24 Jan A Dream Worth Having
For anyone feeling mired in recent political events, here’s a bit of inspiration I ran across recently.
It’s the story of Anand and Rosie Thandu.
Anand and Rosie were born and raised in India, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. They knew each other as children and were arranged to be married in 2000. Rosie was 18 at the time. Anand was 25. Shortly after they tied the knot, they moved to the USA and settled down in Northern California.
It was a good life. Anand worked as a software engineer and made good money. Rosie went to school to earn a degree in computer science. In time, they made close friends. They bought a house. They purchased nice furniture; Rosie especially loved her leather couch. By any measure, they were living the American Dream.
Feeling blessed, they decided to give back to their home community in India. They purchased some land and set up a small orphanage that they called Children of Faith. A little money every month supported five orphaned children. Anand’s father and brother ran it.
But seeds planted have a way of growing and before long C.O.F. had expanded to forty children. That’s when Anand felt called to act. As a strong Christian, he believed God was directing him to move back home and raise these children more directly. Unfortunately, it was not an idea Rosie wanted anything to do with at first.
“I was totally against it,” she told me. “I loved our home. I loved the food in America. All the choices. The precut vegetables. The pancakes. I loved my dishwasher. I loved our friends. I did not want to come back to India at all.”
They prayed about it…Rosie stalled as long as she could, but in the end they made the move and got to work. It wasn’t easy or perfect. Rosie admits to saying “Let’s go back! Let’s go back!” far too many times. But they stayed and they settled and their seeds continued to grow.
Today they have 120 glorious children, a sprawling compound and plans to build a spectacular new school called Hope Academy. It will be unlike anything in the area, offering a world-class education not just to their kids but to children in the community for generations to come. It’s being championed by a group of American supporters (myself included), and you can learn more about the project here if you’re curious.
I visited the orphanage a few weeks ago, met the kids and shot a video to help with the school fundraising efforts. Here’s what Children of Faith looks like in 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
Mother Teresa once said, “There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”
While I was with them, I asked Rosie how she feels about the move now, nine years in, and she said, “Looking back on my time in America, that dream seems so small to me now. The food. All the comforts. But being here with these children, loving them like our own kids, this feels like a dream worth having.”
(For the record, Rosie did say this while sitting on her leather couch that she shipped over from America. But then, no one ever said selfless service had to be uncomfortable all the time.)
So what’s your dream worth having? Any passions tapping at your heart these days? Any leaps of faith calling you closer and closer to the edge? At this time in history, with so much fear and need swirling the planet like dark storm clouds…who knows? The right moment for each of us to answer our own call in our own extraordinary way might just be now.