Guest Blog – Tyler Carpenter (17)


We at LoveManifest are excited to bring you a guest blog post from Cardinal Newman High School senior, Tyler Carpenter (age 17). This is an excerpt from his journal written while with us on location in India. I remember this day vividly so was able to include photos below of the actual event. So now, please meet Tyler.

Tyler Carpenter – Age 17 – Cardinal Newman High School, Santa Rosa, CA

Journal entry #4
April 8, 2012
Trichy, India

We began the morning with a trip to the same hospital we visited on the sixth. No welcome ceremony this time, but the medical camp opening ceremony took a good 45 minutes. The room was packed with a couple hundred people needing care. Before the camp started, we toured the leprosy ward of the hospital.

We saw one man that had spent the last 17 years of his life in that room. It occurred to me that he may stay in that room for the rest of his life. It was obvious that the social stigma attached to leprosy was still quite prevalent: the ward was a good 200 yards away from the main hospital and was the facilities’ oldest, most decrepit looking building.

We made our way to the women’s ward and spent some time visiting with them Before we left I made my way around the room holding the women’s hands.

The simple act of another human touching the women obviously meant a lot to these women, it was an emotional time for everyone. The women took my hands in a prayer type gesture and pressed my hands to their foreheads in thanks with tears in their eyes. There was no cure for these women but I feel like I helped their emotional healing begin. For the first time in India, I felt like I was actually making a big difference.

Meredith’s Love Story



We live in Alaska and knowing it would please my hubby, that morning I told him I would pick up a hard to get New York Times later in the day.

Just happened my MRI tests came in and my pain was coming from a pinched nerve & arthritis in my neck; carpal tunnel and……, “not much we can do for any of this”, doc said. Ouch! Now it really hurts. 🙁 Can’t wait to get home…. “oh no, the newspaper”..argh!!! Don’t want to stop; no!!!!!!I mean, I REALLY don’t want to!!! I’m in pain…but, I promised; “so what”? It’s a newspaper!!!

After turning into Safeway parking lot, I glanced at a girl sitting on a bench crying into a phone. After parking the suv…I just sat….. “you’ve got to get out of this car….just go; will only take a minute; yeah, sure”. Finally, got out ~ hmmm? girl still there; sobbing now?. “probably broke up with her boyfriend, this isn’t an uncommon sight”….. Into the store I go…they are out of N.Y.Times??? Oh boy!

Exit the store, empty handed….now the girl is hysterical; pacing; sobbing……the tug of MY nature is to “mind my own business, she’ll work it out’. I should leave….I CAN’T!!!!. I sprinted over and, with her in complete distress, gathered her in my arms, her face buried in my chest; “you’re safe! God’s here and I’m here”. She growled, ” my mom died, my mom died, I can’t take it”. I said, ” I know you can’t, but God can”. We sat, rocking, my telling her to breathe, breathe, God and I are here.. all of a sudden, her body stopped convulsing and she looked up at me and said, “will you pray for me”? I did; we did, as she accepted Christ as her Savior…we continued to pray….that’s when I noticed other voices. I looked up to see three other women standing; praying over her….we prayed until her brother arrived.. Job 36:15 “But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering. He speaks to them in their affliction”. She was ready..desperate.

This is not an I am wonderful story. Phil 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will, and to act, according to His good purpose.

When I got home, without the paper, and the story of the girl on the bench.. Hubby, (unsaved), gave me “the look”….but, I was in tears and said, “if we are ever together and I need to leave; please don’t try and restrain me, or tell me it’s none of my business…..If God puts it on my heart! It IS my business.

Passionate Kids – They Exist


“The problem with kids today is….” Fill in the blank.

We live in a time of teen apathy. Or at least, we’ve been telling ourselves this for years now. “All teens want to do is hang out and play video games”. “Teens today lack character and work ethic.” “When I was young, I had to walk through the snow…” we all know the ending to that one.

Kids have it easy. Everything handed to them on a silver platter.

But how easy is it to be a kid today? We tell ourselves we give them every opportunity but do we? Do we really? There is no doubt that we give them ample opportunity to see, hear, experience almost everything. To play every instrument, and participate on every team. As parents, we work tirelessy to help them achieve every societal success, and add to their collection of trophies. But somewhere we are missing it.

The “it”, is passion.

Where is the passion? Not only is there no opportunity to actively pursue their passion, but no time to even discover what it is.

Over the years I’ve looked for ways that kids ages 8 through 18 can serve in a meaningful way that speaks to them, and outside of my own church, have found very little that they are allowed to do. They can pick up trash, fill bags with canned food, and collect coats for homeless people they never meet. All good things, but where is the humanity in that? Where is the excitement? Where is the connection? What kid leaves a session of envelope stuffing and says “this is what I feel God created me to do with my life.”

We want them to be passionate, compassionate adults, yet somewhere along the way have thwarted every possible avenue that could lead them there. Deciding they’re too young for such exposure to the world, we have protected them right into a state of human detachment. AKA: DISpassion.

So what’s the solution? I can think of a few things right off the bat. What if we asked them what their passions are instead of telling them what they should be. What if their opinions about the world, and what they could do to change it were taken seriously? What if we listened to them and encouraged them, even when their ideas seemed impossible?

What if we trusted them?

What if… and this is a stretch here… we allowed them to serve real people?

Well I can tell you, because I just spent 11 days in India with three teens that decided it was unacceptable for people to not have clean water.

Three teens who took matters into their own hands and acted on behalf of the poor. Three teens who said “this matters to me” and proved it with their lives.

