Saturday, June 16, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Well friends, I am officially home. I actually got home Monday night a little after 10pm. David picked me up from the airport and we immediately went for a hamburger! YUM! Sonic was the only place open, so wasn't the greatest burger ever, but man did it taste better than ever! It felt so good to be able to get off a plane and think, "I don't have to climb back on one of these in two hours!" WOOHOO! My trip started pretty early... Tony and I had to leave the house in Bangalore around 4am to get to the airport on time there... My flight left Bangalore at 6:30am. Something I had never experienced before though is that nobody is allowed into the airport unless you have proof that you are on a departing flight! So because of this Tony was only able to lead me so far, but I had already checked in for the most part online so it wasn't too hard the rest of the way. For my flights from Bangalore and from London I took some Melatonin so I would be able to sleep the majority of the time. It was great! I got window seats on all three of my planes so I was able to sleep a lot, which makes me time go by so much faster. Everything went really smooth on the way home (besides the lack of food... they served fish on the plane and you and me both know that is not edible..) Of course it took me forever to fall asleep come Monday night... I saw 4am but once I finally fell asleep. I was out until my mom came in at 10:30, but I was so excited to see her that I totally forgot about the fact that someone woke me up! We spent the day together and it was so great! We had lunch at the Crumpet Tea room and enjoyed a Mani/Pedi together! WONDERFUL! Later that day David came to Rogers and we took our dogs to the park (really in hopes to be able to see the puppies at the humane society...but it was closed.) Wednesday mom took me to Fayetteville and we went apartment hunting! YAY! I am so excited that I actually found an apartment in my price range! I am excited to be able to move in right after Chicago! I am not having a lot of luck finding a puppy, but I know there will be one just for me at one point in time.. Thursday I got to spend some time with my sweet friend, Stephanie. She is getting married in August so it was really great to get to sit down and talk wedding with her! Woohoo! I am so excited for her and Jason!  And well today is my first day back to work... I have been so exhausted lately that I have been falling asleep at ridiculously early hours so this morning I couldn't sleep past 6am.. My mom left yesterday to go get Cody... So be praying for safe travel back today! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day Twenty-Five

Today was my last day here in Mysore. Tomorrow will begin the journey home. This morning Tony, Stephany and I went to Cafe Pascucci. Mike and LeeAnnette kept the girls for a few hours so just the three of us could go out and that was really nice. I was so grateful for the time with just them to. We each got coffee and enjoyed a pastry. Stephany and I each had lemon tarts and Tony had a pecan tart. YUM! We took my last trip to the store so I could pick up one last gift for my momma and then Stephany took me to get my eyebrows threaded! It was a new experience that is for sure! She had hers done the other day and when she came back and showed how great a job was done and how much it cost I knew I needed to do it too! So today we went and did that and you would never guess how much I payed! A whopping fifty cents! Can you believe it!? Not only that, but I am going to have to find somewhere to get them threaded in the states because it is so much better than waxing! For lunch we picked the girls and Mark and LeeAnnette up and went to eat. It was actually really good! I have found a few things that I really like. Gobi Manchuri is one of them. It is a Cauliflower dish. We also ordered Buttered Pinere which was great too. I finally finished "Don't Waste Your Life" today and was so glad that I ended up reading it! I really recommend that you read it if you have not!! It is definitely a book that changes your mindset on a lot of things! This afternoon Brad, Krystal, Mike and LeeAnnette came over and we had a worship time all together. We sang some songs, prayed and read different scriptures we have been studying lately. It was a great time together. I read from Galatians 2:20-21. That has been a reoccurring verse and topic for me these past few weeks. We then went and got some dinner and some ice cream and CornerStone. It was delicious! I think I have had a sugar overload for the day though, that is for sure. I know I have said this over and over, but really, I am so grateful for the time God gave me here in India. I am so undeserving of it and am in awe that God would choose me to be the one to come. This evening when I got back I finished the majority of packing my bags up. I am waiting on just a little bit of laundry and then I will be set. Tomorrow our train leaves at two from Mysore and we will be in Bangalore around four where we will stay the night there and then head to the airport around four in the morning. This will probably be my last post until I get home, but we will see. Maybe I will have some downtime in the airport. Praying for safe travels and WINDOW seats!! :)  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day Twenty-Four

