Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Letters Home:The Beginning

Sometimes it's hard for me to tell about things that happened(I know, you people that know me well are raising your eyebrows, but I promise it's true!), so I thought the easiest way to tell about my time in India would be to write as if I was writing a letter, since that's kind of how I journaled while I was there. I just might make it a habit when I go back. =)
Dear friend,
I made it the first part of the way! Landed in Ohio just fine and after spending the afternoon with a local family I met with my group at United Bethel. We had supper together and then settled down for our orientation. Richard Swartzentruber helped us to think in our first session about where we are going and why, with a close look at some of the things that make India unique. Our second session dealt with cultural contextualization--understanding that how things are done in other cultures is not necessarily wrong, just different. After we ended for the evening Rachel Horst and I went to my Uncle Lester and Aunt Janet's for the night. After a bit of a slow start in the morning we all met again at UB for worship. Richard challenged us with Deuteronomy 8:1-5 and some thoughts on 1 Timothy 2:8. He encouraged us to go before God with our hands up--an act of surrender. After some singing and prayer time, Clyde Byler gave us a challenge on going with a servant's heart from Matthew 25:14-30.  Rebecca Joy, the secretary for Good Life Ministries who is on furlough right now, gave us some tips on the culture and language. Then we brought all our luggage together and tried to fit more items into our already full suitcases. We stuffed and crammed and unpacked and repacked and weighed and emptied again till we were as close as we dared to our limits. When we finally arrived at the airport 2 hours later we had a hard time juggling all our extra luggage. We had a little mix up with an extra suitcase getting checked in, but we finally made it through with plenty of time to spare.

Even our carry-ons made a huge pile!
We finally set off on our first leg of the journey! I sat beside a sweet Indian couple with a little girl but didn't sleep much during the eight hour flight. When we reached Paris the next morning I was ready to crash. And that's where I'll leave off for now. More later!

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