Bombay Boys, Before and After

By Bob Massey 10-26-2007

Part three in a series of posts by Bob Massey, a Los Angeles screenwriter who is currently traveling to India with a team from Ecclesia Hollywood hosted by a faith-based human rights organization whose work in Mumbai concentrates on rescuing girls from sexual slavery. + Click here to read previous posts

Whew. Landed at Mumbai Airport after 20-some hours on the plane. Customs, change money, exit to the madness that is Bombay traffic. (Bombay traffic probably warrants a more lengthy description than I have time for here, but picture the Mississippi River full of large metal honking flotsam and yet somehow everyone but you knows how to get across.)

As we were waiting for the van to take us around this little street kid came over to beg. He's the "before" picture for what was to be our day and our week. He was dirty, not real happy looking, but not especially extraordinary in Bombay. Take a look at his photo. I'll come back to this.

We all trekked out to the church that our host and his family attend. It's called the Church at Powai and it was shocking in its unexoticness. We knew all the songs, it was entirely in English, and it was clear that most of the congregation were educated and basically middle class. The church also does a traditional service earlier in the day and a Hindi service later in the day, so the experience was probably wider than what we saw. Some of you will be thrilled to know you can get Michael W. Smith CDs in Bombay, should you need them.

I should mention Vishnu here. Vishnu is the 22-year-old driver who came with our rented van. We have been watching him drive and we can't figure it out. We should all be dead based on the incomprehensibility and sheer velocity of the traffic here but we haven't even had a scrape. Vishnu is a choreographer. Amazing.

And I should also mention our host, who must remain nameless becuase of the nature of his job. Those that work for his organization are lawyers and others who risk their lives to rescue women from sex slavery around the world. So our host is from the U.S., ex-military, and clearly the right man for this job. Call him Ishmael.

Ishmael kindly hosted all 10 of us at the flat he shares with his wife and kids. We also got to meet 10 boys rescued from homelessness and parentlessness by a friend of our hosts named Solomon. He and his wife started a ministry to take care of these lost boys. They taught us how to play cricket and we made balloon animals and such. See the photo of the 10 little goofballs wearing balloons here.

They are the "after" picture to the kid we met in the morning.

Many other thoughts that I'll update later. Must go now. Please keep praying.

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