Well today technically ends my last week I suppose.. Stephany and I did school this morning with the girls for the last time this week and for my last time since I am leaving.. I am so grateful I have gotten to spend that time with Sarah the past couple weeks though! It really has been a lot of fun for me and I hope for her too! The interent guy was supposed to come today (but didn't) so we just ordered lunch from "Big Chicken". It was yummy! I have been a bottomless pit all day today so I feel like I could just eat eat eat! After lunch Sarah had her nap so I had a little down time and read some more "Don't Waste Your Life" and took a little nap. After my nap Stephany, Rebekah, Sarah and I went down to the park and the birds were gone. We are hoping the just learned to fly really fast... But we have our doubts.. While we were pushing the girls on the swing I heard Stephany go "Oh OH OH! That should not be here" and I turned around and there was a COW coming straight for us! It wouldn't have been a huge deal except that there was nowhere for us to go and the cow had some pretty big horns. Stephany called for the guard and a guy came up and shoed him away. I am sure he got a great laugh about the foreign girls hiding behind the swing set from the cow.. :) A little while later Steph went up to finish dinner and Tony came down and we took the girls to a field across from the apartments and they got to dig in the dirt and fly a kite! I have not flown a kite in a long time, but it was fun to watch Tony try to make it stay in the air. For dinner Stephany prepared some quesadillas and salsa and per Rebekah's request we packed up the meal and headed for the park to have a picnic. Something else I have not done in a long time so that was a lot of fun too! Tony, Steph and I stayed up tonight and they introduced me to a game called "Settlers". I have not ever played it before, but it was a lot of fun and a game I could definitely get used to playing! One of the things I want to do when I go home is play more games. They are such a good way to pass time and enjoy the company of those you are playing with! Well tomorrow is my last day here in Mysore since Sunday starts my travelling home. I just cannot believe that it is already coming to an end! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day Twenty-Three

Once again, I am writing in a word document and will be posting my update to the blog as soon as I get the chance… I finally got the chance today only because it just so happened that the neighbors wifi was reaching to where I was sitting, but I cannot manage to find that spot again… This morning I spent some time working on the Bible Study lesson for tonight. Last week we did a lesson on who we are to God and having victory in Christ through knowing Him. This week we continued on and we talked about the Armor of God and the importance of each piece. I felt like tonight went so much better than last week did. I just feel a lot more confident in the lesson and just the responses of the girls. Stephany and I did school with the girls today. It was probably the roughest day for both of us. It was just difficult because they girls were not very motivated, but we made it. A couple, that comes around and makes sure things are going well, came today so Steph and Tony went to meet with them for a while and I got to keep the girls. We got to play a lot of dolls. I did get a little bit of down time which was nice and that is when I discovered the random internet. I then went to Bible Study. I had a hard time saying goodbye to the girls because the didn’t quite understand that I was going back to America. They kept asking, “English class tomorrow?”, “English class next week?”, Bible Study next week?” I was having a hard time emphasizing that I wouldn’t be back… I am so grateful for the opportunity God gave me to meet these girls though. My prayer for them is that they will come to know Jesus if they haven’t already and that they will grow in Him if they already have that relationship. The girls showed me their rooms the other day and today they showed me the finished products! They got some new tables and new curtains and new sheets! They were so excited about it that it brought so much joy to me to see them so happy about it!! There was also an addition to our group tonight! She got to the center on Saturday and I was so glad that she joined us tonight and was able to hear the good news! After Bible Study I came back and Mark and LeeAnnette were still here so we got to sit and talk for a while. My final days are really winding down and I cannot believe how fast it is going. Before I know it I will be walking off of the plane back in Rogers, AR! (The worst part about travelling home is the in between time…) 

Day Twenty-Two

The internet has been out for nearly two days straight now so I am writing this in a word document so that I don’t forget anything and then can easily post it later when I get internet again. Today since it is Wednesday the girls did school together. Stephany planned out some fun activities for the girls. They are studying Japan so we learned the spelling of “Japan” and some different words in Japanese. I love that each day before school Stephany has a time of songs for the girls where they are learning scriptures to memorize and also a time of prayer for the day and for the girls to be focused in learning. Stephany had a meeting today, but Sarah was down for a nap and Rebekah was reading to Tony so I got to read some more of “Don’t Waste Your Life”. I am so close to finishing so I really want to have finished before I leave. I am really enjoying it and would honestly encourage anyone who hasn’t read it to do so! I am hoping I will be able to sleep on the plane, but in fear of not being about to I am downloading a few other books by John Piper to read. Since the internet has been out we went to Brad and Krystal’s today for a little while to check emails and such. Stephany and I got to visit with Chunuda’s family again tonight and that is always exciting to me. I am not quite sure why since the majority of the time I am unaware of what is being said, but it just excites me to be able to go to a neighbors home and get to know them a little bit. Before I leave I plan to go see Chunada and we are going to exchange names so we can add each other on facebook. That will be exciting to be able to keep in touch with her even after going home! Although I have been thinking a lot about the fact that I will be home next week and then excitement that that brings, I am trying pretty hard not to think about the fact that that means I am leaving India and the Wood’s. Stephany said that she is glad it is early in the morning and I couldn’t agree more. It will be really hard to say goodbye, but it would be even harder if I wasn’t going to be so tired when I leave. I just cannot believe that Wednesday has come and gone and that leaves the week more than half over. While it is exciting to go home since there are so many things that are yet to come: my first trip to Chicago, hopefully my first apartment, a new puppy of my own and being a bridesmaid in one of my dear friend’s wedding it is hard to say goodbye and wonder when the next time will be or what God has in store next.
Some of the things you can join me in praying for are:
·    *How to live a life with a “single minded passion for Christ and His Crucifixion”.
·    *That God would help me to have a heart of forgiveness.
     *What is next: I am going back and forth about plans for Christmas. I have debated between another mission trip and also going to “Passion” a discipleship week for college students.  For a while I was convinced it was supposed to be another mission trip until just about two weeks ago. I feel as if my heart is slowly being changed, but how to figure out if it’s my desire or God’s I haven’t quite established… 