I’d like to introduce you to Avery (18), Chris (17), and Tyler (17). Three seniors from Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, CA. These kids sat on my couch and listened as I described the situation in rural India, and their minds exploded. They wanted to travel there and see for themselves, but with soccer and wresting, it was uncertain. They collectively, and without hesitation, came to agreement that even if they could not travel to see their project, they would work to bring water to a village. That was when I knew they were not in it for themselves. These kids were for real.

I think the first time I saw Chris (the quietest of the three) truly come to life was driving from the airport to the hotel. If you have ever driven in India, you immediately identified with that sentence. Not only is it the craziest game of Chicken ever, but the poverty you see just driving through knocks the breath out of you. Especially the first time.

Seeing Tyler with the orphaned kids on the streets of Trichy was enough to bring anyone to tears. His gentle spirit, and concern for their feelings as he snapped photos and showed them, knowing this could be the first time they’ve ever seen themselves.

Then there is Avery. The only girl. My heart soared as I watched her connect with the children, but it was in her breaking heart that I rejoiced all the more. I saw it when it happened and I’ll remember it as long as I live. It involved an old woman with Leprosy who was in a local hospital. As she passed by the woman grabbed her and pulled her close to her. I’m not sure what she wanted… prayer, a hug… but she wanted to be seen. See me. Don’t pass by without seeing me.

Avery hugged her and moved quickly out, unsure of what to do next. I swiftly moved in and prayed with the woman, all of those things you would pray for someone in that place.

Immediately in my head, over and over was a song by Hillsong United called “Hosanna”, with a lyric that goes:

“Heal my heart and make it clean. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like You have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause. As I walk the world into eternity”.

For just a moment, God gave her His eyes. To see as He sees. He does that when we ask Him. But we are never ready for it. Not really.

Once we got to the orphanage, it was OVER! All three kids were lost to us. They belonged to the orphans. Nothing else really mattered but what they could do to make their lives better. What did those kids need?

They played with them, talked with them, held them, carried them on their shoulders, taught their English classes, and passed out countless sticks of gum.

When it was time to go dedicate their water project the excitement was over the top. Their village could not have been more appropriate, and as Avery’s mom described, could only have been Divinely picked. I agree. Hundreds of children. The largest village we had been to by far. The people lit fire crackers and played drums, and other instruments. It was an enormous celebration! When the kids spoke to the people they described how they worked to bring this project to fruition. Told them how much they mattered to them. That they cared about them… these three kids from America.

These three kids who, given opportunity and encouragement, changed the world forever.

“Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.” 1 Timothy 4:11-12 MSG

Loving Hanaman


I love my husband. There is never a true down time for him in the way that I think of down time. He is always talking, listening, inquiring, visiting, and learning about the people around him. He has far more endurance than I, and one of my favorite things to do is to watch him connect with others. He is the real deal.

Goa, India is a breathtakingly beautiful place to refresh, refill and relax. After 17 days of extensive travel, upside down sleep, medical camps and water projects, it’s where we decided to go to get “right” again. That was our only plan anyway.

One of the people he met on the first day, and immediately connected with was Hanaman. Hanaman rents out water sports equipment down at the beach. At dinner, Vik would tell us all about Hanaman. How he came to Goa at age 13 to work, and how his family wanted him to welcome his 13 year old brother there too, and find him a job… but Hanaman shakes his head. “Education first”, he says. Even in the most poverty stricken areas, the dreams of the youth remain similar.

No matter how hard we tried, we could not get Hanaman to sit and eat with us. So we would stand there on the beach, and talk. Hours. Vik’s Hindi is particularly bad, but Hanaman’s english made up for it. That didn’t keep Vik from trying to work on his Hindi. Maybe why the conversations went so long.

We fell in love with Hanaman. There was just something about him. Something that said, “there’s so much more to me than what you see with your eyes”.

The last day Hanaman told us just two details of his village in Karnataka. The only two we needed to hear for God to say “and THIS is why you are in Goa!”

I would give anything if I could have captured his face for you as he painfully relayed this simple truth. “My family is still there and they have no clean drinking water”.

Making no promises, we took his information, the location of the village and went home. Praying that God would do what God does, and answer the prayers of the suffering.

Father Dhanapragasm of DPWA who had just organized the first five health camps we had participated in responded immediately to my request of “do you have any contacts in Karnataka?”. Indeed he did. Several days and 300 kilometers later, his friend was standing in Hanaman’s village. He says there are 2500 people in this village comprised of over 280 families, with no water. Their shallow sources have gone dry, and their government supplied tank remains empty and without electricity. Someone from each family walks about a mile with a cartload of vessels to a single borewell that produces contaminated water, and they fill up. They cook with it, they wash with it, they drink it. Then they hope for the best.

He described the people as “soft cornered and friendly”. Said the women are more to suffer than the men, and that 3 or 4 borewells dug to 500 feet will “solve their water problem” and that their situation is particularly urgent in the heat of these Summer months. He also relayed this experience:

“In one of the houses I asked for a glass of water to drink myself. The household women brought a glass of water which was very dirty/contaminated. I had drank little, because If I don’t drink she may feel bad that is why I had drank little. After drinking my throat problem has started.”

Oh my heart! He drank this dirty water so she wouldn’t feel bad.

So here we are. Back on the opposite side of the world with a desperate need in our hearts to bring water to a village we never knew existed. Moved by a love for a boy that could not have possibly seen this coming but hoped against hope. A love for a boy that moved us to take action on his behalf. A love for a boy named Hanaman, that can only be described as Agape. God’s love… and it has came like a flood.

Will you love Hanaman?

Please click on the donate button from our homepage and help bring life giving water to his village.


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