Most of you know that we just returned from our trip to India. There are so many things we learned and want to share with you. I have learned that I can never travel to another country and meet new people with out them changing me in some way. Our view on sharing life, hospitality, family, and Jesus has been stretched and challenged. I will be sharing over the next few posts different stories of people we met and things we experienced.
When we first arrived in India we had an orientation for a couple days. We discussed different things like; being a social entrepreneur (will share more on that later), culture, and family. It is amazing how much in our holy book the bible we see the importance of family and sharing Jesus in the context of family. Many people I know come from broken families and there is so much hurt that can occur in families. This is so far from the way God intended and created families. I KNOW that Jesus longs to restore families. He longs for families to be redeemed. For many people that would seem like a huge miracle, luckily Jesus in a great miracle worker :) I am praying that God would teach me more about how he loves families and groups of people. So often in the West we limit our experience with God to being a very individualistic thing. Yes, we do make choices about following God as individuals, but I think we miss out on something beautiful when we forget the aspect of following God in community and intimacy with others. God longs to redeem families and communities, not just individuals. I have so much to learn about this. Anyways, I would like to share about a family that we met that really touched my heart.
As we wondered around the city, we met a man who took us to meet his aunt and her family. We drank chai with them and learned some of their story. They invited us back for dinner the next night. A few years ago this family lost their husband and father. This left the wife a widow with three boys. In any culture this is such a great tragedy, but here this makes things very hard because most of the women don't work in the society. Now two of the sons are older and are able to work, but I still felt so sad for their loss. Their father was an artist. He painted designs on plates and cups. He was a very talented. I loved the way this family interacted, they had such joy and love for one another. The boys loved and respected their mother and told us how she was so important to them. They also lovingly spoke about how they missed their father and how hard things had been without him. The mother didn't speak any English, but I quickly fell in love with her joyful eyes and beautiful smile. It is hard to explain. I don't really even know her and we couldn't even talk to each other, but somehow it seemed as if our stories connected and she reminded me of my own Mom. I could see in her how much she missed her husband, but how much she loved her children and longed for the best for them. I am sure when we live in India we will hear many more stories of widows and loss, but I think she will forever have a place in my heart. I hope one day to be able to hear her story in her own language and to share with her my story and the peace I have found in Jesus through losing my father. Oh, how I long for the day when death is no more and families are not separated! Please pray for this family that God would be near to them and that he would provide for them. I think Jesus has a special compassion for widows.... I read this passage the day after we met them and it really touched me:
[Jesus Raises a Widow's Son]
Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”
(Luke 7:11-16 ESV)
I love that Jesus SAW her and had COMPASSION on her. I pray he sees this woman we met and has compassion on her as well.
I think this post is kind of disorganized and kind of all over the place with my thoughts (Sorry!). I hope it wasn't to disjointed for you. I am still jet-lagging a little and have so many things yet to process from our trip :) My thoughts and emotions are all over the place :) I love ya'll, thanks for reading and praying.
Here is a pic:
this is lauren and me with the mother, isn't she so beautiful? the guy in the back on the left is a cousin we spent a lot of time with and the little guy on the right is her youngest son. oh my goodness, don't even get me started on how cute he is....he stole my heart. he had great english and was so adorable and so smart!