Monday, March 22, 2010

March 19

Today we start for home. Home. I love that word. When I was little and would go to spend the night with friends  I would almost always get homesick and call my parents to come and pick me up. It's a good thing that both my best friends lived in my neighborhood, otherwise I would have never gone anywhere! I love going to new places, but I also love coming home. For all that I talk about moving out, I know that when I do it's going to be really hard for me. I love my family and I love hanging out with them. I've really missed them on this trip, which is funny because I didn't miss them AT ALL when I went to Uganda. I think it's because this trip has been so hard. We were talking about it last night as a group. There's such spiritual oppression here and it just feels like a constant pressure, a feeling of not belonging. I woke up at three this morning feeling very uncomfortable. It didn't feel like a spiritual attack, just a feeling of being out of place. Besides that, there was a horribly foul smell coming into our room, I think from the AC so I just had a hard time going back to sleep. I ended up just listening to praise music until I could drop off. This morning as I was thinking about it, I realized just how totally surrounded by evil we are here. Every building, restaurant, store and car has at least one idol. It's impossible for us, as Americans with money, to not be the cause of idol worship or prayers. Every meal we eat, place we stay, thing we buy, or place we go, people pray that we will buy something, or praise their gods when we do. The second you hand money to someone, they kiss it and bless it. It's not possible to come to this country and avoid this. I realize that the reason that I have wanted to go home from the second I got here is because I am not welcomed here by the ruler of this land. Satan hates us being here, helping people he wants to claim, and he wants us to leave. He's angry that he can't stop what we are doing. Despite how we feel, God is going to use these woman we teach to magnify Him. The God we serve is mighty and faithful, therefore we have power in Him. Paster James said something the other day which really struck me and stayed with me. He said, so many people here convert because of miracles. As new Christians, when they are told of Gods power, and that Jesus is a healer, they believe it without question. It's what they know of God. As a result, their faith in God and the miracles of His power are so strong, that the healing and miracles continue. Yet, he said, the older Christians have more doubt so healing doesn't always happen when they pray. What a profound and saddening truth. It's not the power of God that lacks, but the faith of his followers.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Higher than dreams

I'm home! I have so much to update to my blog from my journal. I really want everyone to be able to read about my trip, but I can't do it all at once. I'm just going to start and add some everyday. I'm really happy to be home and be with my family. 

March 18
One thing I desire, one thing I seek
To gaze upon your beauty and your majesty
God of my salvation, lifter of my hand
Teach me how to live in righteousness

So I pray to you

Your name is higher than the heavens
Lord your name is higher than all created things

Higher than HOPE
Higher than DREAMS
The name of the Lord

I seek your face, and call upon your name
All I want is you Jesus

- One Thing by Hillsong United

Higher than our hopes and dreams. The very name of the Lord.

Dreams. We start dreaming so young. When we play house and make believe as little girls, we are developing our dreams for the future. Waiting until the day we are “grown up” and we can have all the things we dream of and hope for. And what is it we’re dreaming of? The perfect fairy tail life. Our own personal prince charming and happily ever after. There are so many “self help/christian” books written on this subject. This is not a new idea that came to me, I’ve read the books and heard the sermons, but none of them spoke to my heart like this song.

The name of Jesus is HIGHER than all my hopes and dreams. Not only does Jesus know the desires of my heart, and who knows, maybe some of them He may give me some of them, but the name of Jesus is higher.

Before coming to India, I asked many people to pray for me because I felt that God was going to reveal himself in a new way. So I've just been sitting around waiting..."Anytime God...?" I have definitely had some amazing spiritual experiences, but I've still been waiting for the big revelation. The life changing moment.  Meanwhile, I've only ready my bible...maybe twice?

When I want to change something in my life I always schedule it. "Next Monday I am going to start working out everyday" "Starting in April, I am going to keep my room clean always" or, most recently, "I'll get in the habit of doing devotions everyday when I am in India". Right. In the last year of my life I have chosen to be obedient to God in some things that I didn't want to do, mainly, going to church regularly and tithing. Those two things were not easy for me. It wasn't always enjoyable for me to do them but in the process of doing what I didn't want to do because God told me to, they both became acts of worship and now I LOVE them. So this is how it's going to be. Not starting tomorrow. Starting today, I am going to read mt bible everyday...even when I am tired and don't feel like it. If I desire to see God's face than I have to look.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 17

March 17

Tomorrow I can say "we leave tomorrow". I am ready to come home, but I come home with a mission. I'm not going to do what I did after Uganda and slip back into my same life. I know that I am being called to leave home and start doing missions so I am going to prepare for that. I have NO idea where God is calling me to, I just know he want's me to be ready. So I'm going to get ready. U sold my car right before I came here and I was going to by a new one as soon as we got back, but now I've decided not to invest in a car, which will be one more thing to hold me back. I'm praying for God to show me the way, but in the mean time, I'll be preparing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Do as the natives do.

