Celebrating Freedom

Madhu carries the flag against his shoulder as he walks around campus. The colors of his country – orange, white, and green – wave in the humid air as music pulses in the background.


It’s Independence Day in India.

As a visiting mission team spends three days mixing and pouring concrete, the children on the Hope Campus in Hyderabad anxiously anticipate the day of celebration they get to share with sponsors and new friends visiting from America.


In one part of the campus, staff members Gideon and Sampath help guests wrap the tall flagpole with orange, white, and green paper before the country’s flag is raised. Next to them, V.Bindu leads a group of girls in outlining the country of India on the dirt and filling it in with colored sand. Sandeep and Goutham stand near the speaker, pounding out a deep bass-filled song, as they choose the next tune from a playlist. Under the roof of the car port, a carpet is being laid down for the performances to come and small, Indian flags are being strung up as decoration. The air is thick with expectation – guests awaiting the performances the children have prepared and children enthusiastic to share their talents.


What follows is a patriotic display of choreographed dances, reciting of Telugu readings, and small voices singing mightily for all ears to hear. As the presentations come to a close, the children run to the visiting guests, pulling them to their feet and ushering them to the makeshift stage. Colored confetti is thrown high into the air, raining down, as freedom is not only felt, but celebrated.