Second in a LoveManifest series on Passionate Youth, meet Avery Dutton, age 18. Like Tyler, Avery is a student at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, CA (graduating just days ago!), and also accompanied us to India in April. This is just glimpse into one day’s events, the change in her outlook on her life and view of how simple acts, fueled by passion, can alter the lives around her.
Avery Dutton – Age 18 – Cardinal Newman High School, Santa Rosa, CA
It’s been two months since we left on our journey for India and I still think about it everyday. The people, the places, and the adventures we got to experience. I have never felt so passionate about something, and now I know that India is supposed to be a part of my life forever.
I remember the day we dedicated the well my partners and I raised money for. It was early evening and we were exhausted and just wanted to get this well dedication over with so we could sleep. We arrived to a small village cheering, singing, dancing, and lighting off fireworks. These people were like any other village, happy to see us, and proud that we were visiting their village. After dedicating the well and before we left, something happened that no other village had done; these people swarmed us and asked us to bless them. At first I felt awkward because I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t want to pray for people that I didn’t know. I didn’t know what to say either, how are you supposed to bless someone? But then I realized that praying for these people gave them hope that I could actually do something to change their lives. I sort of embraced everything going on around me, and blessed the people. It made me feel like I was doing something important, even though it was as little as giving an old man a hug or touching a pregnant woman’s stomach.
There are no words to describe the feeling of blessing fifty impoverished and outcaste people who believe that you can do something to change their lives. To know that a prayer can give someone hope that their lives will head for the better is a powerful thing.
This village had so much faith in us, their village, and with God that it was unbelievable. The people of India taught me something really important about my life in the United States. These made the most of what they had. They didn’t let the big problems and road blocks they had in their life slow them down and keep them from striving for success. Although they were extremely poor, they would cook us their best food and invite us into their homes. I felt the love they had for each other and the friendliness they gave us. Even though each village was outcaste and unwelcome in society, they didn’t act like it, and tried to make the most of what little they had. That’s why I now have so much appreciation of all the opportunities and stuffI have. Knowing that bringing something as simple as clean water or giving blessings to a village could change people’s lives motivated me and I realized that we really can help the poor in India one village at a time.