Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Home Again Home Again...

Jiggety jog!

From Texas to Mississippi and back again to Texas. Such adventures in the last 6 days. I can't wait to tell you all about it.

One little adventure is the beginning of my new journal, which I've affectionately named Leather Bound Journal, accidentally dubbed LBJ for short. Teehee.

Baghera missed me. He's only left my lap twice in the 6 hours I've been home. Because of this I've watched a long old movie, Cleopatra, starring Liz Taylor et al. Very interesting. Maybe I should get up and get some food now...

That post about journal (and blog) pointers is still coming. It'll be a fun one indeed!


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On Journals

I'm a journaler.  In a big way.  I don't even know if that's technically spelled correctly, but we're gonna go with it.

I had a diary when I was in 3rd-8th grades.  As in, I had a book with a giant lock on it that I would occasionally angst in, but it was far from consistent (sometimes years would pass between entries) and my writing hinged mostly on my ability to find my well-hidden diary keys (did anyone else have a paranoia that your parents were reading your diary?).

Things changed in May of 2005.  I got this journal:
This journal (which came with a pen that lived happily there in that elastic loop) was what changed it all.  It was a personal turning point.  This was the point in my life when I became a writer.  Even though I was only writing for me, holy wow was that going to be important.  I actually completely filled this journal, which impressed me.  I didn't think that actually happened.  I was just so inspired by the journal itself, that I felt warmly invited to write.  There are lots of "Dear God," entries, but let's be honest, a solid 95% of the subject matter in this journal was boy-related.  I'm fairly certain that I've been boy crazy since birth, but about 4th through 10th grade was just embarrassing.  This journal captured the tail end of that embarrassment, spanning from May 2005 to April 2006.  Yeah!  Finished my first journal in less than a year!  I'm tellin you--I ate that stuff up.

So then I was on a roll.  I scavenged for the next journal.  Really I wanted another one that looked just like that, but they weren't being made anymore.  I settled for #1's cousin:

I took this one to Europe with me, to camp with me... and then it fizzled out.  This one's kinda my summer of '06 journal.  I did write a lot that summer.  But I also took it to camp in '07!  5 pages that summer.  Oh well.  This was a faithful journal nonetheless.

Because I had declared the above journal as my summer journal, I had to have another one on hand for the school year.  Here she is:

My senior year I didn't journal much.  I'd say that I didn't have much to write, but that'd be false.  I think I had too much to journal, so I had troubles spitting it all out. 

And, let's be honest, I kinda sorta hated that journal.  She was a pain to write in, she was pink, and she was just so... not me.  I'm really not sure why I purchased her in the first place.  And then I named her Pheebi.  What a gosh awful name for a journal.  Who wants to tell "Pheebi the pink journal" about a spiritual issue that one is battling?  Or about the complicated relationship situations that one finds oneself in?  Certainly not me.  I tried, but I didn't make it even 1/8 of the way through Pheebi the pink journal.  My last entry says, "Journal, When I write this, please don't get offended...  You don't inspire me to write as a journal should.  I'm sorry to leave you like this, but it's time.  I will be moved in to college in 4 days. I am leaving you here.  When I have written in you, you've served me well.  I look back on these entries fondly."  I was self-aware enough to be aware of and amused by the overdramatic nature of that final entry.

And then I found him.  Gary.  My fourth journal and dear friend:

I love this journal so much.  I started writing to Gary the first night of college, and I filled the last page, tearfully, in January of 2010.  That's a pretty solid 2 and a half years of companionship.  He was with me through the most life-changing moments that shaped me into who I am today.  He tolerated me when I was dumb as a brick and overly cerebral--sometimes in the same entry.  He endured who knows how many not-serious crushes blown way out of proportion, as well as the quiet genuine moments of relationships that held some real weight.  God, family, friends, changes in life's direction... This journal saw it all. 

