As I write this (11:09pm, Friday November 9th) I have 7 days exactly left in Delhi. I've been in India since August 18th (the first 6 weeks were spent in southern India at Ashraya Mission, and the second half was spent in Delhi at Asha Mission). There is only 1 week left of playing card games, singing,
running on the roof, and dancing with the nearly 40 children at Asha. I am so not looking forward to saying goodbye to these little ones again. I have to keep reminding myself that I need them more than they need me, they will just continue on with their lives once I have departed.
Sometimes it is difficult to look back on an experience and ask yourself, "Now, what did I learn from that?" This time, though, these 3 months spent in India have RE-taught me a very important lesson. To never stop trusting in Him.
It might sound cliché, but it is essential.
Never lose faith.
As Tom, KB, Drew and I stepped out of the taxicab, stretched our legs, unloaded our bags, and walked onto the porch of Ashraya Mission on August 20th we had no idea what was in store. The home still had no girls living in it. Ashraya Mission had been open, staff hired, and anxiously awaiting rescued girls to move in for nearly a year. Complications with the Indian government were severely handicapping all efforts in getting these girls into the home.
but we prayed earnestly. We knew that our God was bigger and stronger than any crooked or greedy government employee(s). We knew that God would send the girls, some day.
Days passed. Weeks passed. We became impatient. We became frustrated. Although we were trusting in Him, we wanted girls in the home NOW. We wanted everything to happen NOW. We were angry that nothing was happening, that nothing was happening on our time.
but we are not on our time. We are on His time.
God's timing is perfect.
We finally got word that girls were going to move into the home! Finally, our prayers were being answered! but we still had to be patient. These girls had to come from a rural village that was a few hours drive. and they had to leave everything that was familiar to them, their communities and friends, behind.
On September 7th six young ladies walked into Ashraya Mission. God had been working in their hearts before they came that day. He was already trying to convince them to make this monumental change in their lives, to leave everything behind for a new but scary beginning.
KB and I lived with these girls for about 2 weeks before we had to head up to Delhi. This was an interesting time. The girls woke up before the sun on some days. They would bustle about the house, sweeping and doing laundry. They loved having a home to call their own to take care of. They would proudly cook meals and brew chai or coffee for everyone.
They spend their days in class. They take lessons in tailoring, Hindi, English, their native language- Kannada, Mathematics, Science, and a bit of History/Geography. They also get counseling and Art Therapy lessons every week. These girls (and their awesome teachers and counselor) are rock stars. They all work so hard.
After lessons were over their teachers would leave and KB and I would be in this house with these six girls for the rest of the night. We often filled our evenings dancing to both Bollywood and American music, exchanging silly dances and teaching songs. We had so much fun with them.
But there were good days and bad days. We found Supari (an Indian type of chewing tobacco) in the girls' possession on more than one occasion. We had to remember that these girls left behind very difficult pasts and were using substances to cope with their withdrawals.
We again became frustrated. but He is sovereign. He has a plan. It had to get worse before it could get better.
By the time we left Ashraya Mission the girls were doing great. Their weekly tests seemed to be improving. They were learning English very quickly. Have I mentioned that it's nearly impossible for us Americans to learn Kannada? Well, it is.
Anyways, God is taking care of these girls. He knows what's best for them Three of our girls want to get up to speed on their high school education and get their diplomas and go on to college and become nurses! It makes me so happy that these girls are realizing that they have dreams for their own lives. God gave them these passions for a reason. The other girls will one day realize what they want to strive for in life, God will instill a passion in their hearts as well.
RE-learning to trust in God's faithfulness was definitely a theme during my time spent in India this year. Whether we were getting knocked down by the Indian government refusing to let girls live in the home, or just going through a daily frustration of living in India, God never left our side. He sent girls. He sent funds for these girls (over $5,000 within just a couple weeks of their moving in!).
He is actively moving people's hearts to give toward the mission of this home. He is actively working in the lives of these girls.
I can't wait to see what he does with them in the months and years to come.
Never losing faith and trusting in God isn't always easy, but when we do it, amazing things happen.
Well, KB and I are will be off to spend 2 weeks in Europe then we head back to the states. Who knows what is in store for us once our feet hit the soil in America, but whatever it is it will be perfect. Because God's plan is perfect, we just have to trust in Him.