My time in Kashmir is over. What an adventure it has been. I can hardly wait to get home, but I wouldn’t change these priceless experiences for anything. From the first night and subsequent morning where I thought I would die of heartache to seeing the Himalayan mountains for the first time; from walking through the market in Kashmir to the heartwarming moments of worshipping and fellowshipping with new friends; from meeting dedicated families obeying Christ to staying up all night when sickness overtook me; all of this has been an exhilarating and enlightening experience!
It did cost me to come here. I miss my family, and they miss me. I am thankful to those who made it possible for me to come, my husband, my mom, my in-laws, my friends. So many of you prayed for us, and I am so thankful because I am certain that I wouldn’t have gained such a rich understanding without your prayers. As Omar always says, you held the ropes for me. Without you, I would not have learned so much about the Muslim culture in Kashmir and about the struggles they face. I learned so much about missions and about living life with a purpose and a passion. Without seeing these people face to face, they would’ve remained just an image in my mind, but now, instead, they are real people to me, ones that I will always remember.
When the Lord brings this trip to mind, I hope that what I remember the most are the people that I met, and the people that they represent. I never dreamed that in one week and in one place, I would come to know so many of God’s people. While in Kashmir, I met the poor and the rich; the young and the old. I met the faithful few and the masses of the lost. I met a hopeless widow, a housewife clothed in despair, I met a little girl that is already bound by a great stronghold, and I met the worldly upper-class. I met many who are on the verge of truth and need a push over the edge. I met a community of houseboat people, waiting expectantly for tourists, and boat merchants who are striving to make a living. I met Godly men attempting to be Christ-like leaders to their families in the midst of persecution. I met strong Christian workers dedicated to serving God and their children whose worldviews are being shaped by the things they are observing. I met a loving couple whose life purpose is to adopt babies no one else wanted.
I met a lot of people in Kashmir. Some were drastically different than me, yet there are some threads that run through all of humanity. God loves every one of those people, and they are all beautiful to Him. All of them were made in His image and designed for fellowship with Him. Yes, this has been a great experience for me, but more than that, I hope it was a great experience for them.