Yesterday was hard for me. I woke up in the night (now to nights ago) sick and just felt terrible all day yesterday. It was a good day to be sick though, we didn't have anything to do until our team met at 2:00 for lunch and left the hotel at 4:30 to go start the training. I got to talk to family on google voice chat so I was really happy. I miss home.

The men at the hotel are pretty hostel towards us. The service staff is nice enough, but we are getting lots of blank stares....and some not so blank. This man stared at me so much during lunch yesterday that I wanted to leave. He was talking about me and laughing with the other men at his table. It was very annoying.

I felt pretty bad the whole way to the training, and for about the hours or so, but I started to feel better and I was able to eat the dinner that the men prepared for us. It was really sweet. I can already tell that eventhough the women are older here I am going to enjoy this week more. They understand more engligh, so that already makes it easier to connect, plus we will be sharing lunch with them everyday. Last night for dinner a long table was set for us and we all ate together. The food was pretty good. Better than it is at the hotel. Their was a group of young men that the Paster here is training and he is teaching them to serve woman. Which is just amazing for this culture. They were all our waiters last night, Including Paster James. It was cute to watch Paster James go to clear his wife, Minnie's, plate. She didn't want to let him take it. He picked it up from the side, and she smiled up at him and then picked it up with both hands and passed it over her head to the young man behind her. Paster James kept his one hand on it the whole time. They where both laughing about it. They provided 5 spoons, for us to eat with, but I decided to join the natives and eat with my hands. I'm sure I'll get better at it as the week progresses.  I am excited about thsi conference, I think it's going to be amazing for these woman here.

I miss home and keep counting down the days till we leave. We have 32 hours of travel from the time we leave till we land in phoenix. I'm not to excited about that, but the thought of American/Mexican food gives me courage. Last night my only dream was me making an entire mexican taco dinner. I woke up just a bit hungry to say the least.

Love you all and see you soon!

Our trip in pictures

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A week in India

March 8, 2010

This morning we ate got ready and went to check out of the hotel. We left some bags there, which was risky, so we’ll see if they are there when we get back. The front desk tried to convince us that me and mom drank too beers out of the mini bar. I know I didn’t have any, but mom may have snuck some while I was sleeping. I had to write on an invoice “We did not consume any beer” -signed Callie Denny.
After that we changed some money, loaded up the taxi and away we went. The roads are wonderful. Driving in India is similar to being on a roller coaster. Amy would fit in great. The honking is constant so no one would even know her horn was broken. I had trouble in the local airport. The man kept insisting I had a “metallic item”. I think those where the only two words the guard could say in English. “Metallic item”. Well we emptied my suitcase and finally he let me go. Personally, I think he just wanted to get a better look at my underwear.

I still felt so sick for our plane ride the day before that this second one, even though it was only for a couple hours, and really hard. I was very nauseous. The smell of what they served for lunch almost made me throw-up. Needless to say, I couldn’t eat. We landed, and the difference in temperature as we disembarked hit us in full force. They tell us it’s about 34 degrees celsius, with a high humidity point. I’m not really sure what that translates over to in fahrenheit, but I can tell you it feels pretty warm to me.

The local area coordinator for CFI, Johnson, was waiting for us. He is such a wonderful man. You can really tell he loves the Lord. He also is protective over us, which was a welcome change after our welcome in New Delhi. We loaded up all our bags and somehow managed to fit all seven of us (including the driver) into the taxi van. I say somehow, but really how it happened was that Betty and I rode in the back with a few suitcases. We started our four hour drive. A little over halfway there they had to pull over for me. I was so motion sick that I was ready to throw up in Betty’s hat. Luckily I recovered without losing what little I had in my stomach. They moved me to the front and Debbie moved back (which, by the way, is against everything thing I have been taught. You never make anyone older than you sit in the back). We started off again and I managed to fall asleep on moms shoulder, only to wake up to her frantically saying “STOP! I’m gonna barf!”. So over we went again, mom wasn’t as lucky as me. We finally arrived at the hotel. I realized before when I said “we’re here” that it didn’t mean anything. Now it does. We can stop moving for a week.

