We decided that our main activity that we would do with the aftercare homes would be pedicures and manicures. First a bit on aftercare homes:
Basically the aftercare homes serve girls from a variety of backgrounds. Most of them have been rescued from brothels. Some of them were orphaned. Some are high risk, meaning that there is a high risk that they would be have been trafficked because of their living situation. Some have been rescued and are awaiting court dates to prosecute their offenders. Oh to be a fly on THAT wall!
We visited 6 after care homes. They were each very different. The smallest was around 20 girls. The largest held around 200 girls.
So anyway, back to the pedicure and manicure. Little did we know that touching someone else's feet in India was a BIG deal. It is hard to describe what it means over there but basically it is very intimate and you would never touch someone's feet that you weren't very close to. Does that make sense? So for us to wash, scrub, lather, rub, etc. someone's feet was very difficult for the girls to receive. Most of them balked at the idea at first and then once we started the would relax. More often than not we would have to call over a translator (they were wonderful, Christian ladies!) to explain to the girls that in our culture rubbing someone's feet was one way that we showed affection and humility.
|Lauren doing henna on a young woman. She was a henna rock star in India!|
We also did manicures, put lip gloss on them, put Bendis on their forehead (the typical Indian bling between their eyes), and even did henna on their hands and feet. Lauren became the henna queen in India. She is already a great artist but she really honed her henna skills in India. On the last night of our travels Lauren finally received her own henna while in Dubai on a Sand Safari.
We basically wanted them to feel like princesses. After all, we are all daughters of the King! They felt very pampered and enjoyed the experience very much.
Note: I always thought that bendis meant something spiritual or new age-y. Turns out that it is just like bling for your face.
I don't think any of us need to travel halfway around the world to "give a pedicure". What is He calling you to do right where you're at? I'm going to pray and ask God to show me ways that I can serve him right here.