So, we finally made it home on Monday night (after a missed flight in LA) and Josh and I are starting to get our bearings...we had an amazing trip to Thailand and India and so many of you have asked me for an update. I was talking to God this morning and realized that there is more that happened on this trip that I have even thought about processing, so I'm going to try and blog a little each day (until I'm done about the trip)...
Hope you enjoy my musings - lots of lessons learned...
I'm going to start with what is freshest on my mind. Our team left on August 6th, but Josh and I stayed over until the 10th. One of the main reasons we stayed is so I could be involved in a retreat at Bombay Teen Challenge. The Bombay Teen Challenge Center is one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. It is an oasis in the middle of crazy India and it houses men, women, and children who have been rescued from the streets and all manners of horror.
The retreat was specifically targeted towards 85 women who were rescued from sex trafficking. Many of these girls were sold or kidnapped and sold into prostitution and others of them were the daughters of prostitutes who also were abused and mistreated on the streets. If you can imagine, I was literally on the verge of tear when I allowed myself to imagine the horrors these girls have faced. Yet, I didn’t see pain or sadness in their eyes, but great hope and joy. There was an occasional flicker of longing or lament, but most of the time I just saw life!
I preached on Friday night about being a daughter and of course in my mind, I envisioned it looking something like what I experienced last year – girls crying, sharing their hearts, praying with the all-wise Americans, etc… Guess what? After I finished what I thought was a pretty good sermon and gave the invitation for prayer, only five girls came forward – yep, that’s it…five. I hate to admit it, but I was about to question God about why He would send me and not use me when Mandi (a fabulous girl from Dallas) started to sing a song acapella – “Child of God”
I stopped in my mid-complaint as she began to sing because this song was explanation enough from the Lord. You see, God’s revelation to my heart about being His daughter as my identity occurred before I got married, and the story was the focal point of my sermon that I shared that night. Over 8 years ago, the one song that ministered to me in that time was “Child of God,” and it was so instrumental that I even had it sung at my wedding. So, when Mandi started singing this song that is almost 10 years old, the Lord said to my heart…"Paige, you just do what I tell you to do and then trust me to heal their hearts – they are my children.”
I looked out over the sea of women and saw that though they weren't coming up for prayer, some were silently crying, some were writing in their journals, and some were sitting and letting the Father love on them. So, although I didn’t see what I had envisioned, I left with an unwavering knowledge that God is at work in the hearts and lives of these young women.
Also, I spoke with Mandi the next day and told her what that song had meant to me – her response was something similar she at one time said she would never sing it again for various reasons when God told her to go up and sing it…Definitely one of those confirmation moments for both of us.
Later that night, I found out that God wanted to redefine "ministry" for me. He reminded me that there are different seasons – a time to cry & a time to laugh. And after dinner we laughed so much! In fact, I think that perhaps the most good I did that entire weekend was allow the girls to teach me to Bollywood dance…They were doubled over in laughter at times - not sure if they were laughing with me or at me...but the point is - they were laughing! And as I went to sleep that night, God whispered to my heart, "Paige, they've seen enough tears - tonight I just wanted them to laugh." Who knew my ministry this year would not just be in speaking or prayer but Bollywood dance?!
So, I share a few pics of this fun night, and I ask you to pray for these women - so beautiful...definitely changes one's view about what it means that "Jesus saves"...I'll share more tomorrow!
The girls are trying their best to teach me their moves, but as you can tell I'm just laughing...