One month ago, I landed at O’Hare Airport after an 11 day trip to India. Since that time: I haven’t picked up my camera. I haven’t blogged about anything but India. I’ve reunited with my India team twice. I’ve consumed … Continue reading
When our GCC Team brought camp to Kalavai, it was the first experience that allowed the whole village to be engaged. From the eldest to the youngest, God’s joy and love spread. I believe that even very young children can … Continue reading
As I follow a rhythm of prayer outlined in this book, I find myself excited to get in bed and pray the last prayer. Reflecting on how I’ve journeyed through the day, I love this particular reflection question: “When did I … Continue reading
After an 8-hour flight to London and then a 10-hour flight to Chennai, we were the perfect picture of weary excitement. Truth be told, I’d sit in the middle seat between Tim and Jerry for 18 hours any day. We … Continue reading
It’s hard to write about what happened in India. No words will do it justice. And the story will keep evolving as God continues to show up in remarkable ways in Kalavai and in my own life.
But, I desperately want to invite you in. I’m so thankful I didn’t go alone.
Frederick Buechner sums up my experience best when he says, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Every step of the trip, I felt a deep joy, an indescribable satisfaction. I was made for this. For loving deeply, for touching the untouchables, for programming an experience that transcends language and culture, for being a part of joy and love rained down perfectly.
The amazing story is that the people of Kalavai discovered that they were made for this, too. We saw it in the fact that over 100 of 150 villagers showed up for a week of programming that integrated faith and fun. We saw it when the men of the village came out in droves (they have been aloof in previous attempts to engage them). We saw it when a whole village sung and laughed and danced together for hours upon hours. Even though we speak different languages, our ears were ringing with great joy. We heard it in their “allelu-YAs,” their “Yesu Nallevars” (God is so good), and as they shouted crazy camp songs through the village and the zoo (more on our field trip in a later post). Our awesome team of translators also helped us hear it directly from their hearts. With tears In their eyes, villagers talked about this being the best week of their entire lives. Joy came to Kalavai in a big way. And we are confident that Joy will remain as they follow the one true God that loves us all like crazy.
I’m going to do a post for each day in India so that my journal will have pictures and so that you will be blessed by the story, too. I can’t wait to tell you more!
You’re probably not surprised, but I took 3,000 pictures–I’m still trying to edit and organize them. In the meantime, the best shots of Great Joy are actually on this video. It has 336 views on YouTube. I might be 53 of them. Do you recognize all our favorite camp games and songs?!
We’re leaving our hotel in Chennai and are headed to the village tomorrow. While I still have internet access, I wanted to share a few things from my first day in India. I walked around with a HUGE smile on my face today.
And, of course, driving in India. You have to swerve to protect yourself from people, motorcycles, rickshaws, cars, and of course, cattle. Love it.
We had a great New Year’s Dinner and are ringing it in a lot sooner than you all! I can tell this is going to be a spectacular year. To 2012, my friends!
I hope you’re following our team blog. Read the tweets on the right for quick updates and pics. I actually just gave Liz a bunch of my pictures to put in her post: www.gccindiateams.blogspot.com
Well, it seems I’m in love with India already. Here are some highlights:
1) That we arrived safely in Chennai, India after 24 hours of travel. We got off the plane to a message from home that a cyclone just hit Southern India. We flew through it but we are fine. It messes with our plans a bit (train lines are down so we’ll have to go by bus to the village), so please pray that we have adaptable spirits and that God shows us how to best serve the village (not sure how many kids activities we’ll have to re-work yet).
2) I’m in my element. Take me across the world on a plane any day. I feel awesome and ready to go (although we are supposed to be sleeping for a few hours). I think my team recognized that, because they let me ride “shotgun” in the bus. I’ve already experienced the crazy India driving and I WANT MORE.
3) We had a SpringHill staff meeting while cruising at 3400 feet. Seriously, the four of us stood up in the galley and planned the schedule of activities for kids. It was one of our most productive meetings yet. I love connecting with both my SpringHill team and the GCC team in this way. These people are incredible. Our time of travel has been filled with laughter, tears and sharing our hearts.
4) Y’all know how I feel about babies. Yes, I’ve already held the cutest Indian baby alive. She slept in my arms on the plane. I love my new Indian friends, young and old.
I wish I had pictures for you all! Can’t wait to upload them. In the meantime, you can go to our GCC blog (www.gccindiateams.blogspot.com). There are pics on our twitter feed!
Thanks for your continued prayers and support from home!
This summer, as I sat in a service at Granger Community Church, I was moved by the words of this song and the people on the screen. My heart had already been stirring for Mother India, and during this video I couldn’t help but fall in love. I can’t believe I will get to experience these scenes in a few short days. I’m so thankful I get to be a part of this.
I can’t believe that I will start my 40-hour journey to a tiny village in India tomorrow. I’ve been praying in expectation. Now I actually get to live it out. Yes!!! Do you remember when I blogged about the theme … Continue reading
We’re 36 days away from our India departure and it’s becoming all I can think about! I’m so blessed by generous friends, family and even strangers that have donated to this trip. However, I still have to raise $500 before … Continue reading