Every trip to India has a different feel. Something new for me to learn. I couldn’t quite place my finger on this one, and just kept calling it “joy”, but having been quietly home six days now, have finally figured it out. It’s a word that has been with me all year, and I am excited (in the way “excited” makes me want to cry) to say, it’s “purity”.
From the time we got to the airport (just after being put on high terror alert), or maybe before, I don’t know, there was a purity about this trip. An innocence. A hope, and a joy. Even amidst the heaviest moments was this absolute unquestionable certainty God was in control. It was pure faith. Childlike, and sweet.
Some may wonder how there can be so much laughter, and dancing in the midst of such devastating circumstances as rural India. In the middle of profound poverty, lightening storms, terror alerts, and political disturbances. But that’s what makes me marvel at the this particular team. They were not clueless. They were not oblivious. They were very much informed, and knew what was going on around us, but in the very thick of it chose to believe God is who He says He is, and danced through it all.
This morning I was listening to the old hymn most of us have heard and can recite by heart:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Perfect lyrics, right? But have you ever heard the ending?
His Word shall not fail you, He promised
Believe Him and all will be well
Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell
So much is packed into these two verses, but I’m sure that one line jumped out at you too? “Believe Him and all will be well”.
Every team I’ve ever been on has been faithful beyond description, without exception. The miracles we’ve experienced have been ones that I have yet been able to put to words. This time was just unique. Not better or worse… but sweetly different.
There are so many times that I could write about… praying through the night on the bathroom floor with Darby… Kathy’s precious breakfast prayers… and I will later. But one moment I’ll share now is when at a village school, mobs of excited children were being shoo’d away from us by their teachers. Melissa, just beside herself, and with tears in her eyes turned and said ‘no, no, Jesus said ‘let the little children come!'”
And come they did!
Right then, our beautiful friend and partner, Father Dhana, walks past the stick shaking teacher with cookies and hands them out to the children.
Jesus. Jesus. Everywhere.
I want to thank Darby, Melissa, Kathy, and Father Dhana too, for demonstrating what it’s like to believe Him, with the faith of a child. To act in direct contrast to your surroundings. To be an example of Jesus in every circumstance. You stretched me.
When there is nothing else, He is there.
The Little Children and Jesus
The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
— Mark 10:13-16 The Message