Making a Difference for Children in India
When a group sponsored by McMurry Religious Life arrived in India last summer, they were surprised to see something familiar, fifteen laptops that once sat on desks at McMurry University.
The laptops had been used by McMurry students and then were donated to Life Light Ministries and St. John’s English School in Aurangabad, India. McMurry students carried the laptops in their own laps all the way from the Abilene campus to India in July 2012.
When another group of volunteers went back this past July to assist with Life Light’s orphanage and school, they saw the laptops getting a workout.
“When we were back this summer, they had them up and running,” said Mark Waters, director of McMurry’s Servant Leadership program who led the 2013 trip to India.
New students at McMurry are issued a laptop when they enroll through McMurry’s Mobile Online Visionary Education initiative. The laptops, which are leased from Hewlett-Packard, are replaced every two years. Most are returned to the manufacturer but some are donated to charitable causes.
In July 2013, the travel entourage to India consisted of 15 people--nine students, three faculty, one staff member and spouse, and one minister. Instead of laptops, this year they took school supplies, shoes and gifts.
McMurry, First United Methodist Church in Abilene, and other faith-based institutions have ties to Life Light Ministries, which was founded in 1990. Waters said he plans to take a group every July for a combination mission and academic trip.
“We’ve built a relationship with them,” he said.
He credited McMurry’s assistant chaplain Tim Palmer and chaplain Timothy Kennedy, who both went on the 2012 trip, with getting the relationship building started.
The donated computers are being used by Indian students from pre-school through 10th grade to learn English and computer skills and to conduct research. In addition, they will provide part of the technology for distance-learning offered by McMurry to St. John’s students.