Wednesday, July 9, 2008

4 weeks down, 2 weeks to go

Well, two weeks from today I will be packing my bags and heading back to the states. It’s crazy to think that 4 weeks have already gone by. I feel like I just left the states, but I also feel like I have been in India forever. It is nothing like I expected and I am living much more comfortably than I thought.

I started working at a new organization a week ago, I split my time between two orphanages. Three weeks at one, and three weeks at the one I am at now. The two organizations, living situations, and jobs I am doing could not be more different. The first organization I was working at I stayed with the children at the hostel, but now I am living with a family, and living quite comfortably. I have a hot shower (most days) and 3 meals a day as well as my own bedroom and bathroom with running water and electricity. It’s funny how developed Bangalore is - nothing like I thought. I wear long skirts and semi frumpy clothes with no make-up (making for some great pictures!) while everyone else who lives here is wearing jeans, make up, and always looking trendy and nice. It’s actually quite funny. The family I’m staying with took me out to get a pair of jeans so I would fit in more. I didn’t bring any because I thought it was going to be deathly hot. It’s not hot here at all - I was actually cold last night! Crazy!! I can wear jeans and long pants and be very comfortable and not sweat. I was appreciative of the clothes I brought when I was living in the orphanage because I would go outside and play cricket with the kids, or run around, sit on the ground and never care about my clothes or getting dirty. But now that I am in a new organization and I am sitting with adults most of the time, I always feel a bit underdressed.

I am learning so much about myself and about others and culture since I have been here. The culture is very different, but the guys I am working with are very open about talking it through with me. They explain the way households are run, how women are treated and how children are disciplined. All very, very different from the way I was raised and from what I understand to be “right”. But I am in India now, so now I am wrong in my thinking. I am being open to learning and integrating into the culture. There have only been a few minor bumps along the way. But I am so thankful for the guys openness and honesty with me to teach me and not get offended because I don’t know any better. And in the same way - they want to know about American culture and the way I was raised too. It’s really cool.

I have been learning about prayer and worship since I have been here as well. Because the culture is predominantly hindu, staying with Christians has been really awesome to see the kind f struggles they have and the kind if faith that they have that even though they face persecution, death threats, trials…they are not pushed down. I am reminded constantly of 2 Corinthians 4:8-12;16-18:
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is in work in you.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us and eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not o what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Beautiful! And people are always singing here, all the time. They are always talking about God and praying before they do everything - eat, make decisions, drive. Everything. It has been a good reminder for me when I get back to the states that God is first in everything I do.
That’s all for now, I should get to doing some work and drinking some tea. i drink a lot of tea here….

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

tomorrow i leave the hostel where I have been staying. I'm going to stay with some friends I met here and work for their organization I'll be doing development of their programs, admin stuff, teaching bible study every night adn helping with tutoring. I am so excited about the change in work but I am so beyond depressed about leaving the kids in the place I am at now. I really love them and want to adopt them all. I have become way more attached than I ever thought I would.