— You will have to pardon me if I jump around a lot because I am not a natural born writer or blogger like many. The things I blog about are bits and pieces that I take from my journal where I have unlimited freedom —
India was never at the top of my list on places that I wanted to visit.
In fact, I can hardly ever remember having the desire to travel further than Europe or Africa. So the fact that I am here kind of blows my mind. Next week, I will have been in this country for one month, and I can hardly believe it. I have to say that the Lord has been so gracious in the fact that I have not been homesick at all; that is not to say I don’t miss my loved ones because I do, deeply, but I just don’t have this yearning to be back in America as much as I have a yearning to stay here. I am grateful that I get to spend the next two months in India.
India feels like home now. Traveling around the city, I am reminded by the language barrier, being a minority, and the unreadable street signs that I AM in a different country. But those things don’t bother me; it just feels natural to be here. I have to look at the map of the world, point to India, and say out loud that I am half way across the world for it to really sink in. I have finally settled into a routine here. The kids just started school this past week so I have a natural alarm of kids waking up around 6:00am excited for school. I don’t think I was ever this excited as the kids are about going to school. They do not have to leave for school until 8:45 am, but they are dressed and ready by 6:45!
The past few weeks have been spent with endless hours laughing, teaching children, and going into the city to see a different side of India (a side that I really love). I have come to the conclusion that no matter how many television programs you watch or how many pictures you see and articles you read of India, you truly have to come here to get the full and accurate experience. Right now, I am sitting outside while two dear Indian women sew and patch holes in clothes that show the results of children’s endless play. Martha and Grace are their names. I can hardly carry a conversation because of the language barrier, but I am slowly learning how to speak Telugu, the language in this region, so for now, hand gestures and smiles will have to do.
I haven’t touched my makeup in days. My hair is always in a big curly mess, and I begin to sweat as soon as I am done with my shower (which is a bucket bath). I have a cricket that lives in my bathroom, and a gecko that spends every night with me, and as long as he stays on his side of the room then there will be no harm. My food consists of rice and different curries which are arranged differently for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am the “Auka” (Telugu for Big Sister) to 16 little beautiful brown faces. If I had a quarter for every time I heard the word “Auka” I would be rich. But truly, being here makes me see how rich I truly am…but not in terms of dollars. I feel richly blessed in the fact that I can give love to these kids and receive their love in return.
Kids who have been left alone, abandoned, and violated beyond their rights. Kids who have been unloved and unwanted and who owe it to no on to give out love, but yet they do, so innocently as only a child could.
SACHIN and SUNIL
Sachin and Sunil are 8 year old twin brothers. They came, or were rather brought by their father and stepmother several months ago. Their paternal mother passed away; they were left in the care of their father. It turns out that the stuff you see in movies can be real as Sachin and Sunil’s stepmother did not want to have anything to do with them. So like the movies, the father had to choose between his wife and the boys, but unlike the ending in Hollywood, he DID NOT choose the boys. I was dumbfounded. So he brought them to live here at the home. When I arrived, I was told how both the boys had scabies. Scabies is a disease that is caused by poor care of hygiene. Their teeth were also rotting out.
I cried a lot in my room that night, partly from unbelief and anger, and the other because the Sachin and Sunil that I have come to know are the cutest, kindest, and most loving boys. How could someone not want these two boys when I am fighting the urge to just hug and love on them all the way back to America? It truly floors me. I know the Lord already knew of Sachin and Sunil’s life before the start button was even pressed, so I rest in believing and knowing that the Lord has a special plan for these two boys. Seeing their personalities flourish over the past month has been a true treasure to my heart. They both are so articulate and curious. Sachin can fix anything and has the desire to know how things are made; Sunil is very clean and precise in everything he does, taking great pride in his work. I can just see them being great inventors of their time when they become older.
I pray that these boys will always know the deep and unwavering love of our Father, in spite of not knowing it from their earthly one. I also pray and hope that Sachin and Sunil will always know and feel what it is to be loved, cared for, and wanted whether it be from afar or near.
Here are two pictures: The first one is Sachin. The second photo is Sunil.