Namaskara! Once again, I am so thankful for your time to read this and your prayers for the ones I love here. His love is so greatly shown and I hope to share this with you through my words. I am so honored to call you Family!
The best way I can describe the past month of life here would be to point you to 2 Pet 3:8-9. He has continued to show me that He will fulfill His promise and He is not slow, but is patient towards us. Father has placed us where we need to be and His promises are being fulfilled daily. Everyday I have to remind myself to place the people of South Asia in His hands, not knowing that they would be the hardest to give up.
My new definition of home is more of an illusion of what is yet to come and keeps me settled wherever He is. Trying to put myself in the shoes of our King is something I could never do, but seeing the way that I have fallen in love with these people gives me a greater understanding of what its like not to be loved back. Looking into the eyes of the women who have been beaten the night before and that laugh at the thought of us trying to report it to the police, completely breaks me. Hearing them say, “they will only beat us more," brings me to my knees weeping for justice.
These are the faces I see everyday, the faces of hopelessness and sorrow. Knowing that they are loved with such a great love is my only hope and keeps me fueled to lead them to Him. Every time I hear, “Auntie Auntie!" as the little smiles come running toward me to be lifted into my arms, swung around like an airplane, or maybe even just to have a shoulder to find rest; all I hear over and over again is “love me." These are the moments I cling to, write down, and pray for. At the end of the day I can honestly say, it's worth it.
The day after praying for open and closed doors to be shown, He provided in less than 24 hours. We received a closed door that morning and were headed to a nearby village to have our sarees made for a wedding later that week. As we walked to the sari shop, we passed a school and were then followed by two of the schoolgirls. They kept us company as we made our decision amongst some of the most beautiful colors and fabrics I have ever seen. On our way back, we were stopped by the head masters invitation to visit the school. As we gathered into the building, Father gave us the opportunity to share His stories, and to teach them songs about Him. We now have the opportunity to teach English and His stories once a week in this village. While encountering this same village we found the need for a women's discipleship study amongst the believers in this area. Most of these women have been sisters for over ten years and have prayed for a way to grow in Him. They have called us angels and we are beyond honored to share, challenge, and teach them about the Great Commission.
Festival season is upon us here in South Asia! Just think of it this way, as soon as you lay your head down, you are awakened by what seems to be a bomb and while crouching down for shelter, or “falling" on your knees for prayer, you are reminded of the fireworks. Even though it feels like a remake of WWII is happening right outside your door, it has opened my eyes to see the hope my neighbors are searching for. But then I think of the city I come from, don't we have parades and celebrations over dreams just like theirs? Ours idols don't wear flowers or painted gold, but really, what's the difference?
They put their idols on shelves, in cars, and all around their house. We wear, buy, and flaunt our idols just like they do. By having the latest fashion, buying the newest tech item, eating until we feel sick, drinking until we can't remember, training to build our “perfect" bodies and this is only to realize that we have become our own idols. We don't give incense, flowers, or sweets to these gods but we do give sacrifices. Watching these people give their lives to these statues reminds me to look in the mirror at my own idols. Ridding myself of these has become a daily choice, which some days I can give up but most I start to hear the drums beating toward my idols once again.
Lauren is a student from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor serving with Go Now Missions as a semester missionary in South Asia.