March 9th

Today is the second day of “class”. Yesterday we got all the names and ages of the women. It’s a very young group, their ages range from 18 to 35, with the majority being in their early twenties. The clothes are so beautiful and vibrant. I keep thinking of Mackenzie and how much she would love them. I love watching the girls (it’s hard for me to call them woman for some reason, maybe because they are my own age and I still don’t feel like a grown woman) I love watching them study and listen. Sometimes they have blank faces because they just don’t get what we are saying. Having to go through a translator always causes some confusion. Our translator’s name is Gideon and he is the youngest of sever brothers……just kidding. He doesn’t really have seven brothers…if you’re my sister or Sophie you might understand. Ok moving on. Haha…I am so weird it‘s late so I am getting silly. Now really moving on. Gideon. He’s just someone you want to hug. He always has a huge grin on his face and he really values the work we are doing. He is going to help the week go smooth, he is just really good at translating, which really makes a difference at the effectiveness of the lesson. Going back the girls. Every now and then I will look up and find someone looking at me. As soon as I smile, they just grin back. Beautiful smiles. Their openness and curiosity about me makes me less nervous to teach the salvation bracelets today.
We have an ocean view from our rooftop classroom. it’s almost like a porch, out in the open so the breeze can keep us cool. It is actually much cooler up here than on the ground. It’s the perfect setting for what we are doing. Debbie used me as an example for her lesson today. She prayed a scripture prayer over me Ephesisians 1:15-19. She inserted my name, as if the prayer had been written about me. I have never had anyone do that for me before and even though it was an example prayer, I was still very blessed by it.

I mentioned that I listen to David Platt on the way over. I downloaded a few of his sermons to my ipod. Last night I listened to one that was directed towards singles. I felt like weeping as I read it. I have been given a gift from God of being single right now. He planned me. He made me. And he placed me where I am. He has put me in a position of opportunity, and instead of being grateful for this time, I have been longing for a different gift. Like a small child on Christmas who wanted the bike my sister got instead of the rollerblades that I received. I’m ashamed that I have been living in discontentment when I should be rejoicing in my blessings.
Here is a closing thought from Patricia’s lesson that I plan to think about tonight.

“What is holding you back from being the leader that God want’s you to be?”

March 10

Today has been a very good day. Everything has ran pretty much according to plan, which is a very rare thing. All the women have taught very good lessons. Patricia is teaching about leadership and as a part of that looking into your life to pinpoint defining events and significant people, positive or negative, from your past and how it has effected the person you are today. A young woman told this story:

“I wanted to share Christ with others and teach others. Because all the Christian churches had pastors they did not need me. A catholic priest let me teach in hid church. When I was through, he gave me some money from the offering. I thought that God had provided this great opportunity to me to reach others. He let me come and teach a second time and again gave me some of the offering, I realized to late that he had ulterior intentions”

Our interpreter told it to us something like this, I think he didn’t know how to translate the brutal truth. The priest raped her. Her face remained calm as she spoke, but when she was through, she sat down and wept. My heart ached for her…and convicted me. These woman, their experiences no longer allow me to call them girls, these woman have suffered so much for their faith.

This trip has been so different than my trip to Uganda was. I was giving so much to the children there that it was impossible not to feel overwhelmed with love for them. Here, I had to try to love them. I was so shocked and disgusted by the deplorable conditions. It is truly appalling. We walked down to the beach today and had to be careful not to step in human waste. I can’t help asking myself “How can these people live this way?” or “How can they not know how they reek?”
I am so ashamed.
Who am I to put myself above them? These women are far above me. I have done nothing for the kingdom of Christ in comparison. Yet still I long for home and comfort. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is week. Very week. I long to step out and make a difference, but my flesh demands personal comfort for myself. I wish I had the faith of a mustard seed, but my faith is tiny compared to that.

