Tag Archives: Hinduism

Video from India & Nepal (Summer 2013)


Kathmandu, Nepal

IMG_6580

Man oh man, being in Nepal was such a sweet time. I was still not feeling very well, but despite getting sick there only a few times, I felt good most of the week. I knew this week in Nepal was going to be great, but seriously, I just had so much fun.

First of all, I realized this summer how much I need people. I long having good conversations with those I love, doing fun things with them, and just the presence of those important to me make me one happy gal. Now you are all probably thinking, “Well duh, everyone does.” But I love being by myself also. Since I was fine when I went to Uganda by myself a year & a half ago and was there for over a month, I thought I would be just fine on this trip since I had dear friends that I would be living with.. even though it was for a longer period of time. However, I realized that I longed to talk to my closest friends a LOT this time around. I came to the conclusion that I will probably never travel like this alone again. Although I love the adventure, there are just things that you miss doing it “alone.” I want to be able to share that same experience with someone else from now on.. whether that is my best girl friend or my future husband.

I know that sounds silly, but really, many times this summer I felt like I had so much I wanted to talk about, but no one to express it to. Having no one around me my age that I have history with was a challenge, and I had no idea how much I would need that.  Community is so important. Even though I totally had that with the incredible M’s that I lived with (who were such a HUGE blessing to me), it’s different with people your own age who you’ve been doing life with for a while. But enough rambling.. back to Nepal. Because of this, once I finally got to Nepal where there were people I knew from home and some who were my age, I. WAS. ECSTATIC. One of my guy friends from home, Zach, was there with a team of 3 other guys around my age. Zach is the one who led the team on the Honduras trip I went on right before I came to India this summer. They had been in Nepal for 6 weeks, and I was looking forward to meeting up with them the whole summer. Also, a team from a church that I am close to from home, Longview, was there the same week I was, doing the same thing. It was SO GOOD to see some familiar faces. Seriously, so good.

The team from Longview and I got to watch some awesome MK’s during the day while their even more awesome parents were in meetings. It was completely chaotic and loud and obnoxious, and so much fun all at the same time. We had really long days, so most of the time I crashed by.. ehhh, 9 maybe? For real though, 9pm at the latest. But it was so worth it. I mean look at these cute little faces and how much fun we had!

IMG_0670IMG_6395IMG_6372IMG_6364IMG_6437IMG_6461IMG_6416

Thankfully, the team from Longview was so gracious to me and let me stay with them & work with them the entire week. I really could not be more grateful for them. I enjoyed hanging out with them and being apart of their team so much. In my free time, I hung out with Zach and his team (Spencer, Mark, and Caleb) for the most part. It was so good to be around people my age who have the same desire and passion to make much of Jesus in the same way that I do. Plus, we had tons of fun.

On my last night in Nepal we saw Monsters University. (the 2nd time I’ve seen it since being in South Asia 🙂 ) Surprisingly, the theaters I’ve been to in India and Nepal are much nicer than the ones in America.

IMG_0846IMG_0841

Although there are SO many differences between India & Nepal, a similarity is the religions. Hinduism & Buddhism are dominant in this country as well. We visited the Boudha Stupa, the 2nd biggest and most holy Buddhist worship spot. There were several people walking around it, turning the wheels to get credit for their prayers.

IMG_6355

IMG_6352

IMG_6348

IMG_6250

IMG_6356

IMG_6229

IMG_6231

IMG_6294

 

IMG_0934

The day before I left, I went with Zach and his team to Pashapati, where one of the world’s largest Hindu temples is. They burn around 70 bodies a day here (for anyone to see), and then put the ashes into a “holy” river which they believe carries them to their next stage of reincarnation.  IMG_6575 IMG_6576 IMG_6578

While the 5 of us were in Pashapati, before we went down to the temple, we spent hours in a park-like area where tons & tons of people were. We got to talk to & share the Gospel with many people. We had a blast playing cricket, trading magic tricks, chasing little kids, and talking with these Nepali’s. IMG_6522IMG_0716IMG_6567IMG_6520IMG_6527IMG_6548photo

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of a sweet 20 year old girl I got to share the entire Gospel with, Roman’s Road, and talk in detail about several things regarding Jesus, His Gospel, and life after death. She was sitting with her 3 sisters, but she was the only one who could speak and understand English. She seemed very interested. She was honest with me and asked several questions. When I talked to her about a decision she said, “I will have to think about it before I make a decision.. I worship this god and my sister worships another, and you worship this Jesus who you say I cannot worship anyone or anything else if I follow him.. So I just have to think about it before I do anything.” That was the most open & honest response I’ve gotten the entire time I’ve been in South Asia. I wanted to talk to her more, but we were interrupted by a man who had been standing beside us listening to our conversation the entire time without my knowledge. He began to raise his voice and get angry at me saying, “You are a missionary!? You are prophesying about Jesus and you are trying to convert! You cannot do that! I know what you are doing! I know that you are a missionary!” Thankfully, one of the guys I was with, Mark, heard the man and came quickly to talk to him, so I had to get up then.

