So, I decided to make this little blog in order to document this trip to India of Craig, Logan and I. My goal with it is to start with simple observations and leave the “heavier reflection” until I get home. But, we’ll see. One thing I’ve learned from only being in India a day is that a changed plan does not have to be such a big deal. I also want to write in this every day but, again, we’ll see.
I could write a whole book on our travel here, but I’m just going to say a few things. First, it was so cool to have our friends with us at the Cleveland airport as we departed. We really are so fortunate to be in such a loving group of people. Second, the London airport sucks. Our flight was delayed for about five hours, but Logan and I were lost for two or three of them. Somehow we had to go through security twice… One would think it would be easy there since they speak English BUT NOPE. Ha. But, it wasn’t that bad. We made it to India.
A guy named Michael and another man, whose name I cannot pronounce, picked us up in Bangalore. The drive to Sharon Gardens, where we’re staying (which is in Salem), took around four or five hours. Below are some things I saw, heard, and thought that I tried to jot down in my journal as we drove on the bumpy roads:
Noises… Smells… PEOPLE… Honking… Temples… People staring… Unfinished buildings… Advertisements everywhere… vendors… Big statues of gods/goddesses… I wish my phone didn’t die so I could take pictures… People walking and urinating wherever they damn please… Monkeys on the side of the road… Beautiful mountains…
Logan is writing in his journal next to me and he said the “word of the day” for him would either be “humbled” or “I’m a rich a-hole.” Funny, but so true. Seeing all the immense poverty as we drove down the streets was something I have never experienced. I’ve seen poor people throughout our country, but this seems so different. I wish I could post a picture of what I saw but, again, my phone was dead. Soon, hopefully. But, I cannot overemphasize the drastic difference between where I come from and where these people live. I read all about that in multiple books leading up to this trip, but seeing it for yourself is incomparable.
One specific instance that brought this to light was when we were waiting in line at a toll booth. A pregnant women, obviously poor, came up to our window holding her hand out looking for money. We had all read in books, and even talked about before, that we shouldn’t give money to people because a lot of the time they are being used by bad people as a front and if we give them money we are perpetuating the cycle. But when we looked into her hurting eyes it was just too much. None of us really even spoke a word to one another, we didn’t know what to say. For myself, I was thinking about all the thousands if not millions of hurting people in this country and throughout the world. Seeing some of it up close and personal was almost too much to handle. How are we to keep ourselves from becoming numb to all the poverty and pain in the world when it is EVERYWHERE?
I don’t have many answers yet, but one thing I came to be thankful for is that we are not here on some feel-good crusade against poverty. If that were the case, it really would be too much to bear. Instead, our only mission is to help spread God’s love a little more to people who desperately need it. If it were our own humanitarian help we were offering up it would be oh so limited. It’s true that the problems we’re seeing are overwhelming to the point of us realizing that we cannot do much at all. Thankfully, though, that’s actually a good position to be at with God. He’s the one doing the work, anyway. And I trust Him.
That thought reminds me of 2 Corinthians 3:4-5
“Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.”
Even though it has only just begun, I think I’m thankful now more than ever that I don’t have to rely on myself to love people and that Jesus died and came back so I can live through Him. Although all of this really is so new, different, scary, and overwhelming, it really isn’t that bad at all in knowing that the loving creator of the universe is there alongside of you.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Sorry if that was sort of stream-of-consciousness-ish. It’s all still so new.