Friday, November 15, 2013

Back to India I Go

I’m getting on a plane tomorrow…without my family…to go to India, and in many ways it still doesn’t seem real.  India captured a part of my heart over 6 years ago and the people in this land have changed me.

I haven’t stepped foot on the soil since I was 5 months pregnant with Selah and I’m curious to discover how much more the poverty and the children will affect me now that I am a Momma. 

I still remember one face the first day that I walked the streets of India.  Her pleading eyes and dirty hands lifted up to me.  My heart broke in India like it has never been broken before – it was a needed breaking – it was a look into reality – into the face of much of the world that we can easily ignore.  It was a “break my heart for what breaks Yours” moment, and her face changed me.

I can never prepare the teams that I take for the heart-break that they will encounter.  The poverty is all consuming, the culture so different, and with long held beliefs in karma and millions of gods the hopelessness can be deafening.  Josh describes India as an assault on all your senses, and although it’s usually taken as a negative description, I’ve discovered that in my life, I usually need that assault.

I need to be shaken – to be reminded of what the world faces while I’m busy posting cute pictures of my girls on Instagram.  I need to be woken up – not just to the pain but to the truth of God’s great hope.

This is from a school that I visited on my 2nd trip to India.  I LOVE what SOS is doing to feed & educate children!
And I’ve seen the hope of God more clearly in India than in anywhere else in the world.  Perhaps it’s because it’s in such contrast with the devastation…but regardless, in India, it is always more clear to me than ever that He alone is the answer.

The first year I went I was changed by that little girl on the street, but I was also changed by former prostitutes that I met in a church located in the heart of the red-light district.  The service was loud and exciting.  Jesus was there and the gospel was clear.  At the conclusion of the service, communion was served and tears pricked my eyes as men and women – outcasts previously – stood in the aisle eagerly awaiting the bread and cup.  I was asked to walk between these faces and serve the bread.

That walk down the aisle changed me.  I saw hope and freedom and joy in the eyes of so many women who I knew had previously been surrounded with fear and lies and death.  As these precious ones reached out for the bread I was ashamed of the way I casually come to His table.  They fully knew of His truth and they were immersed in His kingdom…and as their hands reached out they were literally reaching for life!  Their eyes shown with such hope and joy that by the time I reached the end of that aisle I was weeping in wonder at this God that I not only serve, but in that moment was representing.

India always changes me.  And so although I’ve got a 3-year old and 18-month old, I told my husband last year…I’ve got to get to India.  If I’m to continue to serve specifically in the areas of missions & prayer at my church – I’ve got to go – I need to see what He is doing and I want to be a small part of His light in this place that always imparts back into my soul.
This is from a Women's Conference that I spoke at a few years ago - I LOVE the women of India!  They are more powerful than they know.

So would you pray for me?  I’m taking 5 extraordinary women with me.  None are from my home church, as I felt the Lord direct me to spread this experience and His heart-beat with others.  So I invited specific friends and acquaintances that God showed me and I’m beyond excited to walk with these girls.

We have a busy week ahead of us: Women’s Meetings will be a big part, and we will also have 3 days in which we focus on the area of human trafficking.  I’m especially burdened by one day in which we have the opportunity to encourage the men and women who work on the front lines to battle this horrible injustice – we will spend a day with those who rescue, and I’m praying that our time breathes a bit of God’s love and refreshment into their lives.

Would you also pray for my sweet family?  Pray that the days go by quickly and with great fun for my girls.  Pray for God’s grace for my husband and parents who will watch my girls.

And would you pray for India?  Pray that God would continue to make Himself known, that the church would be strengthened, and that injustice would vanish. 

Where laundry is done...

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