Update - Visit to Smyrna Home, India, Summer 2017

In the last issue of this magazine we featured our visit in July 2016 to Smyrna Home in Ooty, in the Nilgiri hills in India, the Christian charity working amongst poor and needy people in the area. 

We organised crafts and activities with the young people and adults and helped with their therapy.  We also got involved in the feeding programme for the neediest in the community where, once a week, they receive a good hot meal, and we witnessed the building of a new home for a poor family in the local community, which was funded through our trip. 

Each of the team brought back their own special memories of the trip but, perhaps the abiding memory will be the joy of serving God together as a team as we sought to bring help and hope to people who have so little of the world’s material wealth and yet can teach us so much through their cheerfulness and faith.  It was such a great experience that we are planning to arrange a similar trip to Smyrna Home this coming August (14-31).  If you are interested in joining us and would like some further information, please contact Tony and Val Neal (, Sam Marchant ( or Emily Dodsworth (  


Jan 2017:
During summer 2016 a team of 13 young and not so young people from HTS and surrounding areas went to India for a life changing experience. During the 3 week trip the main goal was to sponsor the building of three houses for the poor and disadvantaged around a town named Ooty in the Nilgiris Hills of Southern India. Based at Smyrna Home, a Christian organisation bringing hope to those in need, the team would also help with their work amongst some very needy and grateful people.

One part of the amazing work that Smyrna does is with disabled people in India. The team worked closely with the specialists in the disabled centre at Smryna Home playing with the young people and helping with their therapy. Although intense at times and emotionally challenging this work was amazingly rewarding for everyone and we felt like we brought some joy to these young lives.

Once a week Smyrna Home runs a feeding programme for the neediest in the community where they receive a meal and once a month a food parcel. We sponsored this meal (less than £2 per person) and helped prepare the curry over an open wood fire in traditional Indian style. Some came from over 10 miles away for their only meat meal for that week; everyone was so grateful, a truly humbling experience for all of us.

Moving out into the community and meeting our sponsored children was a fantastic experience and demonstrated how sponsoring a child can make a real difference in a young person’s life.

We did many other things to help at Smyrna -teaching and playing at Kotigiri school and with children from the girl’s hostel as well as ensuring the building work was completed on time, finishing the first of our three houses successfully.

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