Some of the bits of the bittersweet farewell letter on the last pages reads, "I won't lie--I will miss this.  Your pages are exceptionally inviting, dear friend.  Unmatched.  I wish you were forever long, so I could keep writing in you until I am 105 years old, but I'm sure you'd tire of me...  I feel like you carried the emotional bulk of my transition from ridiculous high schooler to slightly less ridiculous young adult.  Probably the most word-heavy transition of the human life...  If I collected all the people from the past 2 1/2 years together, I could pull from their memories and reconstruct the bread crumbs that lead from almost-18-year-old Cole to almost-20.5-year-old Cole.  But this would be quite tiresome.  And many of those people I don't particularly wish to see again. I would much rather flip back a few pages to see for myself.  Besides, I was probably more honest with myself in this journal than I was with most of the people I confided in or interacted with."

I was nervous about the journal that would follow Gary.  He was a big deal.  How does one just replace a dear friend?  It was a very serious search that I insisted on making alone--I didn't trust anyone to know me well enough to help me find a journal, and I didn't want to offend anyone if they tried.  I settled on this journal--number 5:

This journal doesn't have a name, but it's been an excellent journal, and I've given every entry not only a date but a time as well (previous journals I'd only very rarely even put dates, which makes exact chronology difficult to track).  This journal was started in January of 2010, just after I bade farewell to Gary, and it saw me through the most difficult year of my 21, I believe.  Not that it was a bad year--not at all--just that it required a lot of work, in every aspect.  Much of that was aided by this journal.  It has been a great help.  And it has wrapped up much more quickly than I thought it would!  Because of the 50+ pages that I wrote while in India, I now have 3 pages left.  I began the farewell entry yesterday (no tears this time), and I think I'll finish it tonight.  I was hoping to finish it by Valentines Day, though, because I thought that would be an incredibly appropriate day to begin my next journal!

My sweet boyfriend of 1 month, Jared, gave me this journal for Valentines Day.  It is the first journal that I've allowed another person to give me, and it is perfect.  It is precisely what I would have picked out myself--a leather cover with a wrap around tie and lined pages on the inside (I quickly learned that lines are very important to me.  One of my brilliant idiosyncrasies).  I can only imagine the beautiful things that will be poured into these pages...  I have actually been slow to finish the other journal because I want so badly to begin writing in this one--which is completely counter-productive.  Also, the pressure of writing the first page of a journal is kind of ridiculous.  I don't like that part.  So much pressure!  It will forever be the first page of that journal!  But once that's over and done with, the entries pour out.  What a wonderful feeling...

So, you, my dear reader.  Do you journal?  If so, tell me about it!  Let's nerd out about our journals together!  If not, maybe you want to!  In my next post (or one of my next posts--don't want to limit myself) I'll go through some general blogging and journaling guidelines that I've discovered.  Coming soon.  It's like a movie trailer.  Get excited.

I love you.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Double Dates

I love double dates. I love getting together with my beau and enjoying time with another couple. Doesn't even have to be an official "datey mcdaterson" hangout, but those are flippin awesome too. Jared and I spent Valentines evening with Ashley and David, both of whom we've both known for years. Those two have amazing laughs. I'm one who frequently laughs at others' laughs, so suffice it to say that I had a jolly time.

The flower shop job ended nicely, though I wish it didnt have to end. I've dreamed about flower ordering and flower delivery twice now. The most recent one involved me holding a customer up at gunpoint, demanding that he take his bloomin flowers. This did not actually happen in the real flower shop, though I'm sure there were tempting moments.

