First Post fromĀ India

Hello from India!!!

I am excited to report that there is an internet cafe just around the corner from our guest house (hostel). This is very good news, and although I will not have very much time to be online, hopefully I will be able to make blog posts on a weekly basis.

Healing in His Wings

Our travel time was amazing. I got to see my friends Lisa and Barb before leaving (waves) which was a gift from heaven, and then I got to see my friend Terry during our layover in San Francisco. We had a wonderful dinner together, and Terry prayed for the team with her flags. That was super exciting. Then she gave me a key…and a confirmation…to remind me that I have the keys to miracles and healing. Um…wow. Yeah. That’s pretty God. Within moments I was with my team members, two of whom were sick. One I prayed for and she felt a little better maybe. The second one I was praying for and I got to the point where I didn’t have any words left, so I said, “and…Jesus…I don’t know what else to pray…but I feel like-” My friend interrupted me, “Wait! I’m better. Hold on,” she swallowed, “All better! No pain!” Are you kidding me? I mean, yeah, that’s what we were going for and all…but…wow. We continue to pray for one another for healing, as we see that modeled in the New Testament. Sometimes people get better quickly, sometimes over time…and I am talking to God about how He works in all this. Hurrah.

New Clothes

We each came with only a few clothes and intentions to buy some functional Indian clothes once we got here. Yesterday we spent most of the day at market buying clothes. I found a couple punjabi which I really love (Despite ludicrous amounts of starch. I feel like I’m wearing paper. Anybody know how to get this stuff out?), one which I’m not sure I like and I feel like I paid too much for…but Jesus says that He cares even more about me looking nice than I do, so I can trust Him with this. I was really disappointed because I love the bright, bright colors and my punjab are all pale or drab. I wanted something that was pink and orange and gold like the sunrise. Our guide, a very shrewd man who helped me find my friends when I was lost, told me, “One more place for you. Just come.” Okay….so I sit down and they begin showing me saree’s. There were a few that I really loved, and as the man was measuring me, just in case I wanted it, I saw fabric that was exactly what I had been wanting. I asked him about it and he laughed, knowing that it was way out of my price range. Then, on an impulse, he said he would give it to me for the price of the one I had been thinking of buying. Are you kidding me??? All this, because his sister is visiting from Portland. I will go pick my sari up tomorrow and have it in time for Easter sunrise service, which we are leading. How lovely is that? I think I would like to paint for him a picture. Please pray that I make something lovely and meaningful…a gift from the heart of God.

The Father of Lights

One of the hardest things for me in this culture is knowing how to successfully interact with the men. I do not like to send wrong signals, and I find it hard even within my own culture because I am so interested in hearing what other people have to say, in really hearing them and hearing what God is teaching them. The lecture phase of DTS was great, because there was a pretty clear age boundary between me and most of the men in my life. I was walking along last night feeling rather overwhelmed by it all, thinking about how hard it must be to be a woman in this culture (and yet how lovely the women are!), when I looked up and there was one more guy looking strait at me, raising his eyebrows. (There is also an assumption about American women…grrr…based on movies. This is one main reason we are buying these clothes. Even when I was buying my sari I had to stipulate that I wanted a “shy…good family” neckline.) Ugh! I looked away, crying out to Jesus, and found myself staring down full face the nearly full moon. We were walking between two buildings, and there it was, beautiful as ever, carrying in it all the haunting memories of beautiful life and love and friends that have happened under nearly full moons. Every good and perfect gift comes down to us from above, from the father of lights in whom there is no shadow of turning, no variation, constant as light. (James 1) In that moment I was found.

Prayer requests

Please pray for me as I try to learn this new culture. I feel like I barely understand my own culture…although Jesus says I am lovely in any culture. I am struggling with my attitude, feeling overwhelmed, and not knowing how to even interact with my own team. It would be really great if we all got our feet under us during this time, and a sense of openness, vulnerability, and love for one another was established and rooted. We are already unified in thought and action…but here in a place so far from where we live we will get to see how strong that foundation really is, how deep those roots really go. For myself, I feel like I’m still digging, like the things God has for me here will require strength and depth which I am still seeking. Pray for me, I do not feel like I even know how to seek Him more, and yet I am so hungry to find Him, to find more. Also, I feel like we are here as representations of life and light in this place. I am praying that we reflect God a little more clearly each day, and that as we walk, life comes forth from the city around us. The abundant, lasting life of God.

Love you all. Holy Spirit, keep coming…deeper, deeper, we want more of you, more than we ever thought possible. More than we can handle. More.

Beth

P.S. There are pink roses in the garden of the guest house, and I saw a butterfly this morning. It’s the only one I’ve seen since getting here, but maybe that’s normal for places that aren’t Pismo Beach.

P.P.S. The food is especially comforting to me because it reminds me of Daksha (my sister-in-law’s mum) and the four months I spent living with my brother and his wife in Washington D.C. After a hard week of flying I would always come home to Daksha’s wonderful cooking. It warms my heart…every time. šŸ™‚ Mmmmm…glory be to Jesus.

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Packing forĀ Outreach

Packing for our departure…I have a few exciting things to report:

Including the two checks in the mail, my outreach fees are paid! Thank you, thank you thank you to all who support me…in all the ways you do. Last Friday the base raised money for our remaining expenses. My peers and other YWAMers donated over $1500!!

We are leaving so soon. I wish I could post all the things I’ve learned since San Francisco…but as you can tell from my lack of posting, we have been learning A LOT.

I might have a chance to update when we are overseas…but I can’t make any promises. I will have someone making updates if at all possible.

Tomorrow, Saturday, is a day for cleaning and phone calls…so call if you get a chance! I will have my phone service held starting Tuesday. Not much use of it in India.

I do continue to have some financial needs, namely paying for my vaccinations, a couple bills, and spending money. Spending money is important not only for my heart, but also for my outreach. With this money I will be able to buy clothes and fit into the culture better. Because of stereotypes of American women, our contacts encourage us to dress more like local women, thus respecting their cultural concept of modesty. Each outfit is $6-10 (American currency). I will need clothes in both countries. Plus, it’s fun and the clothes are pretty! I would really like to have a little money for postage…if you want a post card, please send me your address :-).

That’s all for tonight!

Bethy

SanĀ Francisco

Yay! This is us in San Francisco. This picture has been edited by the talented (and also world famous) Paulina. This is an absolutely incredible group of people. Absolutely incredible. Jonathan and I were talking about it it this evening…we have lived together all these months and there isn’t the sense of kattiness that you would expect from this many women living this close together. Each and every one of these people contributes to the group as a whole. Gosh, these people are so amazing…or in the words of Michelle…AWE-some…

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