Took a brief hiatus from blogging for the past ten days. It’s a constant battle of trying to figure out when and what I should blog about. Things that would have been blog-worthy in the first couple months are just normal now. And I guess that’s where this blog comes in. What has become normal (which is usually feeling uncomfortable, having to be willing and ready do anything at any moment, feeling like an outsider) will not feel so normal in just over a week.
I’ll tell you about how our ministry wrapped up for the month. We met Pastor Aaron, who works for YWAM, has a heart for the poor and spends most of his time ministering in the slums. He was kind enough to allow us to come along with him and check out his ministry. You could tell that he loves the people he works with. He goes around town and has become friends with many families, going into their homes, listening to them and praying for them. So we were able to do that as well. We went into little shanties that were made of tarps and mud and despite that we ran across believers who were full of joy and loved the Lord.
After constantly being gawked at in Africa, it was nice to come to India and have people not notice us. (Ok, people still notice us but it is so small in comparison to Africa that it seems like they don’t notice us.) But the slums is the only place where I almost felt like we were back in Africa, but this was in a good way. Children were so excited to see us. It was obvious that we didn’t live there, and in a sense didn’t belong there. But the children were willing to put out their hands, ask us our names, and follow us around.
I made friends with a cute ten year old boy named Monish and despite very little communication, he was willing to follow us around the whole time we were there and slip into our youth group meeting. I am pretty sure he was a Hindu and hadn’t come to a Christian youth meeting before but he snuck in and sat by me and I was happy he was there. (There are pics of him and other children I met up on my photobucket account.)
We ended up worshiping in English and in several of the local languages with the youth in the area. People all over the world worship differently, but it is the same God and we are all his children, so no matter. (That “so no matter” comes from me sending too many emails to my African friends that I am starting to talk like them.)
Our last day of ministry was last evening. We waited outside for our contact to take us and we were a little earlier than he told us due to miscommunication. After waiting for a while, I wouldn’t have been too upset if it got canceled. But a minute or two before we said we would give up our contact, Anil, showed up. We walked three minutes down the road (this was nice considering most of our ministry involved taking a bus or an auto-rickshaw for 15-45 minutes). We were told that we would be doing a drama, sharing testimonies, and sharing a word for college students. It was actually a seminary for all men and most were much older than the commonly thought of college age. They were very polite and seemed very eager to listen. Two guys in particular had wide eyes and were nodding their heads the whole time. There were some awkward moments of not knowing what to do next and of talking too much before realizing it was going to get translated – but we decided that was a perfect last day of ministry; the awkwardness has been a theme on the Race.
Our leaders are currently on their way to Delhi and we will be on our way tomorrow evening. Another 30-something hour train ride. We were blessed to be in Bangalore for the month because it is a lot cooler and less humid here than it was in Delhi. Apparently, it has cooled off in Delhi since the beginning of the month, so I am not completely dreading the weather we will be experiencing for our last few days in India, and our last few days on the Race.
“Ministry” in the sense of what we are actually getting up and doing this month was less than probably all of the other months, but it has been nice to be able to complete my re-entry packet and discuss our worries, hopes, and whatever else we have for when we return to the states. At this point, I am ready to go home, but I am looking forward to debrief because I feel it will be a nice time of closure. I may not have too much to say before I return home, but I will definitely be intentional about blogging about how my re-entry process to the states.
Thanks for reading!