(Continuing my India story. If you missed it and are interested, click here for Days 1-4)
Wednesday June 20, Thursday June 21, days 4 & 5
We arrived in Hubli Wednesday evening.
As soon as we arrived, we unloaded our luggage at the hotel
and immediately went to Rebekah Hope.
Rebekah Hope is an orphan home supported by
Forgotten Children Worldwide. A lot of these children
are sponsored so I see their names very frequently.
It was really cool to see their faces, visit their home, hear their voices
("Sister! Sister!"), breathe their air.
We gathered together and the children and their families began to share.
Stories of hope and encouragement. Because of sponsorship and/or
microfinance loans provided by FCW, some of these children were
being taken home. Home to their families who can now support the
children themselves. These families were so grateful, so hopeful, so joyful.
The cycle of poverty has been broken for these families!! I don't think the weight
of this truth truly began to sink in for me until I got home and had time to
process it and reflect on it. HOW AMAZING!!
Our God is most awesome.
After hearing the families share, we ate a home-cooked supper
with Pastor Solomon and his wife Mani (pronounced "Money"). When we were
finished eating, our team leader Matt began going over the agenda for the next
day. I will go in to more details in my next post but I have to interject here that
my world was about to be rocked. Matt said
"I'd like some of you to share your stories of shame tomorrow."As soon as the words were out of his mouth, I knew.
This is why I'm here. This is it.
But I'm not prepared! What will I say? How will I say it?
What will my team think of me?? Am I imagining this?
I held back tears as all these thoughts bombarded me. But even through those thoughts,
it was as if puzzle pieces were coming together before my eyes.
I needed to get alone with God and sort this out.
The next day - Day 5 - Thursday - just so happened to be my day for
morning team devotions. I was an emotional ball of tears. I hadn't slept the
night before, I hadn't slept since the night before leaving home.
But Wednesday night was full of prayer and tears and conversations with
God, I was completely convinced He had given me a job to do.
I read Deuteronomy 33:26-29, Moses' final address to the Israelites:
"There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides across the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.
and on the clouds in his majesty.
The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemies before you,
saying, ‘Destroy them!’
So Israel will live in safety;
Jacob will dwell secure
in a land of grain and new wine,
where the heavens drop dew.
Blessed are you, Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the Lord?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will tread on their heights. ”
I couldn't get through it without crying. It felt appropriate to me
because all 10 of us had been preparing for Day 5 for months.
Day 5 was the BIG DAY...huge. We all felt it, we all knew it.
Looking back now, I firmly believe Satan wanted Day 5 to go away.
Several of us experienced doubt, fear, thoughts like "Why me? Why go to India?",
spiritual oppression. But God is amazing! He brought each one of us through it.
Day 5 was about to happen!
The morning of Day 5. We went with Pastor Solomon to his farm.
A new orphan home is being built here.
A team from Hope Missionary Church (half of my team is from HMC)
planted the tree in the top left picture last summer, Matt, Joel & Andy were
there and helped plant this tree and many others which have grown and are
thriving. Then the rest of us got to plant trees as well.
As tired as I should have been, the Lord filled me with strength.
I was excited for the day, couldn't wait to see what He had in store for all of us.