Many of you know that two years ago, on a very short trip, India stole part of my heart. Well once again, these people have my heart. I love this country and the people I'm working with! Relationships are being formed more and more each day and I truly love these beautiful children of the King! I love the moments spent laughing and singing with people crippled by AIDS. I love being made fun of, laughing, and praying with the women at the stitching center (we like to laugh...a lot). I love just sitting with the women at the aftercare center and hearing their stories. 1 John 3:1 says, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" Note the two exclamation points..this is something to be excited about! All these people that I've grown to love are God's children and my desire is that each one would know this truth, but it breaks my heart that a lot of them don't. There are A LOT of people in India, but there's also a lot of confusion and idolatry. Knowing that God created every single person in in his image and that he knows and loves each of them literally blows my mind, but it also breaks my heart that so many have turned away from him. My favorite 'India song' is "God of this City" and one line says, "You're the light in the darkness." God has proved this over and over each day I've been in Bangalore. Some days his light shows through a breeze or a beautiful sunset. On Sundays it shines bright through Christian fellowship at church. One day, at Costa Coffee it shined bright when Laura Story's 'Jesus you are stronger...' song came on their radio. Yupp, definitely God shining through! On Tuesday I shared the story of Noah with a 15 year old Hindu girl at the stitching center who is so curious, loves Bible stories, and absorbs everything! It's in these moments that I know that God is here and he is shining his light on his children.
This week, I was also reading in Romans and God blew me away with a verse I've known all my life. Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." But then I went on to verse 24, "and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." woah! This is exactly what I want the masses of people in India to know. Especially those who have been trafficked, so pray that the people at the hospital, stitching center, and aftercare center will know that they are freed from sin through the undeserved kindness that Christ showers on us. Pray that they'll know they are sons and daughters of Jesus Christ and he delights in them and pursues them. Christ redeems us. The definition of redeem is 'to obtain release by paying a price, to buy back' This has been really heavy on my heart for trafficking survivors because they have been bought before. Their bodies have been sold and they've repeatedly been told they are worthless. But it's my prayer that they would know worth in Christ and find their beauty back in his love. Restoration is a very, very long process for these women, but pray that our partnership would be fruitful and we would trust in the Lord's plan for these women's lives. On Friday, I got to see evidence of Romans 3:23-24 at the aftercare center. I sat next to a woman who spoke a little english and asked her how she was. She said worried so I asked if she ever talked to God about her worries. She proceeded to tell me she prays and reads her Bible every night. She's been a believer since she was little, even throughout her time being trafficked! Then she painted 'God is love' on her paper and said, "Jesus love me. I love Jesus." I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest! Praise the Lord that this women has found her worth in Christ! And then, she sang 'Oh Come all Ye Faithful' for me because it's the only english song she knows :) such beauty.
prayers for this week:
- health. A few of our team members have not been feeling the best this week, so pray the Lord would sustain them and give them new strength each morning
- our team of 6 coming tomorrow--this next week will be very busy!
- that God calls the women we work with near to him and to his word
- that we, as a team, would find peace in the Lord's leading and trust in his plan concerning ministry
- that God's light would continue to shine in the darkness