God bless ya. I love ya.
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Friday, February 11, 2011


If you want flowers delivered on Valentine's Day, order them a week in advance. Seriously, men, it's the only holiday where you're in charge. Waiting til the last minute isn't gonna do you any favors. We WANT you to succeed.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This Week's Excitement

This week I'm working at the TCU Florist.  The ladies and gentlemen that work here are beautiful and joyous.  It's like a big happy loving family.  They call Faye "Granny" and everyone takes good care of everybody else.  As much as I don't like waking up at 7 in the morning, it is so worth it to be around such beautiful people.  Not to mention the gorgeous flowers!!!  What a wonderful way to spend a week, even if it is just for the week.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

This evening:

Awesome live streamed sermon about the importance of community, an amazing talk about the forgiveness found in Christ, Indian food--lots of it--and a book-buying date. I now have A Severe Mercy, which I've been told I will love. I can't wait to read it! I'm ready to get into that reading streak that I've been looking forward to...

Now to get some sleep and look forward to working at a flower shop again! Yay for pretty things that smell good!
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

THE INDIA POST (13 - the wrap up)

2:15 pm Jan. 24, 2011

The screen on the back of the chair in front of me says we'll arrive in 25 minutes.  I can't believe this has happened--all of it!  I can't believe I was called upon to do mission work, I can't believe I actually heard the call, I can't believe it all happened, and I can't believe it's all over now. 

Let's do a quick recap for those just tuning in-- summer of 2009 God started poking me very specifically and very persistently toward mission work with kids in India.  The message was very clear from the start, though it made very little sense to me initially.  After contacting Pioneers in the summer of 2010 (God had His work cut out for Him in calling on me.  It took em a year to pick up my feet and get going!)  I got in touch with John, who taught this missions crawler how to walk.  We set up a trip, and it was clear that each step of the way was exactly the way that God had planned it to go.  God was displaying ALL KINDS of sovereignty.  It was an amazing and humbling experience to see God working so deliberately through my tiny existence.  In accordance with His Plan, but not at all in accordance with mine, that initial trip fell through.  My host missionary decided that she would leave the field.  I, clearly not having learned my lesson yet, panicked, thinking that all was lost and what was I to do now and what about that call, God??!  And, because God is glorified in all things, a second trip fell directly into my lap.  A trip going during the same time that the original trip was planned--to work with kids... in India... AND it would be through my own church in Fort Worth.

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do (ooo ooo!)

So after God blessed me with a beautiful funds-raising experience (the part I was dreading the most), I was delighted to realize that I was really and truly going to India!  It was the only plan I had for post-graduation, and I had no idea how much I would need that.  After graduating, moving, ending a year-and-a-half-long relationship, and starting the new year, all the world was filled with newness and beauty.  I saw God's blessings pouring out all over the place.  Oh such beautiful potential!

"I believe in Christianity as I believe in the rising sun; not because I see it, but by it I can see all else." (C. S. Lewis)


That's technically where the India journaling ends.  The plane landed after that quote, and I didn't finish that entry until today (Feb. 4).  There's been a time lapse, but you deserve a better wrap up than that, so continuing on:

So the big new year looked brilliantly promising.  And terrifying.  The only thing that I could count on for 2011 was the India trip.  I had literally no plans other than that.  I'm a planner.  Do you know how terrifying it is for a planner to enter into a new year with no plans after the 24th day of the year?  The only direction God had given me, though, was, "Go to India, then let Me take care of the rest.  I love you.  I'll take care of you."

Do you know how difficult that concept is to explain to a society of planners?  I'm fairly certain that there is a veritable team of people genuinely concerned for my mental well-being because of that plan--or lack thereof.  There's a big part of me that doesn't blame them.  In our world, even our "time off" must be structured, with an end point.  You can "take [this specific amount of time] off to [do some sort of planned activity]" but you can't not have a plan.  It makes us uncomfortable!  But we weren't made to be comfortable.  I've been fighting that discomfort for months now, and I've reached a quiet joyful place with it.  Others, not so much (I love you, daddy).  But hey, that's where I am, and I've learned that the best way to make God laugh is to try to make a plan on my own.  If He can spin the world, dress the lilies, and send me to freakin INDIA (!!), I'm sure he can handle carrying me through tomorrow.

