First off, we are FINALLY over being sick! Our Father has healed us and he gets all the glory. Living in India is tough, but especially when you aren't feeling good. But we are feeling back to normal, well as "normal" as possible. (:
We moved into our new home a couple weeks ago. We are so blessed to live in this new flat! The view from our rooftop is amazing. We can see so much of the city because our flat is on top of a hill. Jacob and I were on the rooftop one evening when i realized something kind of crazy to me. Just on the other side of the wall that surrounds our complex is a pretty large slum. In America, most people live in the area of the city that they do because of their socio-economic status. Here, in India, there are slums right beside what would be considered "upper class" homes. I look at the way these people live and I am humbled. They walk to get water and they use the restroom outside. When I am right next door with not just running water, but HOT running water, and three bathrooms. India is such a unique place. Our Father is teaching me about His compassion for people.
"The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." Psalm 145:8-9
Jacob and I have been spending one day a week at a children's home on the far side of the city. This area feels like more of a village then the city. We take an auto the 30 minute ride to the home, spend a few hours there, and then take an auto another 30 minutes back home. It makes for a long cultural day but it has been totally worth it. There are about 20-25 kids who live there and they range in age from 3 years to 13 years old. The kids are either orphans or they come from families who are too poor to raise them. There are no local children who live there, they all come from places outside of the city. The kids have a pretty strict schedule that goes something like this: 5am wake up and have a devotion/study the Word; have breakfast and go to school; after school they do chores and have free time; in the evening a tutor comes (this is common in India) and they do homework; then there is dinner and bedtime. Then the next day they do it all over again. During the free time in their schedule is when Jacob and I get to come and hang out. So far we have played games with them, trying to get to know them. But we plan on doing crafts and sharing stories from the Word with them also. Most of the children speak Hindi and only a couple of them speak broken English. So being involved there has been very motivating in our attempt to learn Hindi. These children are just precious!
We have also been spending a lot of time with our friend (we wrote about him briefly in our last post). He is doing so well and we can see our Father growing him daily. His joy is contagious. We truely consider him our brother.
Jacob and I have begun trainings in leadership development. Father has been so faithful to provide people to train and we are excited to see how He plans to use these people. Our most recent training was about 20ish people including about 6 ladies! I was incredibly excited about this! Keep lifting up these trainings please.
This week we are out of town. We took a three and a half hour bus ride to the next major city where our friends live. This week we are focusing on learning Hindi. We are attending a mini Hinidi intensive. It is intense (: We are spending four hours straight each day in a Hindi class. We are hoping and praying that this time of learning will really help us understand the language better and help us to speak it more confidently. Language learning has been a challenge for us.
This past week our sweet friends from FBCH were here! Our time with Bruce and the other guys was so encouraging but also challenging. You can be lifting us up as we seek how and when exactly Father will have us serving overseas in the future. Unity between Jacob and I in this is important. Overall, having Bruce here was truely like having family visit. We couldn't have asked for a sweeter time.
There have been so many exciting things going on lately back in the states! Maddie, our sister left for college, our best friends got married, another one of my best friends got engaged, and we have some more of our really close friends getting married in next month or two. Father has blessed us with incredible family and friends back home and we rejoice in all the great things He is doing in their lives. But, it is also incredibly hard being away and missing out on these things. We (mostly me) have had some sad days where we really miss family and friends and home. So it has definitely been a struggle. But something special has also come from it. When you are in a place where you literally feel like you have nothing, our Father's presence is more than enough. Because we are on the other side of the world and I can no longer depend on the love of my family and friends to get me through each day, I have been led to our Father and experienced His love in ways I never have before. He is more than enough and I have found so much encouragment in His truth. Praise Him because He is constant. Praise Him because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Praise Him because He is faithful and His love truely never fails. I honestly could not live in this place without His love and faithfulness. No matter how alone I feel, I can be confident that He is with us always. Though these past couple weeks have been really tough, I am thankful for these struggles because of the things that He is teaching me and the ways He is growing my faith in Him. All for His glory.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
"Praise The Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of The Lord endures forever. Praise The Lord." Psalm 117
Well, thank you for taking the time to read this post. We ask that you continue to lift us up. Your prayers are crucial to the work here. As always, email or message us anytime! Your sweet words mean more than you could ever know.