Tuesday, January 31, 2012

sister india.

 there are 96 children who live in Jahnavi's Heart Orphanage in southern India. 
I had the incredible honor of singing songs, playing volleyball, praying, laughing, and spending the night with them last week. 

They all call me "sister."

Our trip was 12 days, and we got home Sunday night after traveling 50 hours through airplanes and airports. 

We visited a leper colony where 200 outcast lepers live without medical treatment. Leprosy is a curable disease, but without the money ($10/day) to treat it, they die a slow and painful death. 

To be honest, I hated going to that leper colony. 
I felt miserable and sad and just wanted to leave. 
When you're standing so close to human suffering and looking it right in the eyes, it's hard to know what to say to it. 
Walking through those sad streets, I kept thinking of Proverbs 13:12, 
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,"
and understanding that I was feeling the truth of that verse.
I talked it over with Jesus when we got back to our leprosy-free, air conditioned hotel room, and He made me to understand that 
a situation cannot stay "hope deferred" when He is invited into it. 
He is hope, and He fulfills desires.
The rest of Proverbs 13:12 says,
"But when desires are fulfilled, they become a tree of life."
I'm praying that those 200 lepers are helped, and they become the branches of a tree of life.

On a lighter note, our friend Mary cooks for us while we're there.
Something you need to know about India is that they drink out of very small cups.
very small.
Mary noticed that I liked to refill my tiny tea cup (because her tea is delicious!) so she gave me my own giant sized cup to drink tea out of. 

I hung out with my 96 brothers and sisters a lot. 
One night I stayed with them in the orphanage. 
I stayed in the younger girls' room, where I was with 18 children in a close to 15x15 room. 
They all sleep on the concrete floor with no pillows and 1 blanket each.
I fell asleep looking at their faces. 
If you think that must have been a beautiful experience,
you're right.

The wake-up bell was rang at 4 a.m., and by 4:45 a.m., I was among 60 Indian girls on our knees for morning prayer. 
They prayed fervently through yawns and tired knees. 
This is an every morning activity.

After prayer I got henna-ed. 
Then we looked at every picture and video on my phone. 
It was sort of like going to the movies, 
and they thanked me.

Pastor Joseph and Sony are the missionaries who run the orphanage and preach the Gospel in the neighboring villages. They have hearts of gold and like to take Americans on Auto rickshaw rides.
: )


I could write about this trip everyday for the next 3 weeks and still have much to say.
in fact, I may.
see you soon, 
Sister India.