Saturday, June 2, 2012


My teammates and I have lived this week in Chennai, with our host-family. In this household there are also Word for the World staff, their children, and other young men that were introduced to the family through a Bible study. It has been a blessing to get to know all of them! Some of the best times have been merely experiencing life with them, working in the office or around Chennai with them, and randomly breaking into song with them!

Things that have rocked my cradle:

  • On our way down a mountain in a 10 person SUV we swerved past overpack busloads, around corners you could not see, past monkeys being fed by Hindu worshipers, and behind a family of 6 riding a single motorcycle. The father drove with one child in front of him, two behind him, and then the mother, who sat on the back while holding a baby. The father of this family pulled the motorcycle off to the side of the road as we passed them on the opposite side of the road because an on coming car had taken the turn too widely. I looked at there faces and sensed this was nothing new for them. It was for me.
  • The common Indian prayer for "a sophisticated life". 
  • The shopping malls, where there are ice skating arenas filled with Indians whom I sense are trying their hardest not to be Indian.
I love the spicy food, the humid climate, the indian toilets, and how few showers I take with clean close to put on after. Some people struggle with these things, but my mother knows this is how I have always been. I do struggle with relating to my American team members. In fact, these relationships often seem more difficult then my relationships with the locals. We are remarkably similar, and all going through growing pains together. As we see each other struggle I think we see weaknesses in the others that reveal familiar weaknesses in ourselves. This is a good thing, and a difficult thing.

The organization we are with, started by the host-family we are with, genuinely lives out how our ministry life, family life, and personal life should not be separated. In my life, it has been way easier to show love and forgive people outside my family. It is a rut of sin to place more importance on your ministry (or work, social life, times when you are intentional, etc.) then the people closest to you. We have so much to learn from those relationships every day. As this soaks in, I realize my relationships between my team members is just as important to God as those with the locals.

We are leaving tonight on a train to Madurai. The whole Asir family and two young men from the bible study are coming with us! They will stay for a couple days, as we live in a home for people with disabilities. The Asir's will leave and we will be under the authority of a wonderful man we met named Ebenezer who is a missionary with Word For The World. I have heard we will also go to nursing homes while we are in Madurai. Then we will go to Puducherry for the following week. I am unsure on what ministry work is there, but we met the missionaries we will stay with at one of our conferences. Then we will take a train back to Chennai for one night, and fly to Mumbai the following morning. We will spend 20 days in Mumbai teaching in the early day and doing some street evangelism in the evenings. So I have no idea if we will be able to have internet until early July when we return to Chennai. But I am sure that this month will be an adventure and, most of all, that God is with us in it all!

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, letters, emails, support, and love.

Grace and peace to you,


  1. First, I don't think we've ever met, but I went on a 2010 SOS to Zimbabwe and was the coordinator for last years team.

    Second, I totally know what you mean about not relating to your American teammates. I was on a 'team' with 2 other girls - one from Chicago that was my year in school and another two years younger and from Nebraska (where I'm from) that knew someone that I knew from NWC. So, enough common ground to build something on.

    Nope. The two months we were together, I felt like they were a pair and didn't care about me. Even with our lead missionary, I felt like it was them, and me on the outside. It was super tough having this space between us. Maybe I was imagining it or maybe it was really me that was pushing them away.

    In any case, we parted ways back to our normal lives once in the US again. We still talk and keep in contact, and things seem to be like we were really good friends at a point. I still haven't figured out much about the space between us in Zim, but our friendship now makes me think it was just my thinking wave and adjusting to life in Africa.

    Maybe it's the same for you, maybe not. But for sure it's not uncommon to feel that way. Enjoy the rest of your time and I'll be praying that any hindrance is broken between you and your fellow Americans.

  2. Thank you so much for your honesty!
    I agree with what you have learned after your trip. There are so many factors, but a huge contributor to the distance is the loneliness inside of me, ironically. A great thing about these trips into the unfamiliar is that God reveals to us our loneliness that we couldn't otherwise see. From there we are at a great place to accept the friendship Jesus has offered!
    I think another factor is the need to just follow God instead of serving my grumpiness from all the difficult circumstances.

    Thank you very much for your every prayer,