Zach started to show some magic tricks that he knew to just a few guys he was talking to, and it ended up drawing a huge crowd..IMG_6556

He took this opportunity to share with this group his story and God’s story and began telling them how the Lord completely changed his life when he was 16 years old. The group quickly dwindled.. IMG_6565

We have to know that some will walk away and be completely uninterested, but some will stay. Praising God no matter what happens, know that when you share the Gospel with someone, we are to share, and He is the one who saves.

Now encounters with monkeys are inevitable in this part of the world.. They are NOT cute & cuddly. They are mean. They will jump on you and bite you and steal your small children. No joke. The key is to not interact with them.. no attempting to pet or feed these animals.

IMG_6503

IMG_6505

And do not.. I repeat do NOT stand in front of one for a long period of time trying to take a picture of it. It WILL make this nasty, scary face at you and run at you. Just trust me.

IMG_6605

So coming from and going back to India, I can’t help but compare Nepal to India. Even though they are so close together, they are SO different. Now this is obviously just my observations from my very short time in both of these places, so I certainly do not claim to know all about neither Nepal nor India. From my experience, the people in Nepal are much more friendly and open. Contrary to the people in India, they tend to not like controversy. They are just much more warm. The people I talked to in Nepal were very curious about this Jesus I was talking to them about. Not once did I get blown off like I did so many times during my time in India.

The day I landed in Kathmandu, Nepal, I spent the day going to and from the airport, picking up and dropping off M’s. I was only in the country for an hour & a half at the most, when on my second trip to the airport, I shared with a 15 year old girl the Good News of Jesus. She had IMG_6242heard a little bit about Jesus before because of some European tourists who came to her school and shared with them. After I shared the Gospel with her, she ended up being a person of peace. The first person of peace I have found the entire time I have been in South Asia. I had been in India for a month & a half and did not talk to a single person who really wanted to know more about Jesus (that I know of). But I was only in Nepal for an hour and a half, and already, someone was open to hear more about Jesus and was genuinely curious about the Gospel. An hour and a half. This just shows the contrast between India and Nepal.

Honestly, this triggered some resentment and frustration towards HP. Now I am not saying this to say that Nepal is better than India or that I liked it more or anything like that. They are just so different. There is so much history between these 2 countries that I wish I could share on here (but let’s be honest, I’m already long-winded enough 😉 ). To be brief, Nepal was once a country completely closed off to the Gospel. No one was allowed in or out. Many years ago, some M’s spent years & years at the border of Nepal praying everyday that God would open the country so that the Gospel would be able to get to the people. A friend who told me this said that one day God did just that. He opened Nepal, and since then, God has had his hand on that country. People travel there to seek out different religions and answers. It has never been the same. Not to say that there are tons and tons of believers in Nepal. That is not the case at all. But it is evident that the Lord has changed the people group as a whole. He has softened their hearts, giving them a curiosity and interest in the Good News of Jesus.

IMG_0765

IMG_6252 IMG_6260

I know, by God’s grace, that I will be back here. Hopefully in a year. I absolutely LOVED my time there, and I am so so thankful for the opportunity to get to be in this place. Please join me in prayer for this country.

  • Pray for the M’s who are currently there and the challenges they have to face on a daily basis: the very real risk of persecution, steep mountain trails to be hiked, and frigid temperatures. Pray that the Lord would give them grace and His strength to press on and remember that their home is not here. Not in Nepal. Not in America. But their home is in heaven with Christ. Pray that they would be reminded of that daily and really trust that truth.
  • Pray for the government. For more than 200 years, Nepal has been a Hindu country. But through a miraculous turn of events (GOD), changes in the government have paved the way for a birth of a democracy, allowing more religious freedom. Nepal is still in transition, so pray for the leaders of the country.. that the Lord (who is the sovereign one regardless) would put in place leaders who follow God. Pray for the current leaders, that they would come to know Jesus and follow hard after Him.
  • Pray for Bible translation and distribution.
  • Pray for more people to be sent to Nepal to live among the people & spread the Gospel.
  • Pray for the believers there. New and old. Pray that they would be strengthened and encouraged.
  • Pray that Jesus would be lifted high and the millions of idols and demons enslaving this nation would be brought low.
  • Pray for those who do not know Jesus. Pray that God would, right now, soften their hearts and prepare them to hear the Good News of Jesus. Pray that they would be receptive and come to know Christ. Pray that people would come to know Jesus and follow hard after Him, reaching the people around them. Pray for churches to be planted, that they would be healthy, Gospel-centered, and reproducing.