So he did it.  He took me to India.  Posts about that start here and flow straight up through January to this post.  About 15 or 16 posts total.  If you're just starting out, don't worry--some are short little dudes.  I wanted to divide them up by days rather than do one big overwhelming post (you know, like 10x longer than this one).  To understand how incredible the experience was, you'll just have to read the posts, then see the [coming soon] pictures, and then go for yourself.  Since I've been back I've had a hard time processing it all.  SO much happened, and I still don't quite know what to do with it all.  I know I'm here for a purpose, and I was sent there for a purpose, but not all of that has been revealed just yet.  I know part of it, but who knows what our great God has up His sleeve!

We've had 4 snow days in a row, and I can't fully express how amazing that's been.  I've had time to just sit.  To talk through it.  To process and write all this out.  To spend time with a charming young man named Jared.  To bake double chocolate rum cupcakes.  To make a snow angel, unpack my room, and nap--a lot.

For those of you who haven't been so much into the India posts, look forward to a post about the story of the promise of 2011, and for you hopeless romantics, there may be a sweet story heading to a blog near you sometime soon...


12:26am London time, 4:26am TX time, Jan. 24, 2011

This is my 40th India page in my journal.  Wow.  I've passed our 3 cough drops, some Kleenex, and some humor on this plane thus far, and we haven't even taken off!  I'm sitting next to a lovely British couple and the wash closet.  I was boarded early because I asked for a seat change to an aisle seat.  At first I regretted asking because of the proximity to the bathroom, but I think this will be wonderful!  Finally no one kneeing me in the back!

Yesterday's flight was rough, but Tricia, a flight attendant, was precious.  36 years as a flight attendant.  Very British and friendly.  So sweet.  And flight attendant John looked weirdly like Victor Boschini--ole V.Bos.

So, I don't know how to rebuke in love with grace while still making the point..  That's the next big place of growth I need to focus on.  Also, I can be quite condescending to people sometimes. It was pointed out to me last year that I do this, and thus I now catch myself at it sometimes.  I don't know why that tone is any kind of normal to me.  It's all pride.  It's all way too much pride.  If I'm going to be a good representative of Jesus Christ, if I'm going to be a good wife, if I'm going to be a good mother, I need to learn to recognize pride in myself, learn how to kill it, and learn how to override it with grace and love.  God, help me.  That's going to be a long hard journey.  Bless me with an understanding husband and merciful friends.  Give me patience with myself and others.  And please, Lord, give them patience with me...  Jesus' rebukes always sound so harsh to me when I read His words.  Is that because I am so harsh when I rebuke others?  Am I reading my own tone into Him?  I'm getting into the words of Jesus.  And Isaiah.  A little old, a little new.  Every day.  Let's do it.

Ok, 14 pages to the end of this journal.  I'm gonna take a nap, and then I'm going to write a blog post and write some letters.  We'll see what kind of a dent I can make in those 14 pages in the next 10 hours!


8:40am (TX time) Jan. 24 still

Still flying!  Watching Gandhi.  He's an incredibly impressive man.  He has flaws and such, as every human but Jesus has fallen prey to, but his dedication to human rights and to nonviolence in achieving his goals has blessed the world in a big beautiful way.  I believe the only thing that truly sets him apart from any other human with a heart is his stubborn, lifelong commitment to that stuff in his heart.  For a man who wasn't a Christian, he sure sets one heck of a lifestyle example for us.  That statement convicts all us Christ followers... As does his incredibly accurate observation about Christians:  "I like your Christ.  I do not like your Christians.  They are nothing like your Christ."