One more thing to add is that I found out the most wonderful news last night!! My dear dear friend Whitney is having a baby!! I am so so excited for her and Nate! What exciting news, especially when it has been a desire for such a long time! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day Twenty-One

Well I suppose the countdown has begun. Today was my last Tuesday to spend here in India. It is a very bittersweet time. I am oh so excited to come home and see people there, but at the same time I am loving the time I am spending here and the relationships I have made that it will be hard to let go of that here. I was half expecting that I would come and it wouldn’t entirely capture my heart like Nicaragua did, but boy was I wrong. There is just something so much different and honestly better about other countries. I am so blessed to live in America. There is no place like it. However, there is nowhere like these other countries and I love the simplicity of life here and in other countries. God has created all of these people with such different ways of life and He has created them all the same and for the same purpose: to have a single minded passion for Christ and His Crucifixion. If you have read a few days ago, you will understand what I am talking about with this “single minded passion”. Oh, Lord how I pray that You would touch every aspect of Your world and that peoples of every nation and every tongue would desire to have that “single minded passion” for You and Your Son. I pray that I would no go home without a changed heart and an unquenchable desire to reach the nation of the University of Arkansas and Fayetteville/Rogers, Arkansas. That is my nation and it is my responsibility to be sharing my joy and passion of Christ and His Crucifixion with those people around me.
Today I got to do some school with Sarah while Stephany did school with Rebekah and then I got to teach Rebakah how to make an origami dog. She is studying Japan in school and origami is big there. We went to eat at Pizza Hut and then went grocery shopping, came back and relaxed a bit. I read some more of John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life”. We went to the park. The birds we have been watching are hatched and growing feathers and then Stephany and I came up and worked to make some dinner. It was delicious! Taco Salad! YUM! 

Day Twenty

I am a little behind.. Sorry! Yesterday morning I went and helped at Beautiful Gates. It is a special needs school here in Mysore. I got there at about 9:30 and waited for the teachers and kids to arrive at 10. As I waited I got to talk to a lady named Hemma and she was very sweet and was sharing with me how she came to know Christ. I am uncertain as to how she really realized or came to know that she needed Christ as a savior and that she needed a relationship with Him, but she was very certain that she did have a relationship with Him so praise the Lord! She shared with me that she got married at the age of 16 and her husband was abusive (which is common) to her in more ways than one. She got pregnant shortly after and has two boys now. Three years after she was married her husband committed suicide. She now lives with just her and her boys. I cannot imagine living a life like that, but the encouraging part of the story is that through all of that she knew that she needed something so much more than anyone here or the "gods" that she has been brought up around can offer her. She found a peace that she had never been able to experience before in Christ and now has been trusting him for eleven years. Praise the Lord! Once the kids arrived I just sat in and observed a classroom for the day. I sat in on a German girls who is twenty, has just finished high school and has taken a year off to come teach in India before going to college. She taught the kids English/Language. There are four different sessions and each session she teaches the same thing, just to a different group of kids. Each teacher however has no more than two kids in each class. There was not a whole lot of room for me to be able to help, but I did enjoy getting to observe how things worked there at the school. Especially since I have not had any experience with special needs kids. (Special needs is one of my choice for the major I am pursuing in college and it was really good to be able to experience what it is like first hand. I now know that that is not a field I feel called to!) Since the school is prospering at the moment and does not need help as expected, I have decided to just spend my last week with the Woods. I am so excited about getting to spend more time than planned with them and being able to really just invest in this sweet family this last week. Last night we went and met some people out in one of the villages. Rebekah went to her friend, Joyel's house to play instead of coming with us so it was just Sarah, Tony, Stephany and me. Before going to the village we met a man who owns this restaurant a little ways out of town and got to pray with him. He is not a believer, but his wife and kids are and he has been showing an interest of coming to know Christ so it was nice to be able to pray for him in hopes of him one day coming to know Jesus personally. He sent someone from his restaurant to go get some fresh mangos and make us some juice from them. It was delicious! After leaving there we then went to a home in the village and they made us a meal called Biriyani. It was a rice and chicken meal. We sat on the floor in their living room and ate. First the wife came around and washed our hands and then she brought us plates with the meal on it. There were no silverware so I got to experience eating indian style with my fingers! They served us so much food, but I had to eat it all because I would have felt horrible if I didn't. Meat here is so expensive that they probably don't eat it, but once a month and they chose to serve it to us.. It was delicious, but my mouth and lips were ON FIRE!! Stephany was so gracious and when they left the room took some of my food from my plate and ate it for me... :) The family kept putting more and more on our plates. I felt like I would probably never eat again!! After dinner some neighbors came over and we prayed together and then Tony shared the gospel in Conada to them. After we finished at the house there we drove and went to another house where we prayed for another family and then we headed back to pick up Rebekah and home. It was a late night, but I am really glad that I got to experience and see a different aspect of India.