I beg you not to just read these words, but to really join me in praying for this country!

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. -1 John 5:14-15

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14 

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. -1 Timothy 2:1-6

IMG_6540 


As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore. -Psalm 125:2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. I have been really really sick, but I am SO thankful to say that I am sooo much better! Unfortunately, a lot of my time this week was spent laying in bed halfway aware of what was going on around me. I was really bummed for about a week while I was sick, but I reached a point of being so exhausted- physically, mentally, emotionally just exhausted- it was a sick and tired of being sick & tired kind of thing. I was mad that I was too sick to do anything. I didn’t know why my body was doing this or why God was allowing it to happen since it meant I wouldn’t be able to share with anyone for an entire week.

I went with a few other college students to a new place this week about a 9 hour bus ride away. I loved this new city, but unfortunately I had to enjoy it from our hotel room for all 5 days because I was so sick 😦 I was so bummed. But even from traveling to & from there and getting out a few times, I got to see how beautiful this place is. The mountains. The snow-capped Himalayas. My goodness. Just take a look for yourself.

IMG_0140

IMG_0138

Dharamshala 2

IMG_0313

IMG_6041

Most people are Hindu where we live which is much more complicated than religion in the Western sense. It’s an enormous variety of religious traditions and is composed of several religions but basically means that they worship many gods revolving around a belief in reincarnation. They (the Hindus around us) typically want to be everything.. want to worship every god there is. They want to be Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, everything because they’re scared. The new place we went to this week, however, was predominately Tibetan Buddhist. It was like a completely different world. Tibetan Buddhists are different from regular Buddhists because they worship and pray to the Dalai Lama (who lives in the place we were in), and IMG_0316Buddhists worship and pray to Buddha. Hinduism, from my understanding, is completely fear based.. whereas buddhism is also fear based but is rooted in luck and “joy”. Therefore, reaching Tibetans looks a lot differently than reaching Hindus. Both of these religions have people bound by constantly feeling the need to do something else to earn something good.. whether that is prosperity or their own life. They are held captive by writing and hanging prayer flags, going to the temples to pray multiple times a day, spinning wheels with prayers written on them to get credit for their prayers, etc.. The team of 3 college students that I have been working with visited a popular temple in the area (while I was coughing up a lung in the hotel room), and when they came back to tell me about their day, one friend remarked that “it felt peaceful, and that scared me.. like why do I feel good in here, I don’t want to feel good.” These “gods” have power here.. Spiritual warfare looks incredibly different here than in America, and it is taking some time for me to learn about it and really understand it. Thankfully, we’ve spent a lot of time wrestling in prayer and digging through scripture this week & studying/discussing what God’s Word says about it.

When people are suffering from demon possession and living in such extreme (and obvious) darkness, it’s much easier to explain & convince them that they need Jesus than people who are striving for luck and peace. Sharing in this city was very interesting. It was a much more culturally excepting place.. many Europeans and other tourists come there. People were very open to listen (which is very different from the place we are permanently has been), but we still heard the same analogy that we’ve heard a hundred times that there is one mountain with many roads all leading to the same place.

10-4581-tibetan-buddhist-prayer-wheels

dharamshala

Women where we live are extremely shy. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it can feel like pulling teeth just trying to get them to talk to me. At first, I was very self-conscious.. my pride made me think “what am I doing wrong; why don’t they like me or want to talk to me?” etc.. But then it turned into “They are rude.. I’m sitting here talking my head off and they are saying 2 words and ignoring me.” But really these college-aged girls and even older women are just really shy. They are not used to seeing white people, and even when they do see them, they are certainly not used to them approaching them and starting a conversation. Most of the women are very insecure about their English. So it has been very very challenging just to get people to talk with us. I wish so badly that I could speak Hindi.. But I also wish I could speak every other language…

But for the girls that will talk with us, we pour out everything we’ve got. C to C, RR, Our Story & God’s Story, everything.. We want to build relationships with these women and share with them and then disciple them, investing our entire summer into someone (or multiple people). However, we have discovered that you have to strike while the iron is hot. Sometimes most of the time, we have to realize that we are never going to see these women again. And if they don’t hear the Good News in that moment, there is a very likely chance that they will never hear it.

