So, this will be my last post that focuses on India...I will move next to the Thailand portion of our trip, and I want to end by focusing on the amazing ladies that I met while in India. Women were my focus this trip, and I walked away from India with so much hope but also a renewed passion to pray for the women of India.
I met the amazing women of Bombay Teen Challenge, but I also had the privilege of speaking at three other Women's Events through New Life Churches in Mumbai. Interestingly, they asked me to speak on the topic of friendship for each of these events. I have to be honest - when I first heard that the topic was friendship, I was a little disappointed because it felt like a small topic in light of all that these ladies face. My religious self wanted to speak on something juicy like unforgiveness or fear, but I said okay and then asked the Lord what this was all about...
It turns out that friendship was the perfect topic for me as I've often struggled letting people into my life and preferring to busy myself with duties rather than relationship. After the first night of speaking I realized that most Indian women are just like me. They choose to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their families, jobs, and ministries. They are busy from sun up to sun down and yet when they stop and think about their lives they will admit that there is nothing in their lives that pours back into them. Instead, they give out constantly and even think that receiving is a sin.
As I spoke on friendship, the Lord revealed to me that this may be one of the most spiritual truths that they can learn - because it is a practical step to choosing relationship over ritual and duty. Their martyrdom (and mine) is just a trap of Satan...it is not a sin to stop and take time for ourselves. And we all need friends who pour truth and joy and love into our lives. If we don't have outlets like true friendships we will look up and be not only burned out but resentful towards our families and minstries that have taken and taken.
So, all this to say, speaking on friendship ended up opening some wonderful conversations with some precious ladies. I ministered to them, but I also walked away with a fresh understanding in my own life about just how much I need to stop and allow God to pour into my own life through friends and other avenues.
My two favorite "Indian" friends - Donnabelle & Christie
Hope you enjoy the pics! Aren't they just lovely?!
This precious young Hindi woman was at my last women's meeting...this one was held in the North of Mumbai, which has more poverty, but these ladies were so warm and loving...
A picture from our young women's conference. It was all day Saturday, and we had 650 ladies attend. Christie and I spoke together for 3 mini-sessions on frienship and this day was such a picture of the fact that God is in control not me. I had a fever all day and literally felt horrible...before our first time to speak, I was off to the side of the stage and had this conversation with God. "Seriously, I came all the way to India to talk to these girls and I just want to go lay down! You have got to help me...in fact, just speak through me..." He did more than that. From the moment I had the microphone in my hand until I handed it back, I felt perfect! This happened all three times and then I went back to the hotel and was horribly sick for the next 24 hours! Ha! What a nice reminder that it's really not me - we're just vessels...
The all-girl praise band at the young women's conference. They were wonderful! And this is the first time that they have had an all-girl band...it's the start of something great in India!