Global Seva India

She is Rising: Global Seva Challenge India

Please enjoy this powerful epic poem Suzanne Sterling wrote during her month-long visit to India with the Global Seva Challenge: India participants.

Suzanne and Seane traveled with Off the Mat leaders who had successfully raised $20,000 each to combat sex trafficking in India through the Global Seva Challenge program. Together, 200+ Seva leaders raised $1 million.

This is Suzanne’s reflection of her time in India.

What I brought home

India is simply amazing.  In the space of a few blocks you experience the absolute evidence of a loving God working in the world to the very depths of human depravity and suffering. Before I feel possessed by the need to transform this experience into meaning and purpose I wanted to spend some time reflecting on our brutal and tender journey through the human faces of sex-trafficking.

Mistaken Identity

I’ve never had quite the experience as the one I had today.  After our morning ritual of yoga and breakfast, my half of the group headed to a safe house run by Women’s Interlink Foundation (WIF) and housing a Made By Survivors work space.  Before heading to the Nijuloy Shelter Home (run by WIF) we stopped for a wander through a local morning market.  It was bustling with activity…people buying food, newspapers and flowers.

A Time To Reflect

It’s taken me quite sometime to be able to turn my thoughts and experiences into words.

In the beginning I was a bit bogged down by the shadows of what I’d been witnessing while trying to keep my heart, smile and energy consumption afloat for the women and children I crossed paths with. It’s been a wild journey here in India – such a different world.

Dear My Two Little Sisters

On Monday we traveled to the Nijoloy shelter home run by the Women’s Interlink Foundation and the experience has been front of mind for me ever since. The girls who live in this particular shelter home are either orphans, victims of sex trafficking who have been rescued, or have been voluntarily signed over by their mothers who work in prostitution themselves and are hopeful of giving their daughters a better life.

It’s Getting Really Real

After 12 months of talking about sex trafficking and working hard to raise awareness and money for these girls, today it became really real.

By day three of this trip, we have met and learned about some of the organizations that we gave money to. Met the courageous and compassionate leaders (mostly women) who are fierce and affecting change.

Be Love

As I sit on the bus ride home and listen to Michael Franti sing, “Is your love enough, or can you love some more?” I am reminded of my intention this morning. . . “to BE love.”

It is challenging for me to be love when my mind focuses on the violence that these girls have been exposed to. I feel anger towards the men that have violated them, anger towards the governments that do not intervene to end this and anger towards myself for not doing more.

Give As Much As You Have, If Not More

Before going to the Nijuloy Shelter Home today, we made a detour to walk through a nearby village. The streets are filled with people, bicycles, motorcycles, and cars. I have yet to make any sense of the traffic pattern here. Our driver says, “to drive in India you must have three things – good brakes, a good horn, and good luck!”

Back To My Senses

Proprioception. From Latin meaning “one’s own” and perception, it means knowing where your body is in space even if you can’t see it. Without proprioception, we’d need to watch our feet to make sure we stay upright while walking.

It was this innate sense of inner-knowing that led me to join the Seva Challenge even though I couldn’t see the steps ahead of me.