Every other week, my coworker Marianne publishes “The Business Bulletin” for our Business and Operations team at work. She always includes this fun section where two (randomly selected) people share some fun facts or tidbits about themselves. Guess who was selected this week?!
I struggled with deciding what to submit. Do I share about moving to Togo? Auditioning for “America’s Next Top Model”? My kids? Everyone knows about Togo and my kids and I didn’t have any (non-super embarrassing) photos to submit to accompany information about my ANTM audition. So I was stuck.
While talking to Allen about it earlier this week, he suggested I share about being arrested and detained in India… and I thought, “Yes!!” So that’s what I wrote about for my spotlight – my mission trip to India while I was in college. I shared about being chased by a rhino while riding an elephant, falling into an open sewer, accidentally taking betel nut, and yes, being arrested and detained.
And then I started looking for a photo to submit, which sucked me down the Facebook vortex. And looking at those photos made me think of 5 missionaries who made a difference in my life, a difference that lasts to this day: Daniel, Hannah, Kyle, Jordan, and Steve.
They were my mission teammates and, prior to the trip, I didn’t know any of them super well. But 17 hours traveling to another continent somehow solidifies a group, doesn’t it?
These friends quickly became my India family. They were there for inside jokes, major decisions about life back in the States, fighting random illnesses in South Asia, finding the best chai in every town we visited, navigating using rickshaws, bartering for mangoes, choking down jack fruit and salty lemon water, and more.
But this family also helped me find my place in the world of missions. India was hard. It is a hard culture to live in (even for just 5 or 6 weeks) and I struggled with knowing my place, my identity, and God’s plan for me while I was there.
And in those moments of struggle, you know what this family did? They just listened. And prayed for me. And then made me laugh.
So, to my India family, in all the different places the Lord and life have taken us, know that you made a difference in my life. You spoke truth and lived it in a hard place, helping me see God’s faithfulness even when I didn’t feel it.
May the Lord continue to use you to do just that even now.
All together now: “Riding side saddle on a motorcycle in Incredible India!!”