“But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before they left.” -Matthew 19:14-15
I was told that it gets harder to leave the more you go back. After the week I just had, I can say that is definitely the case. For those who don’t know, I spent time at an orphanage in New Delhi, India this past summer where The Lord taught me more than I could imagine in just 10 days. I fell in love with those children and came back from my trip around the world praying that God would send me back to India. As the semester unfolded, a trip was being made to go back to the orphanage January 1-10th to deliver Christmas presents and spend sweet time with the kids. Praise God, He allowed me to return to a place that has now become a second home to me.
This past week was more than I could have hoped for. The relationships I made this past summer deepened. New relationships were formed. Once again The Lord showed me that He is SO good and SO worthy of praise. I see Jesus in everyone and everything at the orphanage. The simplicity of the lives of the kids and staff there is beautiful. Jesus is all they have and He is all they need. I have never met anyone like these Indian believers. 5 year old children grasp the gospel. 15 year old children shepherd the young children. They center their lives around Christ and don’t just fit Him in their schedules. They pray at 5:30am. They pray after lunch. They pray before dinner. They love each other. They serve each other. They love us and they serve us. They get three meals a day and view life as a gift from God. They live like Jesus. Although they are physically poor, they are rich in spirit and theirs is the kingdom (Matthew 5:3). Once you get to be a part of something so wonderful, there is no way you won’t change.
I knew what to expect with the physical conditions, so that part was not as difficult this time around. We spent time just being. Being with the kids and being with Jesus. We watched them be so joyful and thankful for gifts of new socks, new underwear, toothbrushes, small toys, and candy. We got to take them to KFC again and you would have thought they just ate at a five star restaurant. Mostly we just played, braided hair, held kids, and worshiped our perfect Creator. I am convinced it does not get any better than that.
I was talking to my friend Hannah who traveled with me this summer and returned to India with me this Christmas break, and we came to the conclusion that we can’t stop coming back now. We are hooked. These people are our family. Another one of my team mates, Bonnie Grace, said something so true. She said that these children see us the way Jesus sees us. They see no flaw in us and love and serve us endlessly. They breathe grace in and out.
In a little orphanage in Chhwala Village, New Delhi, India, I have found my little piece of heaven on earth. My heart was pained to leave my friends there. I was not excited to be back in America, but The Lord reminded me of His faithfulness. He took care of them before we arrived and He will continue to take care of them now that we are gone. He also will take care of me back in America.
As I am back home and being challenged to live in the present, my prayer is that I can be in America but not live like an American. My prayer is that I will trust my faithful Father to bring me back to India someday and while I wait, trust He will sustain me like He promises. My prayer is that when I go back to school in two days I can trust that He has me there for a reason.
As a new season comes there may be moments when we go through hardships and begin to doubt His goodness or His faithfulness or His provision. If that happens, just go take a hot shower, open your refrigerator, or sleep in a warm bed. Our God is way too good to us. All the time. What an incredible One to serve.
“For the Lord is good. His unfailing love endures forever, and he is faithful through all generations.” -Psalm 100:5
To Him be the glory.