Wednesday, August 21, 2013

From one country to another

There are 73 brown faces that I adore, so I held each one in my hands, planted a kiss, and said, "I love you," 73 times. 

It was a teary farewell.

The past four weeks spent in Jahnavi's Heart Orphanage were full of difficult lessons, building friendships, new experiences, thousands of hugs and kisses, and the faithfulness of God. 

The first two weeks were spent with two close friends and I watched as God tapped them on the shoulder and said, "Here, I want to give you my love for this place."  They gladly received it, and then I watched them spread it all around. They spread His love on the orphanage walls with colorful paint, they spread it in poor villages with free medical care, they spread it on pastors' hearts with encouraging words. 

I spent a week alone after my friends left, and spent a lot of me-and-them time with the beautiful 73. I got to be part of creating a colorful and oh-so-fun playroom for the kids in the top of the orphanage, buying shoes for their sweet brown feet, and new backpacks for their heavy books. I didn't buy any of these things, but just served as a delivery girl. From the hands of generous Americans who love, to the hands of appreciative Indians who love.

The fourth and final week in India, a dream came true. I watched as my favorite human beings got off an airplane in India. My parents, my heroes, spent a full and productive 6 days at Jahnavi's Heart Orphanage, painting more walls, giving sewing lessons, hanging cozy lights, shooting blow guns, giving lollipops away, holding hands withy the 73, and teaching about the Kingdom of God. We laughed more during those six days than I even knew was possible. 

During four weeks in India, I learned hard lessons about my own filth and that I'm still capable of great sin. I also learned that He's going to keep loving me, even when I get awful. I got to tell of the goodness of God in the tale of Him redeeming my life from death in Thailand. I got to preach the Gospel to three Rajput men, the Rajput being an unreached people group, unfamiliar with the man Jesus. I got to preach the Gospel to prostitutes and meet with two of them about finding new work and the Love of a Man who is different. I got to play rowdy Indian games in the sand with the 73. I got to feel the wild love of my wild King. 

Now, I'm on the next part of the journey, in a new place with a new language, new skin color, new culture, new children. The faithful Love, however, is the same. He hasn't left my side. I love Thailand and I love the love that the merciful God has for it. 

This is my second time in Thailand, and it will be quite different from my first. During my last time in this country, the devil tried to kill me, but The Lord proved stronger. I've come back into the country with a scarred face, fake front teeth, and a heart that is sure of its Creator's Love.

"The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10