March 11
I’m not feeling well today. I haven’t been eating good because I have had pretty bad jet lag. I forgot to take malirone (anti malaria) yesterday, and when I took it today it had a very bad effect on me. I was dizzy and light headed all day and didn’t feel hungry at all. Just feeling like that reminded me of when I was in Uganda and I realized it’s been because of the medicine. I decided not to take it anymore, which didn’t please mom, but I just can’t do it. Last night I listen to the second sermon in the radical series. It’s hard to process. These are all new thoughts and it’s hard to understand exactly what God expects of us. Are we to live like we are in poverty, or do we just share our wealth with others? For example, God has blessed my family with a very nice house. Our doors are always open and it is a safe haven for many people. It was clear through the process of our house burning down and then the rebuilding of that God had provided this blessing. Are we then to sell our house and deny many people? I don’t think so. I really believe that our family ministers to many people through the hospitality in our home. I guess what I am really struggling with is this: What do I do? Not my family, but ME….What is God calling me to do? Where do I go from here? I am not content where I am anymore. God is calling me away from the safety of my parents home, but where is it he is calling me? I feel like God is hiding his purpose from me. I want him to just tell me “Go here, and do this”. But there is just the constant pressure telling me to just move.

Later in the afternoon:
This week I’ve been teaching the little salvation bracelet message. I’ve been spending about 15-20 minutes a day. Yesterday we decided to do a roll playing skit. I pretended to be Hindu and one of the girls came up and I asked her questions about her bracelet. The poor girl got very flustered and embarrassed. She went and sat down and mom came and played the Hindu and I played the Christian. This time I got flustered. Haha I was fine, but I realized what it must be like for these ladies. They come from a culture where they have no value. What they think isn’t important. When we ask them to tell us how something makes them feel they get confused. It’s so sad. Anyways, today I had two of them come up and do the roll playing and they did it amazing! I could tell they had fun. Everyone wanted a turn, but we only had time to go twice. I felt SO proud. Even though I am teaching something so small, they are learning from ME. They followed my example! These girls are just so beautiful and have such amazing faith, yet they want to learn from me. I am humble enough to know that they will use their knowledge better than I have ever used mine.
March 12
Today is just a lovely and beautiful day. It rained last night so the air is so fresh and clean. It’s the last day of the conference. Last night we heard some testimonies from the ladies. . This is the area where the horrible persecution happened a few years ago. Most of the stories started with “Christmas day, December 2007, while we where celebrating with our church”. Here in India it really means something to be a Christian. One young woman stood up and told her story. She watch as her uncle was killed with an ax for refusing to pray to the hindu gods. I couldn’t understand her words, but her face and her eyes told the story just as well. I was weeping along with the girl sitting next to me before I even heard the story in English. Many of the girls shared, but nothing touched my heart like this young ladies face. In the end, we all stood in a circle and prayed for our sisters who had been persecuted it was so powerful. Few Americans know how to pray like they can pray. As I felt the Holy Spirit wash over us, I could hardly stay standing. My knees buckled and my body shook, as with sobs, but my tears where silent. I can’t explain it.  I know that God is calling me to step out in faith, but what if I go the wrong direction? I know that so much of my doubt is a result of not spending enough time in devotions. I pray that God will show me what to do, but I don’t sit still long enough to listen. I have such a hard time reading the bible, yet I can sit and read a 200 page novel all the way through. This is an ugly truth about myself. One that I didn’t even want to post to this blog, but couldn’t keep from typing.
I am such a romantic at heart. In another life I could have been poet or maybe an artist I love to watch life take place all around me. The wind moving through the trees has been known to move me to tears. I think this is why the filth of India bothers me so much. I love to see beauty in my surroundings, but I have to search for it here. God must see me, see the world, as I see India. When we walked down to the beach, this was what we saw. Fisherman dories dotted the horizon, woman carried water on their heads and cooked over open fires while a group of men mended nets nearby. It was a lovely picture….almost. If you didn’t mind the nakedness of the dirty children, or that pigs and cows ruling the road, or the trash rotting ten feet from the serf, the human waste being washed down into the ocean., and the stench that covered it all. It had the potential to beautiful, but human nature ruined it. We ruined it. Our stench must cause God to weep.

