India revisited

I got a sweet facebook message today from a girl that I went to India with who is currently living and serving there. She updated us on some of the ministries and people we worked with and it was so encouraging to me. I later was driving and thinking about India and the people and began to tear up.

Tonight I found my old journals from that summer and began to read. This was a period in my life in which I actually a wrote a lot and just poured my heart out on paper. I thought I would share some things that I wrote then that really touched me tonight.

Wednesday June 06, 2007:

“I am realizing that while mountains, oceans, lakes, canyons, and deserts are breathtaking the most important form of beauty is found in the hearts of people. Of people in love with You. Of broken vessels, shattered and torn yet filled with Your presence.”

Tuesday June 11, 2007: My first day at the orphanage

“I have a new friend. His name is Vikas and he clung to me from the beginning and literally wouldn’t let go – my hips were so sore. He is about 5 years old and is super precious. We twirled, sang songs, and he ate a lime. He absolutely loved my sunglasses and wore them the entire time. Pretty soon all of the kids wanted a turn. It was great. Towards the end I put him down when it was time for their baths. He went and said goodbye. Then when were actually leaving all of the kids lined up and said bye. Vikas was at the end and he was literally sobbing. One of the workers asked him why and he said that he was in love and didn’t want us to leave. I stayed with him until everyone else was gone, picked him up, and gave him a big hug and said I would be back. One of the workers told me how to say it in Hindi, but I think I completely botched it. He gave me a kiss and I left. It was so incredibly hard to leave. See, I was in love too.”

Tuesday July 17, 07

“I had a great day of ministry. On the way over I just prayed that God would reveal himself to me and how He would desire to use me. He totally came through. I spent pretty much the whole time with the same group of women and their babies that Carly and I hung out with last time. We just sat there and talked about anything and everything: weather, arranged marriage vs. love marriage, children, school, family, friends, cultural differences. It was so much fun. We laughed over the communication problems and one of the older women gave me a banana. In the middle of our conversation I realized that it didn’t matter that these women live in a leper colony, that they don’t have all that I do or that we live thousands of miles apart. It just mattered that we were a group of women talking together, sharing friendship.”

During debrief

“Today we went swimming, which I have been eagerly looking forward to. Miele, Carly, Jaimee, Jess, and I went to try to get to this waterfall and walked on a bunch of rocks barefooted. Jaimee heard growling from the bushes so we turned around and then let the river’s current take us back downstream. It was painful because my butt kept slamming into random rocks but it was so much fun!”

“I just rode an elephant! It was really neat, except I was riding backwards since there were only 3 of us and I felt like I was sliding the whole time. But it was beautiful riding through the jungle. We saw a ton of deer and a couple monkeys. Haha last night there was a mouse in our room. I actually didn’t scream – I just quickly told Jen. It ran under the door and thankfully didn’t come back.”

“The view in front of me right now is breathtaking – the mountains, the gushing river with rocks. The trees, so diverse and green. The fields with crops being harvested, the sheer jungleness of it all. Funny but my life feels like a jungle right now. Some stuff is so exciting and fascinating, full of adventure and other parts are full of fear. I don’t know where I am going, just constantly stumbling upon new paths and challenges. Some days I feel as if I am a great explorer, tackling the trails with gigantic zeal. Other days I feel like a bad fever has overtaken me, leaving me at the mercy of the strange land I dwell in.”

Oh India. You are still in my heart. Lots of prayers going out tonight for my brothers and sisters in India.

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