Oooph.  I've heard many non-believers say that Christians are the main turn-off from Christianity.  True, they aren't looking at the right example (please please look at Jesus--not us), but also true is the fact that there should be no difference in the life of Christ and that of His followers.  I just left the presence of Native Ministries, a true Christian presence in an area where Christ followers are persecuted.  I am returning to the land of churches and lukewarm faith, which I would argue is no faith at all.  If you read that and feel prideful and defensive, I will throw a Sassy Gay Friend quote at you:  look at your life--look at your choices.  Pride and complacency have NO PLACE in Christ-like discipleship.  Just because we're born in the "Bible belt" doesn't mean we get a free pass.  It's not "just in the water."  You decide to follow Jesus, and then you do it diligently because you realize that you owe him your life.  There is nothing passive about it.  There is active prayer, active fellowship, active Scripture reading, active discipling, and an active life on mission, all of which are focused fully on the Glory of God.  A high call with a high standard.  Settle your heart for nothing less.  You are here for His Glory and what a JOYOUS purpose that is!!


5:30pm India time, 6:00am TX time, noon London time  Jan. 23, 2011

Landing in London in about 10 minutes.  Legitimately ready to be home.  Miserable sleepless flight...  Lots of music and a little Bollywood, but very little sleep.  I'm sure I napped a little, and maybe the resting time counts as some rejuvenation, but it can't be much.  I really just want to connect on through to home...

God, please work on the hearts on this trip.  I think we're now tempted to forget that we're still on mission for You.  Satan has found a foothold in our sleeplessness and weariness.  He has been working overtime these past few days (or we've been working undertime...). Complaints, pride, gossip, bad attitudes... not to mention that we seem to have all forgotten at least a little of the lives we led for 5 days in India.  Otherwise how could all this have crept in?

There are some MISERABLE babies on this plane.  Descent is clearly not their faves.  I missed a meal because I was trying to pretend I was napping to make me actually nap.  So now I'm hungry and tired.  Game plan--food and contact Chelsea and Willie T.  I just need some wifi!  And some munchies so I can take my malaria medication!  All will be well... I'll find a second wind after some food and I'll get to bed early tonight.  And tomorrow I"ll see my dear home people!  Jared and Sydney and Alyssa and Ehleshea and Meg and Baggy...

God, bless each member of this team with an amazing reentry story.  Pour out your love and grace on every single person, and help us to better understand our purposes on earth by thinking on this incredible experience.  Guide us to help us not to forget WHO sent us, WHY we were sent, and WHAT we learned in the process.  Bless our tongues while we talk about the experience, and lead us in prayer to show us what the life implications of this trip should ultimately be for us.  Help me to figure out how to talk about the changes in my life with grace and love.  That's not my strong suit...


5:00pm Jan. 22, 2011

Just got done playing duck-duck-goose with about 20-25 kids at Native.  This was my favorite camp, closely followed by "Tight Squeeze Village" and Kalubavi (with the sisters).  The age that I was playing with today was just SO MUCH FUN!  I love 7-13 year-olds.  They're my jam.  Younger is great too, but every time I get done playing with a group of 10-year-olds, it feels so amazing.  I'm exhausted, but glowing.

Hah!  We just passed a sketchy looking "poultry disease diagnostics lab" and an "export reject sale."  I feel like every flat surface here is advertising something or being used to sell something directly, but none of it is very successful.  I've gotten so used to this place.  It sounds, smells, tastes, looks, and feels normal.  The warm brown complexions and sarees and bellbottom pants have become familiar.  I love it.  I don't want to return to lukewarm Christians.  I hate that.  Christians here are real.  They mean it.  They have the light and they share it.  They're answering the call, praise God.


Random notes on a scratch page:

Day 4, morning - village with the worst bathroom - we were in the church building.  Cut short because we had lunch in that building, rather than in Kalubavi.  Bonding time and culture chat with our helpers.  Kumba Lanoor village.

Our interpreters were Solomon and David.  They're young dads and best friends.  The helpers were Sudhakar and Shalem, who were young 20's and also best friends (it took me so long to remember their names that I wrote "Sudhakar- no mustache.  Shalem- mustache" in my journal to help me out).

