Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hospitality and Chai

Today I am getting ready to come home.
At times I wished this moment to come sooner, now I don't know why I ever felt this way (Well maybe because life is much more convenient in America)
Time won't stop even though I want it too.
It's a strange thing.

This week was full though. After being sick in bed for three days last week, I am so thankful for this.
I was able to share with the women in sewing class and say my goodbyes. They are so special to me.

My favorite part of being here has to be house visits.
I have learned so much about generosity and hospitality through these people.
I love that if they ask you if they can make you chai and you say no, they make it anyway.
I love that if your plate is empty, they will fill it and fill it and fill it again.
They give and they give.

Today I gave the new afternoon stitching class mirrors like I had with the other classes. They found I was leaving tomorrow and insisted on running to get me presents also.
They came back and before I knew I was decked out in new earrings, necklace, bangles, anklets, and a wallet despite my insistence that this was not necessary.
Man, I can't contain how blessed this made me.
I am so selfish sometimes.
I want to become less selfish.
Although, I don't think this can be done by simply having the desire to do so.
I think it comes naturally by truly having the other's best interest in mind. Seems as though this is the point that one named Jesus told us a long time ago.
Here life is about community, it is about the family.
Even though many times there is tension in the home, they look out for one another.

Two of my beautiful friends hunting down with gifts and inviting us to their home
 as I was on my way to leave.

Today we went to one lady's house from class. She is so so loud and crazy, unlike many of the other ladies. She is hilarious. We met her mother who has diabetes and we prayed for her. After praying for her, she was saying good bye to me and tears had filled her eyes as she found out I was going to America tomorrow.
She had been blessed. I also started crying, which caused all five of us girls to tear up.
I cried with a lady I had just met on my last day in India.
(Her and her mother in the middle)

It is hard to leave when some harvest is seen, but mostly seeds are planted.
I leave trusting the Lord to water them. This is a very humbling feeling.
He tells me my work is done here for now, but this will never be separate from my life back at home.
It is another part of my life and has shaped me in the way He has desired.
My fear would be feeling so so far away from these people. I refuse to forget my new friends.

I shared the story of Hosea with the women today and God's love for his people. It touched my heart just to tell it, because I really need to believe it too. It's so challenging to apply to my own heart.
I told them my purpose was to come to share this with them, just as that was Hosea's purpose.
We turn away from God so many times, but he is always patiently waiting for us to return to Him because this is what we were made for.
I'm so thankful for those who have shared their hearts with me and for all I see happening here.

I am at peace, but I come home with the desire for more.
I longed to see God work here, and I have.
Good thing is just because I am leaving doesn't mean the work is over.
All in all, through this trip I know that coming back the Lord has more of my heart.
I have learned so much about
  relying on Him, about Grace, Generosity, Hope, and Love.

My friend...always cooking for us :)
Before starting the stitching class, she was not often able to leave the house. 
Now she comes everyday with a smile from ear to ear, often with yummy food. 

This beautiful girl lives in the slum, but works at one of the preschools.
She is so funny in her broken English.
Her family is Muslim, but she is discipled by those who work at the preschool.
I will miss her smile and dance moves!

Ah leaving this lady was so hard!
She owned a shop by the beach and would visit her often.
She even had all 18 of us to her home for a meal one day.
She shared her life with us and we grew to love her very much.
Kate would go and share bible stories with her because she can not read or write.
She wants to know the Lord, but it is difficult with her husband. 
I know this is the desire of her heart though, and pray that the Lord will continue to get ahold of it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


How do I begin to process only having one week and a half left here?
It is so difficult for me.
There are so many opportunities to build on the old and start new relationships, but I know I can't stretch myself thin.
I am going to try my best to invest and visit those that have become special to me here and most of all just enjoy the time!
I get emotional every time I begin to think about leaving.

Thank you so much for all your prayers. I can't explain how encouraging it is to hear from you while I am here, so thank you.
A team of 11 AIM girls got here a couple weeks ago and it has been a huge blessing to work with them. It is encouraging to have so many people here to work hard, but it is also easy for me to feel lost in the crowd. I feel I have been friends with them for a very long time though, and how awesome it is to be with so many others that have the same passions as me.

A new sewing class started in the afternoons this week, so it was a joy to met these new women.
One of the women is a CSW (Commercial Sex Worker), and it makes me see how real and great this organization is in making an effort to help women help themselves.

In the morning class this week I had the privilege of sharing with them the story of my family and the hardships we have been through. But that you can experience joy in suffering. It was sweet to show them a picture of my family as they asked questions. They are so funny.

आशा, (Ashah) = Hope.
I hold to this, even when I am in the midst of a home that is 5 by 5 foot wide, knowing that 11 people live there. I realized this week while in a home, that when this young lady comes to our class everyday this is the house that she exits. She has lived here her whole life. She sleeps in one room with her whole family. Gosh, I have had so many opportunity in my lifetime!