March 13
We are traveling once again. We all keep singing the first line “On the road again….” but that is as much of the song as anyone knows. Mom started making up her own words today…thinking they were real….It was funny. Right now we are flying back to New Delhi and I’m not sure we aren’t going to crash. The local flights here are….adventurous. I said I wanted a little danger in my life, but this isn’t quite what I meant. I don’t even think we are flying straight. The four hour drive to the airport was much better than the one from it. I know people have been praying for us not to get carsick and all I can say is THANK YOU! It worked! I just closed by eyes and listened to my ipod. I made the mistake of thinking about what foods I wanted to eat and I made myself very hungry. Dear Family, please have subway, chipotle, homemade salsa, and taco’s with cabbage, lime and sour cream waiting for me at the airport.

It’s weird to finish one conference, say goodbye and then move on to all new people. I feel ready to come home. I think we all do. Looking back over my journal and typing out my blog to post when I get to use the internet causes me to be reflective. This has been a week of emotional highs and lows. Right now I feel like I just want to go home and sit on my bed and think for awhile. I know the excitement of the women at the next conference will give us all the energy to start over, but until we get there I think I am going to feel homesick. Today and tomorrow we are going out to shop and sightsee in Delhi, and tomorrow we fly out to Lucknow.

P.S. Notes to home:
Mackenzie, Happy late birthday! I can’t wait to buy your birthday gift!
Mary, I miss you! I think you’re the only one I miss at this point. Mom was telling me that she talked to you and I felt jealous.
Amy, Emily, and Hana - Have fun and use whatever of mine you want. Seriously. Just make my bed and clean my room before I get home. I love you guys and I am almost to the point of missing you. Maybe tomorrow will be your day.
Dad, Cody and Hunter - Um….Hi? Be good? Be nice? Don’t really have much to say to you. Love you though.
Cassie - know that you’re at a hard place right now and starting to miss Daniel. I want you to know that I love you and will be praying for you.

That’s all the messages for now. If I didn’t say anything to you it’s because I’m not thinking about you, but I am sure that I love you….whoever you are.

March 14
We arrived last night to our hotel in Delhi. It’s brand new and very nice, we were very surprised that they placed us here. It’s been a nice little break. Last night Mom, Debbie, and Patricia went shopping. Betty and I decided to stay here. We had a lovely dinner, during which I talked the entire time. So much for being shy. I’ve come a long way from being the little girl who was to shy to call and order pizza. Anyways, The reason I didn’t want to go last night was because we’re going again today. No use going twice. I have a list of birthday gifts to buy, Mackenzie, Emily, Elsie, but I’m sure that everyone will get something.

We’ve been joking the whole time that mom was not on her game for this trip. She forgot just about everything important. Here’s our list so far:

Vitamin C
Camera Battery for the Nikon
Pants (yes mom forgot pants)
Knitted Uterus and Baby Doll
Cloth Pelvis (These things are serious. It’s really important not to go to India without a cloth pelvis and knitted uterus. They‘re not things you can just go and pick up from the local market.)

That’s moms list. I should have packed more lotion than I did. And I could have brought less skirts and more shirts. That’s about it for me. She’s just old and starting to lose her mind. Next thing you know she’ll forget her head, a horse will kick in in the mud, and goodbye Yenta ( that’s a fiddler on the roof reference) for those of you who are not musical buffs.

There’s more, that we can’t remember right now. Last week we discovered a new thing everyday. Anyway, I have to finish packing.

March 14
This morning a taxi picked us up about 10:00am to go shopping. I can I just say, our driver was not at all bad looking. He’s not my first Indian love though….my first was on the game show BINGO that I watch last night while mom was out with Debbie and Patricia. The man on TV was so handsome that I actually took a picture of the screen. He was funny too…I couldn’t understand half of what he said, but he was funny. I know it in my heart. Anyway, our driver was handsome in a rugged way (totally a dashing vs. rugged situation). The driver was from the Punjab area so I am just going to call him Punjab because I forgot his name. It sounded something like Sonny….but I doubt that was it.

Today we took had a tour of what hell might be something like. We went to this shopping area where hundreds of people had shops in little rows and winding alleys. IT WAS UNDERGROUND. I’m not sure why anyone would think that was a good idea, but someone did and we somehow decided to go there. None of the other ladies seemed to mind as much as I did….but I was so claustrophobic. There where hundreds of people, many of them smoking, every shop burning incense and huge piles of trash. And the actual shopping part….oh my….it was…well…awful. The shop owners and employees stood right outside their shops and called to you as you walked by “Excuse me, Ma’am,, Miss, Hello, YOU, look here, you like, you want, you need, scarf, hat, belt (I was a great target for the belt sellers cause I was wearing pants), Look at me! Come in! HELLO! MISS!” That coming from at least thirty people who are within the shops you happen to be walking by. Than, if you are actually interested in buying something, you have to fight about how much you are willing to pay for at least 20 minutes.