Vumahla- little girl in green.  She stayed behind to blow us a kiss goodbye.  Beautiful little girl.
Rikatesh- Edgar's nephew?  13-year-old at Native.  Gold eyes.  Felt too old to play with the kids, but played anyway.  Sweet sweet kid.
Krishana, Mario, and Musheni - Precious group of boys in Kumba Lanoor.  They were so much fun!
Srikant- Solomon's nephew.  Suman- Solomon's younger brother.  They helped us and hung out with us during the Native camp day.  Between the 5 helper men and the 3 of us, we totally emptied a big container of cashews.  That was such a good purchase.  Who knew :)

Books to check out on Amazon:  Let the Nations Be Glad- Piper, Rich Christians in the World of Hunger, Don't Waste Your Life- Piper, Telugu Bible (for language learning purposes)

Chala-bah-goondi - How beautiful!
Bah-ghoo-na-dha - How are you?
Neh-nu bahga-oonahnu - I am fine.
Ahrundi! - Come!

9:20am Jan 21, 2011

We're on the bus heading to Hyderabad.  The boys are outside the bus, fascinated by us.  So funny!  What a mind-blowing few days... Last night and this morning especially.  After changing into punjabis at the hotel, we boarded the bus (the van on the previous day was NOT gonna work.  It was making me feel ill, and I never get motion-sick) and headed to the prayer hut dedication.  On the way there we encountered a mass of people so big that the bus couldn't go through.  Everyone was dressed in the most beautiful clothes outside, there was drumming, and we heard fireworks. Someone on the bus murmured, "a wedding?..."  The bus was going so slowly that we all hopped off to get ahead and see the drums.  I was so entranced by the drums that I didn't notice that the volunteers we'd been working with were there beside us.  They were facing us, holding hands.  Amanda asked Sudhakar what he was doing, and he said, "For your protection."  We were there--at the town where they were dedicating the prayer hut.  The celebration was for the prayer hut dedication, and all the people were there to see us.  It was an intoxicating experience.  My heart was pounding with the drums, and we were all traveling slowly toward the prayer hut.  It felt like I was being ushered into heaven itself.  The only thing missing was dancing, which apparently would have been wildly inappropriate.  The men and boys kept taking my picture with their camera phones.  It made me SO UNCOMFORTABLE.  It's made me uncomfy all week, but last night especially.  It felt SO inappropriate.  Edgar and his brother Mohan spoke to the crowd before we went in, and it moved my heart so much.  When we went in, we CRAMMED in.  "Fire code" clearly does not translate.  The children sang, we prayed, we read Scripture, and they told us how that particular prayer hut came to be.  Then, oh then, they gave beautiful gifts of shawls and flower necklaces to our doctors.  A group of women from the church also gave the rest of us flower necklaces!  Oh they were gorgeous...  And they smelled so sweet!  I was so
(I have to pee SO BAD) [we were on the 5 hour bus ride back to Hyderbad. The one potty stop was about 30 minutes away]
wiped on the way back.  Totally spent.  I'd been overstimulated and overheated, and if I saw another camera phone I think I'd have thrown it.  I'm ashamed to say that even after that incredible spiritual experience, I was unhappy and grouchy.  It was 11pm and I wanted sleep.  So God did that funny thing that He does... My phone died in the middle of the night and we overslept a little the next morning.  "You want sleep?  Then sleep!"  Thank you, God, for breaking us.  This morning we gave gifts to the Colonel (?) District pastors and their wives.  One of the pastors in return gave us a mighty gift.  He asked Gina to name his tiny baby girl.  Cue tears.  Gina said, "The only two names I'd choose are those I've already chosen for my daughters, so I choose Sarah Elizabeth."  How stinkin precious.  But then the baby's dad and granddad stood up and said, "Wait!  The baby's mom's name is Sarah!"  They chose instead to name the baby Gina Elizabeth.  OH such waterworks in that room.  That prayer time was awesome, and the idea of not working with this group of Christ-centered people made the tears even greater.  We said goodbye to Sudhakar and John--so hard.  They made all us children's ministry folks promise to come back.  Promise made.  I will be back.  No doubt.  I feel like I need to talk to a particular friend or two about going with us next year.  They would be excellent additions.

