Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sisters in India

Happy Thursday!

The humidity has reared it's ugly, sweaty head here in New Jersey.  Just when I was embracing fall, it feels like sticky summer again.  Yuck.

I write to you today from a borrowed Microsoft Surface with a not quite normal keyboard.  This is due to the fact that my trusty (or so I thought) laptop burned out.  Literally.  CPU dead.  Revival, not worth it.

As much my computer dying upset and stressed me, I can't say I was totally surprised.  The poor thing had been running too hard and too hot for months since I refused to replace the battery, kept it plugged into 90% of the time, and multi-tasked like crazy.

What's ironic is that I had just been telling people how I felt total peace about the support raising process.  I was trusting God to provide and not worried about money.

Cue, computer death.

"Are you really trusting me Becky?"  -God.

"Yes... kind of... maybe... sort of... why did this happen?  I can't afford this."

That's how the thoughts flowed. 

Fortunately, God prompted me to ask for help instead of stubbornly trying to fix everything right away.  My awesome friends have prayed for me, loaned me a spare piece of technology (making this post possible), referred me to a nice computer repairman who recovered my data, and helped me pick out a new machine.

It's amazing how God does provide when you humble yourself and ask for help.

Anyway, now I am awaiting my new HP, which will hopefully last more than 4 years, which seems to be my limit with laptops.

Okay, enough rambling about my laptop troubles.  I promise this post has a purpose.

I am excited to share with you another journal entry from India.  This day was full of both delight and pain.  You'll see why.


Day 3: Sisters and Swelling
Today began with the eager expectation of seeing the teenage orphan girls from S's home, my Indian sisters.

It was an unusual and important day in Hyderabad because of the government census.  The state of Andrha Pradesh recently split into two states.  One retrained the name Andhra Pradesh.  The other was called Telangana.  As a result of the split, people were registering for government aid in both states.  The goal of the census was to resolve this problem by determining how many people there were in each state and where they could legally register for aid.
The impact of the census on us was that we could not leave the hotel until the evening, after the census.  This was the case for most of the people of Hyderabad.  No one was out on the streets.  Businesses were shut down.  Very few horn honks.  Eerie. 
Despite the restrictions, M had still planned an enjoyable day for us.  She promised to send some of girls over to the hotel around 10:00 a.m., when the census workers were done visiting their home.
10:00 came after a breakfast of dosas, daal, hard-boiled eggs, and decent quality chai.  Eager to see the girls, we all trooped out to meet them in front of the hotel.  It wasn't long though before the heat drove us back to the hotel lobby.  Not much cooler.
Half an hour passed and still no girls.  I began to wonder what was going on, but did not have an easy way to communicate with M and P.  Fortunately, one girl on our team volunteered her phone, which was equipped with T-Mobile international service.  I called P and found out that the census workers were late.  The girls were stuck home.

New plan. 

Prayer time. 
M sent me a list of very serious requested and the team gathered in room 310.  Before we got down to business, there was some card playing and signing of photos.  I wrestled with when to begin because I wanted to give people time to chill, but not miss out on praying deeply.  My time concern came true as we were only able to pray for a few requests that morning.
I really couldn't complain about running out of time though because the prayers were POWERFUL.  IB is prayer warrior like none I've every heard before.  She claimed God's truth boldly and sent chills down my spine.  We later found out that a sick girl she had been praying for walked and ate for the first time in days!  Praise the Lord!
 Unexpectedly, a new prayer request arose in the midst of our prayer time.
At one point, I needed to leave the room to check on something.  On the way back, feet flying and eyes glued to a phone, I met a couch.
Toe meet couch.
Knee meet couch.
Pain meet Becky.
Sharp pain.  Breath caught.  Imminent collapse 

Adrenaline driven hopping.

Arrival in the room.

Of course, the team was immediately concerned, but I laughed it off saying that I had just made friends with a couch and would be fine.
We continued praying for M's concerns.  All the while, my toe was doubling in size.  Nothing to worry about.  :-)
When the girls arrived, the size of my toe was quickly forgotten.
P brought U, V, M, and H up to the room and then he and the boys snuck out to do manly things while the rest of us got covered in henna and girl-talked.  For me, it was great to catch up with the sisters, especially U who I had gotten close to last year.  As she decorated my forearms with intricate Arabic and Indian style designs, we talked about school, camp, life in America etc.

Phone call.  Time for lunch.  Urgent scramble to flake the dried henna off in the bathroom.
Arms red from scraping, but smiles wide, we begged the girls to eat with us.  Our pleas were met with hesitation.  Serving us is all they know.  Still, we insisted, declaring that if we are truly sisters, they should eat with us.
Nervously, they joined us at the buffet and immediately took their places at the back of the line.  I refused to accept this and sent them ahead.  I told them I needed their advice about the food.  They informed me about the spiciest foods and warned me not put the dessert sweets on my plate.  A separate bowl was required to allow for ice cream on top!  YUM!!!
Back in the room, we transitioned to painting the girls' nails and giving them glitter tattoos.  I also began to pay attention to my toe, which I had been hobbling around on all morning.  Upon seeing that there was no space left between my big toe and second toe, I freaked out a bit until S, a dancer and expert in foot injuries, took over.  She carefully taped my big toe to the rest of my foot and arranged some towels for elevation.  Many team members asked the hotel for ice, but returned empty handed.

Soon the girls had to leave, so we had some downtime before going to see them at the pastor's house later.  I took the time to journal and rest.
Soon, it was time to leave.  Half of us crammed into the little van and left the rest behind for a second trip.  Apparently taking the big van would have been too conspicuous on a day like today.
At the pastor's house, we began with ice breakers since all 15 of the girls were there and we had not met them all yet.  The rest of the evening was spent with singing, dancing, and laughing.  We ate delicious curry and sweet bananas. 

While "icing" my foot with a bag of milk, I talked with U, M, V, and one of the new girls.  V, U's sister shared that before I came last year, U spent her time alone, rather than engaging with the group.  After meeting me, she connects with everyone.  Not sure how I affected that, but then, she, herself, told me "When you a re here, I never feel alone." 

Tears and concern welled up.  I was beyond touched that I mean that much to her.  However, I fear that she is too connected to someone who cannot be with her more than once a year at most.  I love her to death and pray for her daily.  I just hope that she can continue to connect with her sisters in India and her amazing mother and father figures, S and V.  I am so thankful that she has a family with a mother and father who show Christ's love, provide for her needs, and equip her for the future.   I am so thankful that all the girls and the orphans at the other homes have this as well.

Under the light of hope and love, U is studying to become a nurse.  Her goal is to offer free services to those in need because her mother died of a heart condition when no one could afford her treatment.  The transformation of ashes into beauty.  The heart of orphan work.


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