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?!