Once written by Amy Carmichael, who lived a missionary’s life in India, “It is great to be faced with the impossible, for nothing is impossible if one is meant to do it. Wisdom will be given, and strength. When the Lord leads, He always strengthens.” It was for such a time in June 2018, that God shared with me these moments in India with Him.
I started my journey even before putting on my shoes to walk the streets. It started with becoming aware of Rahab’s Rope, reading about its mission to help provide a prevention program for children and teenage girls, to work in areas of those in human trafficking, and to share Jesus with others, not only in words, but in action and truth. I spent many days in Acts 20-23, reading the passage over and over, with numerous questions before I surrendered to filling out the application with my whole heart. For I was ready, in the next step and then the next step and so one.
From the moment I got on the plane, it was the journey of a lifetime, leading me to new places, people, food, weather, smells, colors, clothes, and new modes of transportation. My eyes looked around and saw much poverty, but also life in the people. This was their home, their everyday. My heart was drawn to one, whose residency was in India, whom I immediately cared for and loved. We spent a few moments together in the mornings at the Preschool. Our 10:30 chai became a time to look forward to some “us” time. We sat at a table together while kids ate their snacks. Two ladies from different worlds and languages, sharing stories of our past and present. These were God moments that He carved out for us during those days in June.
Our leaders and our team (new friends and sisters in Christ) were one in spirit and was an exceptionally unique group to be part of. As I trekked along, I had to put my trust in our leaders like I did with God getting me there. It was like follow the leader: ‘follow’ wherever and whatever the leader does, walk where they walk, walk how they walk, one leader out front, the three of us in the middle line and the other leader closes us in. What a sweet picture of how Jesus takes such great care of us as sheep, since He is our Shepherd. We looked to our leaders for guidance in this unknown land, and they provided in every way. A symphony of laughter erupted often, and our time together was one of sweet fellowship, that my heart holds near and dear. A tune of one accord was our song. We fit together like pieces of a puzzle and God put us in motion to share, not only with each other, but with the people we came across.
Our time together with the children was extraordinary. Sitting on the floors and interacting throughout our days became times of thanksgiving. We were able to help them with English, school subjects, sing songs, tell Bible stories, play games, and make crafts. A small moment in time of sprinkling seeds. Not only giving but receiving as well.
The bus rides were some of my favorite times together with our team. Trekking from one bus to another we were able to visit, watch people, share a laugh, a smile or conversation. We were sometimes crammed into standing room only buses. We would try to sit by the window, so we could have some air flow as we traveled. We were brushing up against rain-soaked people (us included) and umbrellas. The honks, animals roaming, and music blared. The lostness was all around, and we were constantly looking at false gods hanging or sitting on the dashboards of the buses. We were sticky and stinky, and sometimes, all we needed was alone time. But what memories!
I will forever be changed because of the people I met, the opportunities given, and the look at a new culture up close. It was a place I never even had on my radar, but God did. I am thankful God made me ready for this journey. With Him, I had courage in my steps. I am so grateful for this faith walk in India. The blessings and stretching are real. I had to figure out what I could eat and not, how to endure extreme heat and go without fans, the electricity shutting off randomly, and how to not think about where my feet had trod and what was on my sandals! I grew in how to care and love others better because Christ loves me, a sinner saved by grace. I learned how to be flexible in ministry, orchestrate as a team, and to sing as a quintet. I also grew in how to wait on the Lord to provide a way when curve balls came our way, being patient amidst the unknowns, and settling in to a new world even if it was only for a few short days.
Our God is a BIG God! He knows you and me. He knows the lost, He knows those trapped in holes and hidden prisons. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5