Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mission2India Day 1: Letting Go and Going


What a relaxing Saturday.

The day drifted by with a walk, some Bible reading, healthy meals, a movie, baking, and too many episodes of Switched at Birth.

I still have to pinch myself to realize that I have the time to relax and to choose what to do with my time.  I realize I need to tweak some things during the week days to give myself more structure, but the weekends are totally flexible.  Most have been social, so today I opted for "Me Time."

The highlight of the day was finally catching the movie, The Hundred Foot Journey.  Definitely worth seeing.  It was a great story of family, food, and cultural clashes.  All my favorite things.  I especially loved that the main character was an Indian chef.  I was salivating over the curries and the other amazing dishes throughout the movie.  :-)

Speaking of India, I promised to share more about my trip.  Our month anniversary of being back in the U.S. is coming up and I have yet to post any journal entries.  However, that is about to change.

In fact, here is the first entry from my Mission2India journal.  One more thing before I begin though, for the sake of safety and confidentiality, I will not be posting names or specific details about the team, the locations, and the people of India.

Now, without further ado, join me for the beginnings of Mission2India.

Day One: Boot Camp Recap and Travel

          Can someone please pinch me?  Am I really on a plane in Doha, about to take off for Hyderabad?  Mission2India is real!  It’s happening!

Before I get too excited and too behind on my journaling, I should probably back up and talk about our final training: Boot Camp.

          Boot Camp began breakdown in the bathroom. 

The weight of every plan and every held back emotion hit me full force.  I went from hectically running around trying to do it all by myself to weeping in the bathroom crying out to God admitting that I can’t do anything alone.

          Though it was a messy start, the whole thing turned out to be a blessing because I needed to let go from the beginning of day one or else I would have kept going on my own power instead of letting go and trusting God.  As it turns out, we had a relaxing, fun, crazy day of ice breakers, conversations, and bonding.  Exactly what we needed.

Still, by the time we wrapped up around 4:00, I was exhausted to the point of tears and immobility.
Fortunately, several team members came over to my place to help pack supplies for the kids.  As they rushed around stuffing duffel bags with crayons, coloring books, toothbrushes etc., I just stood there wanting to help, but incapable of doing anything.
Later, after a stop at the church to drop off the duffel bags and a bite to eat at Applebee’s, I finally had some time to myself.  As I walked through the dark neighborhood, I bawled again as I talked to mom.  Lack of sleep, extreme stress, and intense excitement are a bad combination.  

          Friday dawned.  I was still tired, but more peaceful.  Listening to Isaiah 40-43 while trying to sleep had eased my physical and mental tossing and turning.  Day 2 of Boot Camp was relaxing and productive with human knot hilarium, Telugu lessons, song practice, devotions, and incredibly powerful prayer stations.
          Though I had planned the stations and participated in them the year before, they did not fail to have a heavy impact on my weary soul.  In fact, the most impactful one brought together the loose lessons that I had been learning over the course of the past two days.
          The station was about “Letting Go” of idols and things that keep us from surrendering to God.  Seemed like a logical first stop since it seemed pretty clear that I needed to let go of some things. 
          I chose a rock from the pile I had laid out and began to list the chains that I knew were cinched around my heart: selfishness, pride, perfectionism, fear of man, control.  I cried as I realized that the whole rock was covered.
          Looking at the little wooden cross before me, I knew I was not ready to lay the rock down yet, so I picked up a Bible.  At first, I didn’t know where to turn, but then, Isaiah 40-43 came to mind.
          The passage began: 

“Comfort, comfort my people says your God.  
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, 
that her sin has been paid for."
-Isaiah 40:1

Sweet comfort.

          Conviction came next with the realization that I am nothing and that all I do will wither away, but God is great and mighty.  

"Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
    or showed him the path of understanding?"
-Isaiah 40:13-14

How could I even begin to think that I could “instruct the Lord as His counselor” or teach Him the right way?

          Tears began to dot the pages as the reality of how often I try to control and even be God hit me like a train.

 A few more passages of painful rebukes and then this...

“But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
-Isaiah 41:8-10
Looking down at the Sharpie covered rock that represented my sinful heart, I wept.           

           Though I am covered in sin, God chose me.  

                           He chose me to serve Him.  
                                             He has not rejected me.  
                                                                    I do not have to be afraid.  

                                                                                                       He will help me.

Seeing the cross before me, I laid down my rock.  In a fresh way, I remembered that it was and is only because of the cross that God could choose me; that because of Christ's blood, God can look at me and not see the sin, but see His Son’s righteousness.  Christ paid my debt and I am not rejected.  Amen. 

Needless to say, I left the station with a lighter, more joyful, heart, mind, and soul that freed me to experience the rest of the stations fully.

Eventually the prayer time wound down and it was time to get busy again.  Still, even as I zoomed off to the bank to get money, I felt peace.
When I arrived back at church, I was encouraged to see a large group of friends and family had gathered to pray with us all.  After I spoke a bit to thank everyone, we gathered into circles and prayed.  It was such a blessing to hear others lift up the team in prayer.

At 4:45, the "amens” faded and it was finally time to go!

          We headed downstairs, loaded up, and journeyed over the GWB to JFK in four cars.  Amazingly, God answered our prayers and there was very little traffic even though it was a Friday night in NYC.  We all arrived with plenty of time to spare.

          Our time at JFK was spent checking in, going through security, getting food etc.  Typical airport stuff.  My parents called to pray for me and to say “goodbye.”  So nice.
          At last, it was time to board the plane!  Hurray!

All went well on the first flight.  I watched Divergent and Amazing Spiderman 2.  After the second movie, I slept and ate in periodic intervals and tried to prevent cankles by making circles with my feet.
          Transferring flights in Doha was easy except for the excruciatingly hot wait on the steps outside the plane. 

          Now, only a few short hours stand in between me and Hyderabad!!!!!!  Wahoo!!!!


So, that is how Mission2India began.  Tons of tears.  A lesson in "Letting Go" that Elsa would appreciate.  13 hours in flight.

Stay tuned for more.

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