Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We're Back!!

After MANY hours of traveling (too many to count actually) we are all back safe and sound! I had an amazing trip and am starting to miss some of the people I met and built relationships with there. I just looked through all of my 405 pictures I took and my heart yearns for the day I will get to see them again, yet am quite aware that for some, that day may never come. My blog for a long while will most likely consist of stories and strange sights in worries though, many pictures to be included!!!

Thank you all for your prayers while we were away - it was felt by all of us!

And to the amazing team I traveled with, it was a wonde

rful experience and I am so grateful that we got to do this together! Thank you for all your love and support through my stomach issues...and remember...good for digestion!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Hello from India!!!

Had a few minutes and wanted to write a quick post to let you know I am alive and well in India! Even though it has yet to be a full week of us being here, I feel as if I have been gone many weeks. We have done so much and seen so many things that it has gotten to the point of almost overwhelming. I must say I am emotionally exhausted and am looking forward to a little sightseeing and shopping today before we spend the night at another church planters home. Unfortunately our blog and uploading pictures is not so much an option right now. Issues with the laptop so we are using the computers at the YWCA. (Which is like a 4 star hotel to me now!!)

Everytime I talk to my mom on the phone I tear up...I miss my family and friends so much and I think being so disconnected makes it even worse! I was so excited to have internet access here!! It makes me feel closer to everyone!

My view on life and what is truly important has radically changed and I am amazed now at the things I have taken for granted - like a tall glass of ice water. Right now I want nothing more. The few times we have gotten cool water we have all shouted with excitement and gulped it down as fast as we could.

The people here are more hospitable than anything I have ever witnessed before. On our first day here I was really sick with stomach pain and stayed in bed most of the day - we were staying at a christian conference center where the Bible League staff were meeting. I had many people come by checking on me - bringing me food that was supposed to be "good for da stomach" (which by the way EVERYTHING appears to be here in India!) and at dinner when I came out everyone approached me, knowing who I was, asking if I was feeling healthy. Raj and his wife Prema went out and bought me white bread, jam and cake to eat instead of the spicy indian food. He even came up and pointed out which indian things NOT to eat. These people truly love each other and "their neighbors" as God intended. I have learned so much from them and yet feel so unworthy.

I miss you all so much - I have pictures with me I keep looking at and smiling...can't wait to show you all my pictures and share my experiences and interesting stories!

(Oh and Stephen, I will never again give you a hard time about your driving. You would even freak out to be traffic here...)

Love you all!! And please continue to pray!

Rockin' India!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

It's Time!!

Well all, this time tomorrow I will be in a car, headed to O'Hare, to board a plane for Paris to then hop on a second plane to Chennai. And while that sounds like a lot, I have never been more excited. I have never felt something feel so right and for the first time in my life, I have no worries. My awesome Father from above has given me a sense of peace that is above any other emotion and words cannot describe it. I truly feel blessed that God chose me. One of seven women hand picked by God. What an honor...
Please continue to pray for us throughout our travels and experiences...knowing there are people back home praying for us and the people of India means more to all of us that anyone could ever realize.

Keep up on our journeys, travels and pictures through our blogsite while we are away!

Love you and miss you all! See you in a week and a half!
Oh, and check out my blogger for the official date and time in Chennai India!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fear and Coping in Indiana

As many of you have probably heard, and for those of you who are disconnected and are currently unaware, some terrorists were caught in the last stages of a plan to blow up planes heading out of London - one of which being a flight from London to the United States. On Monday the 21st/Tuesday the 22nd my India team and I will be on one such flight. They are still unsure if all the plans have been thwarted or not. The news stopped me in mid-brush with toothpaste foaming in my mouth, trying not to drop my jaw or have a minor panic attack.
I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone at the church yet, but I have heard (if reading multiple articles online counts as a "heard") that they are really beefing up security on airplanes...including no liquids of ANY KIND to be taken on the plane - including lotion! And flights coming into the U.S. are being highly monitored, including some flights leaving London today only allowed passengers to take a clear plastic bag with their keys, wallet and money on board with them - all other items had to be checked. Can you imagine a 10 hour flight with nothing to do but twiddle your thumbs?!?

I keep praying that some of these restrictions will mellow - our country is currently in a Code Red state, the highest ever and the first time it has ever needed to be used. (I would atleast like to have a book with me...) And thankfully our team was already planning on checking our luggage, which simplifies our upcoming trip now.

Although I found myself questioning God this morning...wondering if Satan is trying to discourage us (which by the way is NOT going to happen) or why God would allow this to happen.

And then it hit me - this could possibly God's way of protecting us. Security will be tighter than ever, but in the long run our inconvenience is not worth our safety. We will still get to India. We will still have the opportunity to leave fingerprints and teethmarks. We will still get to learn from some amazing women who truly put it all on the line. We still get home safely - probably more confidently now than before. I told God "yes" when he called me to go to India - and I still feel his call now. And I am still saying yes.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Look Up! See that pretty purple time and date clock?? That is the official day and time RIGHT now in Chennai, India!

This means that everyone can know what time it is where I am in two weeks!

Its raining sideways.

My umbrella unfortunately couldn't protect my pants.

I am now soaking wet, sitting in air conditioning.

The library needs hand dryers.