, the dowry system, and other abuses of and crimes against women in India.

IMG_2430

Girls choir from the hostel supported by Disha Foundation.

Vinita made the decision to start her new broadcast as a result of reading the endless litany of depressing headlines in Indian newspapers about crimes against young girls and women. Because these headlines are so common in India, it’s easy to become desensitized to them or to read them and then move on without actually doing anything to address the problem. Vinita could not just read the headlines and move on to the next thing. She had to act. And, she did.

Today, Vinita’s Disha (from the Hindi word for guidance) Foundation is proactively working to champion the rights of Indian girls and women. In addition to the radio program, the Disha Foundation also sponsors youth camps, family conferences, helps provide meals for street kids in Delhi, sponsors vocational training programs to give young women a hand-up, and other initiatives to create awareness about crimes against Indian women.

This afternoon I challenged those in attendance to see the world around them with greater clarity. Seeing the world clearly precedes responding intentionally and compassionately. I referenced the three attitudes displayed in the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and how we tend to play one of those roles when we come across injustice or need in our world.

The first attitude is that of the robbers who beat the man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. Their attitude was, “What’s yours is mine, I’ll take it.” This is the attitude displayed by those who are strong against those who are weak and vulnerable. Every day someone who is strong will rob someone who is weak of their rights, their dignity, their security, and their possessions somewhere in the world.

The second attitude is that of the religious leaders who passed the man who had been beaten but did not stop to render aid. Their attitude was, “What’s mine is mine, I’ll keep it.” This is the attitude displayed by those who are indifferent and who don’t want to get involved. Every day, those who are indifferent turn their eyes away from things that are disturbing and then walk away, never doing anything to help.

The third attitude is that of the Good Samaritan who saw the man who had been beaten, felt compassion, and stopped to help. His attitude was, “What’s mine is yours, I’ll give it,” This is the attitude of those who feel a personal sense of responsibility to right a wrong. These are the folks who give their voice to those who have no voice, who lend their strength to those who are weak, and who champion the rights of the most vulnerable among us.

IMG_2441

Vinita (far right) with the women’s ministry leaders at St. Thomas’ Church.

If the injustices we see do not prompt us to act, then have we really seen things clearly? Vinita could not stand to look at one more headline or hear one more story about crimes against girls and women in India. So she made a bold move that led her in the direction of those in need of a champion. I applaud Vinita and those who are standing with her to bring about much-needed changes in India in regard to the treatment of women from the womb to the tomb. We need more champions like Vinita.

Shaw Book

Vinita’s first book. Stories of lives changed through the ministry of TransWorld Radio.


Responses

  1. Silence in the face of Evil is Evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless, not to speak is to speak, not to act is to act!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories