Monday, January 31, 2011


8:50am Jan 17, 2011

India is so strange!  There will be a broken-down shack on the side of the road, but it will have a beautiful spire on top!  They take off their shoes when they go into a building because shoes are dirty, but they wipe their poo with their left hands!  The begging women wear some of the most beautiful fabrics I've ever seen, and the standard style for men is blast-from-the-past 70's clothes!

We're on the bus ride to the 1st village.  We have it SO NICE.  Our immediate response is complaint, but we have the nicest sleeping conditions in the city, we're riding in the nicest bus I've seen here, and we have a team of people cooking food for us.  We are NOT roughing it by Indian standards.  But it's definitely not a standard we're used to.

I just talked to family and a dear friend.  Maybe it's the contagious lightness of my own heart, but they all sounded so joyous!  We've hardly started the trip and I already can't wait to get home to tell everyone about this adventure!  This place is amazing.  The Native leader, Edgar, says that 80% of India's HUGE population lives in the villages.  THIS is where India's heart beats.  THIS is who we're going to love on and care for.  THIS is where Christ has sent us.

I love the random palm trees.  And the herds of Brahma bulls.  And the incredibly strong women.  And the vivid colors.  I love the warm culture.  Everyone waves and smiles at us.  I love the honking--it's a language all its own.  Speaking of--I want to learn "This is the day that the Lord has made" in Telugu.  Goal for the week. 

Cotton fields!  Home!  Brahma bulls carrying loads of sticks!  Not so much like home.  Incredible... If a few people were here with me, I think I could stay here forever.  Well... in these cushy conditions.  I don't know if I'm strong enough to live as rough a life as is here.  Dear God, bless each one of these people we see...



Wow.  This is going to be hard.  150-200 kids.  Mass chaos.  Helicopter moms, ps, are universal.  So after struggling against the language barrier and bathing in hand sanitizer, we're on the bus again.  Rather than stealing these children and taking them home, THEY'RE stealing ME.  In village #1 i life my heart with Marco, our little 9-year-old helper, and Anita, my Telugu teacher.  There were many many more, but I remembered those 2 names and they were the most enthusiastic.  The mass of children yelling goodbye by the bus was the clincher.  "Coooole!  Ah-mahn-dah!"  So.... sweeeeeet...

Dr. Katoo (spelling?) is awesome.  God-fearing man.  Spoke on the bus and refocused us--thank the Lord.  I hope the next village goes smoother for all parties.  God, work in us.

Beautiful moment with some older women.  They were asking something of me and I couldn't figure it out.  After several desperate tries, I realized how ridiculous I must look, and I started laughing.  They all laughed with me, which made us all laugh harder and harder.  It was such a sweet moment of shared humanity.  How appropriate that common ground can be found on the other side of the globe through laughter.


11:20pm Jan 16, 2011

Dear Bloggers,

DEFINITELY in another country now.  We drove for 6 hours south to Adoni (ah- DOH- NEE) on a crazy bumpy bus ride.  We've been stationary for 3 hours, but my body is still vibrating.  We're staying in what is probably the nicest hotel in town.  Running water, toilet, clean top sheet and towels, and AC units.  By western standards, this place is 100% shit.  By local standards, we're big-timing it. 

There's totally a donkey braying outside.

I AM DEFINITELY IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!  This is my kind of adventure, honestly.  Despite how careful I have to be with water and despite some severe discomfort experienced when seeing that bathroom, I love this.  I love the food, the friendly helpful people, the blessed amount of sleep I'm getting, my awesome roommate, the funny honking... I just feel deep down that I was made to come here to glorify the Maker, and He gave me the personality tools and tricks to get the most out of it.  Praise God.

Sleepytime now!  Getting up at 6:30, breakfast at 7, leaving at 7:30 for village #1!  I'm excited and a little nervous.  I hope love really does cross language barriers as easily as they say...



12:30pm Jan 15, 2011

Blogger Post,

Hello readers!  A handwritten blog post is new for me.  I'll try not to forget that I'm blogging rather than journaling. Oh wait! My journal is already kinda a blog... just... for me.

Anyway, I'm writing this in the hotel in Hyderabad (high-der-bahd).  It's pretty easy to spot on a map.  The airport was very nice, and aside from a small language barrier, getting through customs was easy peasy.  There was a bit of mass confusion concerning the bags, but it's cool.  Once in the Native ministry vans [several hours after landing], we drove to the hotel.  It was a LOT COLDER THAN I EXPECTED--but it was 6am.  Sun was just rising as we were driving through the city.  It's crazy.  It looks a little like a post-apocalyptic city that was once upon a time the love child of Shreveport, LA and sketchy LA, CA.  Basically, I didn't feel like I was necessarily on the other side of the world, just in a run down but still functioning US city.  It was less crowded than I expected, less noisy, less smelly, and the driving was less terrifying, for sure.  There was even less honking than I expected!  Granted, again, it was very early.  We're about to go out again, this time to Native Ministries for lunch, so I may have a different report tonight.  After a shower, some breakfast, and a nap, we went punjabi shopping.  I always thought of sarees when I imagined Indian clothes:

but punjabis are super cool:

It's a tunic dress with long pants (either fitted as above or big and genie-like) and a scarf.  Some are crazy ornate and expensive, but I spotted a teal one on a rack that wasn't too bedazzled and lucked out BIG TIME.  The $ exchange is about 50 Indian Rupees to $1, so a punjabi (dress, pants, and scarf) for 1185R is about $24.  Their rate was a little lower, so I strutted out with that teal punjabi, and 5 chunnis (delicately ornamented scarves) for $43.  We're gonna chalk Cole's 1st Indian marketplace experience up as a win.

Outside my window I can see lower caste house roofs.  I can't stop looking.  Dozens of kids flying kites, dads shaving, matriarchs walking and meditating, chores getting done, waste *cough cough* being disposed of (don't drink the water for THAT REASON), little boys play fighting...  How odd that I finally feel like I'm in another country when I'm looking out the window of this cushy hotel...


I questioned whether to post this or not.  This is a letter to my future daughter (NO, I'm not preggers. By "future" I mean fuuuuuuuture daughter), as inspired by the writings of Amy Carmichael and Elisabeth Elliot.

11:10pm (10:40am) still Jan 13 (14th in India--weird)

My dear daughter,

My precious gift from God, my angel, my baby girl.  At this time, you are but a prayer, and yet I feel so sure that you will someday grace my life and your amazing father's with your presence.  I am reading Elisabeth Elliot's A Chance to Die, the reverent biography of Amy Carmichael.  By the time you read this, I imagine you will be very familiar with both of these women.  Upon reading a letter that Catherine Carmichael wrote to her daughter, I realized that I had this one growing in my own heart.

Mrs. Carmichael writes (about Amy's doubts and worries upon being called by God to "go"):

"He who hath led will lead
All through the wilderness,
He who hath fed will surely feed...
He who hath heard thy cry
Will never close His ear,
He who hath marked thy faintest sigh
Will not forget thy tear.
He loveth always, faileth never,
So rest in Him today--forever."

You are not in my life, yet I can imagine how incredibly difficult it would be to let you go already.  However, I'm writing this to encourage you that I will forever support your life for Christ, wherever He leads you.  You are not mine, but His.  I am only to be blessed with the stewardship of your blossoming into a woman prepared to serve Him.  I don't know what spiritual gifts you'll have, but I am overjoyed at the idea that I will get to watch you discover them.

Life is not easy.  Following Christ through life isn't either.  Sin is easy, and the road to ruin is hard-packed because of the many feet that have run along that path.  We weren't created for the easy and the comfortable, and remaining neutral is only wandering down that hard-packed road with your hands over your eyes.  Choose deliberately, my love, to live a life of service to Christ.  He lovingly hand-crafts us to have very specific roles in His Glorification.  He will feed you, hear you, remember you, love you, never fail you, and lead you.  Will you follow?

I love you,
Your one-day mama

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Week Later-- THE INDIA POST (1)

You beautiful, patient reader, you.

I can't really explain why it's taken me so long to get this post to you.  For some reason, I've been reluctant to share about India--there's so much to share, and I feel almost overwhelmed by the responsibility ingrained in what I've seen and experienced.  How can I possibly do that 11 days justice in a meager blog post or two?  Answer: I can't.  It's going to take my entire life.  This trip has shaken me up, rearranged me, and prepped me for something, though I'm not entirely sure what that is yet.

But let's start at the beginning.  I wrote a lot while on this trip.  I wrote over 50 pages in my journal.  The vast majority of those are for me, but there are some important gems in there that I'll pull out as excerpts, while some posts are very deliberately for you.  I'm going to post a series of posts rather than one very long one--I think I would be more inclined to read what I'm going to write if it was formatted in that way.  If you feel differently, toobadsosad.  Go write your own blog.  And then tell me what it is so I can follow it :)

So, as the first post, let's start with the incredibly long plane rides to the other side of the world...

6:10pm (5:40am India time) Jan 13, 2011

I'm on the plane.  It's happening.  I'm going to India.  After all that prayer and preparation, God has put me on a plane. How amazing!  This is just so beautiful.  Sweet Lord, you take such amazing care of me.

Now then, after a rather tasty plane meal, down to business--expectations.  I expect to be overwhelmed, and I think I'll love it.  I expect my patience to be tried by all these kids, but I pray that God will intervene and take that opportunity to grow me in new ways.  I expect to want to go back--to be CALLED to go back.  I expect I'll be disappointed about the food and excited to get back to my Bombay Grill.  But maybe I'll love it!  Maybe I'll be the only one who loves it!  I hope to get close to those that I've already connected with thus far on this trip.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prelude to a Kiss

And by kiss I mean a lengthy post written in India in my journal that I must transcribe here. This isn't that post, obviously, but it is a heads up that it's coming. And really I've just missed you so much that I couldn't wait to post to you.

I really don't know where to begin with describing how amazing India was, so I think it would really be best to wait and flesh out those things with the next post. Suffice it to say that my life has been changed for the better. Praise God!
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Friday, January 14, 2011

So.... JK

Hey folks :)

I'm in Heathrow Airport in London.  I won't be blogging while I'm in India, but I will be writing. I'll transcribe some fun stuff later.  Don't worry family, I'll be able to call and possibly send you a text.  I love everybody :)

Home time it's 5:10am. India time it's 4:40pm.  London time, I have no idea.  Somewhere in the middle of the two.  I've slept a little, but I'm trying to go ahead and get on India time.  But I may need an "afternoon nap" lol.

God bless us every one ;)


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Date of Departure

Wow. That's today. In a few short hours I take off on the last leg of this little journey that God set out before me in 2009. He planned it all and revealed it to me, moment by moment. The preparation has involved passion, doubt, encouragement, personal challenges, amazement, tears of all kinds, trust, and hope, just like all good journeys. Every step of the way was necessary, there were no mistakes. Those that I may be tempted to perceive as flaw are actually lessons and foreshadowing.

God's hand has been all over this, and let's all toss up a thank you for THAT. Cole would not be in such ship shape if God hadn't had this 100% under control.

If my secret donor is keeping up with my blog, I want to thank you yet again. You are such a blessing, not just for giving (though you certainly did that--thank you), but also for adding more layers of depth to this journey. Someone who loves the Lord is rooting for me, supporting me, asking for no recognition. A brother or sister in Christ is quietly encouraging me through this trip, but I don't know who that person is! How stunning.

If my dear family and friends who have given to or prayed for this trip are reading, I just want you all to know that my heart beats faster and my eyes fill with tears when I think of the overwhelming mass of support that I know I have. Kinda makes me think of the Verizon network commercials. That's yall. I'm just the goofball on the phone saying, "can you hear me now?"

I hope I'll have internet access over there. If not, I'll still be journaling, and there will be a big update when I get back. Hopefully it won't involve sickness haha.

I'll be packing for the next 3 hours if you want to shoot me a text! However, don't try to call me while I'm there. Ain't gonna happen. Expeeeeensive. I'll be calling home on a special team phone, so no worries, I'll be letting SOMEBODY know I'm alive, well, and glorifying Christ.

I love you. YOU stay safe and healthy!
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Monday, January 10, 2011


That's me. That's what I am. I do nothing, God does everything, and I reap the beautiful benefits. It isn't fair. This can't be right. But it's far too lovely to question!

I travel to the other side of the world in 3.5 days. It guarantees to be unfathomably awe-some. Bring it on.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

I can't read, apparently.

I cannot sit and read and do nothing else to save my life.  I've forgotten how to read!  Ok not really.  I can still read.  I just don't know how to be still and focus my brain on that one activity!


So I have no fewer than 10 books staring me in the face, and what do I do?  I check email, facebook, write a blog post, twiddle my thumbs, and read not a word of text from a real, paper-in-my-hands book.

This is maddening.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Roomie Night

So I live with 3 amazing gals.  And we all like each other.  Blessings never cease.

Since we all adore each other, and since we're girls, and since we have a free evening before 2 of them head back to class and before I head to India, we're having a roomie night.  It guarantees love, laughter, and deliciousness.

On the agenda for the evening: 
-  spinach, bacon, cheese [and mushroom] quiche
-  blueberries, bananas, and watermelon
-  strawberries dipped in chocolate
-  a game or 2 of Last Word (look it up--it's a riot!!)
-  excessive girl talk and giggling

I am so stinkin blessed.

Also, I leave for India in a week.  This thought makes my heart soar.  I get a lot of shots for that trip on Friday.  This does not so much make my heart soar.  Pray for me Friday morning.  I think I'll tolerate it far better than I did when I was little...
Why hello, Mr. Doctor!  Is that a big scary shot in your hands?  Goodness me! No thank you...  Why are you still coming near me?

Survival mode:
And that's when I turned into a fierce jungle animal that required lots of doctors and nurses just to hold me down.  Twas ridiculous.

I won't do that on Friday.  I'm a big girl now.

I think.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

This Evening...

...9 thank you notes took me an hour to complete.

But why didn't that hour happen last week?

Because I procrastinated.

PS, yall, I'm going to INDIA.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

I'm a sitting infomercial.

Wrapped up in a cloud-printed snuggie, sipping tea, reading a book, and watching my cat play with a ball of paper at my feet. My hair even looks kinda cute.

I feel somewhat ridiculous, and I'm having a hard time taking myself seriously right now.
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