I say “How much?”
They say “2500 rupees”
I say “Um….too much I think? Let me ask my mom…I‘ll be right back.”
Mom says “NO!”
He says “Very good quality!”
Mom says “That’s good, I’m not paying that for it though. Sorry pal!”
He says “ok for you I give discount”
So I say “How much?”
And he says “ 2300”
Then mom says NO!
And I say in a whisper “Mom…he come down 200.…”
She’s gives me a look.
He says “Very good”
She says “We can get it cheaper next door.”
He says “I cannot go lower”
She says “ok” and we go to leave while I whisper “Mom I think I wanted that…..”
He follows and says “Ok you make offer”
She says “200”
I say “Mom!”
He says “No!”
So we leave.
He follows us out the door and says “Ok you make offer. Not 200.”
She says “200”
He get’s mad and says “Forget it” or sometimes just throws the item back into the shop.
Now all the other venders are yelling at us “200! 200 here!” “Hey Lady!”
He says “Ok 500”
I throw the money at him and flee.
Then it all starts over.

I was ready to go before we even purchased anything, but mom was thriving. I think she actually enjoyed practically stealing from them. One good thing did happen though…we went into this quiet, closed in jewelry shop and this very handsome Italian man talked to me. He asked where I was from and when I said USA he somehow didn’t understand and told me I was from Argentina. I think he was serious…naturally I just agreed. Who knows….maybe I am.

After shopping we went back to the hotel, ate lunch and then loaded up to go to the airport. I’m not sure if I have already mentioned the fact that we have a million bags between all of us. We brought tons of supplies and teaching materials to give to the women who are attending the trainings. Of course, people just think we are crazy American women who come to India with three huge bags each. It’s been very funny to watch the process of loading all the bags onto and into the taxies. It’s like playing tetris, but as a group. Naturally a crowd gathers to watch and then eight men end up trying to sort it all out. If we try to help or say anything they ignore us or silence us. The loading process takes at least 30 minutes. I have it well documented in pictures. We can’t do anything but laugh.

We’re on the way to Lucknow and hopefully will have more consistent access to internet so I should be able to update more often this week.

We start the next training tomorrow so I am excited to see how the group will be and in what ways this training will be different from last weeks. It was nice to have a little break to get our thoughts together before we have to start over again. I am sure the excitement of the ladies will give the energy that we are starting to need. These trainings are really life changing for the woman here. It’s a huge deal that we are doing this only for the woman. I can’t even imagine living under the social rule they have to abide by. Pray that God will provide the words that the woman need to hear and that we would be able to bless them and enable and equip them to do great things.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"We did not consume any beer"

Mom has been hogging the computer so here is what I have managed to type out on word when she's not using it. I will update as I can and copy it over to the internet as we have access. I'm sad because so much of what I have been able to type our so far seems to be mostly complaints. I haven't gotten to the good stuff yet. But don't worry....I Will!! I love and miss everyone! Please keep praying for us. I am starting to feel homesick. It is much harder for me to connect with the people here than it was in Uganda. I think because I was giving so much physically to the kids that it was hard not to be giving emotionally as well. Although it's taking longer, I feel like the last two day's I have really connected on a more emotional level.

I hate to stop typing here, but I have to hurry and update before we lose the signal. More to come later.

March 5, 2010

Flight to Newark, New Jersey

We have started the first leg of our journey. One hour flight time down, nineteen more to go. We’re seated in the very back of the plane, and boy, it makes a difference. It’s much more bouncy. Now I know why people pay for first class. It’s not good to start a missions trip out by whining so I’ll stop now. Actually, although we are in the back, we are very lucky to have an empty seat in our row. We can stretch out and get comfortable. I pray that we have the same blessing on our fifteen hour flight.

We are both sharing my head phones and listening to Dr. David Platt’s first sermon of the Radical Series. I had already listened to it yesterday, but it is just at new and thought provoking today.