IMG_0323

IMG_0351

We are going through 1 Thessalonians as a house and studying Paul’s journeys, and it has been so encouraging to see that Paul was only in this place for 3 weeks. And in that short amount of time disciples were made and a church was started. After this church was started Paul sent to find out about how they were doing because he had only been with them for 3 weeks. Paul writes to the church, “In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.” (3:4-5) Paul later found out that the church was IMG_9817still flourishing and reproducing, and he was filled with joy! It has been so encouraging to see multiple times in scripture that in such a short amount of time, the Lord is fully capable of redeeming and transforming people & cities, and I can trust that the Lord is capable of the same thing in the short 3 months I am here this summer. Paul uses language like, “when I could stand it no longer” so many times, showing that He deeply loves & cares for these people even though he has only with them for such a short amount of time. He desperately longed to know how this church was doing once he had moved on to another place.

My prayer is that I would love these Indians like Paul loved the people he came into contact with.. love them with a godly love, yearning for them to know Jesus. My prayer is that I would not get discouraged because I have not seen anyone come to faith in Christ in 5 weeks, but that I would trust that the Gospel is truth and that God’s word is living & active and does not return void. Praise the Lord that my job is to share and bring people to Jesus & decision, and it is not to save. God is more than capable of saving people here and completely & radically changing their lives. Everyday, we go out, hoping to meet brothers and sisters to encourage or those who have not heard the Good News so that we might share it with them. Each day we leave and search. This means most days we come home after several long bus rides and a lot of hiking holding on to the hope that our King has given us. We share as much as we can. And that is all we can do. We may not see immediate fruit, or even any fruit at all. But I know, that whether I see a hundred people come to know Christ this summer or none at all, the Lord is still faithful and completely sovereign regardless. He is still in control and still on His throne. Just because I don’t see anything does not mean the Lord is not working or that He is not capable of saving people here. He wants all people to be in right relationship with Him much more than we ever could, so I have to know & really trust that He is saving people here in His perfect timing even when I don’t see it.

IMG_5929

I am learning a lifestyle of engaging people & sharing the Gospel with the lost that will be so important when I come home.. just as important as it is when I am here. I beg you all to be intentional in your relationships and in every conversation, and look for opportunities to share each day as well. I know that looks extremely different in somewhere like America where just about everyone has “heard” about Jesus.. But when Jesus told us to make disciples, it was not a calling for some and not for others.. it was a command for every follower of Christ. Where ever you are at, whatever you are doing, I beg you to follow hard after Jesus, talk to people about the Gospel, and get to a point of decision.. either to live to know God and make Him known or settle for  a surface level, mediocre “Christianity” of going to church every Sunday and bible studies during the week. But the latter, my friends, is not the life God desires for us to live. I look forward to writing deeper about the Great Commission in the next couple of weeks.

IMG_0260

Even though I have been sick the past 2 weeks, a wonderful thing that has come out of it is being able to talk to so many close friends! Can we just talk about what an amazing invention FaceTime is? I love it! I am so so thankful to be able to talk to so many great friends this week. So many gave me so much encouragement and some even prayed for me right then as we were talking.. It has been so sweet for me.

I am going to Nepal this week!! It is going to be very refreshing and encouraging to see some familiar faces that will also be there this week from a local fellowship from home that I am really close to. I cannot wait to be there!

IMG_5951

Please please please join me in prayer for India. Pray for our brothers and sisters here, those who are new in the faith and those who have been laboring for years, that they would be encouraged and will press on. Pray for the Lord to go ahead of us preparing hearts to hear the Good News and that disciples would be made and churches would be started. Pray for L & L to be encouraged and strengthened this summer. Pray that I would be diligent and faithful to the one true God. Pray for intentional encounters and boldness. Lastly, please pray that I would get better. My body is very weak, and I long to be better so that I can be effective here.

“Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their own hands, to what their own fingers have made.” Isaiah 2:8

“And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

IMG_9989


Every nation, tribe, people, & language standing before the throne

It’s crazy how different, yet similar, the world is.. all at the same time. Never in my life have I been in a place anything like India or seen or IMG_5879experienced anything like I have here.. It’s nuts. I’m already learning so much about myself, India culture, religions, & G0d. I apologize in advance for this long post.. I’ve been procrastinating blogging the past 3 weeks. A lot has happened in this short time, but I will try to just talk about the highlights.. Hopefully, I will do a better job of it the rest of this summer, and the posts won’t be quite so long 😉

It’s been such a fun first few weeks here! (Side note- the night I got here, it was 117 degrees..) It’s been so cool to get out & about just meeting all sorts of people, going into their homes, and having awesome conversations that G0d has been all over. It’s obvious that the L0rd has been here long before me or any M’s that come here.. He’s been preparing & cultivating hearts for Himself for such a long time. 

First thing’s first. It is GORGEOUS here. I repeat: G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S! Mountains EVERYWHERE! I love it! Love love LOVE it! Okay, do you get that I love it?! LOVE IT! I love mountains, the most beautiful part of nature in my opinion. Obviously living in the Himalayas, there are mountains everywhere, but I just did not anticipate what beautiful scenery it would be. I was really excited about this when I got here.. I mean just look at the view from our house!

IMG_9808

But then I realized that this meant that no matter where we go, it’s either going to be an uphill or downhill hike.. And don’t get too excited because going at a steep decline for 3 miles is not fun, and even when you do that.. you have to go back up at some point. At least I’m getting my workout everyday, right? Coming from such a flat part of the US to the Himalayas is a huge adjustment. But really.. it’s gorgeous here. I just can’t get enough of it. I’m amazed every time I walk outside. No picture is doing it justice at all, and it’s kind of frustrating. But here’s a glimpse.. I mean come on, this can’t be real life..

IMG_5305

IMG_9824IMG_5440

IMG_5807

I’m beyond stoked about spending my summer with some sweet friends who I cherish dearly! I haven’t seen them in almost 5 years, so being able to not only see them, but live with them for 3 months is such a blessing for me. I really love learning from people, and there’s no better way to learn from someone than to live with them & watch their every move, right? 😉 But really, I adore this couple & their sweet little ones (who I feel like have already become my own kids:)). Playing with bubbles is our favorite so far as you can see.. I mean, please, how can you not fall in love with these two?!

DSC_0025DSC_0088DSC_0139DSC_0062

Cornhole is also a regular thing here too.. Thank goodness these M’s are from the South, amen? 🙂

Since I knew people who lived here, I came on my own. But thankfully, there was another team of 3 college students from SC who are here for half of the summer! So they also are living with us for a few weeks. I’m really thankful to be doing life with them here 🙂

The first full day here we went to a Tibetan Buddhist temple only a 10 minute walk away to try to meet people who spoke English who we could befriend intentionally to share the with them. My heart began to be broken for this nation this day.. There are hundreds & hundreds of Hindu & Muslim temples where I am. It was Buddha’s birthday, so there were tons of people at the temple. Worship & celebration to him were going on all day. We had no idea of this until we got there. We met 3 high school girls. We ended up meeting some of their families & friends and eating lunch there with them. They were so so sweet. We got to share a little bit with them. Just as we were about to leave the temple, feeling a little discouraged because we didn’t meet anyone else or get to really share with anyone, 4 girls (all sisters) came up to us and started talking to us in English. We were ecstatic to say the least. We ended up walking out with them when we asked them to hang out with us, and they invited us into their home. We were SO excited. We went to their home and met their other sisters, their mom, and their dad and got to talk to them for a while. When you visit any place here, they will give you a kind of hot tea, chai. This was my first of MANY cups of chai. The nationals drink this 6-8 times a day. Good thing it’s growing on me. 😛

IMG_5214IMG_5226

IMG_5243

IMG_5287

The whole point of my being here is to reach college students. So we got to go to several colleges our first week with intentions of meeting & befriending college-aged girls to share with them. We got to meet and share with several college students and older women this week. After we left one college, our sweet (and only) national friend, N, said that she wanted to show us something. So a few bus rides and a long hike up later we discovered this..

IMG_5310

It was a castle when the British ruled India just 60 years ago. It was really cool to hear & learn a lot about the history of this area. Plus, it was absolutely gorgeous, and with 4 girls there we had to have a mini photo shoot, duh. 

IMG_5346

DSC_0192

On the way and on the way back from another college that week, 10 people heard the Good News for the first time on the bus rides alone. My favorite day here by far. I discovered the most overwhelming & satisfying joy in Jesus. I realized that forsaking my complacent & comfortable life for Jesus’ was so worth it. The L0rd taught me so much this day. 

