In case you hadn't heard, the Compassion Bloggers headed off to India Friday. Like so many, the work that Compassion does touches my heart in so many ways. (Just as it breaks my heart to know that it is necessary to have groups like Compassion. Oh how we long for the day when every child is fed, clothed, taught, happy and healthy.) I have thought a lot about the phrase "finding hope in Calcutta." Americans spent a good part of last year hearing the word "hope" over and over. Hope that gas prices would go down. Hope that someone would pay their house payments. Hope that jobs could be found. Hope that incomes might go up. Hope that we might be saved from whatever was believed to be wrong with our country. I often got the impression that the word "hope" was associated with whatever we felt we wanted our fairy godmother to bless us with.
Meanwhile, in India, about 836 million people (somewhere around four out of five) make less than fifty US cents a day. The number of malnourished children is among the world's highest. About 60 million children are underweight. This morning there were 429 children waiting for Compassion sponsors. (taken from Compassion's website.)
Wikipedia defines hope as a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. To hope is to wish for something with the expectation of the wish being fulfilled.
Of the two nations, which do you think has less reason to hope? And which of the two needs it more?
This next week, we have the opportunity to follow the Compassion Bloggers as they walk the streets of Kolkata, India, bringing hope to the children there and perhaps, just maybe, helping us rediscover the true meaning of hope as well.