December 22, 2009

daily life

So you might be wondering what the daily grind looks like in India.
Here is a taste...

Our team was made up of 9 participants and 2 leaders: Rebecca, Kathryn, Megan, Brittany, Julia, Jenny, Eric, Michael, myself, Amy and Katie. We all lived in a two story house in an area called Pochenpur, with Wilson and Paru Bunn, Travis Nett, and Laura Ilger. Wilson and Travis help to run a non-profit organization called "sixty1," and also run the house for groups such as ours. Paru, who is Indian, helped us out translating during ministry. She also made us amazing Indian food occasionally. Laura was in India two months before we got there working with Asha House. She was an awesome help to us, as she had a ton of experience with India. She also became a really dear friend.

So a "normal" day in India would look somewhat like this. We would eat together as a team at 8am. Some would get up earlier to exercise or make breakfast. After dishes and making peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, we would have an hour of quiet-time to spend with God. Then meet as a team for devotions, prayer and worship at 9:45. Our drivers, Sabh Singh and Yoghi would arrive at 10:15 to take us to our ministry sites. Our team split up in half and we would go to two different ministry sites each day. These sites were Asha House, the Slums, Peeri Garhi Leper Colony, and Tikri Border Leper Colony. We would all get back sometime that afternoon and would do things like go to the market and get supplies for dinner, cook dinner together (we had some pretty awesome chapati makers), play solitaire or Apples-to-Apples, do yoga or P90X (an intense video workout), hangout on the roof top, do laundry, take naps, or worship and pray together.

We would have five days of ministry a week, one day
of ministry planning, and one off day. On our off days we would get to do some exploring. We were not able to leave Dwarka, the sub-city of Delhi we were living in except for ministry until after Diwali (October 18th) because during the weeks that lead up to it there can be riots and bombs in the touristy places we would want to go. So in the time before Diwail we got to know Dwarka very closely. We found our favorite eateries and shops, one we called "Walmart" because it had basically everything we needed even though it was about the size of a large bedroom. We learned how to get around Dwarka on rickshaws, a three-wheeled  man-powered bike with a little carriage sort of thing on the back. I have seen probably 12 kids on one rickshaw, but we could only put three of us Americans or the thing would tip over. (Kathryn, Brittany and Laura are in the picture above)    

The first two months or so it would get up to 80 or 90 degrees everyday. Our house was very open but as all Indian construction was made of bricks and cement, so we could get a good breeze but the walls held the heat. I would often wake up with my pillow drenched from sweating all night. Some of us slept on the floor because it was cooler. It was a blessing that we had fans in each room, and also that we had an inverter so when the power would go out the fans would still run. The fans we also a blessing because they helped keep the mosquitoes at bay. I have never encountered so many mosquitoes in my life. On the ceiling and walls of our house lived house geckos, cute little lizards who would eat the bugs for us. I liked them a lot until one fell on me while I was doing yoga. I think he was more scared of me than I was of him.

Life was pretty simple, but never quite predictable. 


December 19, 2009

Why India?

So the answer to the question above begins the summer of 2005.

I was at a summer camp in Florida. It was the summer between high school and college and I was seeking God for direction. I was already planning on attending Winthrop University in the fall and had already declared an English major, but I was still unsure if this was really where God wanted me.

During one of the worship sessions I heard God tell me clear as day, "go to India," as simple as that. My reaction to that was, "ok God, that's cool, but you have to make that happen."

I did not feel like I should hop on a plane any time soon, but that I should wait on God to pull things together. After four years of waiting and praying he did that very thing. At one point he told me, "go for three months," then he told me, "after you graduate," and finally, "go with an organization." This organization ended up being Adventures In Missions and they happened to be assembling a three month trip to New Delhi, India a month after the lease on my appartment at school was up.

This was the beginning of God teaching me a great deal about how very good He is.