Emily and Mindy Hashey
My two kids have told me over the past three years that I cannot understand their experience in India unless I experience India for myself.  As a mother I saw a change in Emily and Carl in the way they gave service and love to others after they experienced India.  I am so grateful for the life lessons that this country has taught my children.
But I am here to find my own experience in India at Rising Star Outreach. 
I love that this organization includes Outreach in their name. Its like, to reach the highest star we need to reach out – accept help and help others.
I experienced physical strength in building latrines and septic tank systems. I dug holes in the hard clay dirt infested with ants and I carried bricks to build the latrines.  I worked very hard.
I experienced mental strength as I helped teach the children to speak and read English.  I watched the children at the hostel create a home environment with their peers.  I love the way the children worked together to resolve conflicts and how they love and help each other.
I experience emotional strength as I helped wash and care for the ulcers on wounded feet and partial limbs.
I wondered how I would feel as I washed the ulcers on their feet and as I dressed their wounds.  I wondered if I would feel helpful or helpless. 
Emily, Mindy and one of their sponsor
children, Jaikarthik
I learned that the wounds are not something that I can cure.  For the wounds are deeper than the ulcers.  I discovered that the wounds do not define the people but that the wounds do create trials. The way the people respond to their trials helps strengthen their faith and hope in life.  These people have faith and hope and happiness even with their afflictions.  They are kind and humble and grateful. 
So what is this change I am feeling?
It is my highs and lows of the days in India.  The reflection of seeing such pain and sadness filled with hope and faith.  And love so deep, that it fills their eyes and my eyes with tears. And love so deep, that it fills their souls and my soul with gladness.

I love, love, love India.  It is indescribable.  It is an experience that has changed my life, and my ways of service and loving others.  
–Mindy Hashey
2014 Summer Session 1 Volunteer
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