My name is Seu Neu and I am a St. James parishioner in Arlington Heights. On Jan. 17, I left Chicago for India -- a huge leap out of my comfort zone. I came to learn that I hadn't needed to be anxious as Dr. Geetha Yeruva and Tom Chitta took excellent care of me and my fellow travelers.
We were in India during the 10th anniversary celebrations for the Foundation for Children in Need (which Yeruva and Chitta founded and which is closely connected to St. James).
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We were introduced to all of the tremendous accomplishments achieved by the foundation -- building a school with boarding facilities, building a home for the elderly, sponsoring students at a variety of schools, sponsoring young orphan boys who are HIV positive or who have AIDS who live in a group home, sponsoring a home for physically challenged children, sponsoring college students, teaching young women to be seamstresses, providing medical care to residents of tribal agricultural villages. All of these accomplishments flow from Geetha and Tom's desire to minister to the poorest of the poor.
My husband asked me, "What was your favorite part of the trip?" I answered, "Every experience!"
One experience does stand out: At the celebration on Jan. 23 in Porumamilla, I met Anitha, the college student that I sponsored. Last October, she successfully completed her education to become a registered nurse. Meeting her face-to-face was indescribable -- she made a two-hour-plus trip by bus and taxi to attend the celebration and meet me. She repeatedly thanked me for sponsoring her. But it was I who needed to thank her for the opportunity of being her sponsor. I am a recently retired RN; as my nursing career had drawn to a close, another woman had begun her nursing career.
I met Sister Jyothishna Devi, whom my mother had sponsored. She recently professed her final vows. And I met my mother Juliana Alm's currently-sponsored student, 12-year-old Rangaswami Raju Kappa. He attends the Chitta Showry Reddy Memorial School.
I also met my currently-sponsored college student, Chandana Yannam, who is studying engineering.
Thank you for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of visiting India and seeing all that FCN accomplishes. For information on the wonderful work of FCN, visit fcn-usa.org.