Friday, January 8, 2016

Day 2: New Hope & Sari Bari

I hate to sound like a broken record but what can I say?  It was another amazing day in India.  Today's plan was exactly like yesterday's with a slight change in location.

We started out the morning at New Hope School.  If you are a Google Earth nerd like me you can look up New Town (near Salt Lake) in Kolkata and find the slum village of Udayan Pally.  We have worked with New Hope School for many years.  You can read more about their story in my earlier blogs.  For those of you that have been there you know it is impossible to go to New Hope School and NOT fall in love with these kids.  How I end up leaving them all here is beyond me.

Our theme for school the three days that we are here is Science Camp.  It has been so much fun.  We have taught basic concepts from Biology and Chemistry and on Monday we will learn about about Magnets.  If you see the pictures on my Facebook page you can see that they are all wearing little scientist lab coats.  It was so cute that we could hardly stand it!

We left New Hope School and headed to our favorite lunch spot...KFC.  Y'all I'm not even kidding; Indian KFC is SO MUCH BETTER than American KFC.  It is spicy and crunchy and just hits the spot.

After lunch we had a full afternoon with two different units of Sari Bari planned but weren't sure how we would manage the sheer number of women that come from all over the red light area for our Spa Day that we hold every year.  We were expecting around 60 women but with only 7 of us there was really no way we could do pedicures for all of them in one afternoon.  We were so blessed by our friends here from the local Assembly of God Church as they were able to send 3 young girls to help us!  It was such a sweet picture of the body working together across the globe to accomplish one mission.  We had never met these girls but yet they INSTANTLY became a part of our team.  Besides the pedicures we also set up a photo booth with funny props.  We brought a photo printer so they could take it home with them and they loved that.  Having photos of yourself is a rare deal so they thought that was really cool.  We never take pictures of the ladies or in the red light district for obvious reasons so the fact that they trusted us with a camera in our hands was also signs that we have built so many relationships over the years that we have been coming.  Score one for the "short term missionary" that always gets a bad rap!

I know many of you wonder exactly what it is that we do over here.  Due to the sensitive nature of the women we are working with I am mostly quiet about the part of the trip that involves working with trafficking victims and women that have left the red light area work.  We also never photograph anything or anyone in the red light district.  All the pictures that I post are of sights around the city and of course the adorable kids at New Hope but that is just one part of the many ministries we are involved in.  I know many of you wonder but I just don't say much or blog much about that part of the trip.  I want to honor their lives by storing these things in my heart and I just can't really share much and do it justice anyway.  Suffice it to say that these women and girls have experienced the unspeakable and have been given new life.  Seriously I have retyped this paragraph numerous times and there really is no other way to say it so I'll just stop.

Love to all and thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Welcome to Adventures in the Silver Bullet blog for India 2016!  We had probably the easiest travel to Kolkata that we have ever had.  No issues or delays for 36 hours of travel is really amazing.  We have one member struggling with a little bit of car sickness (if you ever been to India and seen how they drive here you can relate!) but other than that we are all feeling 100% and so excited for the next 10 days.
If you aren't convinced that God is still in the miracle business then I have a story for you.  I have been sick since December 23 with congestion, cold, and asthma issues.  I was in denial that it was getting worse instead of better so I kept pressing on and ignoring.  Finally on Sunday afternoon (the day before I left for India) I went to Urgent Care where I learned that I had a touch of bronchitis and a double ear infection.  Ear infection?  What am I....2?  I have never had an adult ear infection.  I was surprised because my ears didn't hurt or even feel clogged.  When I told her I was getting on a plane the next day she made a face that seemed to say, "Are you sure you want to do that?"  She told me that there was a risk of rupturing my ear drums on the plane.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a worrier and can generally take things in stride.  But the thought of rupturing my ear drums on a plane at that high altitude just about put me over the edge. 
Instead of turning my worry inward I texted friends, family, and asked my Sunday School (shout out to my Joshua House family!) to please pray for my eardrums!  Within hours I had heard from dozens of people that said things like, "I am praying specifically for your ears!"
As the plane took off from Houston I prayed and just told God that I am letting it ears were in His hands, that I trusted in Him, and that I would not be afraid of whatever would happen.  Can I just tell you that not only did I NOT have problems with my ears but after 8 trips between Houston/Dubai it was probably the easiest flight I have ever had.  I started out with 2 empty seats next to me but when Kay found out that I had an empty seat she "felt badly for me" and didn't want me to "be lonely" so she came to sit next to me.  LOL
So here we are: Day One and ready to hit the ground running!  We've been up since 4 am and are headed out to New Hope and Sari Bari today.  Gotta run....we are leaving soon!
Love to all and thank you for the prayers for my ears!

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:2-6