27 April 2009
We are waiting at the airport to board our flight to Kashmir. We’ve been in New Delhi, and though it was an experience, it doesn’t feel like we are where we are supposed to be yet. I am anxious to see the beauty of God’s creation that I keep hearing about. Dehli is beautiful too, in its own right. It is a collage of humanity and colors, new ideas and historical customs. Everyone moves so fast here, as it is in any big city, I suppose. We arrived late in the night and arrived at our humble apartment exhausted. I did not sleep well, and I awoke with a piercing loneliness in my heart. I missed home so much. I missed my family and my comfortable world. I was in shock, and I felt guilty that I was feeling that way. I told Chris that I felt like I was in the first few miles of the marathon, wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into. But, God was so faithful! After our breakfast of toast and jam, some visitors arrived. Paul and Meagan and their two beautiful children came to welcome us and see if we needed anything. We made plans for lunch, and they left. I can not describe the encouragement they and their children brought to me. Just a few minutes of fellowship with them, and their children edified my heart and brought me so much joy.
Omar, Lee and I then ventured out to explore this rich city. We went to an historical site that was once a Hindu temple. King Qutub changed the temple into a mosque several hundred years ago and built a tower that was meant to be a watch tower for Delhi. Thru the years, more was added, and it now stands as a monument to the many changes that India has experienced. We then went to lunch with our new friends and visited a few more sites. At the India Gate, I was henna’d though not by choice. The minute I stepped out of the van, a little girl grabbed my hand and before I knew it I had this paint of sorts all over my hand. She had such a tight grip and was so persistent that there was no way to resist her. Many people swarmed us asking us to buy things, and it made me think about how desperate these people really are. That young girl had a tight grip on my hand because that was how she survived.
As a result of many experiences like this, I’ve been dubbed “The Rookie,” by my veteran team mates. That’s okay with me though. I am honored to spend so much time with people who have made it their life to go to places like these and bring the truth. I have heard many stories from them and I love to sit and listen and soak in all of their tales. I really am a rookie, new to all of this, and so much out of my element. I am naïve, but I am trusting God every minute that I am here. I experienced His love and comfort yesterday as I was so exhausted in my body and in my spirit.
Although Lee and Omar are fabulous, I am the only woman on this trip, and I was feeling so lonely. My God knew that a friend was just what I needed and after seeing some sights, Meagan and I got to go to the market together. I needed some salwar kameez, the customary Indian dress for women. We had an iced coffee at Coffee Day (like Starbucks) and then went shopping. She refreshed me and edified my spirit. It was such a joy to visit with her, and I know that we will always be friends. She is really a hero of the faith. She is here with two small children, and as a mom, I can not imagine raising children here in a small apartment. They are working on a project for Sufi Muslims. I am amazed at some of the work that God is doing here, and I know that God will bless their faithfulness.
At the end of the evening, I was so exhausted that I could not stay awake sitting in the chair. I finally retired to my bed, and prayed quickly that God would give me supernatural rest. When I awoke this morning, He had shown h\Himself faithful. It is these small things that He does for me that seem so huge at times like these. When I fell asleep that first night in Delhi, I wasn’t sure where He was. I felt so far away in a foreign land. But, as you know, He is the God Who Sees. Our Lord is with us wherever we go, filling our hearts, and satisfying our every need.
Thank you for your prayers, and please keep them up. We are looking forward to getting to Srinagar where our real work will begin.