Joanines Adorno-Diaz, Global Mission Intern
How would you describe the mission of our partner in Durgapur?
The Diocese of Durgapur works with mostly slum children, trafficked, kids that had a high risk of being trafficked and with their surrounding community. The Diocese in Durgapur houses about 35 children, which most come from the slums and tribal homes. Many parts of India are made up of these slums and the Diocese provides them with a warm bed, warm food, prayer time , education, music classes, Taekwondo, dance classes , sewing classes and so much more.
The Diocese also has safe houses, where young girls that have been rescued from being trafficked live. They are given a home, meals , education and they are really into the arts (singing and dancing).
How do you fit into their mission?
I currently am helping one of the young women from the hostel with the play school children at St. Peter’s School. In the afternoons I help the children with their homework , read them stories and also I have been helping the communications department with their website.
What led you to engage in this calling?
I really like working with children. I have always felt a call to missions. I have somehow always been involved in helping others go and always wondered when will my time come. The work being done here in Durgapur really called out to me. With human trafficking being such a huge topic that is currently being spoken about more. But, the experience I have working with children comes from Sunday School and my mother was a Head Start teacher for a while and I would go and watch her from time to time. I just really enjoy being surrounded by kids.
Is there a passage of scripture that carries special meaning in your daily work?
It is very difficult to choose just one. There are many passages that help me daily, sometimes even hourly. But I think the following passage speaks to me and what the work of the Diocese.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous . Do not be afraid , do not be discouraged , for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9
It takes a lot of courage for a young adult to move alone to an unknown country, not knowing anyone or the language.
It also takes a lot of courage for Christians here in India, which is predominately a Hindu country. This Diocese has several locations where they work, and I know that wherever they go God is with them, opening doors and protecting them. As well as him being with me wherever I go, he gives me the strength and courage each an everyday.
What are some of the challenges facing the people of Durgapur?
There are many challenges facing the people of India and our partner. India still has very rural places where it is a little bit more challenging to reach. It’s not impossible because it is being done, but some of these rural places it is all about working and having the children work. The children do not get an education…
The Indian government handles pretty much everything, and they are not too fond of Christianity here in India. I heard that they have “shut down” some contracts of Christian organizations that funded some Christian organizations. Which could be a challenge because unfortunately money is sometimes needed for things to get done.
Also , sometimes it seems like the citizens of India do not want to “help”. They are not motivated , especially for these young kids to get an education. They rather have the children work because of what is needed now…
Which books have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology?
- India in Slow Motion - Mark Tully
- Holy Cow - Tarun Chopra
- No full stops in India - Mark Tully
Which films have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology?
- Daughters of Destiny
- Daughters of Mother India