Aaaaaaanyway.  I've learned a lot on this trip.  Namely I've been convicted in my daily walking practices.  I need more Word.  I need more prayer.  Both in very deliberate, disciplined ways.  I need to be familiar with the Book that rules my life.  I need to be sharing the gospel for Christ, discipling new Christians, and putting firewood under the asses of lukewarm Christians so Christ can light that fire.  What all that looks like in action, I'm not totally sure.  But if I keep Christ, Edgar, Mrs. Stansel, and Aunt Pamela in mind, I bet my heart will be led to a place that will make it beat faster for the Lord.

Edgar reminds me of Aslan (nerd alert!).  I want to care for him, help him, and look to him because of the pure light that emanates from him.  He's so Christ-centered that he really seems to shine!  His eyes always have a light in them, and he always seems so full of joy.  When I briefly talk to him, I kinda feel like Lucy feels in Narnia!  He's truly an inspiration.  And despite his disability, he works harder than all of us.  He's the Paul of NATIVE Ministry.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


8:45am Jan 19, 2011

I never know how long these bus rides will be, or how bumpy they'll be!  I've come to love this bus.  It means a moment of rest, a moment to write, a moment to look around and reflect.  Sometimes, maybe, a moment to call or text home.  Home.  Mmm.  We're here!  We've got to be.  I don't know how this bus is maneuvering around in here.  This is SUCH a tight squeeze.  This bus driver is freaking awesome.  I am SO IMPRESSED.

Prepping for a big day of kids!!


Evening:  not much to report.  We were inside a church building.  I don't remember much about that evening.  I was kinda down for the count, I'm afraid.


8:50am Jan. 18, 2011

On the road again! Off to village #3!  Praise God, Edgar just told us that after a scary moment with customs, we are getting our final medical bags!  Which means the Memphis team will have their bags!  We're on day 5 of the trip, and they haven't complained at all.  Bless them.  I LOVE how close to God we are on this trip.  Edgar leads in such a sweet, Christ-centered, light-filled way that you can't help but praise the Good Lord with him!


2 villages today.  I love these kids!!!  Sihnu.  Speaks some English.  Learned all our strange American names.  Green shirt, kind loving soul.

I just realized that I may forget which village is which!  Day 1, we went far from camp, between mud-huts in the village.  It was hard to be thrust so quickly into another culture--especially such an extremely different one!  Day 1 village 2 was beautiful.  A tent with a bunch of helper girls--my sisters.  This morning we were under a buggy tree.  I almost picked up a beautiful little crawling girl when she peed on our mat right at my feet.  This evening we were on a concrete slab outside a little building.

Our volunteers are rockstars. The NATIVE guys are awesome, and the local church folks are just precious.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


10:05 pm Still Jan. 17, 2011

Incredible day.  So hard.  So wonderful.  The 3 sisters, Aruna, Syamala, and Esteri, plus 1 or 2 more (there were 7 altogether) are now MY sisters.  Begged me to stay, to go to their home, to return to Kalubavi, to sing with them, to dance with them, to take pictures with them...  I loved it.  Today was beautiful.  Village #2, (Kalubavi) went so smoothly for us in the kids area.  What a difference a tent and some prayer makes!  I didn't feel tired, I kept smiling, kept loving, kept touching (and sanitizing)... They called me "Auntie" or "Cole Madame."  I adore both, but my favorite is definitely "sister."

Brief Interruption

We had a brilliant snow day today. Beautiful powdery snow... Crappy for snow balls and snow people, but perfect for playing otherwise. I may or may not have spent the day with a charming fellow. It was lovely.

Tomorrow there will be more India posts. So we're all caught up, there have been 5 India posts thus far, and who knows how many are on the way!
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