This week I will focus on being at the morning sewing class because I have grown to love each of them. I will also be visiting women in their homes who just graduated from the last sewing class.
In the afternoons I will either join the new sewing class and go to nutrition class, or I will be in the other ministry site helping with tutoring. I love going to this because the kiddos are always so excited to see us. It is in one man's home, and is just such a cool opportunity.
At the end of the week we will probably have English class and then maybe a party on Friday because Kate and I will be leaving the next week.

The week after I will hopefully make my rounds, see everyone one last time, give them pictures and hugs, and just soak up the time!

I just hope to finish out strong and know that I have made the most of this time.
I am feeling very desperate to make sure to soak up every minute.

I will post more pictures when I am back of the closest relationships I have made here and tell you a little more about each person.
Thank you for reading!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I have continuously put off writing another entry in attempt to articulate my thousands of thoughts and feelings before posting.
I have written about the ministries I have been involved in, but I haven’t really talked about the burden that I have felt in many moments of being here…
There are times where I have had to hold back my tears just as I am sitting on the bus with time to think and take in all that I am seeing around me. Sometimes my stress comes from the way the culture works, other times from having a child following me along the street begging for food, or even just when I hear about a difficult situation a friend is going through. At times I have felt broken, and I wonder if this feeling is from God to show me what he feels for his creation. You can travel to the other side of the world and see that, yup, the world is just as twisted here as back in the States.
I did not need to come all the way to India to see that there is suffering. I have been to third-world countries before, so its not that it is completely rocking my world in that sense, but it just makes me wonder if suffering can be any worse just because you live in a third world country instead of America. The culture here may be very different, but can the amount of pain really be measured by our location or financial status? People are hurting here and people are hurting at home.
I had the privilege of hearing one ladies story from the slum in the sewing class. Her husband is an alcoholic and has struggled with this since the time they were married at a young age. He is not living with her and her girls right now because of his issues and is usually drunk when he comes back. 
I don’t think a story like this would be very hard to find in the great land of America either.
I don’t know what to do with all my ramblings, but one verse that the Lord spoke to my heart around about my second week here is 2 Corinthians 5…
“For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come...Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight."

 I just can ‘t help but constantly think of how the world just is not the way it was meant to be!

I may not have answers, but I know this is not all forever. And I know I am finding a whole lot of joy in the relationships I have built here. Those are what last and what matter anyway.
Like this week, getting to spend time with one of the teachers at the preschool and the young girl who works for her who is from the slum and her family is Hindu, but she is so eager to learn about Christ and listens to all the stories we tell the children along with working on her English with us. Got to cook Indian food, make Chai, and watch a Hindi movie with them today. Sometimes it is the little things in life….
(Well until the power went out, of course, so we couldn’t finish the movie ha)
    Though I may have frustrations with the culture at times, my time here is beautiful. It is beautiful because of the geography, and it is beautiful because of the relationships that I have been blessed with here. This post is just me being vulnerable in the fact that this time has not always been easy on my heart.
My one prayer request would be that these last three weeks I am here:
That I can give my all to the relationships that I have formed. I pray that the Lord will sustain me so that I can pour out with all my strength. I tend to think I can go and go with out stopping to get refueled, which is one thing I learned in a deep way this week will not work.
I pray for dreams from the Lord for those here who have the desire to Believe, that their hearts will be softened and I can witness Him alive in these people.
-There is also a new sewing class starting tomorrow, so I can't wait to meet these women.

 My fave. lil rascal from preschool this week...

My Best Bud from Tutoring 

Thursday, June 9, 2011


One highlight of this week...
I wanted to do something tangible for the ladies before other teams come and things get a little crazier. My teammate had the idea to buy them each a mirror, write a verse on them, and give them to the women. 
We decorated the small mirrors with their names, the words "you are beautiful", and Ephesians 2:10 which says, "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
We tried to explain through stories that they have a purpose and God has made them specially to fulfill these things. 

They were really grateful, and I hope they treasure these mirrors forever and that they feel valued. I know I am only one of the many that comes here to work with them, but it is awesome to think that all our efforts put together make a difference in their life.

Second highlight:
There is a lady who has a shop buy the beach who the three of us have become very close two and enjoy visiting frequently. She is precious; a great mother and friend. She does not know when her birthday is. So... we decided that it was going to be June 7th!
We bought her a cake, present, and went to surprise! I don't think any of us can describe how much fun this was. She always laughs a lot, but this laughter was mixed with tears and joy. Her family was also there, so the kids loved it. And her husband does not usually say much but he too also looked overjoyed. 
So much fun, partayyy!!
Thankful to be here with great people that would do such an awesome thing. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Teacha, Teacha!"