Another day last week, our friend brought us to a village to share with a house that was dear to her heart. We got to share a lot with them. They were very interested and wanted to hear more. 3 woman are our sisters! One of the things we shared with them was the story of the Samaritan woman. We told them that just like the woman in the story, the Lord wanted to use them, no matter how dirty & sinful, to bring their entire village to Jesus. Pray for one woman who says she needs to know more. Praise the Lord she is still very interested and wants to hear more.

IMG_9826

IMG_5427

Right after that, we went to a house of believers with about 10 girls to encourage them to be the church. It was so great to be around other believers, just to encourage each other. It was just really sweet to be in a house full of girls our age studying & discussing with them what the Word says about being the church in Acts 2:38-47.

IMG_9836

One day we went to our friend’s house to hang out with her & her family. Her mom insisted we tried on sarees (their traditional dress). It was so much fun to play dress up & “feel like a real Indian” hehe 😛

IMG_5507 

We decided to have one “fun day” a week where we get out of the house and go somewhere to do something new & fun. It gets really draining & discouraging here really easily & really fast, so it’s extremely important to get your mind off of the seriousness of it all.. This weekend we got to go to an amusement park! (On the way there, we jammed to Miley Cyrus’ The Climb.. Seriously one of the funniest moments here. Like I said, everywhere we go it’s an uphill climb.. and every time I’m hiking I just think “Always gonna be an uphill battle, always gonna wanna make it moooove”… Oh yes, man do I want to make it move sometimes.. or at least my calves do.. ;)) Anywaaays, ahhh, it was a BLAST. Okay, so there was only like 5 “rides”, but I’m telling you, we had a ball… really.. 

IMG_5578IMG_5570DSC_0497

It was my first time “zoorbing” (or what I like to call it, hamster balling) I couldn’t stop laughing.. when I was doing it, or when my friends were.. We just had so much fun with this. 

IMG_5567

IMG_5660

We also did a little bull riding.. Let’s just say the folks from Mississippi clearly took home the gold ;P

IMG_5757

IMG_5739

A huge highlight in my week last week was getting to ride a horse around the city with my sweet little munchkin. Love love loved it.

DSC_0265

DSC_0267

It’s crazy how the Lord changes us, our hearts and how we think about things. I’m already seeing so many differences in my time here compared to the time I spent in Uganda almost a year & a half ago. My passions and desires and heart towards some things have changed. Of course, I know that’s just apart of getting older and maturing, but it is just the coolest thing to see how God changes you at the perfect time for each season of your life.. strengthening you in the seasons you’re in and preparing you for the seasons to come. And teaching you about Himself and yourself the whole time. Just crazy. I’m so thankful.

I’ve never been to a place anything like India.. where worshiping false gods & idols is so common, and all of the people I talk to and share with are not even interested in this god I am talking about. But I pray IMG_5417that they would realize, that the Lord would give them faith and let them see, that my God that I talk to them about is not just my God; He’s THE God. The one and only God. And that no, there are not “many paths that lead to the same thing” like I have been told so much here. Jesus says, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE light, and NO ONE gets to the Father except through Me.” Man, do I want to see some people follow Jesus. Really believe Jesus is who he says he is and he’s going to do what he says he’s going to do, and follow hard after Him. I read this Psalm just 3 days before I got to India, and I have read it every day since I’ve been here. It just describes my heart-break over this nation.

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.” Psalm 115:1-8

It’s been so challenging for me to believe that God will save people here. I can say I know he is really easily, but to really really believe that once you’re in a place like this is really hard. And I’ve been here (and will be here) for a very very short time compared to the long-term M’s, so I can’t even imagine how they feel here after years & years of laboring. After being rejected & persecuted, you start to feel like “what am I even doing here?”, or “is there any point if nothing is happening.” But that’s when the Lord reminds me that His word does not return void. That even when I don’t see fruit, He is still sovereign and faithful and that He truly is mighty to save. Revelation 7:9-10 says, IMG_5896“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.And they cried our in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'” Man, do I long for that day. That’s the end vision. One day, standing before the Lord will be people from EVERY nation, tribe, and language, and I want to be apart of that.

It’s been a really fun, encouraging, challenging few weeks, but man I am learning a ton. I’m really thankful I get to be here for the whole summer. Thank you everyone for all of your kind words, texts, support, prayers, etc.. I read every single one and am SO encouraged & thankful. Seriously, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it. It means so much to me. Please pray for soften hearts not hardened or resentful, but open, interested, and receptive. I can’t wait to get home and tell everyone what the Lord is doing here!