Homecoming is both hard and happy.
Last night, when we stepped off the plane and re-entered India, my heart felt really heavy. I'll be honest, coming back to Kolkata this time is hard. Kolkata brings out all my fears, and I don't quite know what to do about this. Keep bringing my fears to Jesus. Being here makes me read the Bible a lot more seriously. I need to believe I "have not been given a spirit of fear." I need to believe that I "abide in the shadow of the Almighty." At home, I'm not so often aware of my dire need. If in December, I organize these 120 days into a set of themes, I am sure one of those themes will be "weakness." My weakness keeps resurfacing here.
In little ways, it is hard to be back. Eight days of toilet paper, hot showers, American food, privacy, and independence spoiled me. I had gotten to a point where the absence of those things no longer was such a big deal. I felt like I was becoming an overseas stud. :) But now, well, now, I'm missing them again.
But this is also happy. I am happy to see Uncle standing on the door stoop, waving to us. "My daughters are coming home!" I am happy to see my kids at school. I am happy because there is much yet to experience on this trip. Today I get to go visit the girls in the red-light district for the first time. It will be prime opportunity to gather up all the bits of Bangla I know and PRACTICE! And I am also happy because I have new hope...
The time we spent with the WMF staff in Nepal was so encouraging to me. The first night of our visit, we went to dinner with one of the girls who is full time staff in Kathmandu. She works with guys on the street who sell drugs. Her stories broke me and challenged me. I needed to hear that Jesus is at work in broken places. Guys coming to Jesus and leaving heroine....little babies being given chances for life...the church praying and then seeing God's power! My prayer for this next half of Kolkata life is that the Holy Spirit will be moving...softening hearts...breaking strongholds...planting repentence. When I view life strictly through a physical lens, I get discouraged. Dirt and disease, poverty and politics, corruption and crime. But Christ's bride is not fighting just a human war! Please pray that our team would be diligent in prayer and for increased wisdom and insight. Pray that we will not grow weary. Pray that the Lord would expand our hearts and give us His visions.
Yesterday morning, before we left our Nepali guest house, the Lord gave me these verses:
"I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Who are you that you fear mortal men,
the sons of men, who are but grass,
that you forget the LORD your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth,
that you live in constant terror every day
because of the wrath of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction?
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?"
Remembering the Lord my maker and leaving fear behind...