Things I love about India:

-Hogs for neighbors
-The head bobble
-Bucket Laundry
-Bus rides and traffic
-The way the people look out for one another
-Though the attention is sort of embarrassing at times, all the kids run after us yelling, "Teacha! Teacha!"

Today is Thursday, fourth full day here.
Sunday, I don’t even count because it was all a blur
of tiredness after two days of basically no sleep in getting here. Everything went smoothly though as far as flights and airports!

Our time here has been filled with more encouragement than I can describe.

I will give a short summary of each day.


Children’s nutrition- We went to the slum where this takes place in a medical clinic. A bible lesson is taught and all the children receive a full glass of a protein drink. This takes place a few days a week. There is  a preschool in this area, but most of these children do not go to school. Yes, they are as cute as you would imagine :) They wrote their names in Hindi and English all over our arms. Maybe someone should get them some paper huh...

Women’s Nutrition program- The lady who usually does this is not here, so we were to take charge. I taught some lesson about food which I have no idea how much they cared about ha. But they did ask how they could become either more fat or more skinny, haha. They also receive a protein drink. 


Morning and afternoon sewing with the women- We asked them why they like to come to sewing classes. One answer was because when they come here, they do not feel the tension they usually feel in their life.
We were then asked to share about our lives and our families. They also asked if were were glad to be in India. This was so awesome to be able to share some ways  in which God has led our paths, worked in our lives, and that we are very excited to be there because we want to hear about their lives too.


Women’s classes again. They are making jewelry to sell in the store back at home. I really enjoy making the necklaces with them. Vicki, who is the founder of the ministry, encourages them to do their best, because this builds their confidence and people will buy items if they are high quality. Many of them have never found value in themselves and it is a beautiful thing to share with them that they were created in God’s image and are made for a purpose.
I will continue helping with the jewelry classes in the coming weeks. 

I am also so encouraged by meeting other believers here and by their openness to share their stories. We all have stories of the things that have come together to bring us to the present in our lives, but we often to do not open up to share with others these things.  

Though I am often tired and getting use to the heat, I am overjoyed to be here. I feel content, and I believe I was not mistaken in thinking I was perfectly led here by the Lord. (We'll see if that feeling maintains after the rains come).

We are here to help with whatever needs come about that align with the vision of the ministry. No matter how much difference is made in my time here, I am learning so much about relevant things in regards to my life’s dreams and how everything here works. 

I won’t always make the blogs this long, but that at least gives an idea of the basic day-to-day events.

My encouragement to you today- Is there a step God is asking you today which you are ignoring? Don't ignore the thing he has asked you to do. If you do it, it will lead you to the next right stepping stone, and you won’t be disappointed.
Wait and be patient, don't forget to trust in His plan.

Peace and Love!

If you want to email me:
I’d love to hear from ya!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Who is healer anyway??

My struggle lately has been based off the fact that I don't know how to help.
I don't know how to help my friends overcome their problems.
I don't know how I will help women in India find value.

The world is too big for me.
I know I can't help everyone.

Hopefully I can make a dent in India, but I know I can't do it on my own because right now I feel tired, weak, and inadequate.
My prayer is for God to reach into the deepest part of the women's hearts, transform it, mold them, and make them into a beautiful creation. 
He has taken my heart full of guilt and condemnation, he has not changed it, he has made it NEW.
My hope is for them to find this value also.
I want everyone I know to have real, lasting joy.

In light of my present weakness, I know I can't go to India without strength from God.

My desire is to allow others to find their identity in the one who created them.

But... who is going to make this happen anyway??

What do you do when you feel inadequate? Like you can't make a dent...
Let Go....
He's our Healer.

26 Days and counting till I leave!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A short overview of my last years occurrences..

-In light of the fact that we don't have forever to live this life and that none of our tangible possessions will last, one thing has become most important to me- Relationships. 

-Therefore, I changed my major to Counseling/ Psychology. I knew that even though my future is unknown, this would help me in wherever I end up. This is what I am passionate about, learning about people. 

-The past few years the passion has grown in my heart to help the poor and needy. With my switch to counseling this passion also related to helping women, or young ladies, find freedom and healing in knowing Christ and finding their identity through this avenue. 

- I have come to grips  with the fact that I will never be able to gain control on the circumstances in my life and where I will be led; however, I have been given certain passions for a reason and they fit together piece by piece like one big puzzle. 

-The pieces of my ideal puzzle included helping people find healing, help them help themselves, and build relationships through showing love in actions. 

-I began for to search for opportunities to serve overseas this summer in a capacity that involves my passions, and I found the organization Rahab's Rope. 
(Check out their website !

-So this summer I will be going to Goa, India- May 20th to July 8th. 
And I hope it will be all that I hoped for and dreamed of! 
As I seek to do something with all the love and life I have experienced this past year...

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn..."
Isaiah 61:1-2