March 7, 2010 2:30AM

We’re HERE! We lost a day in travel, and have has quite a few adventures along the way, but I am to tired to journal them just yet. Here is the short version:

After a tough flight around the world, we’ve made it. After going to through customs and gathering the bags, we headed off to find our group. I should say, mom headed off. She left me in her dust fighting a crowd of staring men. It was lovely. We let up with the rest of the team (Betty, Patricia, and Debbie), waited a few hours to be picked up, and took two taxis to our hotel (which is very nice).

I’ll tell the long version later, but for now, after a hot shower and some comfortable night clothes, all I really have to say is “We’re HERE!”.

March 7, 2010 7:56 am

I keep getting confused about the date. Losing a day feels weird. I want to journal about yesterdays adventures before the memory is forever lost. I stayed up late packing…and getting distracted from packing. My sister Hana came in and kept me company and we ended up talking until about 3:39am. She’s gonna miss me, so she needed to get some bonding time in before I left. I was up by 8:00am and we left at about 9:30. Our plane was running 15 minutes behind which set us back about an hour. Don’t ask me how that happened .We landed in Newark with barely enough time to grab a sandwich, I would have savored it a little bit longer if I had known how much curry I was in for. I love just starting out the window when flying. I am never failed to be touched by the splendor of an aerial view. To see the world from that perspective makes me feel philosophical. I always take lots of pictures out the window, but they never seem to turn out how it really looks.

For our second flight we where once again in the very back row of the plane. Right by the bathroom. Amazingly enough we had an empty seat in our row again! I was thrilled! It made up for having to sit in the middle isle. I was all settled in and the plane was getting ready to take off when all the sudden some girl decided to switch spots. She told me the woman in front of her had on really strong perfume…so I forgave her. At least I though I did. By the time we reached the 5th hour of our flight I realized how much I disliked her. By the 10th hour I didn’t care anymore I just wanted to be dead. On this flight there was an Indian man who was in our same row, but a different section. Apparently he couldn’t find any movies that interested him, because we just watched me the entire flight. I didn’t realize until we stepped out of the air port that it’s a cultural thing. The boldness in the way the men stare is so unlike Americans. It’s even worse here than it was in Uganda or Mexico. Not that they are leering, they just watch you. It’s very discontenting. After going through costumes we started to hunt for our bags. We went and waiting with all the other people who where on our flight - I am sure I saw at least 5 people I recognized. So we waited….and waited. And finally realized we might be in the wrong place. Meanwhile, an official looking man came and stole our passports. As we watched him walk away we realized that we might still need them, so mom chased him down and took them back and off we went to wait at the next turney thing. After being abandoned a few times by mom we found our group. Unfortunately, no one was there to pick us up at the airport. We waited awhile and finally realized that no one was coming. None of the woman could get their blackberries to work, although it took a few hours for any of them to admit that. We spent at least two hours waiting on the curb playing with the phones. Soon someone managed to reach someone who told someone else to email another person to call our contacted and someway our another a woman appeared holding a sign for us. Off we went in our taxi. Technology hasn’t made things easier in my opinion.

March 8, 2010

This morning we ate got ready and went to check out of the hotel. We left some bags there, which was risky, so we’ll see if they are there when we get back. The front desk tried to convince us that me and mom drank too beers out of the mini bar. I know I didn’t have any, but mom may have snuck some while I was sleeping. I had to write on an invoice “We did not consume any beer” -signed Callie Denny.

After that we changed some money, loaded up the taxi and away we went. The roads are wonderful. Driving in India is similar to being on a roller coaster. Amy would fit in great. The honking is constant so no one would even know her horn was broken. I had trouble in the local airport. The man kept insisting I had a “metallic item”

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I hardly know how to pack for a weekend in California...let alone two weeks in India. I think I am doing good despite my tendency to want to bring everything I own. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

When I leave

But at the evening offering I arose from my humilation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretch out my hands to the Lord my God; 

And I said, "Oh my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our own heads and our guilt has grown even to thr heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our inquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to open shame, as it is this day."  

- Ezra 9:5-7

Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."
He touched my mouth with it and said, "Behold this has touched your lips: and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven." Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" 

Then I said "Here am I. Send me!"

- Isiah 6:5,7-8
When I leave I want to leave a memory filled with love
The kind you don’t forget
When I go I want to be known
As one who lived with no regrets

Some glad morning when this life is over
I’ll fly away
To a home on God’s celestial shore
I’ll fly away
When I leave I want to leave a memory..

- JJ Heller